A tribute to Der Kaiser: Franz Beckenbauer

To say that Franz Beckenbauer, or Der Kaiser as he came to be known, is a Germany and Bayern Munich legend is an understatement. 

Credited for having invented the modern sweeper role, Beckenbauer was a revolutionary player of his time and would continue to be so as a manager. 

Born in 1945, Beckenbauer honed his craft on the streets of post-war Munich before signing for Bayern Munich as a youngster. He made his senior debut in 1964 during a Bundesliga play-off win against St. Pauli, aged 19 years old.

It wasn’t long before Bayern became a German footballing powerhouse, winning several league titles and European cups, all with Beckenbauer in the heart of the starting 11. 

In total, Beckenbauer went on to play 427 times for Bayern, winning 4 German Championships, 3 European Cup Winner’s Cups, 4 German Cups, and 1 Intercontinental Cup. 

Beckenbauer represented Germany during 103 competitive matches and won everything he could with his country as captain during the 1970s. 

Firstly, in 1972, West Germany beat the Soviet Union 3-0 in Brussels to lift their only European Championship to date. Then, two years later in 1974, Der Kaiser led his country once again to international success, winning the World Cup against the Netherlands in Beckenbauer’s hometown of Munich no less. 

Beckenbauer was just as successful post-playing as he turned to management. He coached West Germany to World Cup glory once again in 1990 before managing Bayern Munich on two occasions between 1993 and 1996. During his time at Bayern, Beckenbauer won the 93/94 Bundesliga and the 95/96 UEFA Cup. 

Franz Beckenbauer, 1945-2024. 

GGFN | Jamie Allen

Get Football+

More European Football News