Germany national football team

Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Nationalelf (national eleven)
DFB-Elf (DFB Eleven)
Die Mannschaft (The Team)[a]
Association Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Joachim Löw
Captain Manuel Neuer
Most caps Lothar Matthäus (150)
Top scorer Miroslav Klose (71)
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 12 Increase 1 (7 April 2021)[3]
Highest 1[4] (December 1992 – August 1993, December 1993 – March 1994, June 1994, July 2014 – June 2015, July 2017, September 2017 – June 2018)
Lowest 22[4] (March 2006)
First international
  Switzerland 5–3 Germany 
(Basel, Switzerland; 5 April 1908)[5]
Biggest win
 Germany 16–0 Russian Empire 
(Stockholm, Sweden; 1 July 1912)[6]
Biggest defeat
 England Amateurs 9–0 Germany 
(Oxford, England; 13 March 1909)[7][b]
World Cup
Appearances 19 (first in 1934)
Best result Champions (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
European Championship
Appearances 13 (first in 1972)
Best result Champions (1972, 1980, 1996)
Confederations Cup
Appearances 3 (first in 1999)
Best result Champions (2017)

The Germany national football team (German: Deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft or Die Mannschaft) represents Germany in men's international football and played its first match in 1908.[5] The team is governed by the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund), founded in 1900.[9][10] Between 1949 and 1990, separate German national teams were recognised by FIFA due to Allied occupation and division: the DFB's team representing the Federal Republic of Germany (named West Germany from 1949 to 1990), the Saarland team representing the Saar Protectorate (1950–1956) and the East German team representing the German Democratic Republic (1952–1990). The latter two were absorbed along with their records;[11][12] the present team represents the reunified Federal Republic. The official name and code "Germany FR (FRG)" was shortened to "Germany (GER)" following reunification in 1990.

Germany is one of the most successful national teams in international competitions, having won four World Cups (1954, 1974, 1990, 2014), three European Championships (1972, 1980, 1996), and one Confederations Cup (2017).[9] They have also been runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup, and a further four third-place finishes at World Cups.[9] East Germany won Olympic Gold in 1976.[13]

Germany is the only nation to have won both the FIFA World Cup and the FIFA Women's World Cup.[14][15]

At the end of the 2014 World Cup, Germany earned the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history, with a record 2,205 points.[16] Germany is also the only European nation that has won a FIFA World Cup in the Americas. The manager of the national team is Joachim Löw, who has been in charge since 2006 and will step down after the UEFA Euro 2020 in 2021.


Early years (1899–1942)

German national team at its first official international match in 1908

Between 1899 and 1901, prior to the formation of a national team, there were five unofficial international matches between German and English selection teams, which all ended as large defeats for the German teams. Eight years after the establishment of the German Football Association (DFB), the first official match of the Germany national football team[17] was played on 5 April 1908, against Switzerland in Basel, with the Swiss winning 5–3.[5]

Julius Hirsch was the first Jewish player to represent the Germany national football team, which he joined in 1911.[18][19] Hirsch scored four goals for Germany against the Netherlands in 1912, becoming the first German to score four goals in a single match.[20][21]

Gottfried Fuchs scored a world record 10 goals for Germany in a 16–0 win against Russia at the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm on 1 July, becoming the top scorer of the tournament; his international record was not surpassed until 2001 when Australia's Archie Thompson scored 13 goals in a 31–0 defeat of American Samoa.[22] He was Jewish, and the German Football Association erased all references to him from their records between 1933 and 1945.[23][24] As of 2016, he was still the top German scorer for one match.[25]

The first match after World War I in 1920, the first match after World War II in 1950 when Germany was still banned from most international competitions, and the first match in 1990 with former East German players were all against Switzerland as well. Germany's first championship title was even won in Switzerland in 1954.

At that time the players were selected by the DFB, as there was no dedicated coach. The first manager of the Germany national team was Otto Nerz, a school teacher from Mannheim, who served in the role from 1926 to 1936.[26] The German FA could not afford travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After a poor showing at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Sepp Herberger became coach. In 1937 he put together a squad which was soon nicknamed the Breslau Elf (the Breslau Eleven) in recognition of their 8–0 win over Denmark in the then German city of Breslau, Lower Silesia (now Wrocław, Poland).[27][28]

After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country's national team – one of Europe's best sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having already qualified for the 1938 World Cup. Nazi politicians ordered five or six ex-Austrian players, from the clubs Rapid Vienna, Austria Vienna, and First Vienna FC, to join the all-German team on short notice in a staged show of unity for political reasons. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, this "united" German team managed only a 1–1 draw against Switzerland and then lost the replay 2–4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France. That early exit stands as Germany's worst World Cup result, and one of just two occasions the team failed to progress the group stage (the next would not occur until the 2018 tournament).

During World War II, the team played over 30 international games between September 1939 and November 1942. National team games were then suspended, as most players had to join the armed forces. Many of the national team players were gathered together under coach Herberger as Rote Jäger through the efforts of a sympathetic air force officer trying to protect the footballers from the most dangerous wartime service.

Three German national teams (1945–1990)

After World War II, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until 1950. The DFB was not a full member of FIFA, and none of the three new German states – West Germany, East Germany, and Saarland – entered the 1950 World Cup qualifiers.

The Federal Republic of Germany, which was referred to as West Germany, continued the DFB. With recognition by FIFA and UEFA, the DFB maintained and continued the record of the pre-war team. Switzerland was once again the first team that played West Germany in 1950.[29] West Germany qualified for the 1954 World Cup.

