Franz Beckenbauer
(West Germany)

     Elegant Franz Beckenbauer was an outstanding captain, a great tactician and a revolutionary attacking sweeper. Born in Munich on September 11th 1945, he was in Bayern Munich's first team before his 18th birthday, won his first full cap after only 27 senior games and was West Germany's footballer of the year in 1966, the year he scored 4 goals in Germany's run to the World Cup final. Many believed that Helmut Schön blundered by playing "The Kaiser" out of position in the final, but he gave a great performance as England were eliminated in the 1970 quarter- finals. 

     European Footballer Of The Year in 1971 and 1976, he captained the 1972 European champions and in 1974 at last gained a World Cup-winners' medal. Beckenbauer was excellent through-out the entire tournament and could collect the new FIFA World Cup trophy after the 2-1 victory over Holland in the final in Munich.

    He retired from international soccer in 1977 after winning 103 caps, a record at that time, and inspiring Bayern Munich to many successes in domestic and European football, among them three European Cups in a row. He teamed up with Pelè at New York Cosmos in a $2.000.000 move, and added two NASL championships to his collection before helping SV Hamburg to the Bundesliga title in 1982 and then playing a final season with the Cosmos. 

     Appointed national coach in 1984, he steered West Germany to the final in both the 1986 and 1990 World Cup. And in the latter became only the second man after Zagalo of Brazil, to achieve success as both a player - but the first as captain - and manager.

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