|East Germany's last ever match vs Belgium in 1990|
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
East Germany All-Time Team
After the reunification of Germany in 1990, East German football seemed to have disappear. At the 2014 WC Finals, only one German Toni Kroos was born in the former East Germany on the national team. East German clubs seldom appeared in the top level of Bundesliga. At the time of writing, no East German club is playing there.
In actuality, East Germany did well immediately after the Reunification. They produced a number of good German players after the reunification. Jorg Bohme, Matthaus Sammer, Thomas Doll, Andreas Thom, Thomas Linke, Michael Ballack, Carsten Jancker, Ulf Kirsten, Steffen Freund, Dariusz Wosz, Jens Jeremies, Bernd Schneider, Tim Borowski, Marko Rehmer, Marcel Schmelzer, Robert Enke, René Adler and Toni Kroos were all born in East Germany.
|Three East Germans: Schneider, Ballack, and Jeremies,|
GK: René Adler
Adler started at age six playing for VfB Leipzig's youth side. After nine years for Leipzig, Adler joined the youth system of Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2000. He signed a five-year contract at Bundesliga rivals Hamburger SV in 2012. He made his debut for Germany on 11 October 2008 in a World Cup qualifier against Russia. Despite having been confirmed as Germany's main team goalkeeper for the World Cup, a serious rib injury prevented him from travelling to South Africa.
Enke most notably played for Benfica and Barcelona, but made the majority of his appearances for Bundesliga side Hannover 96 in his homeland. He won eight full international caps for the German national team between the 1999 Confederations Cup and his death in 2009, and was part of the squad which finished as runners-up in Euro 2008.
GK: René Müller
Müller played 46 times for East Germany. He was first-choice goalkeeper of the East German national team for much of the 1980s, and was twice East German Footballer of the Year. He played for 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig for fourteen years, and later had spells with FC Sachsen Leipzig, Dynamo Dresden and FC St. Pauli.
RB: Clemens Fritz
Having begun his career at Rot-Weiß Erfurt and Karlsruher SC, he joined Bayer Leverkusen in 2003. In 2006 he moved to Werder Bremen, winning the DFB-Pokal and helping them to the UEFA Cup final in 2009. In a two-year international career for Germany starting in 2006, he earned 22 caps and scored two goals. He was part of their team which finished as runners-up at UEFA Euro 2008.
CB/RB: René Schneider
René Schneider played mostly for Hansa Rostock and Borussia Dortmund. During his time at Dortmund he gained a Champions League medal in 1997, making one appearance en route to the final. He played for Germany national football team and was a participant at the 1996 UEFA European Championship.
CB: Thomas Linke
Thomas Linke was remembered as a hard-nosed tackler with tremendous heading ability. He started his career in East Germany. He played in 13 Bundesliga seasons in representation of Schalke 04 and Bayern Munich, totaling 340 games. Having gained his first cap for Germany in his late 20's, Linke went on to represent the nation in the World Cup in 2002 and one European Championship in 2000. He had 43 caps from 1997 and 2004.
Huth was signed for Chelsea from the youth system of German club 1. FC Union Berlin in 2001. He joined Middlesbrough in August 2006 for a fee of £6 million. He spent three years at the Riverside. In 2009, Huth signed for Stoke City for a then-club record fee of £5 million. He joined Leicester on loan in January 2015, helping them to win the Premier League title in 2016. Capped 19 times.
CB: Marko Rehmer
Rehmer played for hometown 1. FC Union Berlin; he arrived in the first division at almost 25, joining former East Germany's F.C. Hansa Rostock during the 1997 winter transfer window. For the following six years, Rehmer played with another club from his city, Hertha BSC; being an important defensive unit as the side always made the UEFA Cup in the first four seasons.
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.
Marcel Schmelzer started his professional career with Borussia Dortmund, making his first appearance on 9 August 2008. At the time of writing, this is his only club and he is also their captain since 2016. From 2010 to 2014, he was capped 18 times by Germany. He was a member of Germany's European Championship team in 2012.
