Legendary German defender, Franz Beckenbauer, has passed away at the age of 78.
Franz Beckenbauer who was a two-time Ballon d’Or winner died on Sunday, January 7, after a brief illness according to a statement his family released earlier today, January 8, 2024.
The statement reads: “It is with deep sadness that we announce that husband and father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family. We ask that you be able to mourn in silence and refrain from asking any questions.”
Franz Beckenbauer was one of the greatest defenders of all time and he is one of the three people to have won the World Cup as a coach and as a manager.
The Munich-born center-back played every minute of West Germany’s historic 1974 World Cup campaign and guided his team to victory over the Netherlands in the final.
Beckenbauer started his career as a midfielder before becoming a defender in the 1970s. He was a huge success for Germany as a defender, playing in 103 games in which he provided 10 assists and scored 14 goals.
Apart from his contribution to Germany’s 1974 World Cup victory, Beckenbauer also won a bronze medal in the 1970 edition of the competition and finished second in the 1966 competition, where Germany fell to England in the final.
In addition, Beckenbauer won Germany’s Footballer of the Year four times; he last won the coveted individual accolade in 1976. He led Germany to victory at Euro 1972.
Beckenbauer graduated from Bayern Munich‘s junior program in 1964 and played senior football for the Bavarian giants for 13 years. Throughout that period, he scored 74 goals and provided 75 assists in 582 games, winning three European Cups, four Bundesliga titles, four DFB-Pokals, one Intercontinental Cup, and one cup.
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