About Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German former professional footballer and manager. He is widely regarded to be one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. A versatile player who started out as a midfielder, Beckenbauer made his name as a central defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero.
- Beckenbauer has one of the most impressive records in club and national levels. With Bayern Munich, the club where he spent most of his career, he won the European Champions Cup in 1974, 1975, and 1976. With the German national football team, he won the 1972 European Nations Championship and the 1974 World Cup, each time as captain. He also won the most prestigious individual award twice, the Ballon d’Or (Best European Footballer of the Year), in 1972 and 1976.
- He embarked into a successful career as manager, winning the 1990 World Cup with the German national team. In foreign media, the German national team is regularly described as (Die) Mannschaft (literally meaning the team). The nickname Die Adler (the eagles) or Deutsche Adler (German eagles) is also used as their nickname.
- Beckenbauer won 103 caps and scored 14 goals for West Germany.
- He was a member of the World Cup squads that finished runners-up in 1966, third place in 1970, and champions in 1974, while also being named to the tournament all-star team in all three editions
- He also won the 1972 European Football Championship and finished as runners-up in the 1976 edition. Beckenbauer's first game for the national team came on 26 September 1965.
- Beckenbauer became captain of the national side in 1971. In 1972, West Germany won the European Championship, beating the Soviet Union 3–0 in the final.
- The 1974 World Cup was hosted by West Germany and Beckenbauer led his side to victory, including a hard fought 2–1 win over the hotly favoured Netherlands side featuring Johan Cruyff. Beckenbauer and fellow defenders man-marked Cruyff so well that the Dutch were never quite able to put their "Total Football" into full use.
- In the 1976 competition, West Germany again reached the final, where they lost on penalties to Czechoslovakia. Beckenbauer was named in the Team of the Tournament.