before the tribute from all of Germany, the emotion of the people of Munich for the “Kaiser”

Germany is preparing to say a final goodbye to Franz Beckenbauer, who died on January 7 at the age of 78. Several tributes are planned this Friday. Franceinfo went back through the life of the “Kaiser” in Munich to understand the mark he left on the football world.



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At the foot of the building where the "Kaiser", Raphael strikes a pose: he now lives in the apartment of the German football legend.  (SEBASTIEN BAER / RADIOFRANCE)

The story begins here, at number 6 Zugspitze Street, in the former working-class suburb of Munich, at the foot of the building where Franz Beckenbauer grew up. Where admirers have left candles and flowers since the announcement of the death of the “Kaiser” on January 7, 2024, at the age of 78.

Raphael, who has lived on the 4th and top floor for several years, says: “See the poster up there? ‘Thank you Franz’… I made it because I live in his apartment. Opposite is the club where he learned to play football. There used to be an old wooden fence, but he and his brother weren’t patient enough to go around it: they tore out the slats of the fence to squeeze in and be able to play soccer for five more minutes“, he slips.

It was here, at number 6 Zugspitze Street, in the former working-class suburb of Munich, that Franz Beckenbauer grew up.  (SEBASTIEN BAER / RADIOFRANCE)

“One of the greatest legends on the football planet”

At 14, Franz Beckenbauer joined Bayern Munich, which planned a tribute Friday afternoon at its stadium, the Allianz Arena in Munich. With the Bavarian club, number 5 – player, coach and finally president – wins every competition possible.

Hartmut, 61, fan of

Under the colors of Germany, he won the 1974 World Cup as a player, and the 1990 World Cup as coach. “He is one of the greatest legends in the world of football.“, assures Hartmut, 61, who has seen him play several times.

“He was simply fantastic, with charm, charisma, elegance… He handled the ball with lightness, like a magician. He could do whatever he wanted, he was always the best, everyone was. loved.”

When Germany organized the 2006 World Cup, it was thanks to Beckenbauer, who headed the bidding committee. The tournament was a success, a great popular celebration, remembers the philosopher and sociologist of sport Gunter Gebauer. “It was a burst of national joy. We started buying little German flags, singing the national anthem… It was unheard of, because before it was difficult to be German. We were raised to believe that Germany had brought a lot of misfortune to the whole world. It was Beckenbauer who led the way: he restored pride. It did a lot of good for a lot of Germans.

Thousands of people queued to sign the book of condolences of Franz Beckenbauer, whose photo is on display at the Hofkapelle in Munich.  (SEBASTIEN BAER / RADIOFRANCE)

But accusations of corruption arise: Beckenbauer is suspected of having bought the organization of the World Cup. The affair then scratches the legend. “For many, it came as a shock, like watching a movie you’re excited about and then learning that the lead actor wasn’t as nice as you thought. It hurt him personally because I think he suffered a lot from being perceived differently by people“, explains René Hofmann, daily journalist South German Zeitung.

Bruised and suffering from serious health problems, the “Kaiser” took refuge in his Austrian villa, far from public life. On January 7, that’s where the story ended.

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