Gerd Müller, the German soccer star who became known as “Der Bomber” for his scoring prowess, died on Aug. 15 in Wolfratshausen, Germany. He was 75.
Bayern Munich, the club for which he played from 1964 to 1979, announced his death. Bayern did not specify the cause, but it had announced in October 2015 that Müller had had Alzheimer’s disease for “a long time” and had been receiving professional care since that February.
Müller scored 566 goals for Bayern, helping it to four German titles, four German Cup wins and three European Cup victories in 15 years. He still holds the record for the most goals scored in the Bundesliga, Germany’s primary football league: 365 goals, scored in 427 league games.
“Gerd Müller was the greatest striker there’s ever been,” Bayern’s president, Herbert Hainer, said in a statement.
Müller made 607 competitive appearances for Bayern and was the league’s top scorer on seven occasions. He played as important a role in making Bayern Germany’s powerhouse team as his former teammates Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness.
Müller’s record of 40 goals scored in the 1971-72 Bundesliga season was beaten only last season, when the current Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski scored his 41st goal in the last minute of the last game.
Müller also helped West Germany (now Germany) win the European championship in 1972 and then the World Cup two years later, when he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands. Altogether he scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, a national record not surpassed until 2014 — and Miroslav Klose, who broke Müller’s record, needed 129 appearances to match him.
Müller became a youth coach at Bayern after his playing days ended.
“His achievements are unrivaled to this day and will forever be a part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football,” Bayern’s chairman, Oliver Kahn, said.
Müller was born on Nov. 3, 1945, in Nördlingen, Germany. His survivors include his wife, Uschi, and a daughter, Nicole.