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Updated January 9th, 2024 at 10:40 IST

Reactions to the death of German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer at the age of 78

Reactions have poured in after the death of German soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as player and coach for Germany, at the age of 78

 Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer, head of Germany’s organising committee for the soccer World Cup, plays with the Golden Ball for the World Cup in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin | Image: AP
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Reactions to the death of soccer great Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as player and coach for Germany, at the age of 78:

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“The football world mourns the loss of the legendary Kaiser. His unparalleled versatility, graceful transitions between defense and midfield, impeccable ball control, and visionary style reshaped the way football was played in his era. His leadership qualities shone through as he captained both the national team and Bayern Munich during their most successful periods and continued to shine bright in his coaching career. Beckenbauer’s legacy as one of football’s all-time greats is beyond dispute. Farewell to a true legend!” - UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.

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“Franz Beckenbauer’s death is a real landmark. We look upon his life’s work with respect and great gratitude. In him we are losing a unique soccer player and a lovable person. The ‘Kaiser’ was one of the best players our sport has ever seen. With his easiness, his elegance and his vision, he set standards on the field. His meticulousness and charisma as a team boss as head of the World Cup organizing committee, as well as his energy and drive, are unforgettable.” - German soccer federation president Bernd Neuendorf.

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"The Kaiser is gone: he represented elegance, kindness and friendship. He was a life companion for a very long time: he brought me to soccer like Pele, Cruyff or Charlton. He made German soccer, but also world soccer. For me, he was the epitome of class, both on and off the pitch. Mister Beckenbauer is gone.” - France soccer great Michel Platini, in a statement to The Associated Press.

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"For me Franz Beckenbauer was the best soccer player in German history. His interpretation of the libero role changed the game, this role and his friendship with the ball set him free. Franz Beckenbauer could float across the grass. As a player and later as a coach, he was sublime, he was above everything. When Franz Beckenbauer entered a room, the room lit up. He rightfully carried the name ‘Beacon of German soccer.’ Even the health problems and blows of fate could not shake the aura he carried to the end. I’m grateful and proud that I was able to get to know him and will remember him fondly.” - Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann.

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“One of the greatest players in the history of FC Bayern has unfortunately left us. Rest in peace, Kaiser Franz. We will never forget you, what you delivered for soccer in Germany,” Bayern Munich and Germany forward Thomas Müller.

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“World champion as a player and coach: Franz Beckenbauer was one of the greatest soccer players in Germany and for many “the Kaiser” (emperor) because he inspired generations of enthusiasm for German soccer. We will miss him. My thoughts are with his family and friends.” - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, in a tweet .

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“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.” - Former England striker Gary Lineker, in a tweet .

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Published January 9th, 2024 at 09:11 IST

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