German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has died aged 78

By AFP   January 8, 2024 | 03:16 pm PT
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has died aged 78
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer. Photo courtesy of the German Football Association
Legend Franz Beckenbauer, who left a unique imprint on German football as player, captain and coach, has died at the age of 78, the German football association said Monday.

"Franz Beckenbauer was definitely the biggest German footballer of all time, and above all one of the greatest men who I have known," said DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund e.V.) vice president Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Beckenbauer, one of only three men to win the World Cup as player and as a coach, passed away on Sunday, the DFB said.

Former captain of the German team in the 1970s, Beckenbauer had in the last years been suffering from health problems and lived mostly withdrawn from the public eye in Salzburg, just across from the German border.

Known in football-obsessed Germany as 'the Kaiser' meaning 'the Emperor', Beckenbauer played a central role in some of the country's greatest sporting achievements, but his legacy was later tarnished for his involvement in scandals surrounding Germany's successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup.

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