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.
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|
GK: Sepp Maier
"The cat from Anzing" won the European Championship in 1972 and the WC at home in 1974. He also won three straight European Cups for Bayern Munich. He was one of the best keepers in the 1970's.
GK: Oliver Kahn
His heroic performance helped Germany to finish 2nd at Korea/Japan 2002. He was the Gold Ball winner in that WC. He played for Bayern Munich between 1994 and 2008. He won the Champions' league in 2001. He was the hero in a penalty shootout at the Final.
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”. He won 5 Bundesliga titles with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the WC Final in 1974. He also won a European Champions in 1972.
RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm
The captain of the 2014 WC winning team. He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga. He earned 113 caps for germany at the end of the WC Finals in 2014 where he retired from the national team.
CB: Jurgen Kohler
Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's. He won the WC in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996. 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, 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.
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.
SW: Matthias Sammer
He was capped by East Germany before the unification. He won the Euro 1996 with Germany and a Champions' League in 1997. He won the Ballon D'Or in 1996 after winning the Euro 1996 with the unified Germany. He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.
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 was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final.
LB/CM: Paul Breitner
He was the first player to score a goal at two different WC Final match. 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.
CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
He was an important player for both club and country. 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.
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.
RW: Helmut Rahn
Rahn was a star of the 1954 WC team. He scored the winning goal at the final vs Hungary. He is considered one of the best ever German winger. He played with Rot-Weiss Essen.
RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski
A major star in the 1980's. He played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times. He won his final cup in 1990. He spent most of his career with Koln.
LW: Hans Schafer
The left wing on the 1954 WC winning team. He played in three World Cup Finals. He was German Player of the Year in 1963.
He spent all of his career with Koln.
LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
One of the best left midfielder 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. He spent all of his career with Koln.
CM: Gunther Netzer
The star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's. He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the WC in 1974. His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England. He later joined Real Madrid and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's.
The captain of the 1954 WC team. He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. He played with Kaiserslautern.
|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.
He played in 4 WC Finals, 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. 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.
Manuel Neuer, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Toni Kroos, Willi Schulz, Manfred Kaltz, Hans Peter Briegel, Paul Janes, Bernd Schuster, Horst Szymaniak, Guido Buchwald, Fritz Szepan, Michael Ballack, Stefan Effenberg, Helmut Haller, Thomas Haessler, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller.
- Goalkeepers: Bert Trautmann never played for Germany.
- Fullbacks: 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.
- Midfielders/Winger: 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. So the final spot went to Littbarski, a winger.
- Striker: 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.
|Breitner, Becknebauer, Muller and Overath|
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.