The Saarland, under French control between 1946 and 1956, did not join French organisations, and was barred from participating in pan-German ones. It sent their own team to the 1952 Summer Olympics and to the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland acceded to the Federal Republic of Germany.

In 1949, the communist German Democratic Republic (East Germany) was founded. In 1952 the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR (DFV) was established and the East Germany national football team took to the field. They were the only team to beat the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning West Germans in the only meeting of the two sides of the divided nation. East Germany won the gold medal at the 1976 Olympics. After German reunification in 1990, the eastern football competition was reintegrated into the DFB.

1954 World Cup victory

Helmut Rahn scored the winning goal in the 1954 FIFA World Cup final.

West Germany, captained by Fritz Walter, met in the 1954 World Cup against Turkey, Yugoslavia and Austria. When playing favourites Hungary in the group stage, Germany lost 3–8. West Germany met the Hungarian "Mighty Magyars" again in the final. Hungary had gone unbeaten for 32 consecutive matches. In an upset, West Germany won 3–2, with Helmut Rahn scoring the winning goal.[30] The success is called "The Miracle of Bern" (Das Wunder von Bern).[31]

Memorable losses: Wembley goal and game of the century (1958–1970)

After finishing fourth in the 1958 World Cup and reaching only the quarter-finals in the 1962 World Cup, the DFB made changes. Professionalism was introduced, and the best clubs from the various Regionalligas were assembled into the new Bundesliga. In 1964, Helmut Schön took over as coach, replacing Herberger who had been in office for 28 years.

In the 1966 World Cup, West Germany reached the final after beating the USSR in the semi-final, facing hosts England. In extra time, the first goal by Geoff Hurst was one of the most contentious goals in the history of the World Cup: the linesman signalled the ball had crossed the line for a goal, after bouncing down from the crossbar, when replays showed it did not appear to have fully crossed the line. Hurst then scored another goal giving England a 4–2 win.[32][33]

West Germany in the 1970 World Cup knocked England out in the quarter-finals 3–2, before they suffered a 4–3 extra-time loss in the semi-final against Italy. This match with five goals in extra time is one of the most dramatic in World Cup history, and is called the "Game of the Century" in both Italy and Germany.[34][35] West Germany claimed third by beating Uruguay 1–0. Gerd Müller finished as the tournament's top scorer with 10 goals.

1974 World Cup title on home soil

In 1971, Franz Beckenbauer became captain of the national team, and he led West Germany to victory at the European Championship at Euro 1972, defeating the Soviet Union 3–0 in the final.[36][37]

As hosts of the 1974 World Cup, they won their second World Cup, defeating the Netherlands 2–1 in the final in Munich.[38] Two matches in the 1974 World Cup stood out for West Germany. The first group stage saw a politically charged match as West Germany played a game against East Germany. The East Germans won 1–0.[39] The West Germans advanced to the final against the Johan Cruijff-led Dutch team and their brand of "Total Football". The Dutch took the lead from a penalty. However, West Germany tied the match on a penalty by Paul Breitner, and won it with Gerd Müller's fine finish soon after.[40][41]

Late 1970s and early 1980s

Gerd Müller in 2006

West Germany failed to defend their titles in the next two major international tournaments. They lost to Czechoslovakia in the final of Euro 1976 in a penalty shootout 5–3.[42] Since that loss, Germany has not lost a penalty shootout in major international tournaments.[43]

In the 1978 World Cup, Germany was eliminated in the second group stage after losing 3–2 to Austria. Schön retired as coach afterward, and the post was taken over by his assistant, Jupp Derwall.

West Germany's first tournament under Derwall was successful, as they earned their second European title at Euro 1980 after defeating Belgium 2–1 in the final.[44] West Germany reached the final of the 1982 World Cup, though not without difficulties. They were upset 1–2 by Algeria in their first match,[45] but advanced to the second round with a controversial 1–0 win over Austria. In the semi-final against France, they tied the match 3–3 and won the penalty shootout 5–4.[46][47] In the final, they were defeated by Italy 1–3.[48]

During this period, West Germany's Gerd Müller racked up fourteen goals in two World Cups (1970 and 1974). His ten goals in 1970 are the third-most ever in a tournament. (Müller's all-time World Cup record of 14 goals was broken by Ronaldo in 2006; this was then further broken by Miroslav Klose in 2014 with 16 goals).[49]

Beckenbauer's coaching success (1984–1990)

Franz Beckenbauer

After West Germany were eliminated in the first round of Euro 1984, Franz Beckenbauer returned to the national team to replace Derwall as coach.[50] At the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, West Germany finished as runners-up for the second consecutive tournament after beating France 2–0 in the semi-finals, but losing to the Diego Maradona-led Argentina in the final, 2–3.[51][52] In Euro 1988, West Germany's hopes of winning the tournament on home soil were spoiled by the Netherlands, as the Dutch beat them 2–1 in the semi-finals.[53]

At the 1990 World Cup in Italy, West Germany won their third World Cup title, in its unprecedented third consecutive final appearance.[54] Captained by Lothar Matthäus, they defeated Yugoslavia (4–1), UAE (5–1), the Netherlands (2–1), Czechoslovakia (1–0), and England (1–1, 4–3 on penalty kicks) on the way to a final rematch against Argentina, played in the Italian capital of Rome.[55][56] West Germany won 1–0, with the only goal being a penalty scored in the 85th minute by Andreas Brehme.[54] Beckenbauer, who won the World Cup as the national team's captain in 1974, thus became the first person to win the World Cup as both captain and coach.[50]

Olympic football

Prior to 1984, Olympic football was an amateur event, meaning that only non-professional players could participate. Due to this, West Germany was never able to achieve the same degree of success at the Olympics as at the World Cup, with the first medal coming in the 1988 Olympics, when they won the bronze medal. It took Germany 28 years to participate at the Olympics again in 2016, this time reaching the final and winning a silver medal. West Germany also reached the second round in both 1972 and 1984. On the other hand, due to having an ability to field its top-level players who were classified as amateurs on a technicality East Germany did better, winning a gold, a silver and two bronze medals (one representing the United Team of Germany).

