Here, GoalBall looks at the 10 Best German soccer players in the history of German football starting with the least:
10. Miroslav Klose (2001-present, 131 caps, 68 goals)
Klose stands at the number ten spot of the Best German Soccer Players ever.
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It was as if no player was ever going to get close to Gerd Muller’s 68-goal record, but Klose has broken that record in recent years and going into this Russia 2018 World Cup, the Lazio centre-forward needs just a goal to emerge Germany’s leading goal scorer ever.
He may not have been able to lift trophies at international level, but he sure has tasted success with Bayern Munich, winning both the Bundesliga & DFB-Pokal twice and so he deserves to be one of the Best German Soccer Players ever. It is noteworthy that among Klose’s individual honours, he was named the 2016 German Footballer of the Year.
9. Paul Breitner (1971-1982, 48 caps, 10 goals)
Even though he played mostly as a defender, Breitner had the knack scoring important goals.
Breitner is one of Germany’s most decorated players in club sides. He won 5 Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal as well as one European Cup with Bayern Munich, including two La Liga titles & one Copa del Rey during his 3-year stint in Spain with Real Madrid.
8. Jurgen Klinsmann (from 1987 to 1998, 108 caps, 47 goals)
Klinsmann played in 6 major tournaments between Euro ’88 & France ’98 & he scored at least a goal in each of them. As a matter of fact, he scored 3 or more times in 4 of those competitions.
Klinsmann was a part of the German trio, (Lothar Matthaus and Andreas Brehme inclusive) that helped Inter Milan to win the UEFA Cup in 1991.
7. Uwe Seeler (1954-1970, 72 caps, 43 goals)
Seeler spent his whole career playing for his native land club Hamburg. His loyalty was rewarded by lifting the German Championship in 1960 as well as the DFB-Pokal in 1963.
6. Fritz Walter (1940-1958, 61 caps, 33 goals)
Like Seeler, Walter spent his whole career in the place of his birth, Kaiserslautern. His goals went a long way to help Die Roten Teufel win the German Championships in 1951 & 1953.
The contributions of Walter in German football was rewarded at the UEFA Jubilee Awards in 2004 where he was honoured as Germany’s single most outstanding player of the past 50 years.
5. Sepp Maier (1966 to 1979, 95 caps, no goals)
Maier was acclaimed by lots of people to be the best goalkeeper in the world in the 70s.
He won German Footballer of the Year 3 times. Maier, 70, spent his entire professional club career with Bayern Munich. He even got his hands on the European Cup three times.
4. Lothar Matthaus (1980-2002, 150 caps, 23 goals)
At the 1986 World Cup final, Matthaus had just one task which was to mark out Diego Maradona, but he was at the end of the day given the runaround by the Argentine whiz, who went to lift the trophy for his country.
Matthaus also enjoyed a wealth of success at club level. He won trophies with Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and the MetroStars in the USA.
3. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1976-1986, 95 caps, 45 goals)
Rummenigge scored a total of 9 goals during the 3 World Cup tournaments that he featured in. He even scored a hat-trick against Chile in 1982.
His club performances and that of his country saw him win the popular Ballon d’Or in 1980 & 1981 and so you see why he makes the Best German Soccer Players ever list?
2. Gerd Muller (1966-1974, 62 caps, 68 goals)
Muller shares Germany’s record of goal scoring with Klose, even though he got to that milestone in by far fewer appearances.
Muller’s 566 goals make him Bayern Munich’s leading goal scorer ever.
At the 1970 World Cup, he scored 10 goals with hat-tricks against Bulgaria as well as Peru. Those exploits gave him the Ballon d’Or award that year.
1. Franz Beckenbauer (1965-1977, 103 caps, 14 goals)
Tactically aware and comfortable in possession, there are few that would argue against Beckenbauer being branded the best defender to have ever played football.
He was a part of the German world cup team that finished second and third in 1966 & 1970 respectively, And finally, he got his hands on the World cup trophy in 1974. After that, in 1990, he became the second person to win the World Cup as a player & as a manager.
Those are the 10 best German soccer players ever. If you disagree or feel some other players should have been mentioned, do list them in the comment box.
In the 2018 World cup table, Germany faces Portugal, Ghana & the USA in the group stages. You can click here to see the 2018 FIFA world cup dates, fixtures, venues and time detailed in full.