Berlin (dpa) - Franz Beckenbauer mourns Diego Maradona.

“It's a shame, incredibly sad.

He was a gifted footballer, ”said the 75-year-old on“ Sport1 ”.

The two football legends share an eventful common past - among other things, Beckenbauer was team boss of the German national team in the World Cup finals against Argentina with Maradona in 1986 and 1990.

The world star died on Wednesday at the age of only 60, according to media reports, of a heart attack.

"We went on a trip to South America with Cosmos New York every year," said Beckenbauer of the first encounter.

«In 1978 after the World Cup, we played against the Argentine U21s.

Against Maradona, that's when I saw him for the first time.

I said: this is not a footballer, this is an artist!

A dancer! "

He hadn't seen that at all.

He was a genius of the time - in the 70s and 80s the best footballer in the world! "

Argentina won the 1986 final in Mexico City with an outstanding Maradona at the World Cup.

"Maradona was the playmaker who decided the World Cup for Argentina alone," said Beckenbauer.

Four years later in Rome the German selection triumphed.

"In 1990 Maradona was almost 30, so he wasn't as effective as four years earlier," said Beckenbauer.


Even at later meetings, the Argentine was always someone “who came up to you and shook your hand - the Europeans could cut something,” said the “Kaiser”.

"Always friendly, always nice, a real personality."

On Maradona's big missteps away from football, Beckenbauer said: “He had problems, he couldn't hide them.

But the way I got to know and experienced him - respect and all due respect. "

Beckenbauer statements