Catholic World News News Feature
German soccer star says Pope drew him back to faith January 16, 2007
German soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer has told the Munich newspaper Abendzeitung that his October 2005 meeting with Pope Benedict XVI was “the most important experience” of his life.
As chairman of the German committee organizing the 2006 World Cup competition, Beckenbauer met with the Holy Father at the Vatican in October 2005. The encounter made a deep impression on the German athlete, and after the Pope’s trip to Bavaria in 2006, Beckenbauer began to immerse himself in the Pope’s writings. As a result of his reading, Beckenbauer returned to the active practice of his faith.
“Benedict XVI leads people to the Church,” Beckenbauer told Abendzeitung, “and I myself am the best example of that.”
Known as “the Kaiser” because of his dominance of the game, Beckenbauer was captain of the German squad that won the World Cup in 1974.