Gerd Muller’s former teammate Hans-Georg ‘Katsche’ Schwarzenbeck has reflected on Lionel Messi’s impending overtake of his goal record.
Messi is currently sat on 82 goals scored in the calendar year, which is only three less than the current highest amount ever reached in a calendar year, which was achieved by Muller in 1972.
Muller’s former teammate at Bayern Munich and with West Germany, Schwarzenbeck, spoke to AS this week and took the chance to remind today’s crowd that the German striker was one of the best.
“I am grateful for having not ever had to face Muller beyond training. He was the complete striker,” enthused the retired defender.
“Strong, powerful, he used both feet. He was an example in every way and was the insurance for Bayern to conquer everywhere.
“I thought that to beat his record would be difficult, but I always thought that there is nothing in life that lasts forever and someone or something will appear and make you open your eyes back into reality.
“Muller, I believe, could have played on for a few more years, but Gerd was unique, as far as Messi is.
“He is very good, to break the record of the past. That means that things are going well and that nothing is forever.”
Schwarzenbeck dismissed the idea that Messi could be labelled as the game’s best player of all time.
“Is Messi the best of all time? Bah, you cannot generalise. We cannot say ‘of all time’. Football has been played not only in the late 20th century and early 21st century. At all times there have been great players that seemed insurmountable for what they did with the ball at their feet.
“In 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990… There were always big players, greats, whilst now is the time of Leo, Xavi, Iniesta and others. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo too.
“But not only are the best players in Spain. In Italy, France and Germany we also have top players. But, Messi is undoubtedly one of the greatest in history whilst in his day so too were Pele, Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Eusebio, Di Stefano…
“I could name many more. All generations have their stars, and Messi is today’s.”