ONE-ON-ONE Did a slap in the face make him sign for Bayern? How did Bobby Charlton “kill him” at Wembley? What made him shun Barça? And why is club management so boring?
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY...
Interview Marc Baumann
As a three-time European Cup, two-time World Cup (once as player; once as manager) and double Ballon d’Or winner, FFT clearly expected Franz Beckenbauer to be a man in demand, but this is something else. It’s the height of summer and we’ve been asked to meet the German great at Adidas’ global HQ in the small Bavarian town of Herzogenaurach, where everyone wants a piece of him. We’ve already been informed he’s just arrived after opening a nearby building with the state prime minister, and as we enter the room we’re greeted by Der Kaiser with the words, “Merry Christmas to you all!”. If it wasn’t for all the TV cameras, here to shoot a winter commercial, we’d be rather concerned. Next up he patiently signs 30 pairs of football boots, before readdressing the cameras to discuss, er, handball (it’s big out here). It’s quite a scene, and we’re more than happy to kick back and take it all in. When the gracious Bayern legend finally completes his duties, he can’t stop smiling as he joins us and sees your questions. His helicopter outside will just have to wait…
You’re 65 now, but I bet you’ve still got the skills. When was the last time you put your boots on and took to the pitch? Babak Tabeshian, Munich It was a long time ago! Sixteen years, to be precise, on my 50th birthday. It was my testimonial at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. Many big names of ’70s and ’80s football were there – Pele was the only one who couldn’t make it. This was my last proper match. I do still play with my kids in the garden, but I prefer to play barefoot with them.
What are your memories of growing up in Munich so soon after World War II? Steve Miller, Edinburgh Munich was almost completely destroyed. I was born in 1945, you know [just days after the end of the war]. We played in the streets, or what was left of them. There were almost
Date of birth 11/9/1945 Height 5ft 111⁄2in Place of birth Munich, Germany Position Sweeper Clubs played for 1964-77 Bayern Munich 427 games (60 goals); 1977-80, 1983 New York Cosmos 132 (21); 1980-82 Hamburger SV 28 (0) International career 1965-77 West Germany 103 (14) Teams managed 1984-90 West Germany; 1990-91 Marseille; 1994, 1996 Bayern Munich; Playing honours Ballon d’Or 1972, ’76; Bundesliga 1969, ’72, ’73, ’74, ’82; DFB Cup 1966, ’68, ’69, ’71; European Cup 1974, ’75, ’76; Cup Winners’ Cup 1967; Intercontinental Cup 1976; NASL Championship 1977, ’78, ’80 International honours FIFA World Cup 1974; European Championship 1972 Managerial honours FIFA World Cup 1990; Ligue 1 1991; Bundesliga 1994; UEFA Cup 1996
Below He remains the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides no football fields in those days and we couldn’t afford a proper ball so we played with whatever there was – stones, balls of paper... There were no organised teams for children then, but things got better in the 1950s, when we used basement windows as goals and played with tennis balls. People ask me why I became a footballer, but the answer is simple: as a child there was nothing else to do. Later, track and field became popular in Germany but for me playing football was the only thing I ever wanted to do.
Is it true your father wasn’t very keen on you playing football? How did you convince him it was an appropriate career? Mohammed Taguri, London My father was very conservative: he worked for the Federal Mail and he looked at life from a public servant’s point of view.
He wanted me to get an ordinary job, which I did: I became a clerk. In those days being a pro footballer was an uncertain job. I signed my first contract in 1963, one year before the Bundesliga was set up. The German FA specified rules for employment, and as Bayern were then in the second division, we were not allowed to earn more than 400 Deutsche Marks per month. It wasn’t easy to argue against those who told you to think hard about a career in football. The director himself at the insurance agency I worked for warned me: “There is no future in football. Stay with us. We might make you head of department one day.” Like in 200 years or so! But I knew I was not made for office work, and I told him so.
10 October 2011 FourFourTwo.com