The world of football has been hit with a tragic news along its busy schedule last Sunday, as one of the greatest players to ever kick football from Germany Franz Beckenbauer has sadly passed away. As confirmed by the legendary defender’s family members in an official statement, Franz Beckenbauer died at the age of 78 on 7 January 2024, having been suffering from health issues in recent times, as seen in his cardiac and hip replacement surgeries in 2016, 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Official Statement on Franz Beckenbauer’s Death by His Family
In an announcement sent to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, a news agency in Germany, Franz Beckenbauer’s family members verified the news of the death of the former Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos and Hamburger SV player, who died peacefully in his sleep last Sunday. The family members of Franz Beckenbauer also asked for moments of peace from further interviews or questions regarding the ex-megastar of German and international football. “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 we be allowed to grieve in peace and be spared any questions,” reads the statement.
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Franz Beckenbauer: One of Three Persons to Win the World Cup as a Player and a Manager
The Munich-born defender had glittering team and individual accolades in his playing and managerial careers for club and country. As a player and manager at club level, the two-time Ballon d’Or winner Franz Beckenbauer won a total of 21 silverwares, including the Germany Bundesliga 1, French Ligue 1, European Cup, European Cup Winners’ Cup, Intercontinental Cup, UEFA Cup, etc., while his international careers as a player and manager stood even more prominent than his club tenures.
In the history of the FIFA World Cup, there were only three individuals to have won the quadrennial competition both as a player and a manager, and one of them was Franz Beckenbauer (1974 FIFA World Cup as a player and 1990 FIFA World Cup as a manager). What is more interesting is that the Germany legend was also one of only two persons to have won multiple FIFA World Cups both as a manager and a captain.
Nevertheless, with the passing of Franz Beckenbauer and three-time FIFA World Cup winner from Brazil Mario Zagallo both in the month of January 2024, it leaves the current France national team head coach Didier Deschamp the only alive football icon to have won the prestigious FIFA World Cup as a head coach and a player (Captain).
The World of Football Mourns for Der Kaiser
Manager of the Germany national team Julian Nagelsmann was in full praises when he spoke about Franz Beckenbauer’s presence. “Franz Beckenbauer could float over the pitch. As a player and later also as a coach he was sublime, he stood above things. When Franz Beckenbauer entered a room, the room lit up. To the end, he was surrounded by an aura that could not be shaken by health problems. I am grateful and honoured that I was able to meet him and I will remember him fondly,” said the 36-year-old.
Furthermore, Bayern Munich president Herbert Hainer added: “There are no words to express how great our grief is, and the gap that Franz Beckenbauer leaves behind. As a player, he brought a sense of effortlessness, elegance and magic to the pitch. Franz Beckenbauer brought the glamour. Even after his playing career, he left an indelible mark on FC Bayern and football, and his legacy cannot be measured in titles. The FC Bayern family is eternally grateful to him, and I personally mourn the loss of a friend.”
Franz Beckenbauer’s death at the age of 78 came five months before the 2024 UEFA European Championship Finals that will be held in the legendary football star’s birth country Germany. The German’s playing and managerial resumes in the competition are translated into captaining the team to win Belgium 1972 and a runners-up run in Yugoslavia 1976 as well as managing the side to a third-placed finish in West Germany 1988.
Herbert Hainer, FC Bayern president: “There are no words to express how great our grief is, and the gap that Franz Beckenbauer leaves behind. As a player, he brought a sense of effortlessness, elegance and magic to the pitch. Franz Beckenbauer brought the glamour. Even after his…
— FC Bayern Munich (@FCBayernEN) January 8, 2024