The master of the sweeper's position, Franz Beckenbauer achieved
legendary status in the game operating as an attacking defensive player. Elegant and confident on the ball, tactically superb and a great leader, The
Kaiser was a superstar in every sense of the word.
He won more than a century of caps for West Germany and captained his country in 50 of them. He was voted European Player of the Year twice as well.
When you talk about class, talent, defensive reliability, aggressiveness on the attack, elegance on the field and wide vision from the bench, the only
soccer player in the world that comes to mind is the "Kaiser," Franz Beckenbauer, one of the best players in the history of the sport.
Born in Munich on 11 September, 1945, the son of a General Manager of a postal depot, he began his career at the age of 9, in the youth team of SC
Munchen 06, before joining FC Bayern Munich in 1958. He joined the youth team at Bayern when he was 14 and three years later gave up his job as a
trainee insurance salesman to become a professional footballer. At that time, Bayern were one of West Germany's less fashionable clubs and didn't
merit a place in the Bundesliga when it was formed in 1963. He made his debut for Bayern on the left wing, against FC St. Pauli, on 6 June 1964. In
only his first season in the regional league, 1964/65, he won promotion to the Bundesliga.
Franz Beckenbauer is the only man to have won the World Cup
both as a player and as a manager. His roll of honour is unique. Captain of West Germany when they won the World Cup and the European Championship, he
also led his club, Bayern Munich, to three successive European Cups and also to the European Cup Winners' Cup. Beckenbauer had won a record 103 caps
for West Germany when, in 1977, he accepted a 2.5 million dollar contract to play for the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League. He
stayed four years in which the Cosmos won the Soccer Bowl three times. He briefly returned to Germany and he success continued and shortly before
retiring Beckenbauer returned to the Bundesliga to play for Hamburger SV where he mopped up another Bundesliga title - his final - in 1982. He played
out one final season with the Cosmos before retiring in 1984.
That year he was appointed the West German national manager in
succession to Jupp Derwall. It was, in one sense, an extraordinary appointment, for Beckenbauer had no coaching experience at all. His apprenticeship
was served gaining qualification for the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he astonished everyone by taking a somewhat ordinary team to the final where
they lost 3-2 to Argentina. Italia 90 was different, however. Beckenbauer now had a united German side capable of going all the way. Once again it was
England who were blocking his way, a 1-1 draw in the semi-final bringing about the drama of that penalty shoot-out in which Stuart Pearce and Chris
Waddle missed to give Beckenbauer managerial victory over his rival Bobby Robson. The final - as in 1986 against Argentina - was a sterile affair, a
penalty being enough to ensure the trophy for the Germans. Beckenbauer had made history with a unique World Cup double. After the headiness of
international immortality, Beckenbauer moved into club management as coach at Olympique Marseilles. It was a brief and unsuccessful spell. He returned
to Bayern as coach in 1994, guiding them to the Bundesliga title before moving upstairs as the club president.
The legacy of Beckenbauer's golden career will last a long time, however. No other footballer, as an innovator and as a winner, ever reached such
heights as The Kaiser.
1954 - 1958: SC München 06
1958 - 1977: FC Bayern Munich
1977 - 1980: New York Cosmos
1980 - 1982: Hamburg SV
1983: Cosmos New York
424 Bundesliga appearances (44 goals)
78 European Cup appearances (6 goals)
1976 World Club Championship winner
1974 - 1976 European Champions Cup winner
1967 European Cup Winners Cup winner
1969, 1972-1974, 1982 German Championship winner
1970, 1971, 1981 German Championship runner-up
1966, 1967, 1969, 1971 German Cup winner
1977, 1978, 1980 US Championship winner
103 caps (14 goals), 50 as captain
1974 FIFA World Cup winner
1966 FIFA World Cup runner-up
1970 FIFA World Cup third place
1972 European Championships winner
1976 European Championships runner-up
Internationals in charge as manager: 66 games (34 wins/ 19 draws / 13 defeats)
1990 FIFA World Cup winner
1986 FIFA World Cup runner-up
1988 European Championship semi-finals
1994 German Championship winner
1996 German Championship runner-up
1996 UEFA Cup winner