"The strong one doesn't win, the one who wins is strong" — Franz Beckenbauer
Over couple of decades only very few individuals can fulfill the requirements to receive such a universal award.
A footballer must have showed world class success both at club level and in the national team or as individuals.
He must also have been successful at the highest international level as the coach of a club and/or national team.
Finally, he must also have been successful at the highest international level as an official and contributed ground-breaking ideas to world football.
In 2007, IFFHS has selected individuals who were outstanding in all three fields. He is Franz Beckenbauer.
As a player, Beckenbauer, nicknamed der Kaiser, regarded as the greatest German player of all time and as one of the greatest footballers in the history.
He lifted the World Cup trophy as captain in 1974, and repeated the achievement as manager in 1990.
He won three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976, and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1967 with Bayern Munich.
Beckenbauer selected twice as the European Footballer of the Year and the only player to captain three European Cup winning sides.
He is also a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
On 1999, he was voted second place in the IFFHS' European player of the Century, following Dutchman Johan Cruyff, and was voted third, behind Pelé and Cruyff, in IFFHS' World Player of the Century.
Nowadays, der Kaiser remains an influential figure in Germany and international football.
He led Germany's successful bid to host the 2006 World Cup and chaired the organizing committee.
1965-1977 West Germany 103 (14)
World Cup (1974)
European Championship (1972)
European Cup (1974, 75, 76)
Cup Winners Cup (1967)
World Club Championships (1976)
Bundersliga (1969, 72, 73, 74)
West German Cup (1966, 67, 69, 71)
European Footballer of the Year (1972, 76)