top 10 greatest football players of all time - 7 - Franz Beckenbauer

10 November 2011 09:05

Beckenbauer was a versatile player who started out as a midfielder but made his name as a defender. He is often credited as having invented the role of the modern sweeper or libero. Nicknamed Der Kaiser ("The Emperor") because of his elegant style, his leadership, his first name "Franz", and his dominance on the football pitch.

He is generally regarded as the greatest German footballer of all time and one of the greatest and most decorated footballers in the history of the game.

Honours: Twice selected the European Footballer of the Year, he appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three World Cups. He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the feat as a manager in 1990. With the club Bayern Munich, he won three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer is the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides. He went on to become coach and president of the institution. He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was voted second place, behind Johan Cruyff, in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS and he was voted third, behind Pelé and Cruyff, in the IFFHS' "World Player of the Century" election.

Full nameFranz Anton Beckenbauer
Date of birth11 September 1945
Place of birthMunich, Germany
Height1.81 m (5 ft 11 12 in)
Playing positionSweeper

Franz Beckenbauer image

Source: DSG