German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich paid tribute to one of their legends on Friday with a special addition to their jerseys.
Former Bayern and West German national team defender Franz Beckenbauer passed away on Sunday, January 7. To honor him, Bayern added an inscription reading “DANKE FRANZ” (“THANK YOU FRANZ”) to their jerseys for their home match against TSG Hoffenheim on Friday, January 12. The words were printed in red in the middle of the chest, between the Adidas logo and the club crest.
Players also had Beckenbauer’s number 5 printed on the back of their warmup jerseys and their pre-match jackets in a retro style. The mascots who accompanied players onto the pitch before the match also had a number 5 printed on the backs of their jerseys.
Bayern’s tributes included graphics on scoreboards throughout the Allianz Arena, as well as on the lights on the exterior of the stadium. A photo of Beckenbauer was also placed at the center circle while a moment of silence was observed before kickoff.
Beckenbauer passed away from natural causes at the age of 78. He made his debut for Bayern’s senior team at the age of 18 and stayed there for 13 seasons, winning the Bundesliga four times, the DFB-Pokal four times, and the European Cup three times. He also won the North American Soccer League championship three times with the New York Cosmos, and an additional Bundesliga title with Hamburger SV in 1981-82. He won the Ballon d’Or as the best footballer in the world in 1972 and 1976.
Playing with the West German national team, Beckenbauer won the FIFA World Cup in 1974 and was a runner-up in 1966. As manager of West Germany, Beckenbauer won the World Cup in 1990 and was a runner-up in 1986.
Beckenbauer’s club managerial career included two stints with Bayern in the 1990s, where he won one Bundesliga title and one UEFA Cup. He also guided Olympique Marseille to a French Ligue 1 title in 1990-91.