He was born on 11 September 1945. His country failed in its bid for world domination, but he was destined to be one of the greatest German footballers ever. He is Franz Beckenbauer.

Famous LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson once said that it’s an offense that gets all the glory, but it’s a defense that wins you games. Franz disproved this theory. He not only won games for Germany and Bayern Munich. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential players ever to have played for Germany.

His career is replete with records and achievements. When he first started playing for Bayern’s first team, no one would have thought that one day he would hold the world cup aloft over his head as the captain of West Germany.

He was to repeat the feat 16 years later, but this time as the manager of Germany. It makes him effectively one of only two players to have achieved this distinction of having won both as a coach and player, and the only player in history who won it as captain and manager.

He also won three consecutive European titles with Bayern from 1974-1976. It allowed the club to keep the trophy permanently at their headquarters and it made Franz Beckenbauer the only player to have won the European championship three times as the captain.

He is still active with commentating and writing on football and commands a huge amount of respect both from fans and from players.

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