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Franz Beckenbauer undergoes open heart surgery

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It wasn’t an emergency operation.

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hannover 96 - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bayern Munich and Germany legend Franz Beckenbauer was undergone open heart surgery, according to Bild (paywall). The surgery for a single bypass was not an emergency, however, and had been planned for several weeks.

At 70 years old, any operation is a risky one for Beckenbauer. If his recovery goes well, it’s possible that Beckenbauer will spend his 71st birthday at his home in Salzburg on September 11.

This week, Beckenbauer had canceled a trip to Zurich where he planned to speak about the vineyard he owns in South Africa, and many in the media immediately linked it to the current investigation into Beckenbauer and others over bribes related to the 2006 World Cup bidding process.

The investigation continues over allegations that the German World Cup bid committee gave FIFA officials bribes up to €6.7 million to secure the rights to host the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Germany won the bid over South Africa, 12-11.

Get well soon, Der Kaiser.