Bayern Munich have shared a touching tribute to Franz Beckenbauer after his death was announced on Monday. Footballing legend Beckenbauer passed away at the age of 78. The German icon graduated from Bayern’s academy before spending 13 years with the club, revolutionising the centre-back position.
The footballing world was shaken on Monday evening after a statement from Beckenbauer’s family was released revealing that the former defender had passed away over the weekend.
Their announcement read: “It is with deep sadness that we announce that my husband and our father, Franz Beckenbauer, passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday, Sunday, surrounded by his family. We ask that we are able to mourn in silence and you refrain from asking any questions.”
Beckenbauer is widely regarded as one of the most influential defenders of all time, having transformed how centre-backs were viewed with his ability to roam into midfield and become an attacking influence.
The German World Cup winner joined Bayern’s academy in 1959 before making his debut five years later, playing as a winger. Beckenbauer gradually became an incredibly influential figure at the club and went on to captain the side and make 427 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.
Following the news being confirmed by Beckenbauer’s family, the official Bayern X account shared a saddening tribute which read: “The world of FC Bayern is no longer what it used to be – suddenly darker, quieter, poorer: The German record champions mourn Franz Beckenbauer, the unique ‘Emperor’, without whom FC Bayern would never have become the club it is today.”
The club also posted an article with individual tributes being made by club officials. Bayern president Herbert Hainer said: “There are no words to express how great our grief is, and the gap that Franz Beckenbauer leaves behind.
“As a player, he brought a sense of effortlessness, elegance and magic to the pitch. Franz Beckenbauer brought the glamour.
“Even after his playing career, he left an indelible mark on FC Bayern and football, and his legacy cannot be measured in titles. The FC Bayern family is eternally grateful to him, and I personally mourn the loss of a friend.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge his former Bayern team-mate said: “I am deeply shocked. Franz Beckenbauer rewritten the history of German football and left a lasting mark on it. He was my captain at FC Bayern, my coach with the national team, our president at Bayer – and in all these roles he was not only successful but unique.
“As a person, he impressed with his great respect for all people, because everyone was equal in Franz’s eyes. German football has lost the greatest figure in its history. We will miss him more than seriously. Thank you for everything, dear Franz.”
CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen added: “This is one of the saddest days in the history of this club. The history of FC Bayern and German football cannot be told without Franz Beckenbauer. We mourn the loss of one of this country’s great figures.
“His influence on FC Bayern was unparalleled. Whether as a player, coach or president, Franz Beckenbauer was unrivalled in everything he did. He will forever be remembered and remain in our hearts as the only Emperor of German football.”