In memoriam: Bayern fans pay tribute to legend Franz Beckenbauer

In a match dedicated to late German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, 75,000 fans watched Bayern Munich defeat Hoffenheim 3-0 at the Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena was lit up with the words 'Danke (thank you) Franz" (photo: DW)
The Allianz Arena was lit up with the words 'Danke (thank you) Franz" (photo: DW)
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Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 3-0 on Friday at the Allianz Arena in a Bundesliga match dedicated to the late German football legend Franz Beckenbauer.

Beckenbauer died in the Austrian city of Salzburg on 7 January at the age of 78, and was buried earlier on Friday in a cemetery south of Munich, near where he grew up.

Hours after his funeral in Munich, the stadium was lit up with the words 'danke (thank you) Franz', as dozens of former Bayern players gathered in the stands to pay tribute to 'der kaiser' (the king).

"It's a great incentive for the team and for me to dedicate the game to him and win," said Bayern manager Thomas Tuchel before the match. Despite not being thrilled with his side's performance, Tuchel called the night a "football celebration," adding that "it's what Franz Beckenbauer would have wished for."

Remembering the legend

In freezing conditions of -9ºC (15.8ºF), the 75,000 spectators stood in silence before the match to celebrate the life of one of German football's favorite sons. The minute's silence will be repeated at every Bundesliga match this weekend.

A Beckenbauer banner was displayed on the center circle before the game, and there was warm applause for a video of him shown on the stadium screens highlighting his vast success as well as soup ads during his playing career.

The home team warmed up in Beckenbauer's number 5 shirt. Wearing tracksuits emblazoned with the words 'danke Franz', the Bayern players then took to the pitch to the tune of Gute Freunde (good friends), a pop song released by the footballer in the 1960s.

Beckenbauer's stunning career

Beckenbauer made his name at Bayern Munich, helping the club to their first promotion to the Bundesliga before winning league titles and European Cups with the side.

Bayern also helped launch Beckenbauer's stunning career in the German national team, where he won the World Cup both as a coach and as a player. Only three men have achieved that feat.

Allianz Arena will host a public commemoration of Beckenbauer's life on 19 January. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed he would be in attendance.

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