Cruyff was 'a brother to me' - Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer (AFP)
Franz Beckenbauer (AFP)

Berlin - German football legend Franz Beckenbauer expressed his shock at learning of the death of Johan Cruyff, whom he said he regarded as a brother.

"I am shocked. Johan Cruyff is dead. He was not only a very good friend, but also a brother to me," Beckenbauer, who captained and coached Germany to their World Cup triumphs in 1974 and 1990 respectively, wrote on Twitter.

Cruyff died from lung cancer on Thursday, aged 68, and Beckenbauer joined the tributes for the Dutch playmaker who helped turn Ajax and Barcelona into two of the world's best clubs.

Beckenbauer, 70, skippered Germany to their 2-1 win over Cruyff's Netherlands team in the 1974 World Cup final in Munich and helped mark the Dutchman out of the game in one of the key battles between the pair for their respective countries.

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