Franz Beckenbauer, "true legend": global tributes pour in

Player, captain and coach—tributes pour in for Der Kaiser, following the death of the German football legend at the age of 78

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, aka Der Kaiser, died at the age of 78 on 7 January 2024 (photo: DW)
German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, aka Der Kaiser, died at the age of 78 on 7 January 2024 (photo: DW)


Franz Beckenbauer, a German football legend, died on Sunday, 7 January, at the age of 78, his family said on Monday.

'It is with deep sadness that we inform you that my husband and our father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family,' his family announced.

'We ask that you mourn in silence and refrain from asking any questions.'

Nicknamed 'Der Kaiser' (The Emperor), Beckenbauer is widely regarded as one of the finest footballers of all time.

Tributes flow for 'Der Kaiser'

FIFA president Gianni Infantino hailed Franz Beckenbauer as a "true legend":

Der Kaiser was a great person, a friend of football and a true legend. We will never forget you, dear Franz, thanks for everything.
Gianni Infantino, president, FIFA

German Football Federation (DFB) president Bernd Neuendorf said, "Franz Beckenbauer's death is a real turning point."

"We look back on his life's work with respect and great gratitude," Neuendorf added.

In him, we have lost a unique footballer and an endearing person.
Bernd Neuendorf, president, German Football Federation (DFB)
'Der Kaiser' was one of the best players our sport has ever seen. With his lightness, elegance and overview, he set standards on the pitch. His meticulousness and charisma as team manager and his energy and drive as head of the World Cup organizing committee are unforgettable.
Franz Beckenbauer leaves behind a great legacy for the DFB and football as a whole.

DFB vice president Hans-Joachim Watzke added that Beckenbauer "was definitely the biggest German footballer of all time, and above all one of the greatest men who I have known."

Lothar Matthäus, who captained Germany to win the World Cup in 1990, hailed the late Beckenbauer as "one of the greatest as a player and a coach, but off the pitch as well."

"His death is a loss for football and for the whole of Germany," Matthäus told German tabloid Bild.

Meanwhile, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) called Beckenbauer "one of European football's greatest sons."

German chancellor Olaf Scholz also called Beckenbauer one of the nation's greatest footballers of all time.

'We will miss him. My thoughts are with his family and friends,' Scholz said on social media.

A storied career on and off the field

Beckenbauer was one of just three people ever to win the World Cup both as a player and a coach, alongside the late Mario Zagallo of Brazil and France's Didier Deschamps.

Apart from his success with the national team, he earned numerous honors during his tenure at Bayern Munich, including three consecutive European Cups and the Intercontinental Cup.

After coaching, Beckenbauer moved into football administration.

However, he made headlines in 2016 when was fined by FIFA's ethics committee for failing to co-operate with an inquiry into corruption over the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups in Russia and Qatar, respectively.

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