Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Germany Greatest All-time 23-member team





WC 2014


This is my all-time team for Germany. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index
North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria.
East German Players after 1990
German Americans/American Germans
German Turks 
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Germany All-Time Team After Beckenbauer
Germany All-Time Team before 1972
East Germany

Germany is the most successful European footballing country.  They won the WC in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014.  They finished second in 1966, 1982 and 1986.  They also have the best record at the European Championship.  They won the tournament a record 3 times in 1972, 1980 and 1996, and finished second in 1976 and 2008.  

While West Germany won their first WC in 1954, football in Germany did not become a force until the later 1960's with the emerge of Franz Beckenbauer.  Their moment came when they beat England in the quarterfinal of the 1972 European Championship and went on to win the tournament.  Many historians marked the game as the turning point in football history.  Germany produced great team after great team from 1972 to 1996.  After the Euro 2000, Germany had a brief dark age, but they reemerged as a world power around the WC Finals in 2006.  In 2014, they won their 4th World Cup, beating host Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

West Germany 1990

Team
GK: Sepp Maier
Nicknamed "The cat from Anzing", Maier was considered one of the greatest goalkeeper ever in the 1970's. He had 95 caps for West Germany, winning the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup at home in 1974. For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich. He also won three straight European Cups for Bayern Munich.  He was German Footballer of the Year: 1975, 1977, 1978.

GK: Oliver Kahn
Kahn is one of the most successful German players in recent history.  For Bayern Munich, he won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Cup in 1996, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup, both achieved in 2001.  He won the Champions' league in 2001.  He was the hero in a penalty shootout at the Final. For German, his heroic performance helped Germany to finish 2nd at Korea/Japan 2002.  He was the Gold Ball winner in that World Cup Finals.   

GK: Toni Schumacher
Schumacher won the 1980 European Championship in Italy and came second at the World Cup finals, in 1982 and 1986.  He was best remembered for a highly controversial incident in the 1982 World Cup semifinal against France when he collided with and seriously injured French defender Patrick Battiston.  He spent the prime of his career with Koln.

RB: Berti Vogts
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”, Vogts was one of the greatest rightback in German history.  He won 5 Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Cups with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He had 95 caps, winning both the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championshipmin 1972. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the WC Final in 1974. 

RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm
Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team. He had 113 capos for Germany from 2004 to 2014.  For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich, except for a loan spell with VfB Stuttgart. He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga on the same year.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  
Philipp Lahm
CB: Jurgen Kohler
Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's.   He earned 105 caps for West Germany/Germany between 1986 and 1998.  He won the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  For his club career, he played with Koln, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.  

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster

With West Germany, Forster earned 81 caps. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the WC in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France.

SW/CM: Franz Beckenbauer
He was one of the best ever player in history.  Known as Der Kaiser, he was credited with revolutionizing the sweeper position.  Twice selected European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the WC in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

Franz Beckenbauer
SW: Matthias Sammer
With Borussia Dortmund as a player, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup in 1995, the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, and European Footballer of the Year in 1996, and the UEFA Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. He also played for Inter Milan and Dynamo Dresden. With Germany as a player, Sammer won the UEFA Euro 1996, where he was named the tournament's best player, and was subsequently awarded the Ballon d'Or later that year. Sammer retired with 74 total caps, 23 for East Germany and 51 for the unified side.  

LB: Andreas Brehme
He is best remembered for his career with Kaiserslautern and Inter Milan.  He was the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 1989, in an era where the best players played in Italy.  He had 86 caps.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final. He also played in 1986 and 1994 World Cup Finals, and three European Championship.

LB/CM: Paul Breitner

Breitner was the first player to score a goal at two different WC Final match.  From 1971 to 1982, he had 48 caps for West Germany. He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, a the World Cup in 1974. He spent most of his career with Bayern Muinch and went to play for Real Madrid in Spain.  During his club career, Breitner won seven National Championships with Bayern Munich (1972, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1981) and Real Madrid (1975, 1976), the Champions' Cup (1974) as well as the German (1971, 1982) and Spanish Cups (1975). 
Paul Breitner

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
He was an important player for both club and country.  He was capped 121 times. He went to three European Championships and as many World Cups, including their victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Schweinsteiger is the youth product of Bayern Munich.  He won the 2013 Champions' league title with Bayern Munich. Late in his career, he played for Manchester United and Chicago Fire.

CM: Lothar Matthaus
Captaining the West German team in winning the WC in 1990.  He was the European Player of the Year and the first ever World Player of the year in 1990. He played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He also won the Euro 1980 in Italy, and played in the 1984, 1988, and 2000 European Championships.
Lothar Matthaus

RW:  Helmut Rahn
Rahn was known as "Der Boss" (English: "The Boss") because of his on-field leadership and occasionally also as "The Cannon from Essen".  He was considered one of the best ever German winger.  His club career was associated with Rot-Weiss Essen.  Capped 40 times.  He was a star of the 1954 WC team.  He scored the winning goal in the final vs Hungary. He also went to the WC Finals in 1958.

RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski  
Littibarski was a major star in the 1980's.  He had over 70 caps and played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times, winning his final World Cup in 1990. He spent most of his career with Koln. Littbarski spent most of his playing career at 1. FC Köln, winning the DFB-Pokal once, in 1983, and was three times runner up in the Bundesliga (1982, 1989 and 1990).  He also played in France and Japan.

LW:  Hans Schafer  
He played for 1. FC Köln between 1948 and 1965. He also played for the West Germany, earning 39 caps and scoring 15 goals. He played in three World Cups, in 1954, 1958, and 1962, earning a winner's medal in 1954 and scoring a total of seven goals. Between 1957 and 1962, Schäfer captained Germany 16 times. He was German Player of the Year in 1963. He spent all of his career with Koln.

LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974  WC, where he kept Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  In addition to 1974 World Cup Finals, he also went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals. He spent all of his career with Koln.

CM: Gunther Netzer
Netzer was the star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the World Cup in 1974.  His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England.  He later joined Real Madrid in 1973 and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's in a period dominated by Real Madrid.
Gunter Netzer
AM/FW: Fritz Walter
The captain of the 1954 World Cup winning team.  He had over 60 caps and also went to the 1958 World Cup Finals. He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. He played with Kaiserslautern. During the War, he captured as a POW and his life was spared because the guards recognised him as the famous footballers.
Fritz Walter in 1954

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
He was one of the best players in the world during the 1980's.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1980 and was part of the squad that finished runner-up at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He was a young star in Argentina 1978.  He spent the best parts of his club career with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
ST: Uwe Seeler
Seeler was captain of both his club team and the national team for many years. He played in 4 WC Finals(1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970), but sandwiched between Germany's two World Cup winning years(1954 and 1974).  West Germany came second in 1966 and reached the semifinal in 1970 while playing next to Gerd Muller. However, he is still regarded one of Germany's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with SV Hamburger.

ST: Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann won the WC in 1990 and then, captained the 1996 European Championship winning team.  He played in all major international tournaments from 1988 until his retirement in 1998.  He had successful club spells with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a popular player while in England, despite a lot of negative press at the time of his signing.  He won both the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in 1995.  

ST: Gerd Muller
"Der Bomber" was widely considered to be the best striker in history. He scored 68 goals in 62 matches for Germany.  He scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearance, mostly with Bayern Muinch.  He won the WC in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was the European Player of the Year in 1970.
Gerd Muller
Honorable Mention
Manuel Neuer, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Toni Kroos, Willi Schulz, Manfred Kaltz, Hans Peter Briegel, Paul Janes, Horst Hrubesch, Bernd Schuster, Horst Szymaniak, Guido Buchwald, Fritz Szepan, Michael Ballack, Stefan Effenberg, Helmut Haller, Thomas Hassler, Miroslav Klose, Klaus Fischer, Thomas Muller, Pierre Littbarski, Jürgen Grabowski, Rudi Voller, Thomas Berthold.

Squad Explanation
-- Goalkeepers: Bert Trautmann never played for Germany.  Manuel Neuer is seriously considered for the third spot after win g the WC in 2014.
--  I dropped Karl-Heinz Schnellinger because I already have three leftbacks (Lahm, Brehme and Breitner) and he won't get ahead of Sammer and Beckenbauer on the sweeper position.  I have only two wingers(Rahn and Schafer) on my team so I have to select Lahm and Brehme who could provide width to the offense.  Besides, Lahm can play as a defensive midfielder and both sides of the fullback position. He is more versatile than Schnellinger.
-- I almost took Bernd Schuster, but this team has too many central midfielders. Netzer, Breitner, Overath, Beckenbauer, Sammer and even Lahm can play there.  I also feel the same way about Horst Szymaniak, Guido Buchwald, Fritz Szepan, Michael Ballack and Stefan Effenberg.  Instead, I took an extra wide player; Pierre Littbarski.  He is not as highly rated as the other mentioned here. 
-- The 2014 World Cup team is underrepresented.  I saved a spot for Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was underrated by many. 
-- I almost rewarded Miroslav Klose with a spot on the team for being the WC all-time leading scorer, but his career outside the World Cup Finals was only fair.  Jurgen Klinsmann did much better than him. He was all-time great with both Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs.
-- Thomas Muller scored plenty of goals at the WC Finals.  He probably would break Klose's record in Russia.  At this point, he only got an honourable mention.  
-- Horst Hrubesch got honourable mention because he is considered one of the greatest header of the ball.  
Breitner, Becknebauer, Muller and Overath
Starting up 
Formation I: 3-5-2
This formation is based upon the German team of the 1990's.  Lahm started on the team because I needed an offensive-minded wingback.  Matthaus is the box-to-box midfielder, Netzer the creator in the backfield and Walter the attack midfielder. 



 
Formation II: 4-3-3 
West Germany used a 4-3-3 formation in the 1970's and 1980's.  Beckenbauer was actually a box-to-box midfielder for two of his WC Finals he played in. Vogts started ahead of Lahm because the formation does not need a wingback. Rahn played the role of Littibarski at the World Cup in 1982.



Formation III: 4-3-3
For the formation, Overath could also start for Netzer.  And then, Matthaus would move to the right.







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