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7.5k voters

The Best Soccer Players from Germany

Updated August 25, 2020 57.7k votes 7.5k voters 193.2k views149 items

List RulesSoccer players / footballers from Germany or played on the German national team.

In your dream Germany national soccer team, which of the best German soccer players of all time would you pick? Would you choose newer players such as Mesut Özil or ones from years past, such as Franz Beckenbauer? Compared to many other countries, drafting top soccer players from Germany is quite easy as there are many to choose from. Look at the list of top footballers from Hungary for instance and many of the names there are from decades past and aren’t very well known. In fact, many of the best footballers of all time are from Germany. So to determine who truly is the best German soccer player of all time, soccer fans have ranked their favorites below.

Vote up your favorite German soccer players or add any you feel are missing from the list. If you're searching for a particular famous German soccer player you can use the search box at the top of the list to find who you're looking for. Photos and details such as positions played have been provided when available.

On this list, you’ll see famous legends like Franz Beckenbauer, as well as modern German stars like Thomas Muller. So if you’ve ever wondered who were the best German soccer players of all time were, just look at the list below to find out.

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  • 1
    2,094
    681

    Franz Beckenbauer

    Defender, Sweeper
    Franz Anton Beckenbauer (pronounced [ˈfʁants ˈbɛkn̩ˌbaʊɐ]; born 11 September 1945) is a German...  more
  • 2
    1,728
    557
    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐ̯t ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German...  more
  • 3
    1,569
    505

    Lothar Matthäus

    Defender, Sweeper
    Lothar Herbert Matthäus (German pronunciation: [ˈloːtaːɐ̯ maˈtɛːʊs]; born 21 March 1961) is a...  more
  • 4
    1,694
    508

    Philipp Lahm

    Defender
    Philipp Lahm (German pronunciation: [ˈfɪlɪp ˈlaːm]; born 11 November 1983) is a German retired...  more
  • 5
    1,505
    479

    Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Playmaker, Midfielder
    Bastian Schweinsteiger (pronounced [ˈbasti̯an ˈʃvaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯ɡɐ] (listen); born 1 August 1984) is...  more

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  • 6
    1,311
    451

    Oliver Kahn

    Goalkeeper
    Oliver Rolf Kahn (German: [ˈɔlɪvɐ ˈkaːn]; born 15 June 1969) is a German former football...  more

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  • 7
    1,016
    297

    Michael Ballack

    Midfielder
    Michael Ballack (German pronunciation: [ˈmɪçaːʔeːl ˈbalak]; born 26 September 1976) is a...  more

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  • 8
    1,607
    539
    Miroslav Josef Klose (German: [ˈmiːʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] (listen), Polish: Mirosław Józef Klose;...  more
  • 9
    2,196
    877

    Manuel Neuer

    Goalkeeper
    Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ, -ɛl -]; born 27 March 1986) is a...  more

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  • 10
    1,586
    520

    Toni Kroos

    Midfielder
    Toni Kroos (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːniː ˈkʁoːs]; born 4 January 1990) is a German...  more
  • 11
    1,134
    414

    Marco Reus

    Forward, Midfielder
    Marco Reus (German pronunciation: [ˈmaʁkoː ˈʁɔʏs]; born 31 May 1989) is a German professional...  more
  • 12
    1,828
    824

    Thomas Müller

    Forward, Midfielder
    Thomas Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːmas ˈmʏlɐ]; born 13 September 1989) is a German...  more

    More Thomas Müller 

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  • 13
    900
    493
    Jürgen Klinsmann (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏʁɡn̩ ˈkliːnsˌman], born 30 July 1964) is a German...  more

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  • 14
    588
    274

    Rudi Völler

    Forward
    Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe"...  more
  • 15
    840
    489

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    Forward, Midfielder
    Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge (German: [ˌkaɐ̯lˈhaɪnts ˈkalə ˈʁʊmənɪɡə]; born 25 September...  more
  • 16
    545
    305

    Paul Breitner

    Defender, Midfielder
    Paul Breitner (born 5 September 1951 in Kolbermoor, Bavaria) is a former German footballer,...  more
  • 17
    1,641
    778

    Mesut Özil

    Midfielder
    Mesut Özil (German pronunciation: [ˈmeːzut ˈøːzil], Turkish: [meˈsut œˈzil]; born 15 October...  more

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  • 18
    552
    341

    Sepp Maier

    Goalkeeper
    Josef Dieter "Sepp" Maier (born 28 February 1944) is a German former professional football...  more

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    #18 of 189 The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time#3 of 9 The Best Bayern Munich Goalkeepers Of All Time

  • 19
    445
    248

    Matthias Sammer

    Defender, Sweeper
    Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a retired...  more
  • 20
    449
    270

    Uwe Seeler

    Forward
    Uwe Seeler (German pronunciation: [ˈuːvə ˈzeːlɐ]; born 5 November 1936) is a German former...  more
  • 21
    606
    293

    Lukas Podolski

    Forward, Midfielder
    Lukas Josef Podolski (German pronunciation: [ˈluːkas poˈdɔlski]; born Łukasz Józef Podolski...  more
  • 22
    667
    242

    Mats Hummels

    Defender, Midfielder
    Mats Julian Hummels (German pronunciation: [ˈmats ˈhʊml̩s]; born 16 December 1988) is a German...  more

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    #98 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time#76 of 240 The Best Current Soccer Players

  • 23
    446
    264

    Andreas Brehme

    Defender, Midfielder
    Andreas "Andy" Brehme (born 9 November 1960) is a German football coach and former football...  more
  • 24
    449
    285
    Friedrich "Fritz" Walter (31 October 1920 – 17 June 2002) was a German footballer. He usually...  more
  • 25
    209
    89
    Josef "Jupp" Heynckes (German: [ˈjʊp ˈhaɪnkəs]; born 9 May 1945) is a German retired...  more