Berti Vogts years (1990–1998)

Berti Vogts

In February 1990, months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, East Germany and West Germany were drawn together in UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying Group 5. In November 1990, the East German association Deutscher Fußball-Verband integrated into the DFB, by which time the East German team had ceased operations, playing its last match on 12 September 1990. The unified German national team completed the European Championship qualifying group. The East German 1990–91 league continued, with a restructuring of German leagues in 1991–92. The first game with a unified German team was against Sweden on 10 October.[57]

After the 1990 World Cup, assistant Berti Vogts took over as the national team coach from the retiring Beckenbauer. In Euro 1992, Germany reached the final, but lost 0–2 to underdogs Denmark.[58] In the 1994 World Cup, they were upset 1–2 in the quarterfinals by Bulgaria.[59][60]

Reunified Germany won its first major international title at Euro 1996, becoming European champions for the third time.[61] They defeated hosts England in the semi-finals,[62] and the Czech Republic 2–1 in the final on a golden goal in extra time.[63]

However, in the 1998 World Cup, Germany were eliminated in the quarterfinals in a 0–3 defeat to Croatia, all goals being scored after defender Christian Wörns received a straight red card.[64] Vogts stepped down afterwards and was replaced by Erich Ribbeck.[65]

Oliver Kahn and Michael Ballack era (2000–2006)

In Euro 2000, the team went out in the first round, drawing with Romania, then suffering a 1–0 defeat to England and were routed 3–0 by Portugal (which fielded their backup players, having already advanced).[66] Ribbeck resigned, and was replaced by Rudi Völler.[67]

Coming into the 2002 World Cup, expectations of the German team were low due to poor results in the qualifiers and not directly qualifying for the finals for the first time. The team advanced through group play, and in the knockout stages they produced three consecutive 1–0 wins against Paraguay,[68] the United States,[69] and co-hosts South Korea. Oliver Neuville scored two minutes from time against Paraguay and Michael Ballack scored both goals in the US and South Korea games, although he picked up a second yellow card against South Korea for a tactical foul and was suspended for the subsequent match.[70] This set up a final against Brazil, the first World Cup meeting between the two. Germany lost 0–2 thanks to two Ronaldo goals.[71] Nevertheless, German captain and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn won the Golden Ball,[72] the first time in the World Cup that a goalkeeper was named the best player of the tournament.[73]

Fans watching Germany battle Argentina in the 2006 World Cup match at the Donau Arena in Regensburg

Germany again exited in the first round of Euro 2004, drawing their first two matches and losing the third to the Czech Republic (who had fielded a second-string team).[74] Völler resigned afterwards, and Jürgen Klinsmann was appointed head coach.[75][76]

Klinsmann's main task was to lead the national team to a good showing at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Klinsmann relieved goalkeeper Kahn of the captaincy and announced that Kahn and longtime backup Jens Lehmann would be competing for the position of starting goaltender, a decision that angered Kahn and Lehmann eventually won that contest.[77] Expectations for the team were low, which was not helped by veteran defender Christian Wörns being dropped (after Wörns criticised Klinsmann for designating him only as a backup player on the squad), a choice roundly panned in Germany. Italy routed Germany 4–1 in a March exhibition game, and Klinsmann bore the brunt of the criticism as the team was ranked only 22nd in the world entering the 2006 FIFA World Cup.[78]

As World Cup hosts, Germany won all three group-stage matches to finish top of their group. The team defeated Sweden 2–0 in the round of 16.[79] Germany faced Argentina in the quarter-finals. The match ended 1–1, and Germany won the penalty shootout 4–2.[80] In the semi-final against Italy, the match was scoreless until near the end of extra time when Germany conceded two goals.[81] In the third place match, Germany defeated Portugal 3–1.[82] Miroslav Klose was awarded the Golden Boot for his tournament-leading five goals.[83]

New orientation under Löw (2006–present)

Germany's entry into the Euro 2008 qualifying round was marked by the promotion of Joachim Löw to head coach, since Klinsmann resigned.[84] At UEFA Euro 2008, Germany won two out of three matches in group play to advance to the knockout round.[85] They defeated Portugal 3–2 in the quarterfinal,[86] and won their semi-final against Turkey.[87] Germany lost the final against Spain 0–1, finishing as the runners-up.[88]

