Germany national football team – history, records and facts

    At one point in the early 1950s, Germany had no fewer than three national teams. these teams represented the saarland, the democratic republic and the federal republic. This last team, known as West Germany, was the most successful, winning three World Cups and two European Championships. Since the country’s reunification in 1990, Germany has won two other major trophies, cementing its place as one of the greatest national teams of all time.

    Lothar Matthaus in German national team Lothar Matthaus scoring for West Germany.


    foundation and early history

    In 1900, representatives of 86 clubs founded the German Football Association (DFB). This played an important role in consolidating various German regional competitions into a single national league, which happened in 1902. The national team played its first official match in 1908, losing to Switzerland 3–5. They participated in the 1912 Olympic soccer tournament, which is remembered for Gottfried Fuchs’ 10 goals in a 16-0 victory over Russia.

    Reading: When did germany win the world cup

    Germany football team in 1912 The 1912 Olympic team.

    the dfc selected the players for the national team until 1926, at which point they appointed otto nerz as coach. After missing out on the inaugural World Cup because they couldn’t afford the trip to Uruguay, Germany managed to qualify for the 1934 World Cup. They then beat Belgium and Sweden, but were ultimately beaten by Czechoslovakia in the semi-finals. They ended the tournament on a positive note by beating Austria in the match for third place.

    post WWII division

    On the eve of World War II, Austria was annexed by Germany. The Austrian national team was quickly disbanded, and Nazi politicians forced several of its players to join the German team. Germany then participated in the 1938 World Cup but failed to advance beyond the first round in front of a hostile crowd. This remains Germany’s worst World Cup appearance to this day – they reached the final eight in every other tournament they competed in.

    After the end of World War II, Germany was divided into three distinct states: West Germany, East Germany, and the Saarland. They were all banned from international competition until 1950, preventing them from participating in the 1950 World Cup. Most of the country’s pre-war traditions and organizations were replaced by West Germany, including the DFB. after the world cup, the dfb was accepted as a full member of fifa.

    the miracle of bern

    Four years later, West Germany had no trouble qualifying for the 1954 World Cup. They were placed in a group containing Hungary, Turkey and South Korea. After a resounding 4-1 victory in the first game against Turkey, coach Sepp Herberger decided to rest his best players for the game against Hungary. They proceeded to lose 3-8, but still managed to qualify for the knockout stage by beating Turkey 7-2.

    The Germans then beat Yugoslavia (2-0) and Austria (6-1), staging a rematch with the mighty Magyars in the final. This Hungarian team, led by the legendary Ferenc Puskás, is widely regarded as one of the best national teams in the history of the sport. at that point, they had not been defeated in 32 straight matches. Considering the loss in the first match, it’s safe to say they were strong favorites to win the final.

    by minute 8, hungary was already 2-0 ahead. However, West Germany responded with goals from Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn, leveling the game before the end of the first half. At that point, Hungary took complete control of the game, but it was Rahn who scored the winning goal in the 84th minute, leading West Germany to their first world title. This setback, called the Miracle of Bern, played an important role in the country’s regaining international recognition.

    hard losses

    The next two world cups were relatively successful affairs. In the 1958 edition of the tournament, they placed fourth after losing to Sweden in the semi-finals and France in the third-place match. The 1962 World Cup was a slight step backwards, as West Germany was eliminated by Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals. The DFB responded to these losses by introducing professionalism to German football, reuniting the Bundesliga in 1963.

    the 1966 world cup saw germany reach the final, where they were set to play hosts england. Although England held a 2-1 lead until the final minutes of the match, West Germany managed to equalize through Wolfgang Weber, taking the match into extra time. George Hurst then put England ahead by scoring a controversial goal off the crossbar. With spectators running down the field in the final moments of the game, Hurst added another goal for the final score of 4-2.

    Four years later, West Germany would get their revenge by eliminating England in the quarter-finals. However, the semi-finals against Italy saw them suffer another heartbreaking defeat. In a match that was later dubbed “the game of the century”, Germany leveled the game again moments before the final whistle. They proceeded to score two goals in extra time through Gerd Müller, but it was not enough to beat the Italians, who scored three.

    more important trophies

    See also: Super League players face World Cup and Euros ban, warns furious Uefa chief | European Super League | The Guardian

    in 1972, west germany participated in its first european championship. in the qualifiers, they placed first in a group that included poland, turkey and albania. In the final 4-team tournament playoffs, they again defeated England 3-1 on aggregate. in the tournament proper, they beat belgium (2-1) and the soviet union (3-0), with four goals from müller. this was his first major trophy in 18 years.

    the 1974 world cup saw west germany play at home, which helped make them favorites for the title. In the first round, West Germany was tied with East Germany, Chile and Australia. With both German teams sure to advance before the final round, East Germany won the political duel 1-0. This loss caused West Germany to adjust their lineup and tactics, improving their chances of winning the competition.

    after advancing from the second group which included poland, sweden and yugoslavia, west germany reached the final with the netherlands. The Dutch team was managed by Johan Cruyff and played an attractive brand of ‘total football’, making them formidable opponents. They took the lead early on, with Neeskens converting a penalty. However, West Germany came from behind with goals from Breitner and Müller, winning the match 2-1.

