Gerd Müller is considered one of the greatest goalscorers in football history. Nicknamed “Der Bomber” for his lethal finishing ability in front of goal, Müller scored an astonishing 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern Munich.
He was the driving force behind Bayern’s dominance in the 1970s, winning 4 Bundesliga titles, 4 DFB-Pokals, 3 European Cups, 1 Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup and 1 European Championship with West Germany during the decade.
Müller’s illustrious career saw him break numerous goalscoring records, many of which still stand today. At international level, he scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1972 European Championship and 1974 World Cup.
Regarded as one of the best strikers of all time, Müller’s goalscoring exploits cemented his legacy as a true football legend.
Early Life and Career Beginnings
Gerhard “Gerd” Müller was born on 3rd November 1945 in Nördlingen, Germany. He grew up in humble surroundings as the son of a factory worker. Müller displayed a natural talent for football from a young age, joining local side TSV 1861 Nördlingen as a youth player in 1959.
After progressing through the youth ranks, Müller made his first-team debut for Nördlingen in 1963 at the age of 18. He immediately made an impact, scoring 51 goals in 31 matches in the amateur fourth division Schwarz-Gelbe Liga. Müller’s goalscoring exploits caught the attention of Bayern Munich, who signed him in 1964.
Breakthrough at Bayern Munich
Müller made an immediate impact after joining Bayern, scoring on his league debut against Freiburg in August 1964. His first season saw him score 18 goals in 31 matches as Bayern won promotion to the Bundesliga.
The 1966–67 season marked Müller’s breakthrough as he finished top scorer in the Bundesliga with 28 goals, helping Bayern win their first ever Bundesliga title. From 1968 to 1970, Müller scored 86 goals in 66 matches, winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles and finishing top scorer each season.
Müller’s prolific form saw him earn the nickname “Der Bomber” for his lethal finishing and ability to score from any situation. By the end of the 1960s, he was widely regarded as the world’s best striker.
Dominance in the 1970s
The 1970s would prove to be the most successful period of Müller’s career. In the 1970-71 season, he scored a remarkable 40 goals in 34 games as Bayern won the league and cup double. Müller was again top scorer with 36 goals as Bayern retained their Bundesliga title in 1971-72.
In 1972-73, Müller scored 67 goals in all competitions, including 35 league goals to win his fourth Bundesliga title. That season saw Bayern win their first European Cup, with Müller scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Atlético Madrid in the replay of the final.
Further Bundesliga titles followed in 1973-74 and 1974-75 as Müller maintained his incredible scoring rate, twice finishing top scorer in Europe between 1972 and 1975. He won his third straight European Cup in 1974, sealing Bayern’s domination of the continental game.
International Career with West Germany
At international level, Müller made his debut for West Germany in 1966. He scored on his debut in a friendly against Turkey.
Müller was part of the West German squad that finished as runners-up at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. He scored 10 goals in the tournament, including two goals in the semi-final against Italy.
In 1972, Müller was instrumental as West Germany won the European Championship, scoring two goals in the final against the Soviet Union. At the 1974 World Cup, Müller again starred by scoring the winning goal in the final as West Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1 to lift the trophy.
With 68 goals in 62 appearances, Müller set a record for most goals for West Germany that stood for over 40 years until it was finally surpassed by Miroslav Klose in 2014. His 14 World Cup goals was also a record that lasted until 2006, when it was broken by Ronaldo.
Individual Honours and Records
Müller amassed a host of individual honours and goalscoring records during his illustrious career:
- European Golden Boot winner: 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974
- Bundesliga top scorer: 1967, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978
- 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games for Bayern Munich
- 66 goals in 74 European competition matches
- 5 goals in 1 game for Bayern Munich (Bundesliga record)
- 365 goals in 427 league games (Bundesliga record)
- Most goals in a calendar year (club football): 85 goals in 1972
- FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1970
- FIFA World Cup All-Time Leading Goalscorer: 1974-2006 (14 goals)
Müller’s phenomenal goalscoring feats saw him named European Footballer of the Year in 1970. He was also twice named German Footballer of the Year in 1967 and 1969.
Later Career and Retirement
After retiring from international duty following the 1974 World Cup triumph, Müller continued starring for Bayern Munich over the next few years. He won two more Bundesliga titles in 1979-80 and 1980-81 to take his tally to 7 overall.
However, from the late 1970s onwards, Müller’s playing time decreased due to injuries and competition from younger strikers. He scored his final goal for Bayern in a 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in December 1981 aged 36. Müller retired in 1982, ending his legendary career at the club where he became a superstar.
In total, Müller scored 507 goals in 587 competitive matches during his trophy-laden 15 years at Bayern. His incredible goalscoring exploits made him a club icon and ensured his place as one of Bayern’s greatest ever players.
Post-Retirement and Death
After retiring as a player, Müller stayed involved in football as a coach in the Bayern Munich youth setup. Unfortunately, he battled alcoholism and illness in his later years and died on August 15, 2022 at the age of 75 after suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for over a decade.
Müller’s death was mourned across the football world. Franz Beckenbauer described Müller as “the most dangerous striker there has ever been” while his former Bayern and Germany teammate Paul Breitner called him “the best of all times – as a player and as a person”.
Gerd Müller’s extraordinary goalscoring ability made him a true football legend. The numbers and records he racked up during his career remain staggering even decades later and cement his legacy as one of the sport’s greatest ever strikers.
Gerd Müller’s Net Worth and Salary
As one of the most prolific goalscorers in football history, Gerd Müller earned a considerable amount from salary and endorsements during his illustrious career. However, details of his net worth and career earnings are limited.
Some key points about Gerd Müller’s wealth:
- His main income came from his salary as a footballer for Bayern Munich. In 1975, he earned an estimated 160,000 Deutschmarks per year from his club salary.
- Müller also had lucrative endorsement deals with Puma and other brands, earning additional income from sponsorships and commercials during his playing days.
- After retirement in 1982, he likely had savings and investments from his playing career. He was involved in some business ventures including a fitness studio he opened with his wife.
- For his loyal service to Bayern Munich, Müller likely received a good pension and benefits from the club after retirement.
- In 2015, Bayern Munich founded the FC Bayern Hilfe eV initiative to provide care and support to Gerd Müller in his battle with Alzheimer’s disease.
- There are no definitive estimates of his net worth. But given his football earnings and post-retirement activities, it can be assumed Gerd Müller built substantial wealth from his career.
- Most of his earnings and net worth will be passed on to his wife Uschi and his family members.
So in summary, while the exact figures are unknown, the prolific goalscoring legend Gerd Müller earned millions from his footballing career through salaries, endorsements and other business ventures after retirement. His net worth would likely run into millions of Euros.
Achievements and Records of Gerd Müller
Gerd Müller was one of the most prolific strikers of all time, breaking numerous goalscoring records over his illustrious career. Here are 3 of his most significant achievements and records:
365 Bundesliga Goals
- Müller scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearances during his 15 seasons at Bayern Munich.
- This remains the all-time record for most goals scored in the Bundesliga by a huge margin.
- His incredible scoring rate of 0.85 goals per game may never be matched.