Special delivery! Muller receives gift from gracious Messi after Barcelona striker breaks German's goalscoring record
Muller had held the record since 1972, when the man affectionately known as ‘Der Bomber’ fired in 85 goals while at Bayern.
Chuffed: Gerd Muller said he was 'happy and proud' to receive the gift from Lionel Messi
Class: A close up of the signed shirt, saying: 'With my respect and admiration. A hug.'
But the ever-graceful Messi’s first thought upon breaking the record was for the man he had surpassed.
The 25-year-old sent his beaten adversary a signed Barcelona shirt with the message: ‘For Gerd Muller, with my respect and admiration. A hug. Leo.’ scrawled into the yellow No 10 on the back of the jersey.
Muller was delighted with the gift Messi has shipped to him, and said he was ‘happy and proud’ to be the recipient of such a gesture from 'the best player in the world'.
How many Lionel Messi poses with his four Ballon d'Or trophies
Familiar sight: Lionel Messi celebrates another goal against Malaga
The Bayern reserve team coach, who was a truly fearsome striker for club and country during his playing days, watched Messi’s unparalleled goalscoring run last year earn him another record earlier this month: a fourth Ballon d’Or crown.
Barcelona president Sandro Rosell believes that Muller’s goalscoring record was a driving force for the Argentina captain in his bid to score as many goals as possible.
He said that Muller’s prolific performance 40 years ago was ‘a great motivating factor and stimulus for Leo.’
Prolific: Messi took the record from Muller, who scored 85 in 1972