Soccer Players 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
1,481 543
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
1,728 576
Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 2 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

3
1,189 426
Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
1,040 404
Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
1,468 610
Thomas Müller is listed (or ranked) 5 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

6
1,159 408
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
1,227 370
Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
872 332
Oliver Kahn is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
586 366
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
1,067 381
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
673 381
Jürgen Klinsmann is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
1,070 239
Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
1,303 446
Mesut Özil is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
396 264
Sepp Maier is listed (or ranked) 14 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.

15
796 246
Marco Reus is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
393 218
Paul Breitner is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
373 204
Rudi Völler is listed (or ranked) 17 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

18
339 237
Fritz Walter is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
631 204
Michael Ballack is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
363 231
Andreas Brehme is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
272 188
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
540 333
Mario Götze is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
345 235
Uwe Seeler is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
474 149
Mats Hummels is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
419 204
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

26
285 82
Jérôme Boateng is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender Jérôme Agyenim Boateng is a German footballer who currently plays as a defender for Bayern Munich and the Germany national football team. A versatile defender, Boateng primarily is ...more

27
122 90
Pierre Littbarski is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Tom Šmíd added Forward, Midfielder Pierre Michael Littbarski is a German football manager and former player. He was mainly a winger or attacking midfielder and is best known for his brilliant dribbling abilities. He was a FIFA ...more

28
158 143
Günter Netzer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Playmaker, Midfielder Günter Theodor Netzer is a former German football player and team general manager currently working in the media business. As a player, he was considered to be one of the greatest passers ...more

29
138 122
Wolfgang Overath is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Wolfgang Overath is a former West German footballer. A true one-club man, Overath spent his entire professional career at 1. FC Köln. He represented his country three times in World Cup ...more

30
139 129
Bernd Schuster is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Bernhard "Bernd" Schuster is a German football manager most recently in charge of Spanish La Liga side Málaga and a former player. His contract with Málaga CF was ...more

31
123 119
Helmut Rahn is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward Helmut Rahn, known as Der Boss, was a German football player. He became a legend for having scored the winning goal in the final game of the 1954 FIFA World Cup.

32
189 140
Stefan Effenberg is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Stefan Effenberg is a retired German footballer. A midfielder, he possessed leadership skills, fantastic passing range, powerful shooting ability, physical strength, but also a fearsome and ...more

33
174 122
Oliver Bierhoff is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward Oliver Bierhoff is a retired German former footballer who scored the first golden goal in the history of major international football, for Germany in the Euro 96 final. A tall, strong and ...more

34
132 116
Thomas Häßler is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Thomas Jürgen "Icke" Häßler is a former German football midfielder. He is currently assistant coach of Iranian club Padideh. Häßler appeared over 100 times ...more

35
269 140
Mario Gomez is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward Mario Gómez García is a German footballer who plays as a striker for Fiorentina in the Serie A and the German national team. Gómez joined Fiorentina after spending four ...more

36
147 107
Jürgen Kohler is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender Jürgen Kohler is a World Cup-winning German centre back footballer and manager. Kohler has retired from professional sports, but still occasionally plays for Alemannia Adendorf in the ...more

37
121 105
Berti Vogts is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender Hans-Hubert "Berti" Vogts is a former German footballer. He played for Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Bundesliga his whole professional club career and won the FIFA World Cup ...more

38
70 69
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Tom Šmíd added Defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger is a former German footballer. He was one of the world's best defenders for a decade in the 1960s. He was nicknamed the "Volkswagen" for his continuity of ...more

39
166 61
Julian Draxler is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Julian Draxler is a German professional footballer who plays as a left winger for Schalke 04 and the Germany national football team. He is known for his ability to use both feet, his speed, and ...more

40
184 104
Sami Khedira is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
sslim added Midfielder Sami Khedira is a German footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the German national team as a defensive midfielder. Khedira moved to Real Madrid from VfB Stuttgart in 2010. He is ...more

41
107 107
Uli Hoeneß is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward, Midfielder Ulrich "Uli" Hoeneß is the former president of German football club Bayern Munich and a retired German footballer who played as a forward for club and country. Hoeneß ...more

42
188 141
Per Mertesacker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Defender Per Mertesacker is a German professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Arsenal. He also played for the German national team but retired in August 2014 after winning the World Cup. ...more

43
152 115
Jens Lehmann is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Goalkeeper Jens Gerhard Lehmann is a German former football goalkeeper. He was voted UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 1996–97 and 2005–06 seasons, and he has been selected for three World Cup ...more

44
75 59
Andreas Möller is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Tom Šmíd added Midfielder Andreas Möller is a retired German internationalist association footballer who played as an attacking midfielder. He was a playmaker known for his range of passing and goalscoring ability.

45
54 73
Klaus Fischer is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Germania added Forward Klaus Fischer is a German former footballer and coach, noted for his bicycle kicks.

46
70 44
Jupp Heynckes is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Forward Josef "Jupp" Heynckes is a former German football manager and former footballer. As a player, he spent the majority of his career as a striker for Borussia Mönchengladbach in its ...more

47
51 52
Hans-Peter Briegel is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Tom Šmíd added Defender, Midfielder Hans-Peter Briegel is a former German footballer and manager. One of the most popular German players in his days, Hans-Peter Briegel's original sport was athletics, being successful in various ...more

48
59 61
Jürgen Grabowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
wimmer68 added Midfielder Jürgen Grabowski is a former German footballer. Grabowski, a forward, then he later played as an attacking midfielder or as a winger, started his career with SV Biebrich 1919 and FV ...more

49
118 78
İlkay Gündoğan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
maccarmenate added Midfielder İlkay Gündoğan is a German footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national football team, having previously played for ...more

50
92 98
Mario Basler is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
Midfielder Mario Basler is a German former football winger and current manager, most recently in charge of Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. A dead-ball specialist, Basler scored numerous goals from free-kicks ...more