February 24, 2024

“It doesn't feel good. It's constant ups and downs.”

Franz Beckenbauer at an event in January 2023.


Franz Beckenbauer has withdrawn from the public eye. An ARD documentary highlights the life of a football mogul – from brilliance and glory to a profound fall.

The ARD documentary “Beckenbauer” highlights the 78-year-old's life in an approximately 90-minute film. The football mogul does not make any current statements in the documentary, which will be broadcast on Erste from 8:15pm on January 8, and can be viewed in the ARD media library from January 2.

Franz Beckenbauer, who, according to his older brother Walter Beckenbauer, is in poor health, has largely withdrawn from the public eye in recent years and lives in Austria. “If I said he was fine now, I would be lying, and I don't like to lie. He doesn't feel good. It's constant ups and downs,” Walter Beckenbauer said of his brother in the documentary.

In addition to the story of his sporting success as a player and as a coach, the film also revolves around Beckenbauer's character and the growing but unsubstantiated allegations of bribery and exploitation of his role as a FIFA official and as an organizer of the 2006 World Cup. The Cup: What is not clear to date is the identification of the questionable cash flows equivalent to €6.7 million to Qatar regarding Germany's bid to host the 2006 World Cup. Beckenbauer himself has remained publicly silent on the matter to this day.

From bright light to bogeyman

Many comrades comment on the documentary's unique career in German football. “The Germans wanted the World Cup, myself included, and we were happy to have Franz Beckenbauer. In this regard, it is also somewhat hypocritical. We also have ourselves to blame,” said former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.

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Fisher cannot agree with the way the former football star was treated. “I couldn't understand how many people said no, and how Beckenbauer suddenly became the bogeyman, even though he had achieved such great things for our country,” Fischer said. For criticizing its business dealings with Russia.

Former Federal Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, who died on Tuesday evening at the age of 81, called for Beckenbauer to be treated fairly in the documentary. “The scandal we are having over this topic today seems a bit exaggerated to me,” he said. “He definitely made mistakes too, I mean not everyone does everything right. In that respect, he is also a human being,” Schäuble said.