Beckenbauer was a great defender, but a very versatile payer and was also a brilliant midfielder.He was probably best known internationally for his invention of the role of sweeper.
He was also a superb captain and it was fitting he lifted the World Cup in1974 because 16 years later the Trophy would be in his hands again and of course this true legend would make World Cup history as he became the first man to captain and coach a World Cup winning team.
Franz Beckenbaeur burst on to the World Cup scene as an "attacking sweeper" in 1966. his offensive play brought him four goals in the competition.
His two goals against Switzerland in the opening group game showed the world what the 20 year old West German had to offer.In the Quarter-final he scored against Uruguay, but probably scored his best and most decisive goal with a spectacular long shot in the 2-1 win over Russia in the Semi-final.
West Germany were to pay England in the Final. Here The Kaiser was given the job of marking Bobby Charlton.It was a fascinating battle where they virtually cancelled each other out.The final was a classic match , where England won 4-2 thanks to a Geoff Hurst hat-trick, and it was a silver medal for Beckanbaeur.
In the 1970 finals held in Mexico West Germany gained some revenge on England for the 1966 loss. in the Quarter-final England were 2-0 up after 70 minutes ,and it was a cool Beckenbauer goal that put them back in the game that they eventually won 3-2 after extra-time.
The semi-final was against Italy, another epic match. However Beckenbauer dislocated his shoulder, but strapped up he refused to be substituted and played through the whole 120 minutes as his team went down 4-3 after extra-time.The team were to make it a third place.
West Germany hosted the 1974 finals and Beckenbauer was back in his sweeper role.Orchestrating the play from the back and linking with the attack, saw The Kaiser dominate many games.
Thanks mainly to Gerd Muller's goals the Germans reached the final where they were to face Holland. Beckenbaeur was to battle it out with another great midfield player Johan Cruyff. It was a close fought match. and the Germans did it the hard way coming from a goal behind to win 2-1.
So The Kaiser lifted the trophy at his third attempt.In 18 World Cup appearances he scored 5 goals.
Sixteen years later Beckenbauer, the coach led West Germany to the finals in Italy. Once again they beat England this time in the semi-final decided on penalties.
In the 85th minute of the Final, Andreas Brehme hit home a penalty to beat a cynical Argentina 1-0, ensuring this golden hero a place in World Cup legend.
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