Sports

The Best Soccer Players from Germany  

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List Rules Soccer 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 legendary footballers like Franz Beckenbauer, as well as modern German stars like Thomas Muller. What you won’t see however, are football players such as Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. 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.
list ordered by
1
Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender, Sweeper
Franz Anton Beckenbauer is a German football manager, and former player, nicknamed Der Kaiser because of his elegant style; his leadership; his first name "Franz", and his dominance on ...more
2
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Gerhard "Gerd" Müller is a German retired footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, especially inside the penalty box, he is regarded as one of the ...more
3
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder
Lothar Herbert Matthäus is a German football manager and former player. After captaining West Germany to victory in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, he was named European Footballer of the Year. In ...more
4
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Goalkeeper
Manuel Peter Neuer is a German footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bayern Munich and the German national team. He has been described as a "sweeper-keeper" because of his unique ...more
5
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender
Philipp Lahm is a German professional footballer who plays as a full back or defensive midfielder for Bayern Munich and formerly for the German national team. He is the captain of his club, ...more
6
Miroslav Klose is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Miroslav Josef Klose is a German professional footballer who plays as a striker for Serie A club Lazio. Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the ...more
7
Oliver Kahn is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Goalkeeper
Oliver Rolf Kahn is a former German football goalkeeper. He started his career in the Karlsruher SC Junior team in 1975. Twelve years later, Kahn made his debut match in the professional squad. ...more
8
Thomas Müller is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Arminius added Forward, Midfielder
Thomas Müller is a German footballer who plays for Bayern Munich and the German national team. Müller plays as a midfielder or forward, and has been deployed in a variety of attacking ...more
9
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward, Midfielder
Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge is a German former football striker. His nicknames are "King Kalle". He had his greatest career success with German club Bayern Munich, where he ...more
10
Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Playmaker, Midfielder
Bastian Schweinsteiger is a German footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich and the German national team, serving as captain. A right-footed player, he usually ...more
11
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder
Toni Kroos is a German footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the German national team as a midfielder. A member of Bayern Munich's first team at the age of 17, Kroos became a ...more
12
Jürgen Klinsmann is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Jürgen Klinsmann is a German football manager and former player who is currently the head coach of the United States national team. As a player, Klinsmann played for several prominent clubs ...more
13
Sepp Maier is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Goalkeeper
Josef Dieter "Sepp" Maier is a German former professional football goalkeeper. His nickname was "Die Katze von Anzing" for his fast reflexes.
14
Marco Reus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
bluepoison52 added Forward, Midfielder
Marco Reus is a German professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder, winger or second striker for German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national football team. ...more
15
Paul Breitner is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender, Midfielder
Paul Breitner is a former German footballer. One of Germany's most controversial players, he earned 48 caps for West Germany. He was known for his partnerships with Franz Beckenbauer and Berti ...more
16
Rudi Völler is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Rudolf "Rudi" Völler is a former German international footballer, and a former manager of the German national team. He won the FIFA World Cup in 1990 as a player. Along with Franz ...more
17
Mesut Özil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder
Mesut Özil is a German footballer who plays for English club Arsenal and the German national team. Özil has been a youth national team member since 2006, and a member of the German ...more
18
Michael Ballack is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder
Michael Ballack is a retired German footballer. He is among the top goal scorers in the history of the German national team. Ballack wore the number 13 shirt for every team he has played for ...more
19
Fritz Walter is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Friedrich "Fritz" Walter was a German footballer. In his time with the German national team, he made 61 caps and scored 33 goals. He usually played as an inside forward or attacking
20
Uwe Seeler is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward
Uwe Seeler is a former German footballer and football official. He played for Hamburger SV and also made 72 appearances for the West German national team. His grandson Levin Öztunalı ...more
21
Matthias Sammer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender, Sweeper, Midfielder
Matthias Sammer is a retired German footballer and coach who is now working as sporting director of FC Bayern Munich. He played as a defensive midfielder, and later in his career as a sweeper. ...more
22
Andreas Brehme is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender, Midfielder
Andreas "Andy" Brehme is a German football coach and former football defender. He is best known for scoring the winning goal for Germany in the 1990 FIFA World Cup Final against ...more
23
Mats Hummels is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
ramzi25589 added Defender, Midfielder
Mats Julian Hummels is a German footballer who plays as a central defender for Borussia Dortmund, for which he is the current captain, and the German national team. He came through the Bayern ...more
24
Mario Götze is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Chris Abraham added Forward, Midfielder
Mario Götze is a German footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Bayern Munich in the German Bundesliga. In addition to his favoured role as a number 10, Götze is capable of ...more
25
Lukas Podolski is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward, Midfielder
Lukas Josef Podolski is a German footballer who plays as a forward for Italian club Inter Milan, on loan from English club Arsenal, and for the Germany national team. He is a left-footed ...more