Franz Beckenbauer has come up with countless pithy sayings over the years
Franz Beckenbauer has come up with countless pithy sayings over the years

Beckenbauer's best quotes

Cologne - Franz Beckenbauer has held a number of positions over the course of his career. At FC Bayern München he was player, coach, then president, and has been the club’s honorary president since 2009.

Furthermore, he was Germany national team coach from 1984 to 1990, president of Germany’s Local Organising Committee for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and DFB vice president until 2010. Today, among other roles, he is a pundit for television broadcaster Sky. has a selection of his best quotes.

“We collected scrap paper and scrap metal in order to earn the few pfennigs a leather football cost back then. Finally we had a ball. Obviously we played football with it every day and we took it in turns to take it home and grease it.” (On playing football in his childhood)

“Go out and play football.” (Tactical instructions as coach)

“It wasn’t the hand of God but a slap from an 1860 player.” (On the reasons behind his decision to join Bayern instead of 1860 Munich as a 13-year-old in 1958, after an 1860 player slapped him)

“Do you know who I most felt sorry for? The ball.” (After a game Germany had just played)

“I had a great life when I lived in America. That is, until Günter Netzer went and ruined everything.” (As Hamburger SV sporting director, Netzer signed Beckenbauer from New York Cosmos)

“It was a bit like upper Giesing playing against lower Giesing.” (On the quality of a match between Bayern and 1860 Munich)

“German football will be unbeatable for years to come.” (After Germany’s World Cup triumph in 1990)

“That is down to the art of the doctors. In my day they would have probably needed to amputate.” (On the quick recovery of Giovane Elber and Jens Jeremies ahead of a Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid)

“A man who can hit a fly on the crossbar from 30 metres couldn’t score from 12 yards out.” (On David Beckham’s penalty miss at EURO 2004)

“Someone has to do something in a country where everyone’s always complaining about the low birth rate.” (On the impending birth of his fifth child)

“That was tired, lumbering football that at times degenerated into abuse of the ball. Maybe the tournament Germany were at was only the B-European Championship. The A-European Championship is now taking place without us. We’d have been intruding there anyway.” (On Germany's performance at EURO 2000)

“That was an Uwe Seeler side; it was utter old-man’s football. We played the way the game was played 30 years ago.” (After Bayern lost 3-0 away to Lyon in March 2001)

“Johan was a better player, but I won the World Cup.” (On Johan Cruyff)

“I was constantly on the move for 45 years. Now I can stay at home all day and look after the children.” (On his role as a television football pundit)