Franz Beckenbauer

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Franz Anton Beckenbauer [fʁants ˈbɛkənˌbaʊ̯ɐ] (born 11 September 1945 in Munich) is a German football coach, manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser ("The Emperor") because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz" (reminiscent of the Austrian emperors), and his dominance on the football pitch. He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game.[1][2] Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero.[3]

Twice selected the European Footballer of the Year, he appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three World Cups. He remains the only player to captain and manage his country to a World Cup Win. He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990. With the club Bayern Munich, he won three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer is the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides. He went on to become coach and president of the institution. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

In 1999, he was voted second place, behind Johan Cruyff, in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS and he was voted third, behind Pelé and Cruyff, in the IFFHS' "World Player of the Century" election. Today, Beckenbauer remains an influential figure in both German and international football. He led Germany's successful bid to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup and chaired the organizing committee. He also works as a pundit for German television network Sat.1 during their coverage of the UEFA Champions League and writes a football column for mass tabloid Bild.

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