Franz Beckenbauer is a German Footballer and manager. He was Kaiser on the field. In German Language, Kaiser Means – king. His very presence in the field of soccer was dominant and elegant. He was the mastermind of his team.
Beckenbauer was born on 11 Sept 1945 in Munich, Germany. He was playing as a defender He invented the role of attacking sweeper. That means apart from the defensive duties he moves ahead with the ball just like a forward. This was unique in world football. Twice he was awarded the European Footballer of the year. He appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three world cups and two European championships. He lifted the world cup in 1974 as a player and in 1990 as a manager. His club was Bayern Munich, of which he was the mastermind. After two times in the New York cosmos club, he was inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame. Beckenbauer was an outstanding player.
First, he appeared in the 1966 world cup in London. In Final Germany played against England, the host. The famous, English player was Bobby Charlton. The ferocious forward. The German coach instructed Beckenbauer to guard Charlton throughout the match. That is the only duty entrusted to you – The coach said. So Beckenbauer obediently performed the duty. In spite of that England won the match and took the world cup for the first time. Beckenbauer returned home with sadness.
In the 1970 World cup, Beckenbauer again appeared and remained satisfied with the third-placed team. But in the next world cup 1974. He was fortunate enough to take the world cup. In the Final, the opponents were Holland the team who were playing total football. The master was Johan Cruyff – the Flying Dutch. Actually, Holland was the better team. They toyed with the Germans. Germans were nothing against the free-wheeling style of the Dutch. As the Dutch players were equally capable.
The Dutch defender Krol said – Football is not art. But there is an art in playing football. Holland did all the playing, Germans took the title. Like Ferenc Puskas in the 1954 World cup twenty years before against the same country – West Germany, Johan Cruyff returned home with a grief-stricken mind. Cruyff was disillusioned that all beautiful things are fragile. The whole world was also disillusioned.
But History is unsympathetic to failure. Puskas was also a sad man in 1954. There was no player like him. But he could not get the World Cup. One conclusion comes to mind-both in 1954 and 1974 Germans can not be underestimated. They can fight up to the 89th minute. German Pragmatism is seen to believe.
Fraz Beckenbauer was fearing one player in the world-He was Johan Cruyff of Holland. A close look into the final of 1974 proves this. Still, then Beckenbauer was a famous player. A handsome figure, also handsome in the field of football, critics said only fortunate could get a chance to see Franz Beckenbauer play on the field. It is right, right, and right.
(The views expressed are the writer’s own.)
Radhakanta Seth is a former Income tax officer in Sambalpur. He is a freelance writer and his articles have been published in some Oriya dailies like Sambad, Samaj, Dharitri, and English dailies like The Telegraph and in a sociological journal ‘Folklore’ published in Kolkata.
He can be reached at [email protected]