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Germany

Soccer Legend Eyes UEFA Presidency

West Germany's 1974 World Cup winner Franz Beckenbauer admits he is willing to step up his bid to become the next UEFA president after the German Football Federation (DFB) gave him their backing. Swede Lennart Johansson is set to step down in 2006 and Beckenbauer, head of the 2006 World Cup organizing committee, admits the role had become more appealing. "First of all it needs to be confirmed that Johansson is stepping down," Beckenbauer told Bild daily. "Then if I have the backing of the DFB and UEFA I am prepared to make serious thoughts about the job." The DFB had not offered their thoughts on Beckenbauer going for the UEFA presidency but Theo Zwanziger, co-president of the DFB, claimed the former Bayern Munich star had their full support. "I think Franz Beckenbauer should go for the UEFA presidency," Zwanziger told the Suddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. Beckenbauer and France's 1984 European championship hero, Michel Platini, are the favorites to replace Johansson.

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