Franz Beckenbauer, a towering determine in soccer who led West Germany to the World Cup as a participant in 1974 and as a coach in 1990 and earned a repute as one of many biggest gamers within the historical past of the game, died on Sunday. He was 78.
He died at his house, his household confirmed in a press release, however didn’t point out the place he lived or what the reason for loss of life was. His kinfolk had been quoted for months in German media experiences saying Beckenbauer, who underwent coronary heart surgical procedure in 2016, was ill.
A cerebral participant whose technical abilities and tactical consciousness revolutionized his place in central protection, Beckenbauer was nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’ for his skill to manage matches and rating targets from a place largely in command of stopping of it. He led West Germany to 2 World Cup finals as a participant: in 1966, after they misplaced to England in further time, and in 1974, when he led the crew to victory on house soil.
As crew coach in the course of the 1990 match in Italy, he received his second world title with a victory over Argentina led by Diego Maradona.
His CV is plagued by crew and particular person accolades: world and European championships with West Germany; 4 German membership titles; three European cups; twice winner of the Ballon d’Or as European participant of the 12 months.
Beckenbauer spent most of his skilled profession with Germany’s greatest membership, Bayern Munich, earlier than making a profitable transfer to the bold North American Soccer League. As a member of the New York Cosmos, he was a part of three extra championship groups, together with one in 1977 that included Pelé of Brazil.
Later, as soccer director, Beckenbauer helped his now united nation safe internet hosting rights for the 2006 World Cup, however his actions – and people of others linked to the German bid – introduced accusations of corruption and a felony case in Switzerland. house to soccer’s international governing physique. Beckenbauer was not convicted, however solely as a result of the courtroom ran out of time to finish a prosecution below Swiss regulation.
Earlier than that case went to trial, his repute got here below renewed scrutiny when he was a part of the contaminated vote to award the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar.
Beckenbauer, together with Brazil’s Mário Zagallo and France’s Didier Deschamps, was one in all solely three folks to win the World Cup, soccer’s greatest prize, each as a participant and as a coach. Zagallo died on Friday on the age of 92.
A full obituary will likely be printed quickly.