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Remembering the Kaiser: Tributes pour in for 'legend' Beckenbauer

Alexander Hassenstein / Bongarts / Getty

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Players, politicians, and personalities from the world of sports paid tribute to German football legend Franz Beckenbauer, who died at the age of 78 on Monday.

Here's what they had to say:

"World champion as a player and coach: Franz Beckenbauer was one of the greatest footballers in Germany and for many 'the Kaiser' - also because he inspired generations of enthusiasm for German football. We will miss him. My thoughts are with his family and friends."

- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

"He was a legend of sport far beyond football. For me personally, he was a good and loyal friend for more than four decades, someone you could always rely on." 

- IOC President Thomas Bach

"I consider it one of the great privileges of my life to have known and experienced Franz Beckenbauer. Our time together with the national team was crowned with the 1990 World Cup title in Rome, a title that would never have been possible without his outstanding coaching performance. German football is losing its greatest personality, I am losing a good friend."

- Rudi Voller, World Cup winner and director of the German national team

"Franz Beckenbauer was definitely the biggest German footballer of all time and, above all, one of the greatest men who I have known." 

- German football federation (DFB) vice-president Hans-Joachim Watzke

"The Bundesliga family is devastated to learn of the death of Franz Beckenbauer. A true icon, then, now, and always. RIP, Der Kaiser." 

- Statement from Bundesliga

"When Franz Beckenbauer entered a room, the room lit up, he rightly bore the title of 'shining light of German football'. Until the end, he was surrounded by an aura that even the health problems and strokes of misfortune that he had to cope with could not shake. I am grateful and proud that I was able to get to know him and will remember him fondly."

- Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann

"One of the greatest footballers in FC Bayern's club history has unfortunately left us. Rest in peace, Kaiser Franz. We will never forget what you have done for football in Germany."

- Thomas Muller, German World Cup winner in 2014

"Franz Beckenbauer, one of European football's greatest sons, has passed away aged 78. 'Der Kaiser' was an extraordinary player, successful coach and popular pundit who shaped German football like no other."

- Statement from European football's governing body UEFA

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Franz Beckenbauer, one of football's greatest ever players. A World Cup winner as both player and manager, 'Der Kaiser' was as elegant as he was dominant. He will forever be remembered."

- Statement from English Premier League

"Very sorry to hear that Franz Beckenbauer has died. One of the absolute greats of our game. Der Kaiser was the most beautiful of footballers who won it all with grace and charm. RIP."

- Former England striker and television pundit Gary Lineker

"It fills me with deep sadness to hear about the passing of Franz Beckenbauer, a true icon of the game. It was a privilege to share one of my proudest moments with him when he presented my 100th cap for Scotland. My thoughts are with him and his family at this time. RIP Der Kaiser."

- Former Scotland player Kenny Dalglish

"Very sad to hear that the great @beckenbauer has sadly passed away he was a fantastic player reaching world class status @FIFAWorldCup RIP #Legend"

- Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton

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