KEIR RADNEDGE COMMENTARY: Gerd Muller, Helmut Schon’s iconic “scorer of little goals”, has died at 75 after years suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. His memory will live on as one of the greatest heroes of Bayern Munich and German football.

Muller scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany, including the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup final as they defeated Netherlands 2-1 on his club home turf in Munich.

Nicknamed Der Bomber, Muller joined Bayern in the summer of 1964 and won the World Club Cup, three European Champions Cups and a European Cup Winners’ Cup as well as the West German Bundesliga and Cup four times each.

Muller won the Golden Boot for netting 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup and scored a record 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and 66 goals in 74 European matches during his 15 years at Bayern.

He also held the record for the most goals in a calendar year after scoring 85 in 1972 until Lionel Messi surpassed his total in 2012.

Not for Muller any dramatic, long-range thunderbolts. His uncanny sense of anticipation and speed of strike brought all his goals from within the forest of defensive legs in the goal area. Schon, who guided West Gernany to double success in the 1972 European Championship and 1974 World Cup, celebrated Muller as “my scorer of little goals.”

Shortly before his 70th birthday in 2015, Bayern announced Muller had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and is survived by wife Uschi and daughter Nicole.

Club tribute

His former club Bayern Munich revealed the news on their official Twitter account, saying: “Today the world of FC Bayern stands still.

“The German record champions and his entire fan base mourn Gerd Muller, who died early Sunday morning at the age of 75.”

Bayern president Herbert Hainer told the club website: “Today is a sad, black day for FC Bayern and all of its fans.

“Gerd Muller was the greatest striker there has ever been – and a fine person, a personality in world football. We are united in deep sorrow with his wife Uschi and his family.

“Without Gerd Muller, FC Bayern would not be the club we all love today. His name and the memory of him will live on forever.”

Bayern ceo Oliver Kahn added: “The news of Gerd Muller’s death deeply saddens us all.

“He’s one of the greatest legends in the history of FC Bayern, his achievements are unrivalled to this day and will forever be a part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football.

“As a player and a person, Gerd Muller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one of the biggest clubs in the world like no other. Gerd will forever be in our hearts.”