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09/01/24 | 9:49 am

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer dies aged 78

“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 you be able to grieve in silence refrain from asking anyquestions,” a family statement read.

Nicknamed “Der Kaiser, his legacy is firmly entrenched as one of football’s finest. He stands among a select trio who have triumphed in the World Cup both as a player and a manager, alongside Brazil’s Mario Zagallo and France’s Didier Deschamps.

Beckenbauer began his career as a midfielder but rose to prominence as a central defender, becoming one of the first ball-players capable of both defending and moving ball accurately.

The former Bayern Munich stalwart clinched the European Cup thrice with the Bavarian giants, securing the Bundesliga title four times as a player and once as a coach. His leadership guided Bayern to UEFA Cup victory in 1996.

The former Bayern Munich stalwart clinched the European Cup thrice with the Bavarian giants, securing the Bundesliga title four times as a player and once as a coach. His leadership guided Bayern to UEFA Cup victory in 1996.

Beckenbauer’s individual brilliance was also recognized with several honors, including two European Footballer of the Year titles as a defender, which was unusual at the time and continues to be so today.

-By Aditya Ahuja

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