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Will Bayern Munich rename the Allianz Arena after Franz Beckenbauer?

Ottmar Hitzfeld certainly thinks so.


The football world mourns. Der Kaiser is no more. Franz Beckenbauer leaves behind a vast legacy, remembered most keenly by the club he built up. Bayern Munich have lit up the Allianz Arena in tribute to their greatest legend, with a formal memorial service planned to be held at the stadium on the January 19.

Visitors to Munich will see the 75,000 capacity stadium lit up every night with the words “Danke Franz” emblazoned on the side. However, some want to see the gesture taken a step further. Former coach Ottmar Hitzfeld says what many are already thinking:

Ottmar Hitzfeld suggests renaming the Allianz Arena after Franz Beckenbauer: “He [Beckenbauer] helped build FC Bayern together with Gerd Müller, Uli Hoeneß, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and a few others. That’s why it would be a good fit if the Allianz Arena were to be renamed ‘Franz Beckenbauer Arena’. He’s the greatest of all time because he achieved everything that you can achieve: world champion with Germany as a world-class player and then also as a coach. He was appreciated everywhere and was also very respectful as a person.”

The “Franz Beckenbauer Arena” certainly has a ring to it. The stadium itself probably wouldn’t exist without the work of Beckenbauer — either through his exploits on the football pitch, or helping to secure Germany’s bid for the FIFA World Cup in 2006. Arguably the only source of protest would be from the sponsors, Allianz, who pay Bayern Munich a yearly sponsorship fee for the naming rights to the stadium.

That seems like something for the lawyers to work out. In the meantime, you probably couldn’t find a Bayern Munich fan who would disagree with naming the stadium after Der Kaiser.

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