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Robert Mueller, former Germany goaltender, dies at 28

COLOGNE, Germany - Robert Mueller, a goaltender who played in two Olympics for Germany, has died from an incurable brain tumour. He was 28.

Mueller died Thursday, his German club Cologne Sharks said Friday.

``He was a great human being and a strong personality,'' Cologne manager Thomas Eichin said.

Although terminally ill, Mueller made an appearance as a backup goalie for Cologne in November as a way of saying farewell to the sport.

He was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in 2006 and had an operation in November of that year.

Two months later, Mueller played for Germany again and also took part at the 2008 world championship in Canada.

He had another operation in August, then announced that he was terminally ill with a rapidly growing cancer.

Mueller played 127 games for Germany, including at the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and the 2006 Turin Games. He also took part in eight world championships. He was drafted in the ninth round by the Washington Capitals in 2001, but didn't play in the NHL.

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