FIFA World Cup 2022 German National Team|History

German national teamGerman men’s football team is a powerhouse team in the soccer world. They have won four World Cup and 3 Euro Championship trophies so far. Germany has produced many legendary players like Gerd Muller, Uwe Seeler, Oliver Kahn, and Miroslav Klose to date.

Germany is one of the strong teams and often plays in the quarter-finals of the World Cup. The German team reserved the Qatar seat after topping the Group J chart from the European region. Read more about German football history, major tournament journey, 7 greatest players, and much more in this article.

Germany National Football Teams’ Brief History

Early History

German learned about association football in the late 1850s. In 1897, an early international game was played in Hamburg against the Danish football association where they lost to the invitee team, 5-0. After that, German played a couple of matches with English-selected teams and these were not considered professional games.

Finally, in 1900 they created the official body of national football, the German Football Association, DFB (Deutscher Fußball-Bund).

German national team at 1908
1908 Olympic team of German. Source: Wikipedia

Later, in 1908, German played their first official international match against Switzerland and lost. They later participated in the 1912 Olympic football tournament, which became the history of German football. The German team made a victory over Russia, 16-0. That is the biggest win for Germany to date.

During that time, DFB used to select the players for the international match. In 1926, they appointed their first national team coach Otto Nerz. But, the German team did not take part in the inaugural World Cup due to the economic crisis.

The German team made their first entry into the second World Cup and reached the semifinals. Due to their play-making and good pass skills, German defeated Austria in the third-place match and earned the Bronze medal.

Furthermore, Germany was out of the first round of the third World Cup. After the Second World War, the German nation fragmented into three states: West Germany, East Germany, and Saarland. All three were banned by FIFA from international matches until 1950 due to this they missed the 1950 World Cup.

Germany Split: East Germany, West Germany, and Saarland

In 1950, West Germany acquired the DFB and several pre-war organizations in the country. Then, Saarland and East Germany also received affiliation from FIFA as separate members. East Germany competed till their reunification in 1990, whereas, Saarland quit and joined West Germany in 1956.

First World Champion: West Germany

In 1954, West Germany qualified for the tournament and was placed in a group containing Turkey, Hungary, and South Korea. They defeated Yugoslavia and Austria in the quarter and semi-finals of the tournament.

German national team at 1954
First-time World Champion team of West Germany. Source: FIFA

In the finals, West Germany played against Hungary. In one of the best matches in World Cup history, Hungary scored two goals within 8 minutes in the German’s post. Then, Germany came back into the game and scored one goal within 2 minutes.

Later, German forward Rahn added two goals in 18 and 84 minutes and made the victory. It was the first time Germany became the World Champion. Hence, West Germany became the third country to win the FIFA World Cup after Uruguay and Italy. Since then, Germany has been a regular team in the FIFA World Cup.

1974 World Cup Winner: West Germany

In the 1974 World Cup, East Germany qualified for the first and last time at the home tournament. In the group stage, West Germany lost to East Germany and won against Chile and Australia.

German national team at the 1990 World Cup
1974 World Cup Winning team. Source: SportsMob

Likewise, in the second round, West Germany squeezed Yugoslavia, Poland, and Sweden and reached the finals of the tournament. And in the finals, it defeated the Netherlands and became the second-time World champion.

1990 World Cup Champion

In the 1982 and 1986 World Cup, West Germany became runner-up back to back. In 1990, West Germany participated in the Mexico World Cup which was the last World Cup for it before becoming a full-fledged Germany.

German national team at 1990 World Cup
1990 FIFA World Cup Champion West Germany team. Source: Scroll

And in that tournament, West Germany once again reached the finals. West Germany squeezed the chance of Argentina to secure their third title.

The German team scored one goal against Argentina and became the World Champion third time and the second time for West Germany. The same year, East and West Germany reunited and became the Republic of Germany once again.

German Football After Reunion

Following their reunion, Germany participated in the 1994 World Cup. During that tournament, Germany ended in the quarter-final. They replicated the same result in the next French World Cup. Finally, after three World Cups, Germany reached the finals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

But, in the final match, Germany lost to Brazil and missed a chance to secure the third title. And, German goalkeeper and then captain, Oliver Kahn, earned the Golden Ball. After the 2002 World Cup, German secured third place back to back in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups.

2014 World Champion Germany

The German team was taken over by Joachim Low in 2006. He led the team in the 2008, 2012 Euro, and 2010 World Cup before Brazil World Cup. In group matches, Germany won over Portugal and the United States and tied Ghana.

In the second round, it defeated Algeria. Likewise, Germany defeated France in the quarter-finals of the tournament. And confirm their meeting with Brazil in the semifinals.

In the semifinals, it was expected that Brazil could benefit from the home ground.  Surprisingly, the game went to Germany’s hands. Germany squeezed Brazil 7-1, becoming one of the biggest defeats in Brazilian football history.

German national team at 2014 World Cup
2014 World Cup Champion team with the trophy. Source: Adidas

During the match, German’s legendary player Miroslav Klose scored a goal. Hence, he became the all-time highest scorer of the FIFA World Cup with 16 goals.

In the Brazil World Cup finals, the normal match stopped with a goalless draw against Argentina. But, in 13 minutes of the first half of the extra time, forward Mario Götze successfully attempted in Argentina’s goal post.

Hence, Germany became the World Champion for the fourth time, which is equivalent to Italy. In this tournament, German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer earned the Golden Glove Award.  Whereas, German forward Thomas Muller received a Silver Boot and Goal respectively.

