No 5. Central “Values” Defender
Purpose: Underpin our actions and style of play.
Values aren’t just the the transfer fees clubs place on players, they also represent the things that are important in our lives, the core beliefs that determine our priorities, attitudes and behaviours and how we play.
And when our actions match up with these values, it enables us to build trust and a sense of integrity that helps to support our health, and when they don’t, unhappiness often ensues.
In preparation for my: All-Time Great Premiership Health XI, I offer “Der Kaiser” – The Emperor, Franz Beckenbauer as my Central Values Defender.
Born at the end of the 2nd world war in 1945, he became a symbol for a renascent Germany, one whose values and value could never be doubted.
He won 3 European cups with his club Bayern Munich, two European Footballer of the year awards, unprecedented for a defender, but will be remembered most as the captain of the 1974 World cup winning team.
A national hero of stunning accomplishment as both a player and a coach, he upheld the German values of efficiency, tireless effort and precision timing.
Towards the end of his playing career he joined the Time-Warner owned New York Cosmos in 1978 and was handsomely paid for his services.($2.5m)
On his debut he played his usual sweeper position, rarely venturing outside his own half and much to the dismay of his new club president, who being rather ignorant of Der Kaiser’s majestic powers questioned why they had paid a million dollars for such a defensive player, even ordering him to push further forward.
Beckenbauer politely declined and rightly stood up for his footballing values. As he did once more when Germany reviewed their decision to ban all foreign-based players from the national team.
He was a leader, a dominant presence who could bring the ball out with grace and skill, and influence how any game was played.