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The Best Soccer Players from Germany

Updated August 25, 2020 57.4k votes 7.2k voters 186.1k 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
    Gerd Müller is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,723
    544

    BirthplaceNördlingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐ̯t ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Lothar Matthäus is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,567
    512

    Lothar Matthäus

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceErlangen, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Lothar Herbert Matthäus (German pronunciation: [ˈloːtaːɐ̯ maˈtɛːʊs]; born 21 March 1961) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Franz Beckenbauer is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    2,049
    704

    Franz Beckenbauer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Franz Anton Beckenbauer (pronounced [ˈfʁants ˈbɛkn̩ˌbaʊɐ]; born 11 September 1945) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Toni Kroos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,599
    465

    Toni Kroos

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGreifswald, Germany

    NationalityGerman Democratic Republic, Germany

    Toni Kroos (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːniː ˈkʁoːs]; born 4 January 1990) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,502
    485

    Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Playmaker, Midfielder

    BirthplaceKolbermoor, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Bastian Schweinsteiger (pronounced [ˈbasti̯an ˈʃvaɪ̯nʃtaɪ̯ɡɐ] (listen); born 1 August 1984) is... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    Oliver Kahn is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,308
    448

    Oliver Kahn

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceKarlsruhe, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

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    #211 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person#33 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

  • 7
    Michael Ballack is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,005
    270

    Michael Ballack

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGörlitz, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

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    #114 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#1376 of 1,816 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • 8
    Philipp Lahm is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,711
    510

    Philipp Lahm

    Defender

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Philipp Lahm (German pronunciation: [ˈfɪlɪp ˈlaːm]; born 11 November 1983) is a German retired... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Miroslav Klose is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,616
    554

    BirthplaceOpole, Poland

    NationalityGermany

    Miroslav Josef Klose (German: [ˈmiːʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] (listen), Polish: Mirosław Józef Klose;... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Manuel Neuer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    2,206
    929

    Manuel Neuer

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Manuel Peter Neuer (German pronunciation: [ˈmaːnu̯eːl ˈnɔʏ.ɐ, -ɛl -]; born 27 March 1986) is a... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    Rudi Völler is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    585
    272

    Rudi Völler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHanau, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe"... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Marco Reus is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,165
    406

    Marco Reus

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceDortmund, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Marco Reus (German pronunciation: [ˈmaʁkoː ˈʁɔʏs]; born 31 May 1989) is a German professional... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Jürgen Klinsmann is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    900
    514

    BirthplaceGöppingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Jürgen Klinsmann (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏʁɡn̩ ˈkliːnsˌman], born 30 July 1964) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Thomas Müller is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,831
    878

    Thomas Müller

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceWeilheim in Oberbayern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Thomas Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːmas ˈmʏlɐ]; born 13 September 1989) is a German... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    838
    511

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLippstadt, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge (German: [ˌkaɐ̯lˈhaɪnts ˈkalə ˈʁʊmənɪɡə]; born 25 September... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Paul Breitner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    544
    304

    Paul Breitner

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceKolbermoor, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Paul Breitner (born 5 September 1951 in Kolbermoor, Bavaria) is a former German footballer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Mesut Özil is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    1,665
    776

    Mesut Özil

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

    More Mesut Özil 

    #1187 of 1,357 The Greatest Minds of All Time#94 of 103 Coolest Soccer Players

  • 18
    Matthias Sammer is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    440
    253

    Matthias Sammer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceDresden, Germany

    NationalityGerman Democratic Republic, Germany

    Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a retired... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Sepp Maier is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    552
    358

    Sepp Maier

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceMetten, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

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    #12 of 180 The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time#3 of 9 The Best Bayern Munich Goalkeepers Of All Time

  • 20
    Lukas Podolski is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    615
    296

    Lukas Podolski

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceGliwice, Poland

    NationalityGermany, Poland

    Lukas Josef Podolski (German pronunciation: [ˈluːkas poˈdɔlski]; born Łukasz Józef Podolski... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Mats Hummels is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    673
    248

    Mats Hummels

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceBergisch Gladbach, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

    More Mats Hummels 

    #81 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players#112 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

  • 22
    Andreas Brehme is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    444
    275

    Andreas Brehme

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    NationalityGermany, West Germany

    Andreas "Andy" Brehme (born 9 November 1960) is a German football coach and former football... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Uwe Seeler is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    435
    283

    Uwe Seeler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Uwe Seeler (German pronunciation: [ˈuːvə ˈzeːlɐ]; born 5 November 1936) is a German former... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Fritz Walter is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    447
    299

    BirthplaceKaiserslautern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Friedrich "Fritz" Walter (31 October 1920 – 17 June 2002) was a German footballer. He usually... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Jérôme Boateng is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Germany
    448
    218

    BirthplaceWest Berlin

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Jérôme Agyenim Boateng (German pronunciation: [ʒeˈʁoːm bo.aˈtɛŋ]; born 3 September 1988) is a... more on Wikipedia
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