    Germany football players and journalist German players and photographer after winning the World Cup.

    continued success

    despite continuing to field solid teams in the next two major tournaments, west germany were unable to defend any of their titles. in the 1976 European Championship final, they managed to come back from 0-2 down, but eventually lost the match on penalties. At the 1978 World Cup, they failed to progress past the second group stage after losing 1-2 to Austria in the decider. this led to yet another change of coach, with long-time assistant jupp derwall taking the helm.

    under derwall, west germany achieved another major title at euro 1980. this was the first european championship to feature eight teams, and west germany had to place first in their group to reach the final. they did so by beating czechoslovakia (1-0) and the netherlands (3-2), drawing with greece in the final round. In the final, they beat Belgium 2-1 with a brace from Horst Hrubesch.

    the 1982 world cup did not start well for west germany, as they lost the first match against algeria. However, they managed to bounce back by beating Chile and Austria. In the second group stage, they drew 0-0 against old rivals England and defeated Spain 2-1. The semi-final match against France was a dramatic affair, with West Germany barely prevailing on penalties. however, they didn’t have enough left in the tank for the final against italy, who beat them 3-1.

    the beckenbauer effect

    Following a disappointing appearance at Euro 1984, an exit from the group stage, the DFB turned to its former captain, Franz Beckenbauer. As a coach, Beckenbauer exhibited many of the same qualities that he brought to the field. With him in the lead, West Germany was almost guaranteed to reach the semi-finals of any tournament.

    This proved to be true at the 1986 world cup, where the German team battled through arid conditions to reach the final. However, they were no match for the Argentine team led by Maradona, losing the match 2-3. Two years later, they reached the semi-finals of Euro 1988, but the Netherlands were determined to avenge their 1974 World Cup defeat. Despite leading 1-0 for most of the second half, West Germany ultimately lost the match 1-2.

    In their third consecutive appearance in the World Cup Final in 1990, West Germany finally claimed their third tournament title. as a whole, this tournament is mainly remembered for its lack of goals and defensive tactics. On their way to the final, the Germans defeated the Netherlands (2-1), Czechoslovakia (1-0) and England (4-3 on penalties). The final match against Argentina was boring, with Andreas Brehme scoring the winning goal in the 85th minute.

    Germany football players with World Cup trophy German squad celebrates the 1990 World Cup victory.


    Following this victory, Beckenbauer retired from the national team and was replaced by Berti Vogts. However, the fall of the Berlin Wall earlier that year had an even bigger impact on the team, as it meant West Germany and East Germany would finally be reunited. This became official in October 1990, with the absorption of the East German Football Association (DFV) into the DFB. the unified german team played its first official match against switzerland.

    the new germany’s first major tournament was euro 1992. after progressing out of their group, germany defeated sweden 3-2 en route to the final, where they lost to surprise winners denmark. The 1994 World Cup seemed like a chance for redemption, but they were beaten by Bulgaria in the quarter-finals. Despite leading for most of the match, Germany allowed their opponents to nullify the score and win the match 2-1.

    See also: World Cup 2018: A late own goal gives France victory over Australia – BBC Sport

    The 1996 European Championship was the first tournament to include 16 teams and award 3 points for a win (instead of the previous 2). Germany had little trouble adjusting to the new rules, as they advanced from their group and beat Croatia and England on their way to the final. They then defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 with a brace from Oliver Bierhoff, which included the first golden goal to decide a major tournament.

    lost years

    After claiming its first trophy as a unified nation, Germany entered one of the worst recessions in its history. At the 1998 World Cup, they were defeated by Croatia in the quarterfinals. the next two European Championships (2000 and 2004) were particularly disappointing for fans as they failed to advance from the group stage.

    although it was a complicated draw (england, portugal and romania), the euro 2000 was one of the less glorious tournaments for the team. they only claim one point from three matches. in the last match, one of the great players of the national team, lothar matthäus, aged 39, made his last appearance. his career ended with a painful 0-3 loss to portugal.

    The 2002 world cup didn’t inspire much confidence either, especially given that germany barely managed to qualify for the tournament. Still, a string of close 1-0 wins in the knockout stages saw them make a surprise appearance in the final, where they were set to play Brazil. however, the suspension of star midfielder michael ballack drastically reduced their chances and they lost the match 0-2.

    Four years later, Germany found itself in a very similar position. Once again, they exceeded expectations, recording three wins in their group and defeating Sweden and Argentina in the Round of 16. In a hard-fought semi-final showdown against eventual champions Italy, they were eliminated by two quick goals at the end of extra time. They then defeated Portugal in the third place match, with Miroslav Klose receiving the golden boot.

    a new era

    With the promotion of joachim löw to head coach in 2008, germany changed its characteristic defensive style to an attacking one. The first signs of this change were noted at Euro 2008, where Germany battled their way to the final with Spain. However, without an effective response to the Spanish tiki-taka, Germany lost the game 0-1.

    the next two european championships also saw germany do well. In 2012, they won all three group stage matches and defeated Greece in the quarter-finals, setting a record of 15 competitive wins, but then lost to Italy 1-2. in 2016 they also found their final in the semifinals; This time, they couldn’t get past France, who recorded their first competitive victory against Germany in 58 years.

    Between these two appearances, germany won the 2014 world cup. after securing a place in the round of 16, they beat algeria in the round of 16 (2-1) and france in the quarter-finals (1-0) . In the semi-finals, they recorded a historic 7-1 victory over hosts Brazil, scoring four goals in a span of 7 minutes in the first half. They then defeated Messi-led Argentina in the final with a late winner from Mario Götze.

    fifa world cup results

    Germany has participated in the world cup 19 times (fifa world cup qualification not included).

    * host nation.

    uefa european championship results

    germany has participated 14 times in the european championship (euro).

    * host nation.

    by martin wahl

    See also: USA World Cup Roster 2014: Final 23-Man Squad and Starting 11 Projections | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors | Bleacher Report

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