At UEFA Euro 2000 in the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany's squad was still homogeneous. Apart from Brazilian striker Paulo Rink, there were only two players, Dariusz Wosz, born in Poland, and Mehmet Scholl, whose biological father came from Turkey, who had at least one foreign parent or were born abroad. At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa - apart from striker Cacau, who also comes from Brazil and received German citizenship in 2009 - there were no less than ten players who were born abroad or had at least one foreign parent. Piotr Trochowski, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski were born in Poland, Marko Marin was born in the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the fathers of Jerome Boateng and Dennis Aogo come from Africa (Ghana and Nigeria respectively), Sami Khedira's father is a Tunisian, Mario Gomez's father is from Spain and the parents of Serdar Tasci and Mesut Özil are originally from Turkey.[89] In the 2010 World Cup, Germany won the group and advanced to the knockout stage. In the round of 16, Germany defeated England 4–1.[90] The game controversially had a valid goal by Frank Lampard disallowed.[91][92][93] In the quarterfinals, Germany defeated Argentina 4–0,[94] and Miroslav Klose tied German Gerd Müller's record of 14 World Cup goals.[95] In the semi-final, Germany lost 1–0 to Spain.[96] Germany defeated Uruguay 3–2 to take third place (their second third place after 2006).[97] German Thomas Müller won the Golden Boot and the Best Young Player Award.[98][99]

Germany during Euro 2012 qualifiers

In Euro 2012, Germany was placed in group B along with Portugal, Netherlands, and Denmark. Germany won all three group matches. Germany defeated Greece in the quarter-final and set a record of 15 consecutive wins in all competitive matches.[100] In the semi-finals, Germany lost to Italy, 1–2.

2014 World Cup victory

Germany lifting the World Cup trophy in 2014

Germany finished first in their qualification group for the 2014 World Cup. The draw for the 2014 World Cup finals placed Germany in Group G,[101] with Portugal, Ghana, and United States. They first faced Portugal in a match billed by some as the "team of all the talents against the team of The Talent (Cristiano Ronaldo)", routing the Portuguese 4–0 thanks to a hat-trick by Thomas Müller.[102][103] In their match with Ghana, they led the game with Götze's second half goal, but then conceded two consecutive goals, then at the 71st minute Klose scored a goal to help Germany to draw 2–2 with Ghana. With that goal, Klose also nudged home his 15th World Cup goal to join former Brazil striker Ronaldo at the pinnacle of World Cup Finals scorers. They then went on to defeat the United States team 1–0, securing them a spot in the round of sixteen against Algeria.

The round of sixteen knockout match against Algeria remained goalless after regulation time, resulting in extra time. In the 92nd minute, André Schürrle scored a goal from a Thomas Müller pass. Mesut Özil scored Germany's second goal in the 120th minute. Algeria managed to score one goal in injury time and the match ended 2–1. Germany secured a place in the quarter-final, where they would face France.

In the quarter-final match against France, Mats Hummels scored in the 13th minute. Germany won the game 1–0 to advance to a record fourth consecutive semi-finals.[104]

Germany posing with Champions banner after 2014 FIFA World Cup Final

The semi-final win (7–1) against Brazil was a major accomplishment. Germany scored four goals in just less than seven minutes and were 5–0 up against Brazil by the 30th minute with goals from Thomas Müller, Miroslav Klose, Sami Khedira and two from Toni Kroos. Klose's goal in the 23rd minute, his 16th World Cup goal, gave him sole possession of the record for most goals scored during World Cup Finals, dethroning former Brazil national Ronaldo.

In the second half of the game, substitute André Schürrle scored twice for Germany to lead 7–0, the highest score against Brazil in a single game. Germany did, however, concede a late goal to Brazil's Oscar. It was Brazil's worst ever World Cup defeat,[105] whilst Germany broke multiple World Cup records with the win, including the record broken by Klose, the first team to reach four consecutive World Cup semi-finals, the first team to score seven goals in a World Cup Finals knockout phase game, the fastest five consecutive goals in World Cup history (four of which in just 400 seconds), the first team to score five goals in the first half in a World Cup semi-final as well as being the topic of the most tweets ever on Twitter about a certain subject when the previous social media record was smashed after Germany scored their fourth goal. Also, Germany's seven goals took their total tally in World Cup history to 223, surpassing Brazil's 221 goals to first place overall.[106]

The World Cup Final was held at the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on 13 July, and billed as the world's best player (Lionel Messi) versus the world's best team (Germany).[107][108] Mario Götze's 113th-minute goal helped Germany beat Argentina 1–0, becoming the first-ever European team to win a FIFA World Cup in the Americas and the second European team to win the title outside Europe.[109][110]

Euro 2016 to 2017 Confederations Cup

After several players retired from the team following the 2014 World Cup win, including Philipp Lahm, Per Mertesacker and Miroslav Klose, the team had a disappointing start in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifiers. They defeated Scotland 2–1 at home, then suffered a 2–0 loss at Poland (the first in their history), a 1–1 draw against the Republic of Ireland, and a 4–0 win over Gibraltar. The year ended with an away 0–1 friendly win against Spain, the reigning European champions of 2008 and 2012.

Troubles during qualifying for the 2016 European Championship continued, drawing at home, as well as losing away, to Ireland; the team also only narrowly defeated Scotland on two occasions, but handily won the return against Poland and both games against Gibraltar (who competed for the first time). Eventually, however, topping their group and qualifying for the tournament through a 2–1 victory against Georgia on 11 October 2015 (having won the first match against them).

