Bayern Munich and former West German top player Gerd Müller passed away

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Bayern Munich and former West German top player Gerd Müller passed away

MNCHEN (AP) — Gerd Müller, the Bayern Munich and former West Germany striker, known as “Der Bomber” for his scoring ability, has died. He was 75.
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The Bavarian club announced his passing on Sunday, with club president Herbert Hainer saying it was “a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and all its fans.”

Müller scored 566 goals for Bayern between 1964 and 1979, helping the team to four German titles, four German Cup victories and three European Cup victories. He still holds the record for most goals in the Bundesliga with 365, scored in 427 league games.

“Gerd Müller was the best striker there has ever been, and a fine person and character in world football,” Hainer said in a statement on the club’s website. “We are all united in deep mourning with his wife Uschi and his family.”

Bayern announced in October 2015 that Müller has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for a “long time” and that he has been professionally cared for with the support of his family since early February of that year.

Müller made 607 competitive appearances for Bayern. He was the league’s top scorer seven times. He was just as important to Bayern’s rise to become Germany’s powerhouse as former teammates Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeneß.

Müller’s record of 40 goals in the 1971–72 Bundesliga season was only improved last season, when current Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski scored his 41st in the last minute of the final game.

Müller also helped West Germany win the European Championship in 1972, and the World Cup two years later, when he scored the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands. In total, he scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany. It was a national record only surpassed in 2014 by Miroslav Klose, who took 129 appearances to equal it.

“He was the best German striker of all time. Without him FC Bayern and the German team would never have been able to embark on this successful path,” said Bavarian state president Markus Söder. “I was a big fan myself. All of Bavaria is mourning.”

The top man of Bayern rival Borussia Dortmund also paid his respects.

“Gerd Müller was one of the greatest idols of my childhood and youth,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke. “I had the great honor of getting to know him personally as a very humble and pleasant person. He was an excellent player for whom FC Bayern and the German football team owe so much.”

Müller became a youth coach at Bayern after his playing days and worked together with players such as Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller.

“His achievements are unparalleled to this day and will forever be part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football,” Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn added in the club statement. “As a player and person, Gerd Müller stands like no other for FC Bayern and its development into one of the greatest clubs in the world. Gerd will be in our hearts forever.”

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