Luis Sepulveda, one of South America’s most celebrated writers and a great football enthusiast, once provided a compelling account of Franz Beckenbauer’s influence in the game. Sepulveda, who hailed from Chile and passed away in 2020, highlighted the wieght of Beckenbauer’s name in football. Unfortunately, Beckenbauer himself departed us yesterday.
Sepulveda, renowned for his sterling literary career, shared a memorable anecdote tied to Beckenbauer. He was in the Amazon with a German anthropologist friend aiming to meet an indigenous tribe from the remote Manù area. The tribe’s members spoke a limited amount of Spanish.
Sepulveda recalled the day saying, “I was communicating like Tarzan, through gestures, and pointed on the map where I came from, Chile. My friend did the same, indicating Germany. At that moment, one of the indigenous people exclaimed: ‘Yes, yes, Beckenbauer.’ That’s the power of football.”
This moment, as revealed by Sepulveda, shows the global impact of Beckenbauer and illustrates the wide-reaching influence of football. Even in remote corners of the world, the name of a football icon like Franz Beckenbauer was recognized, underscoring the universal appeal and power of the sport.