On 13 November 2015, the team was playing a friendly match against France in Paris when a series of terrorist attacks took place in the city, some in the direct vicinity of the Stade de France, where the game was held.[111] For security reasons, the team needed to spend the night inside the stadium, accompanied by the French squad who stayed behind in an act of comradery.[112] Four days later, on 17 November 2015, the German team was scheduled to face the Netherlands at Hanover's HDI-Arena, also in a friendly. After initial security reservations, the DFB decided to play the match on 15 November.[113] However, after reports about a concrete threat to the stadium, the match was cancelled ninety minutes before kickoff.[114]

Germany began their preparations for Euro 2016 in March with friendlies against England and Italy. They gave up a 2–0 lead to England, and ended up losing 2–3. They bounced back in their match with Italy, however, winning by a score of 4–1. It was their first win against the Italians in 21 years.[115]

Germany began their campaign for a fourth European title with a 2–0 win against Ukraine on 12 June. Against Poland, Germany was held to a 0–0 draw but concluded Group C with a 1–0 win against Northern Ireland. In the Round of 16, Germany faced Slovakia and earned a comfortable 3–0 win. Germany then faced off against rivals Italy in the quarter-finals. Mesut Özil opened the scoring in the 65th minute for Germany, before Leonardo Bonucci drew even after converting a penalty in the 78th minute. The score remained 1–1 after extra time and Germany beat Italy 6–5 in a penalty shootout. It was the first time Germany had overcome Italy in a major tournament.[116][117] In the semi-finals Germany played the host nation France. Germany's hopes of securing a fourth European championship were put on hold however as France ended Germany's run by eliminating them by a score of 0–2. It was France's first competitive win against Germany in 58 years.[118]

On 2 July 2017, Germany won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup after a 1–0 win against Chile in the final at the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, it was their only FIFA Confederations Cup title.[119]

Disappointment at the 2018 World Cup and 2018–19 UEFA Nations League

Fans in Hamburg watching the match between Germany and South Korea

Despite winning all their qualifying matches and the Confederations Cup the previous year, Germany started their 2018 World Cup campaign with a defeat to Mexico. This was their first loss in an opening match since the 1982 World Cup.[120] Germany defeated Sweden 2–1 in their second game via an injury-time winner from Toni Kroos, but was subsequently eliminated following a 2–0 loss to South Korea, their first exit in the first round since 1938 and first ever in group stage since the format had been reintroduced in 1950.[121][122]

Following the World Cup, Germany's struggles continued into the UEFA Nations League. After a 0–0 draw at home against France, they lost 3–0 against the Netherlands[123] and 1–2 in the rematch against France three days later; the latter result being their fourth loss in six competitive matches.[124] These results meant that Germany could not advance to the 2019 UEFA Nations League Finals and faced the prospect of possible relegation to League B in the next Nations League.[124]

After the Netherlands' win against France, the relegation to League B was originally confirmed, but due to the overhaul of the format for the 2020–21 UEFA Nations League, Germany was spared from relegation to League B.[125]

In March 2021, the DFB announced that Löw would step down as Germany's manager after the team competes in UEFA Euro 2020.[126] Later that month, Germany lost 1–2 at home to North Macedonia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers, their first World Cup qualification defeat since losing 5–1 to England in the 2002 World Cup qualifiers and only their third in history.[127]

Team image

Kits and crest

The 2006 World Cup saw a widespread public display of the German national flag.

The national team's home kit has always been a white shirt, black shorts, and white socks. The colours are derived from the 19th-century flag of the North German State of Prussia.[128] Since 1988, many of the home kit's designs incorporate details patterned after the modern German flag. For the 2014 World Cup, the German team used white shorts rather than the traditional black due to FIFA's kit clashing rule for the tournament.[129] The away shirt colour has changed several times. Historically, green shirt with white shorts is the most often used alternative colour combination, derived from the DFB colours – though it is often erroneously reported that the choice is in recognition of the fact that Ireland, whose home shirts are green, were the first nation to play Germany in a friendly game after World War II. However, the first team to play Germany after WWII, as stated above, was actually Switzerland.[130] Other colours such as red, grey and black have also been used.

A change from black to red came in 2005 on the request of Jürgen Klinsmann,[131] but Germany played every game at the 2006 World Cup in its home white colours. In 2010, the away colours then changed back to a black shirt and white shorts, but at the tournament, the team dressed up in the black shorts from the home kit. The German team next resumed the use of a green shirt on its away kit, but then changed again to red-and-black striped shirts with white stripes and letters and black shorts.

Adidas AG is the longstanding kit provider to the national team, a sponsorship that began in 1954 and is contracted to continue until at least 2022.[132] In the 70s, Germany wore Erima kits (a German brand, formerly a subsidiary of Adidas).[133][20]

Kit supplier Period Notes
Leuzela unknown–1954 Germany wore Leuzela kits during the 1954 FIFA World Cup[134]
Adidas 1954–present In the 1970s, Germany wore Erima kits
(a German brand, formerly a subsidiary of Adidas).[135][20]
Kit supplier Period Contract Notes
Announcement Duration
Adidas 1954–present 20 June 2016 2019–2022 (4 years)[136] Per year: 50 million ($56.7 million)
Total: 250 million ($283.5 million)[137][138]
10 September 2018 2023–2026 (4 years) Undisclosed[139]

Home stadium

Germany plays its home matches among various stadiums, in rotation, around the country. They have played home matches in 43 different cities so far, including venues that were German at the time of the match, such as Vienna, Austria, which staged three games between 1938 and 1942.

National team matches have been held most often (46 times) in the stadiums of Berlin, which was the venue of Germany's first home match (in 1908 against England). Other common host cities include Hamburg (34 matches), Stuttgart (32), Hanover (28) and Dortmund. Another notable location is Munich, which has hosted numerous notable matches throughout the history of German football, including the 1974 FIFA World Cup Final, which West Germany won against the Netherlands.

