presented by
Scoring legend Müller

‘Germany v England is always a huge game’

Gerd Müller scored 14 goals at the 1970 and 1974 World Cups and remains Germany’s top scorer at the tournament. One of those goals came in the 1970 quarter-finals against England. Forty years on, and with the nations meeting again in the Round of 16 on Sunday, spoke to Der Bomber about the timeless duel , and about the man currently wearing “his” number 13 shirt.

Das Interview: Gerd Müller Gerd Müller, what’s so special about Germany versus England?
Gerd Müller: Ach, it’s always a huge game, always extremely edgy. It was like that when I was playing, and it still is today.

You basically have nothing but happy memories of England.
It's true. For example, I scored the winning goal in the 1970 quarter-final. We rarely had trouble with the English back then and almost always won. They always fought like lions, but they weren’t so good technically.

What do you think will happen when Germany meet England on Sunday?
I think it’ll be very difficult for Germany. England have real stars in their line-up and are a different calibre to anything in the group stage. They’ll give it everything as always, although I’m obviously hoping Germany pull it off. I do think our young lads have it in them.

Maybe the winner will come from a Bayern player with the number 13?
You mean Thomas Müller. I told him before he left I’d allow him to wear the number 13 [grin]. All credit to Thomas, I think he’s one of the best strikers around. He’s good in the air and shoots with both feet. He looks a shade tired at present, but he’ll have recharged his batteries by the time of the match, and he’ll be on peak form by Sunday. He’s still young.

Miroslav Klose is slowly but surely catching you up in terms of World Cup goals. Can he overtake you?
I think he’ll find it hard. This is probably his last World Cup, so he’d have to score three more. If he did that and we won it, I’d obviously be delighted.