Monday, 15 Apr 2024

The Best Germany XI of All Time: A Tribute to Legends

famous german soccer players

Naming the best Germany XI of all time is a daunting task. How can you blend players from different generations and put together a team without being unfair? As a football enthusiast with over 10 years of experience, I have witnessed the magic of German football unfold before my eyes. From the iconic moments of the 1974 final to the modern triumphs, Germany has produced some of the greatest talents the sport has ever seen. Join me as we dive into the depths of German football history and pay homage to the legends who have graced the pitch in the famous white jersey.

The Unforgettable Moments

Oliver Kahn sits next to his post as Brazil celebrate their 2002 triumph.

Goalkeeper: Oliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn, the Titan, is not only remembered for his incredible agility and shot-stopping ability but also for his indomitable spirit. Despite his accomplishments with Bayern Munich, the World Cup title eluded him in 2002. After carrying Germany to the final, he unfortunately suffered an injury and was unable to prevent Rivaldo’s shot, leading to Brazil’s victory.

Right-back: Philipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm, the versatile Germany captain, showcased his importance to the team at right-back. Throughout his career, he demonstrated his defensive prowess and leadership skills. One tackle, in particular, stands out – his 17th-minute tackle against Marcelo in the 2014 World Cup semifinals, which paved the way for Germany’s success.

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Centre-back: Jurgen Kohler

Jurgen Kohler, a rock-solid defender, earned the nickname “Fussballgott” for his infamous clash with Eric Cantona during the 1997 Champions League semifinal. His duels with Marco van Basten during the 1988 tournament are etched in football history. Kohler’s defensive skills were second to none.

Centre-back: Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer, the maestro and greatest sweeper of all time, epitomized elegance on the football pitch. Known for his wrist passes and runs through midfield, Beckenbauer’s influence on the game is immeasurable. Even in the current squad, Germany has a modern-day Beckenbauer in the form of Mats Hummels, showcasing the enduring legacy of the Kaiser.

Left-back: Guido Buchwald

Guido Buchwald is played out of position but mirrors Benedikt Howedes’ versatility. In the 1990 World Cup, Buchwald made a significant impact with his runs up the pitch and earned the nickname “Diego” for his performance against Diego Maradona in the final. Buchwald’s defensive prowess was instrumental in Germany’s success.

Holding midfield: Matthias Sammer

Matthias Sammer, a remarkable player during his time at Borussia Dortmund, was the last German sweeper. While he missed the 1990 World Cup due to being born in the former East, Sammer played a crucial role in Germany’s Euro 96 triumph. Unfortunately, injuries forced him into early retirement.

Midfield: Lothar Matthaus

Lothar Matthaus’ iconic run in the opening match of the 1990 World Cup against Yugoslavia remains etched in the memory of German football fans. A key figure in Germany’s journey to the final, Matthaus collected personal accolades and trophies along the way. His impact on the game cannot be understated.

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Midfield: Bernd Schuster

Bernd Schuster, a player with immense potential, faced a turbulent career with the national team. Despite winning the European championship in 1980 at the age of 21, he struggled to maintain consistency due to injuries and internal conflicts. Nonetheless, his achievements at club level remain impressive.

Forward: Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller, the greatest German attacker of all time, possessed a unique ability to score goals at will. With 68 goals in 62 appearances, Muller’s contributions to Germany’s 1974 World Cup victory were invaluable. His instinct for finding the back of the net remains unparalleled.

Forward: Thomas Muller

Imagine the synergy between Gerd Muller and Thomas Muller on the pitch – a combination that would strike fear into any defense. While Thomas Muller is still young, his ability to create space, score goals, and make clever runs makes him an asset to any team. The Muller-Muller attacking line would be a formidable force to be reckoned with.

Forward: Jupp Heynckes

Jupp Heynckes, known for his successful coaching career, was also an accomplished player. His time at Borussia Monchengladbach saw him win multiple titles, including the Bundesliga, German Cup, UEFA Cup, and the European championship in 1972. Heynckes’ impact on German football extends beyond the pitch.

Manager: Joachim Low

Joachim Low, the mastermind behind Germany’s success, has revolutionized German football with his tactical acumen. Under his guidance, the German national team has displayed a beautiful style of play. Low’s contribution to the sport cannot be measured solely by trophies but also by the lasting impact he has had on the team and the nation.

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  • Who is the greatest German goalkeeper of all time?
    Oliver Kahn is widely regarded as the greatest German goalkeeper due to his exceptional shot-stopping ability and unwavering determination.

  • What made Gerd Muller so special?
    Gerd Muller’s ability to score goals with precision and simplicity set him apart from his peers. His knack for finding space and his clinical finishing made him a lethal striker.

  • What is Joachim Low’s coaching philosophy?
    Joachim Low prioritizes a possession-based style of play, emphasizing quick, incisive passing and fluid movement off the ball. Under his guidance, Germany has become known for their attacking prowess and high-tempo gameplay.


The best Germany XI of all time represents a fusion of talent, determination, and skill. These players and their achievements have left an indelible mark on German football. From Oliver Kahn’s heroic saves to Gerd Muller’s clinical finishing, each player has contributed to the rich history of the national team. Under the guidance of Joachim Low, Germany continues to evolve and captivate fans with their exquisite style of play. As we celebrate the legends of German football, let their legacy inspire future generations to carry the torch forward and uphold the proud traditions of German football.

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