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Franz Beckenbauer dies at 78: Rare World Cup Hall of Famer and German football icon – Look at Der Kaiser’s achievements

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Franz Beckenbauer, a football icon, World Cup legend, and one of Germany’s most beloved personalities, breathed his last on Monday. He was 78. His family confirmed the news via a statement to DPA, a German press agency. “It is with deep sadness that we announce that my husband and our father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday, surrounded by his family,” it read. “We ask that we can be able to mourn in silence and not be disturbed by any questions.” Although the statement did not provide the cause of death, the Bayern Munich great had struggled with health problems in recent years.

West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer holds up the World Cup trophy after his team defeated the Netherlands by 2-1, in the World Cup soccer final at Munich’s Olympic stadium, in West Germany, on Jul. 7(AP)

Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ (The Emperor), Beckenbauer was a classy, dominant presence on the pitch for West Germany and Bayern Munich, thus growing into one of the nation’s central figures in the sport. He is also often credited for inventing the role of modern sweeper or libero.

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A look at some of the honours and achievements of Franz Beckenbauer:

Club career:

Although Beckenbauer was a fan of 1860 Munich as a kid, he joined the Bayern Munich youth team in 1959, a rather unfashionable side back then, and the rest, as they say, was history. In 427 appearances across his career in the senior team, spanning between 1964 and 1977, where he scored 60 goals for Bayern, the club won three league championships consecutively from 1972 to 1974 and bagged a hat-trick of European Cup title wins between 1974 and 1976.

In 1977, he moved to New York Cosmos, to play in the North American Soccer League (NASL), and won the Soccer Bowl on three occasions (1977, 1978, 1980). After four seasons in America, he shifted his base back to Germany, where he played he had a two-season stint with Hamburger SV and won the German championship in 1982.

International career:

Beckenbauer made his debut for West Germany at the age of 20 and was later named as the captain in 1972. He led the side to a 1972 European Championship title haul before winning the World Cup two years later on home soil.

Managerial career:

10 years after lifting the World Cup as a player, Beckenbauer, who retired as a professional footballer in 1977, was back in the West Germany dug out, as a coach. He inspired the team to the 1986 World Cup final where they lost to Diego Maradona’s Argentina. Four years later, just before the German reunification, Beckenbauer exacted his revenge as the side beat Argentina in the final to lift the world title for the third time in history. And with the win, Beckenbauer became one the three men, alongside Mario Zagallo, and Didier Deschamps, to have won the trophy as player and as manager, and the first-ever man (later joined by Deschamps) to have claimed the World Cup as a team captain and a coach.

Major honours as a player:

World Cup 1974

World Cup (runner-up) 1966

World Cup (third place) 1970

European championship 1972

European championship (runner-up) 1976

European Champions’ Cup 1974, 1975 and 1976

UEFA Cup finalist 1982 (with Hamburger SV)

European Cup Winners’ Cup 1967 with Bayern

Intercontinental Cup 1976 with Bayern

DFB German Cup 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971 with Bayern

German championship 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974 with Bayern, 1982 with HSV

North American Soccer League 1977, 1978, 1980 with New York Cosmos

1974 World Cup Silver Ball

European Footballer of the Year 1972, 1976

German Footballer of the Year 1966, 1968, 1974, 1976

Major honours as coach:

World Cup 1990

World Cup (runner-up) 1986

UEFA Cup 1996 with Bayern

German championship 1994 with Bayern

French championship 1991 with Olympique Marseille.

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