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Gerd Muller Biography


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Full nameGerhard Muller
Date of birth3 November 1945 (age 68)
Place of birthNordlingen, Germany
Height1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
Playing positionStriker

Kick off
Gerd Muller is one of the greatest strikers to grace football. The ease with which he used to put the ball in the net would make striking goals as one of the most innocuous things one can do on a football pitch. But that is what makes Gerd Muller the great that he is, the ability to pop up with goals in the most unlikely and crucial of situations. Franz Beckenbauer once remarked that Bayern is nothing without Gerd Muller, a prophecy which came true with their European streak drying out once he left.
His-Story
Gerd Muller was born in Nordlingen, Germany and went on to play for his boyhood team for a season, where he amassed 51 goals in the 5th division. This led to Bayern Munich, languishing in the 2nd division and not yet having any established status to sign him up. Initially, manager Zlatko Cajkovski was unimpressed with Muller due to his girth and physique but eventually relented and played him in one of the friendlies where he impressed and scored a hattrick. In his first season, he scored 33 goals to lead Bayern Munich into the Bundesliga.

In the 1966 and ‘67 seasons, he helped Bayern win the DFB Pokal and in the 1969 season Bayern Munich won their first Bundesliga title with the likes of Beckenbauer and Sepp Maier along with Gerd Muller being key in this arduous road from 2nd division strugglers to Bundesliga Champions. This was just the sign of greater things to come personally and team wise for Gerd Muller as the mid 70s would be ruled by Bayern Munich and Germany. The reign of success started in the 1970 World Cup, a personal favorite of Muller with a Uwe Seeler-inspired team.

He ended up scoring 10 goals in the tourney with 2 hattricks. He played a major role in defeating defending champions England in the quarterfinal scoring the deciding goal in an exciting 3-2 win for West Germany ending in extra time. He also played a key role in the semi final against Italy almost leading them to the final, which West Germany eventually lost 4-3. Muller built on this success with 3 back-to-back Bundesliga titles between 1972-1974. Along with a Bundesliga title in 1973-74, this was the season where Bayern Munich would go on to win their first European Cup in spectacular fashion. After drawing the final 1-1 against Luis Aragones inspired Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich went on to smash Madrid in the replay 4-0 with Uli Hoeness and Muller scoring a brace each. The 1974 World Cup is what would etch Muller into the history books. Facing a marauding Netherlands in the final, West Germany were expected to be outpassed and outclassed by Rinus Michels’ team, but Muller had other ideas. After going down to a Johan Neeskens penalty, Germany regained their composure to win 2-1 in the final with Muller who scored a typical poachers’ goal out of nowhere. With this triumph, Muller achieved the holy triumvirate of League title European Cup and World Cup.

After the World Cup success, Muller went on to hang his boots from the National set up but not after leaving a legacy of future forwards like Rummenigge, Klinsmann, Klose, and Podolski. Muller though wasn't done as yet on the club front as Bayern Munich went on to win 2 more European Cups back to back, making it a historic treble and placing Bayern Munich in the annals of great teams such as Real Madrid, Ajaz, and Benfica. In 1979, Muller left Bayern Munich due to contract disputes and internal politics in the club though Muller was still in decent form. This led him to go to the bandwagon in America, where he played for Fort Lauderdale. Here too, his scoring record was a notch above and he played here till 1981 before retiring.

After facing depression and financial problems, Muller was helped by compatriots Rummenigge, Hoeness, and Beckenbauer to stand back on his feet and was brought into the Bayern ambit where he now guides the youth team and is also the assistant coach.

Scorecard
Muller has won 4 Bundesliga and DFB Pokal titles each along with 3 European Cups, one European Championship, one World Cup along with winning the European Cup and Bundesliga top scorer award more than 3 times each.

Offside
The depression of having been told to leave Bayern Munich, a club which he dragged from rags to riches made Muller into an alcoholic leading him to go to rehab and get his act together.

Tie Breaker
Muller possesses one of the best goals to games ratio in international football and the best one with regards to post World War 2 players. He also had the record for scoring most goals in a calendar year until was broken in 2012 by Lionel Messi.

Last Updated : March 10, 2014


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