Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, expressed her grief at the passing
away of Franz Beckenbauer, one of modern football’s all-time greats. Beckenbauer,
who won the World Cup both as a player and a coach, passed away in Germany at
78, as per media reports. He was among the country’s most beloved personalities.
Mamata Banerjee said that millions of fans in India would miss him.
“Saddened to know about the demise of Franz Beckenbauer, the German football
legend and icon. A world cup winning captain and coach, he will always be regarded
as one of the greatest footballers to grace the game”; she said in a post on Twitter.
She expressed her condolences to his family, friends, and countless fans worldwide.
Football Great Passes Away At 78 On January 07
His family confirmed Beckenbauer’s death via a statement, as per German news
agencies. “It is with deep sadness that we announce that my husband and our father, Franz
Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by
his family”; the family said “We ask that you allow us to grieve in silence and refrain
from asking any questions.”
DER KAISER (THE EMPEROR)
Fondly known as ‘Der Kaiser’, Franz Backenbauer left a deep impact on the football
world. His life was not devoid of controversies, but once he hung up his boots, his
impact on his country’s football scenario was unprecedented, according to experts. He
had a career that spanned more than four decades as a player, coach, administrator,
and influencer (in the truest, old-fashioned way).
The earliest moment of the football great making his debut is generally recognized as
having been in 1958. It was when the then 12-year-old Beckenbauer played in a youth
tournament in Neubiberg, a village in the south-eastern suburbs of Munich. He had
grown up an 1860 Munich supporter, but as legend goes, he decided to align with Bayern
after being slapped by the 1860 player Gerhard König.
With talent and skills, the right-hander changed the course of German football history
and shaped Bayern, whom he had, incidentally, joined at just the right time. 1860
were selected as Munich’s representative for the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963.
Consequently, a bunch of young talents led by Beckenbauer got their opportunity.
By 1969, Bayern Munich was crowned as the first Bundesliga-DFB Pokal double winners.
Over the years that followed, he became one of those rare players whose name came
to define a role and embody a certain finesse. Some in Germany say Beckenbauer’s
personality and influence were even greater than his abilities on the pitch. The
combination of his character and talent was irresistible.
On his passing away, Bayern wrote: ” The world of FC Bayern is no longer what it
used to be — suddenly darker, quieter, poorer. Germany’s record champions mourn the
loss of Franz Beckenbauer, the unique; Kaiser, without whom Bayern would never
have become the club it is today”.
Uli Hoeness, Bayern’s honorary president who played with Beckenbauer for both club
and country, said: “Franz Beckenbauer is the greatest personality FC Bayern has ever
had. As a player, coach, president, person: unforgettable. Nobody will ever match him”.