Beckenbauer sees tight final

BERLIN, July 7, 2006 (AFP) – Sunday’s World Cup final here between France and Italy will be a closely-fought affair which could well go to extra-time and even penalties in the view of German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

The player known as "The Kaiser" for his imperial style of play, said that he saw the final as a real 50-50 match-up.

"It could go to extra-time and even penalties," he said. "The two teams both had problems to start with but they are now on the top of their form."

Beckenbauer, a World Cup winner for West Germany as a player in 1974 and as a coach in 1990, was largely instrumental in getting FIFA to award the 2006 finals to Germany.