Produced on September 11, 1945, in Munich, West Germany, Franz Beckenbauer revolutionized football as its first assaulting sweeper. Beckenbauer helped arrange the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and serves as honorary president of Bayern Munich.
Sportsman Franz Anton Beckenbauer was born on September 11, 1945, in Munich, West Germany. Like many kids growing right up in the war torn nation, he was inspired by West Germany’s victory in the 1954 World Cup. He joined the SC 1906 Mnchen youth team that year, as well as in 1959 he started his long relationship with FC Bayern Munich as an associate of the club’s junior squad.
Beckenbauer made his debut for the senior team in June 1964, so when the star of a center that also featured burgeoning abilities Gerd Mller and Sepp Maier, he led Bayern Munich to some degree of unprecedented success. Playing the function of sweeper, Beckenbauer was likely to concentrate on defense; yet, he revolutionized the position by leaving the backfield to assist run the offense, becoming the game’s first real assaulting sweeper, or “libero.” Along with his team and individual success, Beckenbauer was a force on the international phase.
Following the 1977 season, Beckenbauer joined Brazilian star Pel and Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia to the New York Cosmos, and helped them win three North American Soccer League titles in another four years. Beckenbauer returned to Germany to play for Hamburg for a couple of years, then spent one more season together with the Cosmos before retiring.
Despite having no managerial expertise, Beckenbauer was solicited to replace Jupp Derwall as head of the West German national team in July 1984. Surprisingly, he directed a squad with small expectations to the 1986 World Cup final, which finished having a slim 3-2 loss to Argentina. Four years after, Beckenbauer again led West Germany through an impressive World Cup run. This time around, they outlasted Argentina in the final, making Beckenbauer only the second person to win the World Cup as a player and manager.
Der Kaiser spent one year in the helm of Olympique Marseilles before serving a couple of stints as manager of Bayern Munich. After leading the team into a 1996 UEFA Cup success, he became its president for a couple of years. Beckenbauer subsequently took over as vice president of the German Football Association, and with Germany chosen to host the 2006 World Cup, he served as chairman of its own organizing committee as well as the public face of the world-famous sporting event. Beckenbauer was named Honorary President of Bayern Munich in November 2009. An idol in his home country, he could be respected as among the best all around players in football history.