Bayern Munich have confirmed reports that club legend and Germany's former top goalscorer Gerd Muller has Alzheimer's disease.
The Bundesliga giants released a statement on Tuesday revealing the news, which has since resulted in an outflow of support from the football community. The statement read (h/t the Press Association, via the Daily Mail):
For a long time Gerd Muller has unfortunately been very ill, he suffers from Alzheimer's disease. The media and the public have respected his privacy in this difficult situation.
Since the beginning of February 2015 Müller has been professionally cared for with the strong support of his family. His wife Uschi therefore asks for understanding that there will be no official appointments or visits on his 70th birthday.
Muller will turn 70 on November 3, more than 40 years after he scored four goals to help West Germany lift the 1974 World Cup, one of which helped clinch the historic 2-1 win over the Netherlands in that year's final.
Der Bomber scored 469 goals in 528 appearances for Bayern between 1964 and 1979, per Transfermarkt, and former club-mate Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was among those to offer his tribute to the German icon, per the release:
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.
Muller held Germany's all-time scoring record with 68 goals until another ex-Bayern forward, Miroslav Klose, surpassed his tally at the 2014 World Cup.
Regarded as one of the brightest and most talented players ever to emerge from Europe, news of Muller's illness will reach a global community, as did his performances on the pitch.