Franz Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup both as player and coach and became one of Germany’s most beloved personalities with his easygoing charm, has died. He was 78.
Beckenbauer’s death was first announced through a statement from his family to German news agency dpa and then confirmed by the German soccer federation.
“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,” the family said in its statement. “We ask that we be allowed to grieve in peace and be spared any questions.”
The statement did not provide a cause of death. The former Bayern Munich great, who became affectionately known as the “Kaiser” — or “Emperor” — had struggled with health problems in recent years.