Dear Gerd Müller,
It hurts me that you can’t read these lines because you’ve been living in a home for dementia sufferers for several years now, lovingly cared for by Uschi Müller, your wife. If you had felt how many people, how many fans thought of you after the 0:3 of Germany against Holland and the 0:3 of FC Bayern against Mönchengladbach, wished you back on the football field – you would have recovered in one fell swoop. It is a shame.
A pity that you are so seriously ill at 72. And also a pity that there is no longer one like you. Not with the Bavarians, and not with the national team. Bavaria can’t score any more goals. And Germany even less so. Udo Muras, Germany’s leading football statistician, found out that the DFB eleven had never in their history since 1908 been without a goal for three compulsory matches.
I remembered, dear Gerd, how on the flight to a Champions League game you introduced me to the then 19-year-old Thomas Müller with the words: “This will be my successor. And to Thomas you said: “The Hingo can tell everything. He only writes half of it anyway.” I loved Gerd Müller in such moments. If he scored goals anyway.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out with Thomas for many months now. It would be nice if he had you at his side, like so often when you whispered something to him as a member of the Bayern coaching staff. Today you would say: “Often enough I didn’t even hit a barn door or a furniture van for weeks. And suddenly I could hardly save myself from all the gates. Just forget everything around you. Turn your mind off, man.” If Thomas had done that in the 38th minute of Amsterdam, it would have been 1:1 – and the turn for the better.
Often enough Paul Breitner and Franz Beckenbauer have stressed that without you there would be no FC Bayern in this form and no German football in this form, dear Gerd. The 1974 World Cup winning goal, against Holland of course, springs to mind when the ball bounced off you and you were still faster than three Dutchmen around you with a lightning spin. Let Thomas take a look at that now a few times. Or your 1969 European Championship Qualifying goal in the final minute against Austria, with your back to the goal over your own head and then with a long neck and a tuft of hair headed in to win 1-0. Or the slow-motion goal scored in the 1970 World Cup against Italy. Germany lost 3:4. Nevertheless you were celebrated like heroes. Especially you and Uwe Seeler, the idol of HSV.
Uwe Seeler Honours
- Hamburger SV
- German football championship: 1959–60
- DFB-Pokal: 1962–63
- West Germany
- FIFA World Cup: 1966 (Runners-up), 1970 (Third-Place)
- Ballon d’Or – Third place: 1960
- Footballer of the Year in Germany: 1960, 1964, 1970
- FIFA XI (Reserve): 1963
- Bundesliga Top Scorer: 1964
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1966
- FIFA 100
I don’t want to talk about Bavaria. With all the goals in the 1974 European Cup final against Atletico Madrid or the goal of the year on 20. 10. 1976 in Ostrava (you, so small, lying across the air with a header torpedo). Or, for me, the most beautiful goal of your career, although it was already your fifth in the 9:0 against Tennis Borussia Berlin: A goal in sitting, you make your leg as long as if you were Usain Bolt. Unbelievable, I watched it 20 times on YouTube yesterday. I am addicted to this gate.
Man, Gerd, now I have an idea. Jogi Löw is supposed to show his boys a few goals from you on Tuesday before the kick-off against France. And when everyone is sitting there with their mouths open, he should put on the record with your song: “Then it goes boom, yes and then it crashes – and everyone screams: The miller does it.” That’s even more moving than Franz Beckenbauer’s “Good friends can’t be separated”.
Maybe the players laugh tears when they hear your Swabian-Bavarian voice. That makes them loose again in one fell swoop. Or they become aware of what a supertype you were. And they knock the box out of the world champion in Paris. To know more about Lucky Pants Bingo, check them out!
Dear Gerd, history does not repeat itself. Unfortunately. Or sometimes do? If just a little spark from you jumps over to the players of today, then a lot has already been achieved. And Bayern coach Niko Kovac can also reach into the box of tricks with your goals on Saturday before the game in Wolfsburg. Then the wolves howl.