Biography of the ex-striker – Between tragedy and goals: “The two lives” Dieter Müller

Frankfurt / Main (dpa) – Today Dieter Müller would perhaps be a striker in the Robert Lewandowski category. Its market value? “Oh dear! 100 million maybe? I don’t know what do you think?” Says the two-man top scorer in the Bundesliga and laughs.

“Those were completely different times for me.” Not that the 66-year-old grieves about it and would like to have been born later. Dieter Müller has experienced so much that a biography about him now appears: “My two lives”. One could also film his vita – with his incredible strokes of fate, triumphs and anecdotes.

“It was a bit of a reappraisal. And my goal is to touch a few people,” Dieter Müller explains the reasons for the book, which he wrote with the former “kicker” reporter Mounir Zitouni. It is the story of a sensitive football giant with a sharp fracture: on September 30, 2012, he suffered a heart attack, was saved by his wife Johanna and was in a coma for five days. Dieter Müller has spoken about this many times, but not so touchingly about his hard childhood and the death of his then 16-year-old son Alexander.

“Life can be a lousy traitor and some things may or may not have to be understood,” writes Dieter Müller in the epilogue to the 236-page work. And yet it is also the story of a bon vivant: the former professional of the Offenbach Kickers, 1. FC Köln and VfB Stuttgart had 18 Porsches to date and became wine experts at Girondins Bordeaux.

Dieter Müller had his best time in Cologne: in 1977 he was top scorer in the league with 34 goals, in 1978 together with Gerd Müller (both 24), in the same year he was German champion and DFB Cup winner with the Rhinelanders. In the 7-2 against Werder Bremen, he scored six times – so far, not even Bayern star Lewandowski.

Dieter Müller has a lot to tell about his wild days at FC with stars like Wolfgang Overath and Heinz Flohe and the crazy coach “Tschik” Cajkovski. In 1974, the Cologne team played a friendly against Offenbach: The team arrived on the bus to see nothing of the newly crowned world champion Overath. Both teams waited 15 minutes, then the referee whistled without him. Overath finally arrived another 15 minutes later. “But before he entered the field, he ran over to Marika Kilius, the famous figure skater and singer who was standing on the sidelines, and greeted her with a kiss. Then he posed for photos.” This is how Dieter Müller described the scenery at the time.

Dieter Müller’s national team career only lasted twelve international matches, with national coach Helmut Schön there were often problems. But in 1976 he was vice-European champion and European top scorer and for at least a short time he succeeded Gerd Müller. Franz Beckenbauer met Dieter Müller in the DFB selection for the first time in a hotel sauna – splinter fiber naked. “Hello, Mr. Beckenbauer, I am Dieter Müller.” The “Emperor” laughing: “Yes mei, you can even tell Franz to me, I know the jo ah. Do neat goals.”

Dieter Müller experienced the disgrace of Cordoba at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, the 2: 3 against Austria. The World Cup quarter in a barracks was truly in the pampas, the beginning of the end of the World Cup mission of the defending champion. Sepp Maier, remembers Dieter Müller, bought a classic car from Hupmobile in Ascochinga for 6,000 marks, which the goalkeeper says has only happened 30 times in the world. “He had to take care of the papers and freight shipping to Germany, all while we were fighting for the world title,” said Müller.

The former football star wrote the chapter “Alexander” all by himself. His son dies of a brain tumor, and even today Dieter Müller’s voice sometimes stops when he talks about it. “I often think of Alexander, he is always with me. Today he would be 38 years old, maybe he would have a family, children, and he would often drop by with my grandchildren. It is not so and it is very, very sad.” His football school, which he runs in Maintal for children and young people, helped him to process all of this.

Dieter Müller experienced the feeling of painful loss as a child: a few days after his birth, his parents left him with the maternal grandparents in Offenbach and moved to Herne. His father Heinz Kaster, from whom he got his original last name and who once kicked at Eintracht Frankfurt, stole all of his life. He didn’t see him for 42 years. Dieter Müller grew up in modest circumstances with his grandparents for ten years. His stepfather Alfred Müller later died, when the talent experienced prosperity for the first time and – despite so many alcohol excesses – received decisive support for his football career.

“There are better starts in life,” writes Müller. His wife Johanna had shown him that “loving means understanding and forgiving”.

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