Monday, October 23, 2017

Germany Greatest All-Time Team after Beckenbauer

World Cup 2014

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Germany All-Time Team
North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria.
East German Players after 1990
German Americans/American Germans
German Turks 
Germany All-Time Team before 1972
Germany All-Time Team Without Bayern Munich Players
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
East Germany

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time German team after Franz Beckenbauer's retirement from international football in 1974. The number 23 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the World Cup Finals.

West Germany won its World Cup in 1954.  However, West Germany or Germany did not earn respect from the world until the emerge of Franz Beckenbauer and the Golden Generation.  After the World Cup 1974, they are finally considered one of the best footballing nations in the world.  

Euro 1980

GK: Oliver Kahn
Kahn is one of the most successful German players in recent history.  For Bayern Munich, he won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Cup in 1996, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup, both achieved in 2001. For Germany, his heroic performance helped Germany to finish 2nd at Korea/Japan 2002.  He was the Gold Ball winner in that World Cup Finals.  

GK: Toni Schumacher
Toni 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.  At the club level, he spent the prime of his career with Koln.  He also played in Turkey at the end of his career.
Toni Schumacher
GK: Manuel Neuer
Neuer established as Germany's number 1 before the World Cup Finals in 2010.  Since then, he has been considered one of the best keeper in the world. He helped Germany winning their 4th World Cup in 2014. In 2014, Neuer finished third in the voting, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award.  He started with Schalke 04, but moved to rival Bayern Munich in 2010. He is the second most expensive keeper of all-time.

RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team. He had 113 capos for Germany from 2004 to 2014.  For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich, except for a loan spell with VfB Stuttgart. He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga on the same year.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  
Philipp Lahm
RB: Manfred Kaltz 
Manfred Kaltz was one of the finest crosser of the ball in the history of the game. He was famous with his partnership with striker Horst Hrubesch at Hamburger SV.  They won the European Cup in 1984. He was capped 69 times.  He was a key player for West Germany (sometimes as their captain) in the 1980's and was considered one of Germany's greatest fullbacks. He won the European Championship in 1980.

CB: Jurgen Kohler
Jurgen Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's.   He earned 105 caps for West Germany/Germany between 1986 and 1998.  He won the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  For his club career, he played with Koln, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.  He was Footballer of the Year in Germany in 1997.

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster

With West Germany, Forster earned 81 caps. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the World Cup in both 1982 and 1986.  His brother Bernd also played in the 1982 World Cup Finals. He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France with Bernard Tapie's Marseille.

SW: Matthias Sammer
With Borussia Dortmund, Sammer won the Bundesliga and DFL-Supercup in 1995, the Bundesliga, DFL-Supercup, and the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 1997. He also played for Inter Milan and Dynamo Dresden. With Germany, Sammer won the 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.  

CB/SW: Ulrich Stielike 
Ulrich Stielike is one of a small handful of players to have played in all 3 European club finals, the World Cup Final and the European Championship Final.  He was part of the Mönchengladbach team that won three Bundesliga titles, the UEFA Cup in 1975 and gained a runner-up medal in the European Cup in 1977.  He joined Real Madrid in 1977, where he won the UEFA Cup.  He was capped 42 times, winning Euro 1980.  He also played in the 1982 World Cup Finals.
Ulrich Stielike 
LB: Andreas Brehme
Andreas Brehme 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 had 86 caps.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final. He also played in 1986 and 1994 World Cup Finals, and three European Championship.

LB/CB/DM: Hans Peter Briegel 
Briegel's original sport was Decathlon.  From 1975 to 1984, he played with FC Kaiserslautern before he moved on to Hellas Verona in Italy, capturing the Serie A title in 1985. The same year Briegel was named German Footballer of the Year, being the first foreign-based winner.  With West Germany, he won the European Championship in 1980.  He played in the WC Finals of both 1982 and 1986.

CB/CM: Guido Buchwald 
The best game of Buchwald's career was probably the final of the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he effectively marked the skilled footballer Diego Maradona, earning him the nickname "Diego". He was also part of Germany's disappointing 1994 FIFA World Cup squad and collected in his career 76 caps. he spent most of his career with Stuttgart, winning two league titles.  At the end of his career, he played in Japan.

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
He was an important player for both club and country.  He was capped 121 times. 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. Late in his career, he played for Manchester United and Chicago Fire.

CM:  Lothar Matthaus
Lothar Matthaus was best remember for captaining the West German team in winning the World Cup 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.
Lothar Matthaus
CM: Toni Kroos 
Toni Kroos became a member of Bayern Munich's first team at the age of 17, Kroos won 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 three UEFA Champions League titles. He was a key player for Germany since 2010.  He played over 90 times for Germany.  He won the World Cup in 2014 as one of Germany's star players.
Toni Kroos
AM/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.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the WC Finals.  he also played for Chelsea before his retirement.

AM: Thomas Hassler 
Hassler was a star player in the 1990's.  He played for Koln, Juventus, Roma, Karlsruher, 1860 Munich and SV Salzburg. He appeared over 100 times for the German natinal team. He was a member of the teams which won the 1990 FIFA World Cup (as West Germany) and UEFA Euro 1996. He also appeared at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 1992 and 2000 UEFA European Championships, and the 1988 Olympic Games.

RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski  
Littibarski was a major star in the 1980's.  He had over 70 caps and played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times, winning his final World Cup in 1990. He spent most of his career with Koln. Littbarski spent most of his playing career at 1. FC Köln, winning the DFB-Pokal once, in 1983, and was three times runner up in the Bundesliga (1982, 1989 and 1990).  He also played in France and Japan.

FW: Thomas Muller
Thomas Muller made his professional debut the season before South Africa 2010 with Bayern Munich.   In South Africa, he won the Golden Boot as the top scorer.  Between the two World Cup Finals, Bayern Munich won one Champions' league and went to the Final two other times.  At Brazil 2014, he won Silver Boot by scoring 5 goals after helping Germany to win their first World Cup since 1990.

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge 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.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
ST: Rudi Völler 
Völler started his career with TSV 1860 Hanau, before joining Werder Bremen in 1982. After becoming Bundesliga's top scorer, he was transferred to A.S. Roma.  In 1992, Völler moved to Olympique Marseille, where he won the Champions League in 1993. He joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994.  He was capped 90 times.  He was a key player as West Germany won the World Cup in 1990. He was known for his partnership with Jurgen Klinsmann.

ST: Miroslav Klose 
Miroslav Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the German squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  He is the top goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup, having scored 16 goals. Klose is also the top scorer of all time for Germany. He spent most of his career playing in Germany, but played in Italy at the end of his career. He was born in Poland of German ethnicity. His father was capped by Poland.
Miroslav Klose 
ST: Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann won the World Cup 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.  He also played for Bayern Munich and AS Monaco.
Jurgen Klinsmann

Honorable Mention
Jens Lehmann, Eike Immel, Oliver Bierhoff, Bodo Illgner, Thomas Berthold, Klaus Augenthaler, Sami Khedira, Bernd Schuster, Stefan Effenberg, Thomas Hassler, Horst Hrubesch, Felix Magath, Andy Moller, Karl-Heinze Riedle, Stefan Reuter, Mehmet Scholl, Mats Hummels, Jérôme Boateng.

West Germany 1990
Squad Explanation
-- West Germany won the European Championship in 1980.  They came second in the World Cup twice in the 1980's.  From the 1980's, I selected Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Karl-Heinz Forster, Toni Schumacher, Pierre Littbarski, Lother Matthaus, Hans Peter Briegel, Ulrich Stielike and Manfred Kaltz.  Ruud Voller played a significant role at the1986 World Cup Finals.
-- From the 1990 World Cup winning team, I selected Lother Matthaus, Rudi Voller, Jurgen Klinsmann, Guido Buchwald, Andreas Brehme and Jurgen Kohler.  
-- The Euro 1996 team was very different from the 1990 team.  Mathaus Sammer and Jurgen Klinsmann were the main players.  Jurgen Kohler was also on that team.  Oliver Kahn was a backup goalkeeper.
-- From the 2014 World Cup winning team,  I selected the following players Toni Kroos, Manuel Neuer, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller, Mesut Ozil, Philipp Lahm and Bastian Schweinsteiger.
-- Michael Ballack did not belong to any great generations, but he did play with Lahm and Klose for Germany.
-- Toni Kroos was sensational as Germany won the World Cup in 2014.  He was also a key player for Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
-- Rummenigge played with Beckenbauer, but not in a World Cup Finals. I considered him as a player after Beckenbauer,
-- Michael Ballack and Thomas Hassler were selected over Bernd Schuster and Stefan Effenberg because they had played more games for Germany.  Both Schuster and Effenberg did not want to represent Germany. Loyalty was considered when I have to choose between the four players. 
-- Toni Kroos was probably the best German player at the 2014 World Cup Finals.  He also won four Champions' League titles with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
-- Ballack carried Germany during a period when German football was having its lowest point since Beckenbauer's retirement. Ballack still managed to reach the Final of Euro 2008 and the World Cup Finals of 2002 while finishing 3rd at the 2006 World Cup Finals.
-- Miroslav Klose is the all-time leading scorer in the World Cup Finals.  Despite that, he seemed to be underrated.  Thomas Muller also scored a lot of goals in the World Cup Finals.  Both players are rewarded a spot for their performance at the World Cup Finals because the World Cup Finals is the most important tournament in the international football.


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