Bayern Munich did Franz Beckenbauer proud when they beat 10-man Hoffenheim 3-0 in the Bundesliga restart on Friday dedicated to the late club and Germany football legend.
Jamal Musiala scored a brace and league top scorer Harry Kane netted for the 22nd time after Bayern initially took a while to get going under the emotional circumstances following Beckenbauer’s death on Sunday at age 78.
“He is a legend here and we wanted to win for him,” Musiala told streaming portal DAZN after a game preceded by multiple Beckenbauer tributes.
Forward Thomas Müller added: “It was strange of course. Franz didn’t only love the game. He would have said ‘enjoy yourselves.’ He did everything for us as well.”
Musiala opened the scoring in the 18th minute from a tight right angle in off the far post, set up by fellow German international Leroy Sane after a corner kick.
Bayern had a second goal from Sane nullified because Kane was offside in the build-up, and then rode their luck several times, with Manuel Neuer making two big saves and Hoffenheim’s Maximilian Beier hitting the top of the bar.
But Musiala slotted home the second with 20 minutes left after a one-two with Sane.
Hoffenheim hopes ended a few minutes later when Grischa Prömel was dismissed in the 74th for a second bookable offence, against Mathys Tel.
Kane got his goal in stoppage time to equal Robert Lewandowski’s half-season scoring record, and can beat it if he also nets on January 24 against Union Berlin in a match moved from early December.
According to the Bundesliga website, Bayern scored in a 65th home game in a row and by doing so set a league record.
The 11-time reigning champions moved within one point of league leaders Bayer Leverkusen, who return from a four-week winter break on Saturday at Augsburg.
Newly signed England defender Eric Dier was not a starter on a freezing night the day after his arrival from Tottenham Hotspur.
“It was a great game and I had a lot of fun. We are all hungry to score goals but also happy to keep a clean sheet,” Musiala said.
Forward Thomas Müller said “it’s always good to win 3-0 but not everything was perfect.”
Coach Thomas Tuchel agreed: “We weren’t fluid enough but almost gave the game away. The result is top but there is work ahead of us.”
Bayern paid tribute to Beckenbauer, the man known as Der Kaiser (The Emporer) and Lichtgestalt (Shining light), before kick-off.
The team warmed up with Beckenbauer’s number 5 shirt and wore training jackets from his era before playing the game in special shirts with “Danke Franz” (Thank you Franz) prints.
Beckenbauer’s song “Gute Freunde” (Good Friends) was played when the teams walked out, after the three Bayern goals and following the final whistle.
A Beckenbauer banner was displayed on the centre circle before the game, and a video met with warm applause of him shown on the stadium screens, highlighting his vast success as well ads during his playing career including for instant soup makers Knorr.
Fans first applauded and then observed an impeccable minute’s silence before kick-off, and players wore wear black armbands, which also applies to all other weekend games.
“The shining light embarks on his last journey. Rest in peace Franz,” a banner in the Bayern fan section read.
Bayern and Germany great Beckenbauer redefined the sweeper role, won countless titles with the club and was their president later. He lifted the World Cup as a player and coach, and brought the 2006 World Cup to Germany.
Since Beckenbauer’s death, there have been numerous suggestions as to how he could be honoured, including naming Bayern’s stadium after him, proposed by former Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
But Rummenigge reacted with caution to the proposal, telling daily Süddeutsche Zeitung: “There is an agreement with our long-standing, loyal and very serious partner Allianz, and this must be respected.
“Now is the time for mourning, and Bayern will hold a dignified memorial service in honour of Franz next Friday. We should take our time for everything else,” he added.
He was referring to a memorial service for Beckenbauer set for January 19, which will be attended by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
The presidential office said on Friday that Steinmeier accepted an invitation from Bayern president Herbert Hainer and will also deliver a speech at the service.
Deputy government spokeswoman Christiane Hoffmann said that Scholz would also be there as he wants to “show his great respect and appreciation for an outstanding sportsman of our country.”