Connect with us

OBITUARY

Beckenbauer Revolutionised Game And Became Icon Of German Sporting Success –

Published

on

Beckenbauer Revolutionised Game And Became Icon Of German Sporting Success -

Franz Beckenbauer, who has died at the age of 78, helped modernise soccer and came to personify Germany’s post-war sporting success, captaining his country to the 1974 World Cup title on home soil to anchor his legacy.

‘Der Kaiser’, as he was nicknamed for his imperious playing style and command of the game, was for decades synonymous with Germany’s success on the pitch, as player and then coach.

He amassed every major honour in his glittering playing career and continued his extraordinary record of success after switching to the manager’s bench.

Beckenbauer won 103 caps and captained West Germany to World Cup success in 1974, two years after lifting the European title.

At club level he steered Bayern Munich to three successive European Cup victories from 1974 to 1976 and won the World Club Cup, the European Cup Winners’ Cup and eight domestic trophies — four league titles and four cup triumphs.

Advertisement

He was West Germany’s footballer of the year a record four times and twice European footballer of the year.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time, and by many as the best European, as a player he invented and defined the modern libero role.

Always calm under pressure and a skilful marshal of his defence, Beckenbauer could read the game so astutely he knew exactly the right moment to surge upfield.

The unhurried sweeper never seemed to break sweat as he sprayed perfect long raking passes to his strikers.

WORLD TITLES

He enjoyed success as a coach while leading the Germans to the 1990 World Cup title in Italy, one of only three men to have won world titles as both player and coach.

Advertisement

But despite heading the 2006 World Cup on home soil as organising chief, his reputation was tarnished in recent years following an investigation into a potential slush fund for that tournament and a 6.7 million euros ($7.34 million) payment to world soccer’s governing body FIFA in 2005.

Beckenbauer, who had been battling several health issues in recent years, denied any wrongdoing and largely withdrew from the public eye.

Born in Munich on Sept. 11 1945, Beckenbauer, a postal official’s son who once trained to be an insurance salesman, joined Bayern’s youth teams in 1959.

He progressed to the first team and, with Beckenbauer orchestrating from midfield, Bayern rocketed to international prominence from the obscurity of West German regional league soccer to establish the most powerful brand in German football.

Shortly after his 20th birthday Beckenbauer was capped for the first time in a World Cup qualifier against Sweden and became a fixture in the national team for more than a decade.

Advertisement

Beckenbauer produced notable performances in three World Cups before moving across the Atlantic to New York Cosmos in a multi-million-dollar deal in 1977.

He stayed in the United States for three lucrative years before returning to West Germany in a shock that which took him to Bayern’s northern rivals Hamburg SV.

GERMANY COACH

Beckenbauer retired to a comfortable life at his home in the Austrian ski resort of Kitzbuehel, spending much of his time on the local golf course.

But he kept in the public eye with a regular column in West Germany’s mass-circulation Bild newspaper and eventually took over as Germany coach despite his lack of managerial experience.

Beckenbauer brought discipline to the squad and commanded instant respect.

Advertisement

Less than two years after taking over, he guided West Germany to the 1986 World Cup final in Mexico where they lost 3-2 to Diego Maradona’s Argentina.

However, they won the title four years later in rematch against the Argentines to give Beckenbauer a rare World Cup double as player and then coach and enhance his legacy.

-Reuters

 

 

Advertisement

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

OBITUARY

Former US football star, O. J. Simpson cremated

Published

on

.O.J. Simpson testifies during an evidentiary hearing in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada May 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Scheid/Pool/File Photo

 O.J. Simpson, the onetime football star infamously tried and acquitted of double-murder charges, was cremated on Wednesday during a private gathering of friends and family in downtown Las Vegas, according to the executor of his estate.

Attorney Malcolm LaVergne, who was Simpson’s lawyer for 15 years, said he was among those who attended the morning cremation at the Palm Downtown Mortuary & Cemetery, one week after Simpson died at age 76, following a battle with cancer.

“What I can tell you is that I went there and saw him right before he was placed in” the crematorium, LaVergne told Reuters by phone. “I can tell you other people were there for Mr. Simpson,” he added, declining to disclose who they were except to describe them as relatives and friends.