Media coverage

Germany's qualifying and friendly matches are televised by privately owned RTL; Nations League by public broadcasters ARD and ZDF. World Cup & European Championships matches featuring the German national team are among the most-watched events in the history of television in Germany.

Results and fixtures

Recent results and scheduled matches according to the DFB,[140][141] UEFA[142] and FIFA[143] websites.

  Win   Draw   Loss   Fixtures



Competitive record

Germany has won the World Cup four times, behind only Brazil (five titles).[149] It has finished as runners-up four times.[149] In terms of semi-final appearances, Germany leads with 13, two more than Brazil's 11, which had participated in two more tournaments.[149] From 1954 to 2014 (16 tournament editions), Germany always reached at least the stage of the last eight teams, before being eliminated in the group stage in 2018.[149] Germany has also qualified for every one of the 18 World Cups for which it has entered – it did not enter the inaugural competition in Uruguay of 1930 for economic reasons, and could not qualify for or compete in the post-war 1950 World Cup as the DFB was reinstated as a FIFA member only two months after this tournament. Germany also has the distinction of having an Elo football rating of 2196 following their victory in the 2014 World Cup, which was higher than any previous champion.[150]

Germany has also won the European Championship three times (Spain and France are the only other multiple-time winners with three and two titles respectively), and finished as runners-up three times as well.[151] The Germans have qualified for every European Championship tournament except for the first European Championship they entered in 1968.[151] For that tournament, Germany was in the only group of three teams and thus only played four qualifying games. The deciding game was a scoreless draw in Albania which gave Yugoslavia the edge, having won in their neighbour country. The team finished out of top eight only in two occasions, the tournaments of 2000[152] and 2004.[153] In the other ten editions Germany participated in they reached nine times at least the semi-finals, an unparalleled record in Europe.

See also East Germany and Saarland for the results of these separate German teams, and Austria for the team that was merged into the German team from 1938 to 1945.

FIFA World Cup

  Champions     Runners-up     Third place     Fourth place  

FIFA World Cup finals record Qualifications record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GF GA Squad GP W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter Did not enter
Italy 1934 Third place 3rd 4 3 0 1 11 8 Squad 1 1 0 0 9 1 1934
France 1938 First round 10th 2 0 1 1 3 5 Squad 3 3 0 0 11 1 1938
Brazil 1950 Banned from entering 1950
Switzerland 1954 Champions 1st 6 5 0 1 25 14 Squad 4 3 1 0 12 3 1954
Sweden 1958 Fourth place 4th 6 2 2 2 12 14 Squad Qualified as defending champions 1958
Chile 1962 Quarter-finals 7th 4 2 1 1 4 2 Squad 4 4 0 0 11 5 1962
England 1966 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 1 1 15 6 Squad 4 3 1 0 14 2 1966
Mexico 1970 Third place 3rd 6 5 0 1 17 10 Squad 6 5 1 0 20 3 1970
West Germany 1974 Champions 1st 7 6 0 1 13 4 Squad Qualified as hosts 1974
Argentina 1978 Second group stage 6th 6 1 4 1 10 5 Squad Qualified as defending champions 1978
Spain 1982 Runners-up 2nd 7 3 2 2 12 10 Squad 8 8 0 0 33 3 1982
Mexico 1986 Runners-up 2nd 7 3 2 2 8 7 Squad 8 5 2 1 22 9 1986
Italy 1990 Champions 1st 7 5 2 0 15 5 Squad 6 3 3 0 13 3 1990
United States 1994 Quarter-finals 5th 5 3 1 1 9 7 Squad Qualified as defending champions 1994
France 1998 Quarter-finals 7th 5 3 1 1 8 6 Squad 10 6 4 0 23 9 1998
South Korea Japan 2002 Runners-up 2nd 7 5 1 1 14 3 Squad 10 6 3 1 19 12 2002
Germany 2006 Third place 3rd 7 5 1 1 14 6 Squad Qualified as hosts 2006
South Africa 2010 Third place 3rd 7 5 0 2 16 5 Squad 10 8 2 0 26 5 2010
Brazil 2014 Champions 1st 7 6 1 0 18 4 Squad 10 9 1 0 36 10 2014
Russia 2018 Group stage 22nd 3 1 0 2 2 4 Squad 10 10 0 0 43 4 2018
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined 2022
Canada Mexico United States 2026 2026
Total 4 titles 19/21 109 67 20* 22 226 125 94 74 18 2 292 70 Total
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border indicates tournament was held on home soil.

FIFA Confederations Cup

FIFA Confederations Cup record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad
1992 Did not enter[154]
1995 Did not qualify
1997 Did not enter[155]
1999 Group stage 5th 3 1 0 2 2 6 Squad
2001 Did not qualify
2003 Did not enter[156]
2005 Third place 3rd 5 3 1 1 15 11 Squad
2009 Did not qualify
2017 Champions 1st 5 4 1 0 12 5 Squad
Total 1 title 3/10 13 8 2 3 29 22

