Müller, Lewandowski, Élber and Co - Bayern's Bundesliga top scorers
Celebrated by their own fans, feared by their opponents: in the 123 years of club history, many a great striker has starred for FC Bayern. Be it Gerd Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge or Giovane Élber, the list of exceptional centre-forwards in the history of the German record champions is a long one, stretching from the early years to the present. Since promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965, FCB have provided the top scorer in Germany's top flight 21 times - spread across the shoulders of seven men. fcbayern.com looks back at these remarkable goalscorers.
Gerd Müller - 1966/67, 68/69, 69/70, 71/72, 72/73, 73/74, 77/78
He was the Bomber der Nation ("nation's bomber") and the top scorer in club history. Gerd Müller received the Bundesliga top scorer cannon seven times, a feat no striker has surpassed to this day. Müller was top scorer for the first time at the tender age of 21 (28 goals in the 1966/67 season), something no one has managed to do at such a young age since. In four seasons, the centre-forward shot Bayern to the title as the division's leading marksman. Bayern’s 101-goal season (Bundesliga record) in 1971/72, to which the attacker contributed a long-unmatched 40 goals, remains unforgettable. All in all Müller, born 3 November 1945, scored an unbelievable 365 times in the German top flight. The 62-time Germany international shone above all with his reflexes and goal instinct. True to his credo of "if you think, it's too late", he was usually one step ahead of his opponents.
„Gerd Müller is the original. In my eyes he is the most important player in the history of FC Bayern.”
However, Müller's path to the record champions was anything but foreseeable, as Munich city rivals TSV 1860 were also interested in the then 18-year-old. Despite the offer from the Lions, who were playing in the Bundesliga at the time, Müller opted for the Reds in 1964, who played in the second-rate Regionalliga. Once there, things were anything but easy for the man with the mighty thighs. Coach "Tschik" Čajkovski called him a "big little Müller" and initially gave the young striker very little playing time. But the centre-forward was able to convince his coach in the years that followed thanks to his strong performances and started a career that not only ended with three triumphs with Bayern in the European Cup (1974-76), but also as World Cup winner (1974) and European champion (1972).
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - 1979/80, 80/81, 83/84
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was a visionary and thinker, who terrorised opposition defences for more than a decade with his dreaded high-speed dribbling and ice-cool finishing. The striker won the Bundesliga top scorer cannon three times in a Bayern shirt: in 1979/80 (26 goals) and 1980/81 (29 goals) as well as in 1983/84 (26 goals). With 162 goals in 310 Bundesliga appearances, the Westphalia native ranks third behind Müller and Robert Lewandowski among the most successful goalscorers for the record champions in the Bundesliga.
Rummenigge made the leap from hometown club Borussia Lippstadt to FC Bayern in 1974 and excelled on the pitch, just as he did in his his later role as CEO, thanks to his consistency and intuition. The 95-time German international was a reliable goalscorer who liked to be in command on the pitch and grew into one of the defining figures in the history of the club. As well as the Intercontinental Cup (1976) and the European Cup (1975, 1976), he won two league titles (1980, 1981) and two DFB Cups (1982, 1984) with the Reds.
Roland Wohlfarth - 1988/89, 90/91
Roland Wohlfarth was top scorer twice in the German top flight. Both in the 1988/89 season and two seasons later, the former Bayern striker recorded the most goals of the season with 17 and 21 respectively. The centre-forward was born in Bocholt, and was considered a consistent and reliable goalscorer who was always there when needed. Thanks in part to his goals, Wohlfarth won five league titles (1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990) and a DFB Cup (1986) with FC Bayern in his nine years.
The striker moved from MSV Duisburg to the German record champions in the summer of 1984 as the reigning top scorer in Bundesliga 2. Although the centre-forward was initially intended to be a reserve player, he was able to impress right away in his debut season and repeatedly prevailed against the prominent competition in the Bayern attack.
