German star Uwe Seeler has died at the age of 85.
Seeler scored 43 goals in 72 games, making him Germany’s seventh-highest goalscorer, and competed in four World Cups – in 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970.
The first player to score in four World Cups, he beat Pele by just a few minutes and spent his entire 19-year club career in Hamburg, scoring over 404 goals in 476 league games.
“Rest in peace, Uwe Seeler,” tweeted the German Football Association.
“The honorary captain of the national team and football legend Uwe Seeler passed away at the age of 85.
“Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with his family and loved ones.”
On the Hamburg club website it says: “With Uwe Seeler, HSV loses the greatest athlete in the club’s history.
“Not only Seeler’s sporting successes and unparalleled records, but above all his down-to-earth, fair and loyal manner have earned the native of Hamburg the reputation of an absolute man of honor and coined the sentence: ‘I’m not better than everyone else, I’m just a normal one Person. I only played football.’”
Several Bundesliga clubs paid tribute to Seeler, including champions Bayern Munich.
Bayern boss Oliver Kahn said: “When you think of German football and its greatest players, think of Uwe Seeler.
“His death is a painful loss for the entire football family.
“Seeler stood for honest football, for loyalty and humanity, he was a player with heart and for hearts – we will always remember him as one of the very special ones in the sport.”
The prolific striker was never a world champion, but he did captain West Germany in their agonizing 4-2 defeat by England at Wembley in 1966 in extra time.
In his four appearances at the World Cup, he played 21 games, scored nine goals and was named German Footballer of the Year three times.
UEFA paid tribute to her by saying: “As a veteran of four World Cups, he has played for his country more than 70 times and helped shape modern German football. Rest in peace, Uwe.”
The European Football Association said Seeler would be honored with a minute’s silence ahead of the quarter-finals of the 2022 Women’s Championship between Germany and Austria in Brentford on Thursday.