Germany’s legendary footballer Beckenbauer dies aged 78

Berlin, Jan 8: Germany football legend Franz Beckenbauer, one of the only three players to win the football World Cup as a player and coach, has died aged 78, his family confirmed on Monday.

“It is with deep sadness that we inform you that my husband and our father Franz Beckenbauer fell asleep peacefully yesterday (Sunday), surrounded by family,” his family said in a statement on Monday.

“We ask that you mourn in silence and refrain from asking any questions,” the statement said. The family did not give any details of his health in recent times though Beckenbauer had cardiac surgery twice, in 2016 and 2017. He also had an artificial hip inserted in 2018.

Known worldwide as ‘Der Kaiser’ (The King), Beckenbauer captained West Germany to the World Cup in 1972 and then as guided as manager, the Lothar Matthaus-led side to glory in the 1990 edition in Italy.

Credited with creating the libero position and defining the sweeper’s role, a cornerstone of modern football, Beckenbauer bagged 103 caps for West Germany, captaining them to victory in the 1974 World Cup. He was a key member of the West Germany team that reached the final of the 1966 World Cup in England, losing to hosts England via a controversial extra-time goal.

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