Franz Beckenbauer

Written by Sebastien on 22 November 2012. Posted in World Cup Legends

Franz Beckenbauer is generally regarded as one of the best German footballers of all the time. His nickname, "Der Kaizer" (The Emperor) was attributed to him because of his great playing style. He managed to be the first to "teach" how attacking defense is played. He is, of course, the inventor of the sweeper ("libero") role.

Born on 1945 in Munich, he made his debut with Bayern in the Regionalliga Sud as a midfielder. Then, he became a defender and began creating and attacking from the defense, to help Bayern win its first league title (1969). He was really confident on the ball, a true leader for his team and of course the national team of Germany.

He participated in three World Cup tournaments: In 1966 he made it to the final, where West Germany faced the host country, England. England won Jules Rimet Trophy in the extra time. In 1970, West Germany reached the Semi Final against Italy. Beckenbauer ended the match being injured, but Italians won the ticket for the Final match. 

The 1974 World Cup was the last one for "Der Kaizer" but the most successful. The World Cup was hosted in West Germany and Beckenbauer led his team to the final, where Cruyff's Netherlands was the favourite. But West Germany won by 2-1 and Beckenbauer became the first captain to lift the new FIFA World Cup Trophy


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