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7 Greatest German Football Players of All-Time

7 Greatest German Football Players Of All-Time
7 Greatest German Football Players Of All-Time

Germany is synonymous with some of the greatest footballers the game has ever had the privilege of witnessing. German players have achieved incredible feats within Europe’s best leagues, conquered continental competition and propelled their country to victory on the sport's grandest international stages.

A select number of national greats have even etched themselves into footballing folklore and will forever be immortalised as legends. But who are the Greatest German Football players of all-time?

7. Gunter Netzer

One of the greatest German Football players of all-time is Gunter Netzer. He established himself as an international star during his country's 1972 European Championship and 1974 World Cup-winning campaigns.

The attacking midfielder has represented prestigious teams in Europe's major leagues, such as Borussia Mönchengladbach and Real Madrid. Netzer registered 408 appearances during his club career, scoring 120 goals whilst finishing second in the 1972 Ballon d'Or and being named German Footballer of the Year twice.

6. Miroslav Klose

Klose’s international debut came in 2001. He played for Germany over the course of thirteen years, earning a total of 137 caps and scoring a record-breaking 71 goals for his country. Klose helped Germany win the 2014 World Cup, claiming the tournament's Golden Shoe and was also German Footballer of the Year in 2006.

The striker is one of the greatest German football players of all time. He featured most notably for Werder Bremen along with Bayern Munich and Lazio, scoring 258 club goals in 667 matches. Klose was also named Bundesliga footballer of the year in 2005-06.

5. Uwe Seeler

Uwe Seeler first featured for the German national side in 1954, accumulating 72 caps and netting 43 times on the international stage. He starred at the 1966 World Cup as West Germany finished runners-up after defeat to England in the final. Seeler was named German Footballer of the Year on three occasions in 1960, 1964 and 1970.

He remains one of the greatest German football players of all time. Seeler played the bulk of his career most notably at Hamburger SV, scoring an incredible 490 times in eighteen years and all in 580 appearances. He won a Bundesliga title, DFB-Pokal and even finished as the German league's top scorer in 1964.

4. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge featured in 593 matches across European football for clubs such as Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. Over fifteen years, he scored 293 goals and won the Ballon d'Or twice including a pair of European Cups at Bayern in 1975 and 1976. He also finished as the Bundesliga’s top scorer on three separate occasions.

Amongst the greatest German football players of all time, Rummenigge made his first international appearance in 1976, playing a decade for Germany and scoring an impressive 45 goals in 90 caps. He was famously part of the German side that won the 1980 European Championships and a World Cup runner-up in 1982 and 1986.

3. Lothar Matthaus

As one of the greatest German football players of all time, Lothar Matthaus featured for his country throughout five major tournaments. He was part of the national team that won the 1980 European Championship, served as captain during their 1990 World Cup victory, and scored thrice.

Sweeper Matthaus recorded almost 800 appearances for teams such as Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, scoring 204 goals for his club sides. He won seven Bundesliga titles and the Ballon d'Or in 1990.

2. Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller earned only 62 caps for Germany and yet managed to score an incredible 68 goals for the national side. The striker led Germany's front line during their 1972 European Championship victory and World Cup success two years later. He was also awarded the Ballon d'Or in 1974 and named one of FIFA’s top 100 players of all time.

Muller played almost all of his club career at Bayern Munich, registering 605 appearances and scoring an immense 563 goals for the club. He was the European top scorer four times and won three consecutive European Cups with Bayern from 1974 to 1976.

1. Franz Beckenbauer

The greatest German football player of all-time is the enigmatic Franz Beckenbauer. He earned 103 caps for West Germany, appearing at six major tournaments whilst overseeing their success during the European Championships of 1972 and the 1974 World Cup. The German was named his nation’s best player on no less than four occasions.

The sweeper near revolutionised the art of turning defence into attack effortlessly. Beckenbauer played most famously for German giants Bayern Munich, appearing 584 times and winning four Bundesliga titles alongside three European Cups. He was awarded a place in FIFA’s 100 finest ever players, Germany’s Sports Hall Of Fame plus the Ballon d'Or twice in 1972 and 1976.

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