It was well known that his health was failing. Franz Beckenbauer has been avoiding public appearances for years, not only because of the personal accusations and suspicions in the course of the awarding of the 2006 World Cup.
In this respect, it is not surprising that the 77-year-old, who became a football world champion in Munich in 1974 and as a team manager in Rome in 1990, will not travel to Qatar for the current World Cup. As Beckenbauer revealed to the magazine "Bunte", he will forgo the trip to the desert "for health reasons". He is rooting for national coach Hansi Flick's DFB team, "but I won't be traveling to Qatar. I'll keep my fingers crossed for our team in front of the television," said Beckenbauer.
In the interview, he also specified his health problems, which are currently affecting his vision in particular: “I had what is known as an eye attack in one eye. Unfortunately, I can't see anything on the right. I can handle that. And I have to be careful with my heart.”
But he rarely watches football live and on site. He prefers to follow the developments of his Franz Beckenbauer Foundation, which has already collected 30 million euros in donations. He recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the organization that helps people in need. "My wife Heidi has been on the board with me for some time," said Beckenbauer, "a foundation is made for eternity. It's a good feeling to know that things are going on, even if you're no longer there yourself."
The former Bayern professional and coach is currently receiving a conspicuous amount of autograph mail, which he is happy to answer. He also thought about the reasons for the increased interest. “People probably think he never lives long. But I'll try to stay with you for a while," said Beckenbauer.