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HomeNewsGerman football legend Franz Beckenbauer passes away at the age of 78

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer passes away at the age of 78

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Franz Beckenbauer, a German legend and one of the greatest football players of all time, passed away at the age of 78.

In 1974, he lifted the World Cup trophy as West Germany’s captain, and in 1990, he did it again as manager.

Mainly a defender, Beckenbauer made 582 appearances for Bayern Munich and was a German top flight champion both as a manager and as a player.

Also known as “Der Kaiser,” he was a two-time Ballon d’Or winner and the 1972 European Champion.

His family released the following statement to the German news agency DPA: “We announce with great sadness that our father and husband, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family.

Munich, the most prosperous soccer team in Germany, declared: “The world of FC Bayern is no longer what it used to be – suddenly darker, quieter, poorer.”

“Bayern would never have become the club it is today” they continued without mentioning Beckenbauer.

Before switching to his famous role as a defensive sweeper, Beckenbauer man-marked Sir Bobby Charlton in the 1966 World Cup final, which England won 4-2.

At the age of just 20, he also scored four goals and took home the trophy for the best young player in the 1966 World Cup.

He went on to represent West Germany in 103 matches.

Beckenbauer captained the German powerhouses during their three European Cup victories (1974, 1975, and 1976) and won four league titles during his playing career at Bayern. In 1982, he and Hamburg won the Bundesliga as well.

Beckenbauer was called the “greatest personality the club has ever had” by Uli Hoeness, the honorary president of Bayern and a former teammate.

“Incredible as a person, coach, player, and president. He’ll never be reached by anyone,” Hoeness remarked.

“Some claim to have witnessed football during the reign of Franz Beckenbauer. He was a special friend and companion to me, as well as a gift to all of us.”

Julian Nagelsmann, the manager of Germany, stated: “In my opinion, Franz Beckenbauer was the greatest football player in German history.

“He altered the course of play with his interpretation of the libero’s [sweeper’s] role. His friendship with the ball and this role set him free.

Franz Beckenbauer appeared to levitate on the grass. He was exceptional as a football player and later as a coach; he was a force to be reckoned with. A room would light up when Franz Beckenbauer entered it.”

Following his departure from Bayern, Beckenbauer joined the New York Cosmos, becoming the face of the emerging North American Soccer League alongside Pele, the legendary Brazilian.

Despite having no prior managerial experience, he was named West Germany manager less than a year after he retired in 1983.

In 1986, Beckenbauer guided his nation to the World Cup final in Mexico. Four years later, his team defeated Argentina in the final and defeated England in the semifinals.

“Very sorry to hear that Franz Beckenbauer has passed away,” said former England striker Gary Lineker, who competed in the 1986 and 1990 World Cups.

“Among the greatest players in our game ever. The most gorgeous football player ever, Der Kaiser exuded charm and grace while winning everything. Farewell.”

Thomas Muller, a forward for Bayern Munich and Germany, said: “We have lost one of the best football players in the history of the club.

Prince Franz, may you rest in peace. Your contributions to German football will always be remembered.”

In 1990, Beckenbauer was also briefly the manager of Marseille. He went on to manage Bayern twice before leaving the position in 1996 to become the football administrator.

In addition to leading the German committee that was awarded the right to host the 2006 World Cup, he also assumed the role of president of Bayern Munich and vice-president of the German Football Association (DFB) in 1998.

There were four men under investigation for possible corruption related to the competition, including him. Without a verdict, the trial concluded in 2020.

Another teammate of Beckenbauer’s who subsequently became chief executive of Bayern, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, stated: “He was not only successful but unique in all of his roles—he was our president at Bayern, our coach at the national team, and our captain at FC Bayern.”

“His admirable regard for everyone made an impression on me as a person because, to Franz, everyone was created equal.

“The greatest personality in German football history is leaving the sport. It will be unbearably painful to miss him.”

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