German Football legend Beckenbauer dies at 78

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Franz Beckenbauer, one of the greatest football players of all time, died at the age of 78.

Beckenbauer, nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser’, won the World Cup with West Germany as captain in 1974 and a manager in 1990.

“A family statement read: “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 former defender is one of three men, along with Brazil’s Mario Zagallo – who passed aways this month – and France’s Didier Deschamps, to have won the World Cup as a player and as a manager.

Beckenbauer was famed for carving out his own role as a sweeper – now often known as a “Libero” – sitting slightly behind his team’s defensive line and sweeping up any man or ball that broke through.

Beckenbauer also won an array of personal honours, including two Ballon d’Or awards in 1972 and 1976 as a defender – a rarity at the time and still to this day.

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