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Football: Bernd Hölzenbein, 1974 world champion, died at 78

Former German footballer Bernd Hölzenbein, world champion in 1974 alongside Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller in particular, has died at the age of 78, Eintracht Frankfurt, the club where he played for 14 years, announced on Tuesday.

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Football: Bernd Hölzenbein, 1974 world champion, died at 78

Former German footballer Bernd Hölzenbein, world champion in 1974 alongside Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller in particular, has died at the age of 78, Eintracht Frankfurt, the club where he played for 14 years, announced on Tuesday. “A legend such as one finds in books. One of the biggest we've ever had. Bernd Hölzenbein, honorary captain of Eintracht, died on Monday at the age of 78, surrounded by his family,” Eintracht Frankfurt wrote on its website.

Attacking midfielder with the West Germany team from October 1973, he took Jupp Heynckes' starting place during the 1974 World Cup at home, playing six of the Mannschaft's seven matches (he was on the bench in the defeat against East Germany in the group stage) during the competition.

In the final of the 1974 World Cup at the Olympic Stadium in Munich, he caused the penalty in the 25th minute which allowed Franz Beckenbauer's West Germany (Paul Breitner converted the penalty) to equalize against Johan Cruyff's Netherlands. Germany ended up winning 2-1 on a goal from Gerd Müller (43rd). During his 40th and final match with the Mannschaft in Cordoba during the 2nd group stage of the 1978 World Cup, Hölzenbein scored his 5th goal for the selection, however, unable to prevent the defeat against Austria, synonymous with elimination at the gates of the halves.

His club career is linked to Eintracht Frankfurt, which he joined on July 1, 1967, after passing through the club's youth teams. Top scorer in the history of Eintracht (160 goals in 420 matches), he won the German Cup three times (1974, 1975 and 1981) and especially the UEFA Cup, ancestor of the Europa League, in 1980. At the end of his career, he played several seasons in the United States with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the Memphis Americans and the Baltimore Blast. He then became manager of Eintracht Frankfurt in the late 1980s and 1990s. He was responsible for recruitment from 2004 to 2014.

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