German soccer great Gerd Muller diagnosed with Alzheimer’s
Bayern Munich have confirmed reports that their former striker Gerd Muller, who was Germany’s all-time leading goalscorer until Miroslav Klose broke his record at the 2014 World Cup, has Alzheimer’s.
Just a month before his 70th birthday, Bayern published a statement on their website confirming that Muller is receiving treatment for the illness and that no official celebrations will therefore be held.
The statement read: "For a long time Gerd Muller has unfortunately been very ill, he suffers from Alzheimer’s disease."
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge paid tribute to Muller, adding: "Gerd Muller is one of the all-time greats of world football.
"Without his goals, Bayern Munich and German football would not be what it is today.
"There will probably never be another goalscorers like Gerd, yet despite all his successes, he was always very humble and reserved, which particularly impressed me.
"He was a fantastic team-mate and is a friend. Gerd will always enjoy a place in the Bayern family.
"After he ended his playing career, he brought his experience as a coach of youngsters to the club, helping define the likes of world champions Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller, and we are also grateful to him for this.
"We would therefore like to ask for respect for him and his family. Gerd, for whom the values of friendship and fair play were very important, deserves for us to be respectful of his illness and respect his and his family’s private sphere."
Muller, nicknamed "the bomber of the nation", scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany, in addition to the 398 he netted for Bayern.
He ended his playing career in 1981 after a spell with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.