A-Z of World Cup Superstars – (B) Franz Beckenbauer

by Dexy Longshot

Friday, February 5th, 2010

AZ World Cup Superstars

With the World Cup less than 6 months away, we have decided to start the build up early doors with an A to Z list of our favorite players who set the World Cup alight. Some are recent stars, some are relics from the days of black and white TV but all were mustard. The thing is, each week we will be using just stars whose surname was that week’s letter, eg: this week it is letter B which gives us Baresi, Banks, Bebeto etc etc. Tricky already! Gawd help the banter when we get to M, – Messi, Maradonna, Maldini, Moore, ….McCoist!!!

This week’s letter is B, feel free to slate our selections and put it right with players who in your opinion are truly The World Cup Superstars
A-Z. Agree or Disagree?

Week 2 B

Plenty to pick this week and I’m sure I’ve missed some out. I’ll start with Baresi, considered by many as Italy’s finest & they have had a few. With his rugged cliff like boat, he was a rock for AC Milan & Italy in the 80’s and 90s; in fact the only thing he never won was a World Cup Winners medal. Gordon Banks Is always mentioned when it comes to the best No1’s of all time. A Hero from 66 & owner of possibly the best WC save of all time from Pele’s header, I had the honour of meeting him last year, he was a right moany old sod! Super cool Laurent Blanc lifted the trophy for Les Blues in 98 despite being suspended for the final due to some unsporting play-acting from Slaven Bilic in the semi. Now plotting world domination as a manager and very good one at that, watch out for him, he will soon be one of Europe’s finest tacticians, mark my words! Bebeto was with Romario, the golden boys from Brazil in 94, although most will remember him for his cringe-up rocking the baby celebration, he was some player though. I remember Kraut left-back Andreas Brehme reducing me to a crying baby in 1990. He’s deflected free kick against Parker/Shilton put us on the road to elimination in the semi. He got another in the Final against Diego’s Argies to take the trophy back to the Fatherland. I’ll even allow Becks an honorable mention, 3 World Cup Finals & a goal in each & possibly a 4th to come if we get some luck. Over 100 caps and the most famous player on the planet. None of this lot make the cut though, The B’s knees for me is Der Kaiser!

Franz Anton Beckenbauer
What a player. The twice-European Footballer of the Year is in my opinion The Greatest German of all time. After the disappointment of being a loser at Wembley in 66, he gained revenge 4 years later. Franz single-handedly pulled his side back into the World Cup in Mexico 70 after the West Germans had gone 2-0 down to our own World Champs. The man who practically invented the modern sweeper role moved out of defense into midfield after Bobby Charlton was taken of to keep him fresh for the next game. Enter Der Kaiser and one of the best comebacks in World Cup football notching a goal (he was a fantastic goalscorer from the middle of the park) and overcoming us with a 3-2 victory. Alas, Italy knocked him out in the Semi many regard as the game of the century (he played on with a dislocated arm in a sling, all hail Der Kaiser!). 4 Years later he got it right captaining West Germany to the title on their own turf beating Johan Cruyff’s total football.

It’s not just his actions on the pitch, which have made him my King B. He also had the skills off the pitch, managing The German team to The Trophy in Italia 90 (although he got some luck in the semi-see Brehme). He also masterminded Germanys successful World Cup 06 bid and he would make my all time 11 with ease. The sooner he’s in charge of FIFA, the better.

See you next week for the C’s!

If you fancy contributing any players to the forthcoming lists with a few lines about them, email us dexy@ukfootballfinder.co.uk

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