LB/LM: Jörg Heinrich
Heinrich joined amateur side Kickers Emden in 1990. In 1994, he left Kickers Emden for Bundesliga side SC Freiburg. In 1997, he also won the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund, playing all 90 minutes in their 3–1 victory over Juventus in the Final. In 1998, Heinrich moved to ACF Fiorentina before returning to Borussia Dortmund in 2000. Capped 37 times. He started at the WC Finals in France.
DM: Steffen Freund
Steffen Freund started his career at Stahl Brandenburg in East Germany. In 1991 he was transferred to FC Schalke 04. Schalke sold him to Borussia Dortmund in 1993 where he stayed until 1998. During his time at Dortmund, he gained a Champions League medal in 1997. After this he transferred to Tottenham Hotspur where he stayed until 2003. He won UEFA Euro 1996 with Germany and also competed in the FIFA World Cup 1998.
Best known for his tackling abilities, he played for three clubs during his professional career, most notably Bayern Munich which he helped to 16 titles, 12 as an important unit, in a career also marred by many injuries. Jeremies won 55 caps for Germany, representing the nation in two World Cups and as many European Championships and helping it finish second in the 2002 World Cup.
DM: Tim Borowski
Tim Borowski spent 11 years of his 12-year professional career with Werder Bremen, amassing Bundesliga totals of 236 games and 32 goals and winning three major titles, including the 2004 national championship. Borowski played 33 times for the German national team, and represented the country at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.
CM: Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos became a member of Bayern Munich's first team at the age of 17, Kroos played a loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen, before going back to Munich and winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles and the 2012–13 Champions League. After winning the World Cup in 2014, he joined Real Madrid . In Madrid, he won the two UEFA Champions League. He was a key player for Germany since 2010. He won the World Cup in 2014 as one of Germany's star players.
Nicknamed Schnix by fans and teammates, Schneider started out at his hometown club Carl Zeiss Jena and made a name for himself during his decade-long stint at Bayer Leverkusen. He earned the nickname "The White Brazilian" for his dribbling and passing skills as well as his accurate free kicks and corners. Capped 81 times. He was a key player at the WC Finals in 2006.
CM: Michael Ballack
Born in East Germany, Michael Ballack was the best German player of his generation. first made his name with Bayer Leverkusen, helping them to the Final of the Champions' League in 2002. On the same summer, he helped Germany reaching the Final of Japan/Korea 2002, but missing the Final game himself. He moved to Bayern Munich after the World Cup Finals. He also played for Chelsea before his retirement. He had 98 caps between 1999 and 2010.
Doll began his career with local side BSG Lokomotiv Malchin, before joining East German first-division DDR-Oberliga side Hansa Rostock. In 1986 he was transferred to Berliner FC Dynamo, where he won two East Germany titles (in 1987 in 1988). After reunification Doll was one of the most sought-after players of coming out of the former East Germany. He played as an attacking midfielder for Hamburger SV, Lazio, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bari. He played for both East Germany and Germany. He went to Euro 1992 for Germany.
LW: Jorg Bohme
As a professional he has played for FC Carl Zeiss Jena, 1. FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Frankfurt, 1860 München, Arminia Bielefeld, FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach. On club level he won two German Cup trophies with FC Schalke 04. Capped 10 times and participated in the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where Germany finished as runners-up.
AM/CM: Dariusz Wosz
Born in Poland, he started his career in East Germany. He started with Chemie Halle in 1984. Wosz was transferred to VfL Bochum in toward the end of the 1991–92 season. As captain, he led Bochum to its biggest success yet: the third round of the 1997–98 UEFA Cup. He also played for Hertha Berlin. Capped 7 times for East Germany and 17 times for Germany. He went to Euro 2000.