He said a private “celebration of (Simpson’s) life is being contemplated” for friends and family at a later date. Simpson’s cremated remains “will be in the possession of his children to do with as they see fit, pursuant to his wishes,” LaVergne said.

LaVergne said he was just starting to sort out Simpson’s estate, which he said includes a sum of money of “less than five figures” in a Nevada bank account, household furnishings and golf clubs.

Advertisement

Any outstanding legal judgments against Simpson are next to last in line among any claims that get paid from what remains of his estate after a lengthy list of higher-priority obligations under Nevada law, including the Internal Revenue Service, which ranks No. 5 after administrative costs, funeral expenses, medical bills from his last illness and any alimony and child support, LaVergne said

Simpson had lived in Las Vegas since he was paroled from prison in Nevada in 2017 after serving nine years for his conviction on charges of robbing and kidnapping two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas hotel in 2007.

Simpson’s greatest notoriety stemmed from his acquittal in a sensational trial 12 years earlier of murder charges in the 1994 stabbing deaths of former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

Another jury later found him liable for their deaths in a civil lawsuit, and ordered him to pay to pay $33.5 million in damages, most of which has never been collected.

Nicknamed “The Juice,” Simpson was one of the best and most popular athletes of the late 1960s and 1970s. He won the Heisman Trophy as college football’s top player – a running back at the University of Southern California, and went on to a record-setting career in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers.

Advertisement

He later parlayed his football stardom into a career as a sportscaster, advertising pitchman and Hollywood actor in films including the “Naked Gun” series.

-Reuters

Continue Reading

OBITUARY

Another Germany World Cup winner  dies

Published

on

Bernd Hoelzenbein

After Gerd Muller who died in 2021 and Franz Beckenbauer that passed on in January and scorer of the the 1990 winning goal, Andreas Brehme who followed in February, another German star has fallen. Germany’s 1974 World Cup-winning striker Bernd Hoelzenbein has died at the age of 78, his former club Eintracht Frankfurt said on Tuesday.

Hoelzenbein died on Monday surrounded by his family, the club added in a statement.

Part of the German squad that won the World Cup on home soil, Hoelzenbein won three German Cups with Frankfurt and also the UEFA Cup in 1980, having come through their youth setup

He scored a club record 215 goals in 532 competitive appearances for Frankfurt between 1967 and 1981.

“Bernd had a huge influence on Eintracht for almost 60 years,” club chief executive officer Axel Hellmann said in a statement.

Advertisement

“He was part of the golden generation of the 1970s, the UEFA Cup win in 1980‚ and the ‘Football 2000’ era that we as a club played at the start of the 1990s, during which time he was vice-president.

“In Bernd, we are losing not only one of the club’s biggest icons, but also a loyal colleague and a dear friend.”

Bayern Munich also offered their condolences.

“Bayern, together with the rest of the German footballing world, are united in mourning the passing of Bernd Hoelzenbein,” they said on social media platform X. “He was a true great both on and off the pitch.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and all those that knew him. Rest in peace.”

Advertisement

-Reuters

Continue Reading

OBITUARY

Breaking! OJ Simpson, fallen football hero acquitted of murder in ‘trial of the century,’ dies at 76

Published

on

Simpson attends his parole-hearing at Lovelock Correctional. news-photo-1712855749

America’s OJ Simpson the football star and Hollywood actor who was acquitted of charges he killed his former wife and her friend in a trial that mesmerized the American public but was found liable in a separate civil case, has died. He was 76.

The family announced on Simpson’s official X account that he died Wednesday of prostate cancer. Simpson’s attorney confirmed to TMZ on Thursday that he died in Las Vegas.

Simpson earned fame, fortune and adulation through football and show business, but his legacy was forever changed by the June 1994 knife slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman in Los Angeles.

He had seemed to transcend racial barriers as the star Trojans tailback for college football’s powerful University of Southern California in the late 1960s, as a rental car ad pitchman rushing through airports in the late 1970s, and as the husband of a blond and blue-eyed high school homecoming queen in the 1980s.“I’m not Black, I’m O.J.,” he liked to tell friends.

His “trial of the century” captured America’s attention on live TV. The case sparked debates on race, gender, domestic abuse, celebrity justice and police misconduct.

Advertisement

AP

Continue Reading

Most Viewed