Franz Beckenbauer is still considered one of the best German players to ever appear on a football pitch. The German footballer started his career as a midfielder but then went on become one of the best defenders in the business. Beckenbauer was considered a versatile player and was always appreciated for his dominance and leadership on the field. The German defender started his career with Bayern Munich and achieved tremendous success in his 13 years spell with them. Beckenbauer won five Bundesliga titles, three UEFA Champions Leagues (called European Cup then), five DFB Pokals, four German Footballer of the Year and two Ballon d’Ors with Bayern Munich.
During the same time, the former Bayern Munich player also thrived with the German national team. ‘Der Kaiser’ captained West Germany to triumph at the 1974 World Cup, over Johann Cruyff’s famed Netherlands side no less, as well as Euro 1972. Amazingly, for a defender, Beckenbauer also won the World Cup Bronze Boot in 1966.
After leaving Bayern Munich, Beckenbauer moved to New York Cosmos, where he won three North American Soccer League. In 1980, the German defender decided to move to Hamburger SV, where he won the sixth Bundesliga title of his career.
Following his retirement from professional football, Beckenbauer decided to become a manager. In his first job, the German defender faced a lot of pressure as he became the manager of West Germany. However, he never let that pressure contain him and this was proved when he took West Germany to victory in the 1990 World Cup. This made him the second person to win the World Cup as a player and manager, after Mario Zagallo.