UEFA European Championship

UEFA European Championship record Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Squad
France 1960 Did not enter Did not enter
Spain 1964
Italy 1968 Did not qualify 4 2 1 1 9 2 1968
Belgium 1972 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 5 1 Squad 8 5 3 0 13 3 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 1* 0 6 4 Squad 8 4 4 0 17 5 1976
Italy 1980 Champions 1st 4 3 1 0 6 3 Squad 6 4 2 0 17 1 1980
France 1984 Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 2 2 Squad 8 5 1 2 15 5 1984
West Germany 1988 Semi-finals 3rd 4 2 1 1 6 3 Squad Qualified as hosts
Sweden 1992 Runners-up 2nd 5 2 1 2 7 8 Squad 6 5 0 1 13 4 1992
England 1996 Champions 1st 6 4 2* 0 10 3 Squad 10 8 1 1 27 10 1996
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Group stage 15th 3 0 1 2 1 5 Squad 8 6 1 1 20 4 2000
Portugal 2004 12th 3 0 2 1 2 3 Squad 8 5 3 0 13 4 2004
Austria Switzerland 2008 Runners-up 2nd 6 4 0 2 10 7 Squad 12 8 3 1 35 7 2008
Poland Ukraine 2012 Semi-finals 3rd 5 4 0 1 10 6 Squad 10 10 0 0 34 7 2012
France 2016 Semi-finals 4th 6 3 2* 1 7 3 Squad 10 7 1 2 24 9 2016
Europe 2020 Qualified 8 7 0 1 30 7 2020
Germany 2024 Qualified as hosts Qualified as hosts
Total 3 titles 14/17 49 26 12* 11 72 48 104 74 20 10 262 66 Total
*Denotes draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border color indicates tournament was held on home soil.

UEFA Nations League

UEFA Nations League record
Season Division Group Pos Pld W D* L GF GA P/R Rank
Portugal 2018–19 A 1 3rd 4 0 2 2 3 7 Same position 11th
Italy 2020–21 A 4 2nd 6 2 3 1 10 13 Same position 8th
2022–23 A TBA To be determined
Total 10 2 5 3 13 20 8th
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Gold background colour indicates that the tournament was won.
***Red border colour indicates tournament was held on home soil.


Competition 1st place, gold medalist(s) 2nd place, silver medalist(s) 3rd place, bronze medalist(s) Total
FIFA World Cup 4 4 4 12
UEFA European Championship 3 3 3 9
FIFA Confederations Cup 1 0 1 2
Nations League 0 0 0 0
Total 8 7 8 23

FIFA ranking history


1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
1 5 2 2 2 3 5 11 12 4 12 19 17 6 5 2 6 3 3 2 2 1 4 3 1 16 15

Coaching staff

Joachim Löw, the current manager of the Germany national football team

Current technical staff

Position Name
Head coach Joachim Löw
Assistant coach Marcus Sorg
Fitness coach Yann-Benjamin Kugel
Goalkeeping coach Andreas Köpke
Team doctor Tim Meyer
National team director Oliver Bierhoff


Current squad

The following players were selected for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification matches against Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia on 25, 28 and 31 March 2021 respectively.[158]
Caps and goals correct as of: 31 March 2021, after the match against North Macedonia.[159]

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Manuel Neuer (captain) (1986-03-27) 27 March 1986 (age 35) 98 0 Germany Bayern Munich
12 1GK Kevin Trapp (1990-07-08) 8 July 1990 (age 30) 5 0 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
22 1GK Marc-André ter Stegen (1992-04-30) 30 April 1992 (age 28) 25 0 Spain Barcelona
1GK Bernd Leno (1992-03-04) 4 March 1992 (age 29) 8 0 England Arsenal

2 2DF Philipp Max (1993-09-30) 30 September 1993 (age 27) 3 0 Netherlands PSV
4 2DF Matthias Ginter (1994-01-19) 19 January 1994 (age 27) 38 2 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
5 2DF Jonathan Tah (1996-02-11) 11 February 1996 (age 25) 13 0 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
13 2DF Lukas Klostermann (1996-06-03) 3 June 1996 (age 24) 12 0 Germany RB Leipzig
16 2DF Antonio Rüdiger (1993-03-03) 3 March 1993 (age 28) 40 1 England Chelsea
23 2DF Emre Can (1994-01-12) 12 January 1994 (age 27) 33 1 Germany Borussia Dortmund
2DF Marcel Halstenberg (1991-09-27) 27 September 1991 (age 29) 8 1 Germany RB Leipzig
2DF Robin Gosens (1994-07-05) 5 July 1994 (age 26) 5 0 Italy Atalanta

6 3MF Joshua Kimmich (1995-02-08) 8 February 1995 (age 26) 53 3 Germany Bayern Munich
8 3MF Jamal Musiala (2003-02-26) 26 February 2003 (age 18) 2 0 Germany Bayern Munich
10 3MF Kai Havertz (1999-06-11) 11 June 1999 (age 21) 13 3 England Chelsea
14 3MF Florian Neuhaus (1997-03-16) 16 March 1997 (age 24) 5 1 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
15 3MF Florian Wirtz (2003-05-03) 3 May 2003 (age 17) 0 0 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
18 3MF Leon Goretzka (1995-02-06) 6 February 1995 (age 26) 32 13 Germany Bayern Munich
19 3MF Leroy Sané (1996-01-11) 11 January 1996 (age 25) 28 6 Germany Bayern Munich
21 3MF İlkay Gündoğan (1990-10-24) 24 October 1990 (age 30) 45 10 England Manchester City
3MF Jonas Hofmann (1992-07-14) 14 July 1992 (age 28) 2 0 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach

9 4FW Timo Werner (1996-03-06) 6 March 1996 (age 25) 38 15 England Chelsea
11 4FW Amin Younes (1993-08-06) 6 August 1993 (age 27) 8 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
20 4FW Serge Gnabry (1995-07-14) 14 July 1995 (age 25) 20 15 Germany Bayern Munich

