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German football icon Franz Beckenbauer dies at 78

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German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, also known as ‘Der Kaiser,’ has passed away at 78 on Monday.

Beckenbauer is undoubtedly one of football’s greatest players and managers, that left an indelible mark on the sport. 

The legendary figure, who captained West Germany to World Cup glory in 1974 and later secured victory as a manager in 1990.

Beckenbauer, celebrated for his elegance on the field and tactical acumen as a manager, played a crucial role in West Germany’s triumphs, including the European Championship in 1972. 

At Bayern Munich, he achieved legendary status by clinching three consecutive European Cups (1974-76) and guiding the club to multiple Bundesliga and UEFA Cup triumphs as a manager.

The family released a statement, requesting privacy during this difficult time: “It is with deep sadness that we announce that my husband and our father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family. We ask that you be able to grieve in silence and refrain from asking any questions.”

Beckenbauer, renowned for popularizing the “Libero” role, received numerous personal accolades, including two Ballon d’Or awards in 1972 and 1976 as a defender – a rare feat then and now.

Former Germany captain Lothar Matthaus, who led the team to World Cup victory in 1990, expressed deep sorrow: “The shock is deep, even though I knew that Franz wasn’t feeling well. His death is a loss for football and for Germany as a whole. He was one of the greatest as a player and coach, but also off the field. Franz was an outstanding personality not only in football, and he enjoyed worldwide recognition. Everyone who knew him knows what a great and generous person Franz was. A good friend left us. I will miss him – we will all miss him.” 

 

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