Franz Beckenbauer dead: Germany and Bayern Munich legend dies aged 78 as Gary Lineker pays tribute

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer has died at the age of 78

Lewis Winter

By Lewis Winter

Published: 08/01/2024

- 16:36

Updated: 08/01/2024

- 17:28

The former defender passed away peacefully at the weekend

Franz Beckenbauer has died at the age of 78, his family have confirmed.

The former Germany and Bayern Munich defender passed away on Sunday.

Beckenbauer is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time.

He won over 100 caps for his country and made almost 600 appearances for Bayern.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974


Beckenbauer won the World Cup with West Germany in 1974.

He also managed his country to World Cup glory in 1990, remaining one of just three people to have won the tournament as a player and coach.

His family released a statement confirming his death on Monday afternoon.

The statement reads: "It is with deep sadness that we announce that husband and father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family.

"We ask that you be able to mourn in silence and refrain from asking any questions."

Beckenbauer, who remains the only defender to have won the Ballon d'Or twice, had his health issues.

He declined since his son Stephan died from a brain tumour in 2015.

Beckenbauer had battled Parkinson's disease and dementia, as well as undergoing operations on his heart.

Gary Lineker paid tribute to Beckenbauer on X.

The former England striker wrote: "Very sorry to hear that Franz Beckenbauer has died. One of the absolute greats of our game.

"Der Kaiser was the most beautiful of footballers who won it all with grace and charm. RIP."

Beckenbauer began his professional career at Bayern and spent the majority of his playing days with the German side.

He won the Bundesliga on four occasions and was part of the team to win three successive European Cups in the mid-1970s.

Beckenbauer later went on to play for New York Cosmos for three years before returning to Germany with Hamburg.

He then had another spell at Cosmos before hanging up his boots.


Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer managed West Germany to World Cup glory in 1990


His time as a player for West Germany saw him win the European Championship in Belgium in 1972 before lifting the World Cup trophy on home soil two years later.

Beckenbauer was runner-up in the 1966 final against England and came third in Mexico in 1970.

His first spell in management was as West Germany boss, lasting six years in the role between 1984 and 1990.

He signed off with victory at Italia 90, beating Argentina in the final thanks to a late Andreas Brehme goal.

Only two other men have won the World Cup as a player and manager.

World Cup final 1966

Franz Beckenbauer was part of the West Germany team that lost to England in the 1966 World Cup final


Mario Zagallo, who died last Friday, achieved the feat with Brazil.

Didier Deschamps won the World Cup as a player with France in 1998 and as coach of his country in 2018.

Beckenbauer went on to have two separate spells as Bayern boss in the 1990s, winning the Bundesliga and UEFA Cup.

He headed Germany's successful bid to host the World Cup in 2006.

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