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“I resented one sentence”


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On the birthday of the German soccer icon, t-online columnist Berti Vogts remembers a name to Johan Cruyff, a daring excuse – and a pool in Italy.

Franz Beckenbauer is celebrating his seventy fifth birthday this Friday. I’ve recognized Franz since I used to be 17 years previous. Our many years of friendship imply so much to me. I’ve many invaluable recollections with him.

“Anyone who overtakes me is not going to survive”

We performed collectively within the youth group of the DFB – that was the primary time that we noticed a participant who performed the “unsuitable” soccer. We Germans at all times performed the ball with the within or the total span – and Franz was like a Brazilian who did nearly all the pieces with simply the skin of the instep. That was sensational. Later we had been each within the provisional 40s squad for the 1966 World Cup in England – he made it into the ultimate squad, I did not – and my Gladbach coach Hennes Weisweiler and I watched the coaching session and he stored saying, “Look at that Look at Franz! Look at Franz! He’s solely a yr older than you. “

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Because though all the pieces at all times appeared really easy for him: It was arduous work, he at all times acquired actually concerned in coaching. When we needed to run 15 further rounds after the 1-0 defeat towards the GDR within the group stage on the 1974 World Cup, Franz took the lead. From then on, he set the tempo and mentioned to the youthful gamers who had been ready for his or her likelihood: “If you overtake me, you will not survive.”

Cruyff requested, “Why are you calling me?”

Franz at all times went forward, however he at all times needed the perfect for his teammates. At the 1974 last, the successful group was to get 22 vehicles from VW. I believe Wolfgang Overath was the primary to inform the group about this and requested: “Who goes to get them?” Someone then mentioned the vehicles had been just for the DFB, not for the gamers.

Biggest triumph as gamers: Vogts and Beckenbauer after successful the World Cup last in 1974 in Munich. (Source: imago photos)

Franz did not wish to let that sit on him. He instructed me to name Johan Cruyff from our last opponent Netherlands – we knew one another from our mutual sponsor Puma. He answered the telephone and requested in astonishment: “Why are you calling me?”. I mentioned: “You will not speak to me within the last tomorrow anyway, that is why. Tell me, these VWs, are they for the affiliation?” Johan replied: “We had been instructed they had been gamers for us.” I instructed Franz that, who then phoned the DFB and got here to us a little bit later: “If we develop into world champions, we are going to get the vehicles.” The black and inexperienced cabriolet was a pleasant current for my brother.

Franz was wronged as early as 1978

Franz was not solely completed quite a lot of injustice in Germany with the story of the summer season fairy story, however a lot earlier. I consider the 1978 World Cup, when he was lacking. Franz had switched to Cosmos New York on the time, and in consequence he was now not allowed to play for Germany. Back then it was nonetheless the case that solely Bundesliga gamers had been nominated. That’s garbage! Today that’s unimaginable. As the captain, I spoke to nationwide coach Helmut Schön on the time, and he shrugged his shoulders: “Berti, I am unable to determine that, the affiliation and the league are in demand.”

Franz Beckenbauer (left) with teammate Pelé at Cosmos New York 1977: The move to the USA cost him "Emperor" the 1978 World Cup. (Source: imago images)Franz Beckenbauer (left) with teammate Pelé at Cosmos New York 1977: The transfer to the USA price the “Kaiser” the 1978 World Cup. (Source: imago photos)

I talked to quite a lot of gamers they usually all agreed: You cannot do with out a participant like that simply because he is enjoying overseas. In the intermediate group towards the very robust Austrians, we acquired the receipt (2: 3, editor’s be aware). I say: with Franz we would not have misplaced the sport again then. And so the temper turned so unhealthy that one thing occurred on the DFB. As a joke you possibly can say: In this respect it was fortunate that we left so early.

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“Berti, don’t be concerned”

Franz at all times had his personal method as a group boss and remained true to himself. He was by no means the traditional, meticulous soccer trainer. One evening the telephone rang, it was two months earlier than the 1990 World Cup. It was Franz’s flip and mentioned to me: “You’re flying to Italy with Flavio Battisti (former DFB group coordinator, editor’s be aware) on Saturday, that is all organized.” We had been imagined to be enjoying our group video games in Verona, however Franz instructed me that Fifa had moved the German video games to the bigger Giuseppe Meazza stadium in Milan due to the autumn of the Berlin Wall. So now I ought to go there shortly earlier than the World Cup and manage new quarters.

Coach duo: Vogts (left) and Beckenbauer in the run-up to the 1990 World Cup. (Source: imago images)Coach duo: Vogts (left) and Beckenbauer within the run-up to the 1990 World Cup. (Source: imago photos)

After an extended search, we discovered a resort 30 to 40 kilometers from Milan. But the World Cup referees had been already there. Then the hotelier mentioned to me: “My brother additionally has a resort” – and that truly grew to become our quarters. But there was a catch: Franz at all times needed us to have a swimming pool for regeneration – however this resort did not have one. And Franz merely mentioned: “Berti, don’t be concerned. We’re going to construct a pool there.” So the DFB actually financed the development of a pool there. And once we later went to Rome, he merely gave the hotelier the pool. That’s Franz.

I resented one sentence

There was a training convention for all Bundesliga coaches with the nationwide coach yearly, which was then counted as superior coaching. Franz, nonetheless, doubted what he ought to do at such a convention: “Berti, I’m not a coach.” I replied: “Just come and say howdy, and after that you’ve one thing essential to do or it’s a must to fly someplace.” Franz then appeared fairly liberated: “Yes, sure, precisely!” There had been nice coaches like Udo Lattek, and Franz simply apologized. Once he got here again later and invited the entire group: “What extra ought to we speak about soccer right here! Now let’s have a pleasant dinner collectively.” That was the nicest teaching convention I can bear in mind.

I solely resented one saying – with a wink – in 1990, after he had stopped as group boss and I grew to become the brand new nationwide coach, he mentioned this sentence: “The German group shall be unbeatable for years to come back” – additionally due to the gamers of the previous GDR who would come to us. An hour later he referred to as me and mentioned: “Berti, I believe I instructed you quite a lot of shit. I’m so sorry.” Unbeatable for years to come back – after which he realized: These gamers would wish a sure period of time to calm down. That’s precisely the way it turned out.

Vogts (r.) And Franz Beckenbauer at a celebration to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1990 World Cup title in 2010: The two have a long friendship.  (Source: imago images)Vogts (r.) And Franz Beckenbauer at a celebration to mark the twentieth anniversary of the 1990 World Cup title in 2010: The two have an extended friendship. (Source: imago photos)

It was in all probability one of many few instances that Franz was unsuitable. I at all times say: Franz is a present from the nice Lord. It can also be because of him that soccer Germany is so well-known and cherished everywhere in the world. What Franz did for the DFB, for Bayern Munich and soccer generally – that’s sensational. Just just like the particular person Franz Beckenbauer.

And that must be remembered in Germany on his seventy fifth birthday.


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