Euro and Other Major Competitions

Germany is also the strongest team in Euro Cup football. In 1972, it became the winner of the tournament. Likewise, in 1976 Euro, it came out as the first runner-up. Furthermore, in the next tournament, West Germany won the second title.

The 1992 Euro was the last tournament for West Germany as a separate nation, and they ended in second place.

German national team at the 1996 Euro Cup
1996 Euro Champion team of Germany. Source: 90 minute

After their reunion, they won Euro for the first time, and overall third time in 1996 England. Since then, they have never won to date but have played two semi-finals and one final until Euro 2020.

Germany is also the Olympic winner of 1976 Gold, 1980, and 2016 Silver, and 1964, 1972, and 1988 Bronze Medals. Apart from this, Germany won the tenth edition of the FIFA Confederation Cup in 2017. Germany also participated in the first and second editions of the UEFA Nations League (2019 and 2021).

Top Seven German Greatest Footballers of All Time

Germany is always a powerhouse in world football, and it always provided the best talent to the soccer world. It is a difficult task to select 8 among dozens of decorated players in German football history. We tried to justify these seven legendary German Players from the 1954 to 2018 World Cups.

Helmut Rahn (16 August 1929 – 14 August 2003)

Helmut Rahn is a former world-class player from Germany. He was a decorated player who scored a winning goal in the 1954 FIFA World Championship as a part of West German. Rahn won 40 caps in his one-decade career (1951-1960). Rahn is one of the talented wingers of the 1950s.

Gerd Müller (3 November 1945 – 15 August 2021)

Gerhard ‘Gerd’ Müller is one of the legendary footballers of the twentieth century. He is the second-highest goalscorer by an individual player in the FIFA World Cup with 14 goals. A recently deceased Müller represented West Germany from 1966-1974.

A prolific striker bagged two major international trophies for West Germany: UEFA Euro Championship (1972) and FIFA World Cup 1974.

He also earned the Golden Boot and Ballon d’Or awards in 1974. In 2007, he earned the Golden Foot Football Legend Award. Müller still holds the record of the highest scorer in the Bundesliga from Bayern Munich club.

Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a legendary footballer and football manager. He was the captain of the West German team from 1972-1977. Franz played a pivotal role to win two Championships back to back; 1972 (Euro) and 1974 (World Cup).

He was one of the central defenders of the winning team and was one of the best defenders of the twentieth century. Franz was a manager of the team when they made their third victory in the 1990 World Cup.

He also earned two Ballon d’Or in 1972 and 1976. In 2010, Beckenbauer received a legendary football award in the Golden Foot.

Uwe Seeler

When we talk about former German legendary players we need not forget the name of Uwe Seeler. He is one of the greatest footballers in German history. Seller debuted in 1954 and won 72 caps until 1970.

One of the highest scorers in Germany, Seeler captained four World Cups. He led the team to runner-up (1966) and third place (1970). Seeler was the first German footballer to earn the Great Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. A prolific scorer for Hamburger SV Uwe Seeler died on 21 July 2022 at the age of 85.

Lothar Herbert Matthäus

Lothar Matthäus is a football pundit and retired footballer. He is the all-time highest-capped player of the German national team with 150 caps. He played in five World Cups from 1980 to 2000.

Matthäus was a team captain when Germany made victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The same year, he earned the Ballon d’Or award. He also received the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991.

Matthäus also played in Inter Milan, Bayern Munich, and Metro stats. He was in a German squad from 1980-2000.

Oliver Rolf Kahn

Oliver Kahn is one of the world-class players from Germany. He is one of the top five greatest goalkeepers of the twenty-first century. He took over the captaincy from 2001-2004.

During his tenure, he led the team to a runner-up in the 2002 World Cup. Kahn earned the Tournament’s Best Player Award and the Golden Ball. In 2021, he earned the Golden Foot Legend Award. Furthermore, he became the CEO of the Bayern Munich club in 2021.

Miroslav Josef Klose

Miroslav Klose is a former footballer. He is the Austrian club Rheindorf Altach’s head coach. Klose is the all-time highest scorer in German football history as well as in the FIFA World Cups. A talented striker, Klose is considered one of the greatest strikers of the twenty-first century.

He made his debut in the German senior team in 2001 and represented in three Euro Cups and four World Cups.

Miroslav Klose with the World Cup trophy in 2014. Source: Twitter

In 2006, Klose became the highest scorer in the FIFA World Cup and earned the Golden Shoe. He won 137 caps and scored 71 goals under German Jersey. Klose also played club football for German club Bayern Munich and Italian club Lazio.

Before joining the Austrian team, Klose served as an assistant coach at Bayern Munich in the 2020-2021 season. Previously, he was also an assistant coach for the German national team (2016-2018).

Qatar World Cup 2022 Germany Squad

After exiting the group stage in the 2014 World Cup.  The German team improved their squad and became a winner of the 2022 Qatar World Cup qualifying campaign. It earned 27 points in Group J from the European region and made a selection for the Winter World Cup.

During the World Cup draw, it was placed into a death group alongside rival Spain, Japan, and North American nation Costa Rica. Germany will encounter Japan in their first match on 23 November at Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan.

This year’s World Cup will begin on 20 November with Qatar and Ecuador‘s game.

The German team appointed new coach Hansi Flick in August 2021. He and captain Manuel Nuer will take part in the team in Qatar and try to win the fifth title of the tournament. Germany will announce their World Cup squad in October 2022.