Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer's (l.) grandson, Luca (r.), is waiting for his big break in the Bundesliga with Hannover. - © imago
Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer's (l.) grandson, Luca (r.), is waiting for his big break in the Bundesliga with Hannover. - © imago
bundesliga

Franz Beckenbauer's grandson Luca: "My name doesn't matter"

Franz Beckenbauer, Der Kaiser, perhaps the greatest sweeper ever to play the game. But for his grandson Luca, coming through the ranks at Hannover, the weight of history is anything but hard to bear…

Beckenbauer, first of his name, almost invented the role of sweeper during a glittering career which took in four Bundesliga titles and three European Cups with Bayern Munich as well as a FIFA World Cup with West Germany in the 1970s.

Having a great of the world game as a grandfather might make for a lot of pressure for a budding 18-year-old footballer, but for Luca Beckenbauer, who recently started training with the Hannover first-team, there is no such problem.

'Der Kaiser' enjoyed a storied playing career with Bayern Munich and Germany. - imago sportfotodienst

"I don't feel any pressure at all," he explained to German sports daily, Bild. "He's an inspiration to me but I really don't have to achieve what my grandpa's achieved. I just want to reach my own targets.

"It feels great to train with the Hannover first team. Of course, my goal is to play in the Bundesliga myself someday."

The younger Beckenbauer previously played in the Bayern and Schalke youth academies, before moving to the HDI-Arena last summer. Former coaches have put pseudonyms on youth teamsheets in the past, but Luca is having none of that now.

"The boys at Hannover sometimes call me Der Kaiser for fun (laughs). My name doesn't matter. I don't have the feeling that I'm only Franz Beckenbauer's grandson. At Bayern, Schalke and now Hannover I've always just been 'Luca' anyway."

Luca Beckenbauer (c.) has settled in quickly alongside Hannover first teamers Josip Elez (l.) and Linton Maina (r.) - imago/localpic

Luca Beckenbauer also plays in central defence, and although he is in close touch with his illustrious grandfather, the honorary Bayern president, he is not the youngster's first source of inspiration when it comes to interpreting the role.

"I already wore the No.5 jersey at my former club Schalke and now I've chosen it here too," he said. "But not because of family history - it suits my position as a centre-back.

"My biggest inspirations? At the moment, for me, it's Virgil van Dijk from Liverpool and Sergio Ramos from Real Madrid."