Recent call-ups

The following players have also been called up to the Germany squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Oliver Baumann (1990-06-02) 2 June 1990 (age 30) 0 0 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim v.  Czech Republic, 11 November 2020

DF Niklas Süle (1995-09-03) 3 September 1995 (age 25) 29 1 Germany Bayern Munich v.  Iceland, 25 March 2021 INJ
DF Robin Koch (1996-07-17) 17 July 1996 (age 24) 7 0 England Leeds United v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
DF Benjamin Henrichs (1997-02-23) 23 February 1997 (age 24) 5 0 Germany RB Leipzig v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
DF Niklas Stark (1995-04-14) 14 April 1995 (age 26) 2 0 Germany Hertha BSC v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
DF Felix Uduokhai (1997-09-09) 9 September 1997 (age 23) 0 0 Germany FC Augsburg v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
DF Nico Schulz (1993-04-01) 1 April 1993 (age 28) 12 2 Germany Borussia Dortmund v.  Czech Republic, 11 November 2020
DF Thilo Kehrer (1996-09-21) 21 September 1996 (age 24) 9 0 France Paris Saint-Germain v.  Czech Republic, 11 November 2020
DF Ridle Baku (1998-04-08) 8 April 1998 (age 23) 1 0 Germany VfL Wolfsburg v.  Czech Republic, 11 November 2020

MF Toni Kroos (1990-01-04) 4 January 1990 (age 31) 101 17 Spain Real Madrid v.  Iceland, 25 March 2021 INJ
MF Julian Brandt (1996-05-02) 2 May 1996 (age 24) 35 3 Germany Borussia Dortmund v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
MF Nadiem Amiri (1996-10-27) 27 October 1996 (age 24) 5 0 Germany Bayer Leverkusen v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
MF Mahmoud Dahoud (1996-01-01) 1 January 1996 (age 25) 2 0 Germany Borussia Dortmund v.  Spain, 17 November 2020
MF Julian Draxler (1993-09-20) 20 September 1993 (age 27) 56 7 France Paris Saint-Germain v.   Switzerland, 13 October 2020
MF Suat Serdar (1997-04-11) 11 April 1997 (age 24) 4 0 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Turkey, 7 October 2020 INJ

FW Luca Waldschmidt (1996-05-19) 19 May 1996 (age 24) 7 2 Portugal Benfica v.  Spain, 17 November 2020

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.


Name Period Notes
Fritz Szepan 1934–1939
Paul Janes 1939–1942
Fritz Walter 1951–1956 First official captain of the West Germany national football team
World Cup winning captain (1954)
Hans Schäfer 1952–1962 First West German player to play in three World Cup tournaments
(1954, 1958, 1962)
Helmut Rahn 1958–1959
Herbert Erhardt 1959–1962
Hans Schäfer 1962
Uwe Seeler 1962–1970
Wolfgang Overath 1970–1972
Franz Beckenbauer 1972–1977 European Championship winning captain (1972)
World Cup winning captain (1974)
Berti Vogts 1977–1978
Sepp Maier 1978–1979
Bernard Dietz 1979–1981 European Championship winning captain (1980)
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge 1981–1986
Harald Schumacher 1986
Klaus Allofs 1986–1987
Lothar Matthäus 1988–1994 World Cup winning captain (1990)
First captain of the unified Germany national football team
Jürgen Klinsmann 1995–1998 European Championship winning captain (1996)
Oliver Bierhoff 1998–2001
Oliver Kahn 2001–2004
Michael Ballack 2004–2010
Philipp Lahm 2010–2014 World Cup winning captain (2014)
Bastian Schweinsteiger 2014–2016
Manuel Neuer 2016–2017
Julian Draxler 2017 Confederations Cup winning captain (2017)
Manuel Neuer 2017–present

Player of the Year


As of 17 November 2020 [165]
Players in bold are still active with Germany.
This list does not include players who represented East Germany.

Most capped players

Lothar Matthäus is Germany's most capped player with 150 caps.
# Player Caps Goals Period
1 Lothar Matthäus 150 23 1980–2000
2 Miroslav Klose 137 71 2001–2014
3 Lukas Podolski 130 49 2004–2017
4 Bastian Schweinsteiger 121 24 2004–2016
5 Philipp Lahm 113 5 2004–2014
6 Jürgen Klinsmann 108 47 1987–1998
7 Jürgen Kohler 105 2 1986–1998
8 Per Mertesacker 104 4 2004–2014
9 Franz Beckenbauer 103 14 1965–1977
10 Thomas Häßler 101 11 1988–2000
Toni Kroos 17 2010–

Top goalscorers

Miroslav Klose is Germany's all-time top scorer with 71 goals.
# Player Goals Caps Average Period
1 Miroslav Klose (list) 71 137 0.52 2001–2014
2 Gerd Müller (list) 68 62 1.1 1966–1974
3 Lukas Podolski 49 130 0.38 2004–2017
4 Rudi Völler 47 90 0.52 1982–1994
Jürgen Klinsmann 108 0.44 1987–1998
6 Karl-Heinz Rummenigge 45 95 0.47 1976–1986
7 Uwe Seeler 43 72 0.6 1954–1970
8 Michael Ballack 42 98 0.43 1999–2010
9 Thomas Müller 38 100 0.38 2010–
10 Oliver Bierhoff 37 70 0.53 1996–2002

See also