Long-serving Bayern Munich doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt is stepping down after some 40 years at the club.
The 77-year-old Müller-Wohlfahrt will end his activities at the end of June, a decision that the club “very much regrets,” the Bavarian powerhouse said on Friday.
Müller-Wohlfahrt was previously also the Germany team doctor for more than 20 years. He retired from that position after the 2018 World Cup.
Müller-Wohlfahrt, who first started working for Bayern in 1977, become a familiar sight running onto the field with his long silver hair any time there was a stricken player. He was known as “Mull” by the players.
“The whole club and generations of players –- from Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller to Klaus Augenthaler and Bastian Schweinsteiger, to Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski — owe very special thanks to Mull,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Only former Bayern coaches Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klinsmann fell out with the veteran doctor during their respective spells in charge.
Müller-Wohlfahrt left Bayern in November 2008 after disagreements with Klinsmann, and returned five months later when Klinsmann was fired and replaced by Jupp Heynckes.
Guardiola had a public falling out with Müller-Wohlfahrt, whom he blamed for a long injury list among his stars, leading to the doctor’s departure in April 2015. Mueller-Wohlfahrt said there had been a “breakdown in trust.”
Guardiola later fell out with Müller-Wohlfahrt’s successor, Volker Braun, in similar circumstances, with Braun suggesting the Spanish coach was forcing players back from injury too soon. Müller-Wohlfahrt returned to Bayern in November 2017 when Heynckes was back for his fourth stint in charge.
“When I look back on my 40 years at Bayern, I’m happy and very satisfied,” Müller-Wohlfahrt told the club website. “The experiences we’ve had together, the successes, and above all the people that I’ve gotten to know in this club have had a lasting impact on my life. I wish Bayern all the best for the future.”
He isn’t retiring completely just yet. Bayern said he will continue to see patients at his Alter Hof surgery in central Munich, and he is collaborating with a local university clinic on a project to diagnose muscular injuries with artificial intelligence using images taken through magnetic resonance tomography.
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