German football legend Franz Beckenbauer passed away at the age of 78, as reported by the news agency dpa on Monday. The iconic figure in German football achieved the rare feat of winning the World Cup both as a player and coach.
The family confirmed his peaceful demise, stating that he passed away in his sleep surrounded by loved ones on Sunday. The family has requested privacy to mourn and has not disclosed the cause of death. Beckenbauer, renowned for his contributions as a player and coach for Bayern Munich, had faced health challenges in recent years.
Beckenbauer played a pivotal role in German football history, redefining the defender’s role and leading West Germany to victory in the 1974 World Cup as the team captain. Later, in 1990, he achieved further glory as the coach when West Germany secured another World Cup triumph, a poignant moment for the nation undergoing reunification in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
His passing follows closely on the heels of the news of the death of Mario Zagallo, the Brazilian football legend who also achieved the rare distinction of winning the World Cup as both a player and coach, at the age of 92, just two days prior.