Giovane Élber - 2002/03
Bayern fans had to wait 12 years before the Brazilian samba striker Giovane Élber finally brought the coveted cannon-shaped award back to the Bavarian capital. The centre-forward, who moved to Munich from VfB Stuttgart in 1997, secured the cannon in his last season for the record champions thanks to 21 goals (joint with Thomas Christiansen from VfL Bochum). After Müller, Rummenigge and Wohlfarth, the Brazilian was not just the fourth Bundesliga top scorer in the history of FC Bayern, but also the first non-German winner in a Bayern shirt. Élber was happy with his performances and goal threat in the 2002/03 season: "It's amazing I've managed to do it after almost ten years in the Bundesliga," he said at the end of the season.
With this very special gift to the fans, the crowd favourite said goodbye after seven years, 169 Bundesliga games and 92 goals in the record champions' jersey. The now Bayern ambassador won four league titles (1999, 2000, 2001, 2003), three DFB Cups (1998, 2000, 2003) as well as the Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup in 2001, and made a significant contribution to the success story of FC Bayern at the beginning of the new century.
Luca Toni - 2007/08
Whenever the Italian hit "Bello e impossible" rang out at the Allianz Arena, Bayern fans all around Munich knew who had scored again. The Italian Luca Toni shaped the Bayern game like no other from 2007 to early 2010 and picked up the top scorer cannon in his debut season. The 1.93 metre-tall poacher scored 24 times with his famous 'ear-screw' goal celebration and seamlessly joined the tradition of Bayern's goalscoring strikers.
The Italian, who joined FC Bayern in 2007 together with kindred spirit Franck Ribéry, was regarded as a clinical fox in the box. In addition to his excellent heading game, Toni impressed with his fast-thinking positional play in the box. Not least thanks to those strengths, the forward, who grew up in the Italian community of Pavullo nel Frignano, scored a whopping 58 goals in all competitions in his two and a half years at FCB.
Mario Gómez - 2010/11
If you mention "Torero", every Bayern fan knows who you mean. Between 2009 and 2013, Mario Gómez, one of the best scorers of the early 21st century, played for FC Bayern and was the top scorer in the Bundesliga in the 2010/11 season. After 10 goals in his first Bundesliga season in a Bayern shirt, Gómez was in top form in his second campaign, brandishing the Spanish bullfighter's metaphorical red rag a total of 28 times in 32 games and earning him the coveted top scorer cannon. The number 33 scored an impressive 75 goals in 115 games for FCB in the German top flight and made a significant contribution to the league successes in 2010 and 2013.
„It was great fun working with him. Mario was a typical centre-forward with great goalscoring qualities.”
The 78-time Germany international was characterised above all by his unpredictability. Whether with his head, right, left or even from the penalty spot, the 1.89 metre-tall Swabian was neither the fastest nor technically the most gifted, but excelled with his coolness and instinct in front of goal.
Robert Lewandowski - 2015/16, 17/18, 18/19, 19/20, 20/21, 21/22
Robert Lewandowski is not just FC Bayern's most recent cannon winner, but also one of the greatest of all time. Like Gerd Müller, the Pole secured seven top scorer cannons, one of them while playing for former club Borussia Dortmund. The centre-forward moved from BVB to the Isar in 2014 and spent eight years at Bayern.
🎥 Robert Lewandowski's best goals in a Bayern shirt:
Lewandowski scored 344 goals in 375 competitive games for the record champions. The five goals in nine minutes against VfL Wolfsburg in September 2015 will remain unforgettable, as will the magical 41 goals in the 2020/21 Bundesliga season, when he broke Müller's 49-year-old record. With a total of 312 Bundesliga goals, the Best FIFA Men's Player of 2020 and 2021 is behind only Der Bomber in the competition's all-time top scorer list.
As part of the 123-year anniversary, fcbayern.com looks back at some special kits from the past: