"After the final, I walked alone on the turf of the Olympic Stadium. Why? I wouldn't know how to explain it. I was remembering a dream." These words of Franz Beckenbauer continue to thrill Die Mannschaft fans.
Although Beckenbauer's Adidas jersey marked an era at Bayern Munich and New York Cosmos, the image of the German genius is linked to that of his national team. The titles obtained in 1972 and 1974 would not be understood without his figure.
Considered the greatest central defender of all time, Beckenbauer stood out for his revolutionary style of play, playing as a sweeper behind the defensive lines, but with a natural offensive inclination. So much so that he scored a total of 63 goals in the course of his career, an unheard of number for a defender.
But what's the story behind the most remembered Adidas Beckenbauer t-shirts, why was it known as the Kaiser Franz, what design did it wear in 1972 and 1974? Find out below!
What were Beckenbauer's Adidas t-shirts like, the most memorable of the German national team?
As mentioned above, Franz Beckenbauer wore a multitude of outfits throughout his career. However, not all of them achieved world fame. This only happened with three jerseys: the one from the 1972 Eurocup and the one from the 1974 World Cup.
First of all, the 1972 Adidas Beckenbauer t-shirt had a very sober design, quick to describe: white t-shirts and socks and black shorts. This same colour was present in small details, such as the cuff of the long-sleeved t-shirt or the dorsals with period typography.
The second kit used during the Eurocup in Belgium was more eye-catching. His t-shirt had a green color with round neck and white sleeves, harmonizing with the shorts. The socks were also green, with no major adornments.
Another Adidas Beckenbauer shirt, more iconic than the 1972 shirt, was worn during the World Cup in West Germany. Its first equipment was more elaborate than the previous one, although in general lines it did not present great changes, with the exception of the logo of Adidas or the typographic change in the dorsals.
The second outfit, also green, had a high, white collar with a pointed finish, very elaborate for the time. For the rest, Adidas was respectful of the design of the previous European Championship.
But were these designs the ones that immortalized Beckenbauer's Adidas t-shirts with Germany? Obviously not, and therefore in the following lines reviewed what these clothes meant for the winners of the German team.
Why these Adidas Beckenbauer t-shirts will be remembered forever in the world of football
Adidas Beckenbauer's shirts of 1972 and 1974 won a Euro and a World Cup, a feat within the reach of very few teams.
The Soviet Union had a historic opportunity to win the 1972 European Championship when they reached the final after a memorable performance. However, he stumbled upon the most lethal combination of the era: Frank Beckenbauer's Germany.
Along with Paul Breitner, Jupp Heynckes, Günter Netzer or 'Torpedo' Muller, the genius Beckenbauer enjoyed a freedom throughout the tournament, playing as defender-attacker (sweeper), which would become popular in the following years.
Before defeating Russia by three goals, Germany swept through Belgium and other prestigious teams, demonstrating their power. But the consolidation of their game would not come until the 1974 World Cup.
Beckenbauer was captain of that Germany, which again had Gerd Müller, Jupp Heynckes, Günter Netzer, Paul Breitner and Berti Vogts under Helmut Schön.
The 1974 FIFA World Cup had Germany as a privileged venue, so the German team had to win. In addition to the talent shown at the previous UEFA European Championship, their players were also tenacious, beating Poland, Sweden, Yugoslavia and Australia - although they were defeated by either Democratic Germany or East Germany in the group stage.
The 'acid test' for this historic team was the 'Mechanical Orange', a nickname given to Johan Cruyff's Holland and its total football. In this revolutionary style, all the players intervened in defence and attack, which was not enough to overthrow Beckenbauer's Germany.
In addition to Cruyff, the historic Dutch eleven featured Wim Jansen, Johnny Rep, Rob Rensenbrink and Wim Rijsbergen, among others. Despite their narrow 2-1 defeat, the Netherlands were a serious contender for the world title.
Beckenbauer knew it, and so the mythical German team 5 would later acknowledge that "Cruyff was a better player, but I was world champion", with the humour that characterised Beckenbauer and for which he is still remembered.
Beckenbauer therefore earned the nickname Kaiser Franz (Emperor Franz) from the Germans due to the influence of their play. Needless to say, Beckenbauer's Adidas jersey is synonymous with the most glorious period of Die Mannschaft.
$8,420 for the 'sweaty' shirt Beckenbauer wore at the 1966 World Cup
For those who consider Beckenbauer's Adidas T-shirt and other sports apparel to be of sentimental value only, you should know that the English defender's T-shirt was auctioned at Hansons Word Cup (UK) for £5,000 (which in 2015 was equivalent to about $8,420).
To be exact, the clothing auctioned was the one worn by the German genius in the 1966 World Cup against the Soviet combination. It was an English policeman, Walter Turner, who took such a valuable piece of clothing.
When the team was harassed by fans at The Peveril of the Peak hotel in Derbyshire, Turner ensured the safety of the German team, who wanted to reward him monetarily.
"But I refused," Turner explained during the auction, "and I ordered one of his T-shirts. The team had just come back from a winning game and they gave me a white shirt, still wet with sweat, with Beckenbauer's number 4.
The Adidas Beckenbauer jersey is one of the greatest relics in the world of football. Any fan would give anything to have one in their showcase, and it goes without saying that collectors have paid large sums of money to get it.