Mesut Özil in October 2016 during the World Cup qualifier between Germany and the Czech Republic.
Image: Picture Alliance
What do Franz Beckenbauer, George Best, Diego Maradona, Michel Platini, Mesut Özil or Socrates have in common? A new book provides answers. Read excerpts from three chapters.
fRanz Beckenbauer, George Best, Diego Maradona, Sócrates, Michel Platini, Mesut Özil – experiencing these incredible players meant great luck for millions of people around the world. With their captivating game, they embodied the essence of beautiful football at their best, its nature, its lightness.
Yet all of them who touched football heaven experienced and suffered deep falls. Some turned into hell trips that only death could put an end to. Maradona (2020), Sócrates (2011) and Best (2005) destroyed their bodies with cocaine, alcohol and other drugs. Beckenbauer and Platini cost their late falls as football officials, which involved millions in payments and corruption, office and honor. And Özil lost his German homeland.