Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a former professional football player and current football administrator from Germany. During his illustrious career as one of the world's best players, he helped Germany win nearly every major international prize. He began his career as a left-winger, but during his early years at Bayern Munich, he established the position of 'attacking sweeper,' which revolutionized the way Germany and Bayern Munich played. Between 1974 and 1976, Beckenbauer led Bayern Munich to three straight league wins and three European Cup victories. He was the captain and inspiration when West Germany won the World Cup in front of their own fans in 1974, and he was the manager when a united Germany won the World Cup in Italy after edging out Diego Maradona's Argentina 16 years later. Beckenbauer was also named European Player of the Year twice during his career, and after leaving Bayern Munich, he served as one of the club's senior officials on the advisory board, overseeing one of the most successful periods in the club's history. He was instrumental in bringing the 2006 World Cup to Germany.

Childhood and Adolescence

Franz Anton Beckenbauer was born in Munich, Germany on September 11, 1945, to Franz Beckenbauer Senior and Antonia Beckenbauer. His father worked in the postal office and discouraged him from playing football, owing to the country's economic situation following WWII.

He had a passion for football since he was a child, and when he was nine years old, he began playing for SC Munich. During those years, he was a member of their youth squad and succeeded in his role as a forward.

He was keen to join Munich, the club he had loved since infancy, but after a brawl with a club player in a young game, he realized he couldn't, and in 1959 he joined the Bayern Munich youth levels.


After a few seasons with the youth team, Franz Beckenbauer made his senior squad debut in 1964, and the team advanced from the 2nd division to the first division known as the 'Bundesliga' at the end of the season. Two years later, Beckenbauer represented West Germany at the World Cup in England, where he scored four goals to help his team finish second.

Following his outstanding performance as a left-winger, Beckenbauer began playing as an attacking sweeper, a unique position that he exploited to deadly effect throughout his career. In 1968, he was named Bayern Munich captain, and the club went on to win the league title at the end of the season.

Bayern Munich experienced exceptional success during his time as captain. From 1972 to 1974, the club won three consecutive league crowns, and he guided them to three consecutive European Cup victories during that time. Beckenbauer became known as 'Der Kaiser' or 'the Emperor' after scoring 64 goals in 439 games for Bayern Munich.

In the 1970 World Cup, he scored the game-winning goal against England in the second round, sparking an unlikely comeback, but West Germany was knocked out in the semi-finals. He captained West Germany to victory in the European Championships two years later.

He led West Germany to their second World Cup triumph in 1974 when they defeated the Netherlands in the final in Munich. He devised a plan of continually shadowing Johann Cryuff of the Netherlands, which paid off in the big game. He led Germany to a runner-up position in the European Championships two years later, and he retired from international football the following year. In 103 appearances for West Germany, Beckenbauer had 14 goals.

In 1977, he left Bayern Munich for the New York Cosmos, and after four seasons with them, he returned to Germany with Hamburger SV. He played for Hamburger SV for two seasons before retiring after winning the league in his final season.

He was named West Germany's manager in 1984, and two years later, he led the team to the World Cup final, where they were barely defeated by Argentina in Mexico. Four years later, he led a united German team to victory in the World Cup in Italy, defeating Argentina 1-0 in the final. As a player and as a manager, he holds the uncommon distinction of winning the World Cup twice for his country. Beckenbauer managed the French team Olympique de Marseille for a few months after winning the World Cup.

In 1993, he was selected as Bayern Munich's temporary manager, and he led them to the league title at the end of the season. Three years later, he was rehired as a stopgap option by the club, and this time he led them to the UEFA Cup final.

He joined Bayern Munich as vice president in 1994 and has served as head of the advisory board since the club became a corporation. He became vice president of the German Football Association four years later and aided the country in its campaign to host the World Cup.

Achievements & Awards

In 1972, Franz Beckenbauer received the 'European Player of the Year Award,' and four years later, he won it again.

Franz Beckenbauer was named to World Soccer magazine's 'Greatest XI of All Time' in 2013.

Franz Beckenbauer's greatest sporting triumph was captaining the West German team that won the 1974 World Cup on home soil. His greatest success in life, though, has to be leading a united German national team to victory in the 1990 World Cup.

Personal History and Legacy

Franz Beckenbauer married Brigitte in 1966, but the couple divorced 24 years later. Michael and Stephen were their two sons. Stephen became a footballer before passing away due to illness.

Beckenbauer married Sybille in 1990, but the marriage lasted only 14 years.

Franz Beckenbauer married Heidi Burmester in 2006. Francesca and Noel are their two children.