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Franz Beckenbauer to be honored with bronze statue

April 21, 2024

The statue of legendary German soccer player "Kaiser" Franz Beckenbauer will be erected at the Allianz Arena in his hometown of Munich.

Franz Beckenbauer (left) and Gerd Müller in 1974
The statue of Franz Beckenbauer (left) will be erected near the statue of another legendary German soccer player, Gerd MüllerImage: SvenSimon/picture alliance

The late German football legend Franz Beckenbauer will be honored with a statue in front of Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, a club supporters foundation announced Sunday.

The player and coach, also known as "der Kaiser" (the Emperor), is to be cast in bronze in an elegant pose as the game's conductor.

The Kurt Landauer Foundation said he will stand on a pedestal in the shape of the Bavarian flag's rhombus.

Beckenbauer, widely considered one of the best players of all time, passed away in January in Salzburg, Austria, and was buried in a cemetery south of Munich, near where he grew up.

German soccer icon Franz Beckenbauer dies at 78

Beckenbauer and Müller together again

His statue will stand next to that of former teammate and Bayern striker Gerd Müller, which was unveiled in September. Müller, who still holds the Bundesliga goal scoring record, died in August 2021 at the age of 75.

"The elegant captain Franz and his friend Gerd Müller will then together cast their shadows positively on the present day, and the awareness of our great club history will be carried on into the next generations," Christian Kröll from the Kurt Landauer Foundation said.

The Kurt Landauer Foundation was also responsible for the statue of Gerd Müller, which was erected on the esplanade of the Allianz Arena.

The foundation expects the Beckenbauer project to take about 18 months to complete. It has already launched a campaign to collect donations from Bayern fans and fan clubs for the project

The Kaiser's stunning career

Beckenbauer made his name at Bayern Munich, helping the club to their first promotion to the Bundesliga before winning league titles and European Cups.

Bayern also helped launch Beckenbauer's stunning career in the German national team, where he won the World Cup both as a coach and as a player. Only three men have achieved that feat.

Beckenbauer played a key role in the building of the Allianz Arena, which was opened in time for the 2006 World Cup, hosted in Germany.

dh/lo (AFP, dpa)