Kerala Kaumudi Online
Sunday, 14 April 2024 8.17 PM IST

Football mourns loss of legends Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer


Two iconic figures in world football, Mario Zagallo and Franz Beckenbauer have passed away at the onset of the new year. They were revered for their remarkable achievements both as players and coaches in the soccer realm.

Zagallo, hailed as a Brazilian football legend, contributed significantly to his country's soccer legacy. He played a pivotal role in Brazil's initial World Cup victory in 1958 and was also part of the triumphant team in 1962. Transitioning to coaching in 1968 after his illustrious playing career, Zagallo led Brazil to World Cup glory in 1970, featuring players like Pele. He continued to be involved in coaching roles notably guiding Brazil in the 1974 and 1998 World Cups. His dedication to Brazilian football spanned decades until his passing at the age of 92 having impacted four out of the five World Cup victories by Brazil.

On the other hand, Franz Beckenbauer, a prominent talent from German football, showcased excellence both as a player and coach. Known as "The Kaiser," he was a linchpin in West Germany's 1974 World Cup victory over the Netherlands. His prowess extended beyond the field; Beckenbauer transitioned into coaching and football administration leading the German national team to a World Cup triumph in 1990 after a final defeat in 1986. His contributions weren't limited to coaching; he served as president of Bayern Munich and vice president of the German Football Association playing a pivotal role in Germany hosting the 2006 World Cup.

Beckenbauer's legacy lies in redefining defensive play, showcasing the art of preventing goals rather than just scoring them. His defensive prowess and innovative style as a sweeper back earned him accolades, notably being the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or award twice in 1972 and 1976. In 1984, he received FIFA's prestigious Order of Merit for his contributions to football.

While Zagallo and Beckenbauer have departed, their enduring legacies will remain a blazing torch in the world of football inspiring generations to come.

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