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FRANZ BECKENBAUER


NICKNAME:  Der Kaiser
BORN:  SEP. 11, 1945
COUNTRY: West Germany
WORLD CUP APPEARANCES:  3 tournaments ('66, '70, '74)
CLUBS: Bayern Munich, New York Cosmos

INTRODUCTION: One of the greatest player and leader in World Cup history. 

1966 World Cup - England

Beckenbauer played in three World Cup tournaments.  At 21, he played as right half in the German midfield, showing his class and skill which was beyond his tender years.  He scored an impressive total of 3 goals in this tournament, including a superb curling shot against Soviet Union that beat even Lev Yashin.  In the final against England, he was assigned to mark England ace Bobby Charlton.  West Germany lost the game to the controversial second-goal and ended the Kaiser's first World Cup adventure.
1970 World Cup - Mexico
WORLD FIRST
Beckenbauer was the world's first libero, the attacking sweeper.
Germany played well in this tournament, including a quarter-final defeat of the reigning champions England, a match which Beckenbauer also contributed one of the goals.  However, in the semi-final against Italy,  Beckenbauer suffered a dislocated shoulder but still stayed on the field despite the great pain.  The match for the German ended in a heart-stopping, extra-time defeat.
1974 WORLD CUP - West Germany
CAPTAIN KAISER
Beckenbauer was now captain and commander-in-chief.
Two years later, in the 1972 European championship, he switched position and played in defence.  He now played as libero, a position he newly invented. He was admired by the soccer world the way he brought the ball forward from defence to create and score goals.  Beckenbauer had also replaced Uwe Seeler as the German skipper to play his final World Cup in his native Germany.  With Muller and Breitner by his side, West Germany improved from a slow start to their campaign.  Beckenbauer and Berti Vogts marshalled their defence superbly and overcame Cruyff's Dutch side in a difficult Final.  Beckenbauer led West Germany to triumph in front of their own fans, and became one the greatest captains to lift the trophy.

Not long after his retirement as a player, he coached West Germany to reach the 1986 final but lost to Maradona's Argentina.  He got his revenge against the SouthAmerican side in 1990 when they won the final 1-0.
RECORD
The only man to have captained (in 1974) and coached (in 1990) a World Cup winning team.

HIS GOALS IN THE WORLD CUP - COMPLETE RECORD
1966
1st round:  1st match v. Switzerland
Quarter-final v. Uruguay
Semi-final v. USSR
1970
Quarter-final v. England


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