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German football icon Franz Beckenbauer dies at 78

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-01-09 01:15

This file photo taken on April 18, 2006 shows Franz Beckenbauer holding a golden soccer ball during a presentation next to the Brandenburg gate in Berlin, Germany. [Photo/Agencies]

BERLIN -- German football legend Franz Beckenbauer has died at 78, according to German Football Association (DFB) on Monday.

The German national team's honorary captain died on Sunday, as his family announced on Monday. DFB issued a statement mourning his death.

Beckenbauer left an indelible mark on German football. He achieved the rare feat of winning the World Cup both as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990.

Beckenbauer's illustrious playing career included winning the European Championship title in 1972. He was the first German footballer to make over 100 international appearances. His successes with the national team include being the runner-up in the World Cup in 1966 and runner-up in the European Championship in 1976.

His club career, primarily with FC Bayern Munich, saw him secure Bundesliga and DFB Cup titles multiple times.

Internationally, Beckenbauer excelled with FC Bayern, winning the European Cup three times and the European Cup Winners' Cup once.

As a coach, he won a French Ligue 1 title with Olympique Marseille in France in 1991, and with FC Bayern, he secured Bundesliga and UEFA Cup victories in 1994 and 1996, respectively.

Beckenbauer received numerous national and international awards, including being named Europe's Footballer of the Year twice in 1972 and 1976, and Germany's Footballer of the Year four times (1966, 1968, 1974 and 1976), and earning the title of Germany's Footballer of the Century in 2000. He was also awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf twice.

Recognizing his contributions, the DFB honored Beckenbauer as an honorary member and captain. He was one of the first 11 players inducted into the German Football Museum's "Hall of Fame."

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