Germany Legend Franz Beckenbauer Dies Aged 78

Germany football legend Franz Beckenbauer has passed away at the age of 78.

Germany Legend Franz Beckenbauer Dies Aged 78

Beckenbauer is widely considered as one of the greatest footballers of all-time.

He won the FIFA World Cup as a player in 1974 and again as manager in 1990, becoming one of only three men to achieve that enviable feat alongside Brazil's Mario Zagallo and France's Didier Deschamps. Zagallo died at the age of 92 last week.

At club level, Beckenbauer was synonymous with Bayern Munich, where he won four Bundesliga titles and three European Cups.

A family statement 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 you be able to grieve in silence and refrain from asking any questions."

Tributes have been pouring in for Beckenbauer following his passing.

Bayern, Germany's most successful club, said: "The world of FC Bayern is no longer what it used to be - suddenly darker, quieter, poorer."

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: "Franz Beckenbauer: a legend of German and world football.

"'Der Kaiser' was a really great person, a friend of football, a champion and a real legend. We will never forget you, dear Franz."

Lothar Matthaus captained Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning side and paid tribute to his former manager and friend.

"The shock is deep, even though I knew that Franz wasn't feeling well. His death is a loss for football and for Germany as a whole," Matthaus told German media outlet Bild.

"He was one of the greatest as a player and coach, but also off the field. Franz was an outstanding personality not only in football, and he enjoyed worldwide recognition.

"Everyone who knew him knows what a great and generous person Franz was. A good friend left us. I will miss him - we will all miss him."