He won the World Cup with Germany as both a player and manager. He won the European Championship as a player.
He twice was awarded the Ballon D’Or as the world’s best football player.
He won the European Cup three times and the Bundesliga four times with Bayern Munich. (He won the Bundesliga once as Bayern’s manager.)
He helped bring big-time soccer to America as a member of the New York Cosmos, winning the North American Soccer League three times.
He could play all over the field. He started his career as a midfielder but moved to center defender. He invented the sweeper position, getting the ball and starting attacks.
He’s one of FIFA’s 100 greatest players of all-time.
He’s one of the 11 best football players ever. That’s the most concise way to sum up Franz Beckenbauer. If God picked a team, Beckenbauer would be on it. Nobody of rational thought would argue. He personified German football efficiency.
Beckenbauer passed away yesterday. He was 78. Der Kaiser, RIP.