FW: Andreas Thom
In his career, Thom played as a forward for Dynamo Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic and Hertha Berlin. He was one of the first East Germanb players to play for the unified Germany. He played 51 times for East Germany throughout the 1980s and played 10 more times for the unified German national team in the early 1990s. He went to European Championship in 1992.
Jancker played between 1993 and 2009 for various teams including FC Köln, Rapid Wien, FC Bayern Munich, Udinese Calcio, FC Kaiserslautern, Shanghai Shenhua F.C., and SV Mattersburg. Jancker's time at Bayern between 1996 and 2002 was the best period of his career, a spell which included four Bundesliga titles and victory in the 2001 UEFA Champions League.Capped 33 times for Germany.
ST: Ulf Kirsten
Started with Dynamo Dresden. He was one of the first East German footballers to enter the Bundesliga after the German reunification. In the German Bundesliga he played 350 matches for Bayer Leverkusen and scored 182 goals. Kirsten's 100 caps are almost evenly split: 49 for East Germany and 51 for the re-unified Germany. Kirsten played for his country at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and Euro 2000.
Olaf Marschall, Uwe Rosler, Rainer Ernst, Rico Steinmann, Dirk Schuster, Dirk Stahmann, Tobias Werner, Heiko Scholz.
-- All players were born in East Germany still under GDR.
-- Toni Kroos was born in January, 1990. East Germany formally ceased to exist in October, 1990. He is probably the last good footballer born in German Democratic Republic (East Germany) while it still existed. His brother Felix Kroos was born in unified Germany. Robert Huth was also born before the reunification.
-- The third keeper is tough. Ronny Teuber, Dirk Heyne and Rene Muller were considered. Both Heyne and Muller were East German internationals who later played in the Bundesliga. I took Muller because he was better-known.
-- Dirk Stahmann was very old by the time of the reunification in 1990.
-- Michael Ballack was probably Germany's best player from 2000 to 2010. Toni Kroos was also considered Germany's best player at the 2014 World Cup Finals, but he was the only "East German" player at that point in time.
-- At the World Youth Championship in 1987, they narrowly lost to the talented Yugoslavia in the quarterfinal and finished 3rd. Matthias Sammer was the star of the team. I believe East Germany might have their Golden era from1996 to 2006. They almost qualified for Italia 1990 with Matthias Sammer, Ulf Kirsten and Andreas Thom. They only needed a draw against Austria on the last match of the World Cup Qualifiers. If they qualified for the 1990 World Cup Finals, East Germany would have been one of the best ever East German team.
-- The trio later contributed a lot to the German national team after the reunification in 1990. Thomas Doll also played that match as a sub. He would become an important player at Euro 1992 for Germany. Dariusz Wosz and Olaf Marschall had been capped by DDR. These players could become the greatest generation of East German stars.
-- The European Championship of 1996 was Germany' first international title after the reunification. Matthaus Sammer was an important player, winning the Ballon d'Or that year. René Schneider and Steffen Freund were also on that team.
-- In 1998, Olaf Marschall and Jens Jeremies went to the World Cup Finals. East Germany could select Carsten Jancker, Thomas Linke, Bernd Schneider, Jens Jeremies, Steffen Freund and Ulf Kiirsten. Thomas Doll, Andreas Thom, Matthias Sammer and Dariusz Wosz were old, but they would probably make it to the WC Finals. Michael Ballack who was 21 years old in 1998 and just made his first Bundesliga in 1998 might be included.
-- In 2002, Ballack, Jancker, Schneider, Bohme, Jeremies, Linke, and Rehmer went to Japan/Korea. In addition, Kirsten was a regular starter for Leverkusen that season as they finished runner-up at the CL that season. Enke was already capped by Germany and would have been the started for the East German NT. Tim Borowski made his NT debut a month after the WC Finals. He probably would have made the East German team as well. Robert Huth was an emerging player with Chelsea in 2002, but had not made his professional debut.