Franz Beckenbauer: ARD adapts documentary about the emperor after his death

Franz Beckenbauer (1945-2024) is dead.

Franz Beckenbauer: ARD adapts documentary about the emperor after his death

Franz Beckenbauer (1945-2024) is dead. As his relatives confirmed to the dpa today, Monday, the emperor "fell asleep peacefully surrounded by his family" on Sunday, January 7, 2024. Coincidentally, Das Erste already had the new documentary “Beckenbauer” in its program for this Monday. This should continue to be sent - but in an adapted form. The documentary will run on Erste from 8:30 p.m., before that the channel will show a "focal point" on the farmers' protests from 8:15 p.m.

When asked, the ARD program management confirmed to the “” portal that “Beckenbauer” would be shown as planned. However, appropriate displays should be installed for the broadcast.

“A unique sports personality who only knew light for a long time and later had to learn to live with shadows,” is how the broadcaster describes the documentary “Beckenbauer” about the heroic rise of Franz Beckenbauer, who was born in the autumn after the end of the war. Archive photos show and companions tell stories from the first game of soccer in the completely destroyed Munich to the first World Cup title as a player in Germany in 1974.

“There were many, many footballers, world-class footballers, legends, who never managed to become world champions. So once you become world champion, then you are already someone,” says Beckenbauer himself in a voiceover. But that wasn't enough, as is well known, another world championship title as coach of the German national football team in Italy in 1990 was to be added, as well as the "Summer Fairy Tale of 2006". Beckenbauer was largely credited with bringing about the happy and unifying World Cup in his own country. This heroic story - with small excursions into private life - rightly takes up large parts of the film, as it lasted around 60 years.

Beckenbauer's brother Walter, his ex-partners Diana Sandmann and Sybille Beckenbauer, the ex-soccer stars Günter Netzer, Paul Breitner and Matthias Sammer, the politicians Joschka Fischer, Otto Schily and the others provide a good overview of the events and a favorable classification the recently deceased Wolfgang Schäuble, media representatives from home and abroad and his sports manager (since 2003) Marcus Höfl. Only: “Franz Beckenbauer was not available for an interview,” it says in the credits.

This could have something to do with Beckenbauer's health at the time, which was said to have been in poor health lately, as is suggested at various points in the film. "The last few years in particular have not been easy for Beckenbauer. In 2016 and 2017 he had to undergo heart surgery twice. Several bypasses were placed. He also suffered an eye attack, with the result that he has hardly been able to see anything in his right eye since then “He now has an artificial hip and his two Achilles tendons are also giving him trouble,” a radio booms.

His older brother leaves no doubt at the end of the film. “If I said he was fine now, I would be lying,” he admits, visibly touched. "He's not feeling well, yes. It's constant ups and downs."

Private strokes of fate, the corruption allegations surrounding the awarding of the 2006 World Cup and Beckenbauer's sometimes naive approach to it brought a hard turn in the emperor's previously dazzling and successful life. When dealing with these events, the documentary "Beckenbauer" by Philipp Grüll and Christoph Nahr is touching and even creates sympathy for Beckenbauer.