Friday, September 11, 2009

11 September 1945 - Der Kaiser Starts To Roll

On 11 September 1945, future Bayern Munich star defender and West German national side captain Franz Beckenbauer was born in Munich.

Nicknamed "Der Kaiser," Beckenbauer started playing football at the age of 8 and signed with the Bayern Munich youth team in 1959 (despite supporting local rivals 1860 Munich). He debuted for Bayern's senior side on 6 June 1964 and stayed through the 1976-77 season, accruing a total of 461 appearances and 53 goals in all competitions. During that time, Bayern won four Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups, three European Cups, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and one Intercontinental Cup.

In the meantime, Beckenbauer also enjoyed success with the West German national team, for whom he made 103 appearances, winning the 1972 European Championship and the 1974 World Cup. Beckenbauer's West Germany also finished as runners-up in the 1966 World Cup and in third place for the 1970 World Cup. He also claimed numerous individual honors, including the 1972 and 1976 Ballon d'Or awards.

Beckenbauer left Bayern in 1977 to play for the New York Cosmos (1977-80, 1983) and Hamburg (1980-82). He retired from playing in 1983 and turned to management, starting with the West German national side (1984-90). When West Germany won the 1990 World Cup, Beckenbauer became only the second person to win the Jules Rimet Trophy as both a player and manager (Brazil's Mário Zagallo was the first).

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