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Franz Beckenbauer

(b. 1945) German footballer


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(1945– )

German footballer who became the first player both to captain (in 1974) and to manage (in 1990) a World Cup winning team.

Born in Munich, Beckenbauer joined Bayern in 1958 and made his first team appearance in 1963. His international debut for West Germany came in 1965. Defeat in the World Cup final, against England in 1966, was tempered by the unstinted praise of Bobby Moore, the England captain. Further consolation came when Bayern won the West German Cup in 1966, 1967, 1969, and 1971 as well as the European Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer played in the West German side that reached the World Cup semifinals in 1970, and in 1971 he became captain of the national side. In 1972 his team won the European Championship and he was named European Footballer of the Year, a title he was to receive again in 1976. By then he had collected winner's medals in both the World Cup (1974) and the European Cup (1974, 1975, 1976).

In 1977 Beckenbauer crossed the Atlantic to join the US team Cosmos. In 1982 he came back to Hanover as West Germany's highest-paid footballer, and in the same year established his own charitable foundation. Beckenbauer returned to Cosmos in 1983 and retired from playing in 1984. As manager of the West German side, ‘Kaiser Franz’, as he was called, enabled his team to reach the World Cup semifinals in 1986 and to achieve victory in 1990. In that year he was appointed coach of Marseilles and has since become a consultant to Olympique Marseilles, the US Soccer Federation, and a soccer club sponsored by the Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).


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