German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, affectionately known as “the Kaiser,” has passed away at the age of 78. Beckenbauer’s family confirmed his peaceful demise in his sleep, surrounded by loved ones. The football community mourns the loss of a true icon, recognizing his pivotal role in shaping German football.
Beckenbauer, born in Munich in 1945, achieved remarkable success both as a player and a manager. He captained West Germany to a World Cup victory in 1974 and later secured another title as a coach in 1990. His contributions extended to club football, where he played a crucial role in Bayern Munich’s dominance, winning three successive European Cups and Bundesliga titles.
The Kaiser’s influence stretched beyond the pitch into football administration. Despite facing scrutiny from FIFA’s ethics committee in 2016 over corruption allegations related to World Cup bids, Beckenbauer remained a revered figure.
Tributes have poured in from across the globe, acknowledging Beckenbauer’s immense legacy. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed deep sadness, emphasizing Beckenbauer’s role in inspiring generations of football enthusiasts. UEFA described him as one of European football’s greatest sons, highlighting his extraordinary playing career and coaching success.
The Bundesliga and the English Premier League joined the football community in remembering Beckenbauer as a true icon. Rudi Voller, a World Cup winner and German national team director, expressed the loss of a great personality and a cherished friend.
FC Barcelona, in a statement, mourned the passing of Franz Beckenbauer, recognizing him as a brilliant player and one of the sport’s greatest ambassadors. The Kàiser’s impact on German and world football, as well as his achievements, including two Ballon d’Or titles and being the first defender to win the award, solidify his place among football’s immortals.
As the football world mourns Beckenbauer’s departure, his indelible mark on the sport will forever be remembered.