Sports
7.4k voters

The Best Soccer Players from Germany

Updated August 25, 2020 58.0k votes 7.4k voters 190.4k 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.

Photo:
...more
  • Gerd Müller1
    1,735
    560

    BirthplaceNördlingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐ̯t ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German...  more
  • Franz Beckenbauer2
    2,094
    692

    Franz Beckenbauer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Franz Anton Beckenbauer (pronounced [ˈfʁants ˈbɛkn̩ˌbaʊɐ]; born 11 September 1945) is a German...  more
  • Lothar Matthäus3
    1,575
    515

    Lothar Matthäus

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceErlangen, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Lothar Herbert Matthäus (German pronunciation: [ˈloːtaːɐ̯ maˈtɛːʊs]; born 21 March 1961) is a...  more
  • Philipp Lahm4
    1,717
    517

    Philipp Lahm

    Defender

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityGermany, West Germany

    Philipp Lahm (German pronunciation: [ˈfɪlɪp ˈlaːm]; born 11 November 1983) is a German retired...  more
  • Oliver Kahn5
    1,323
    455

    Oliver Kahn

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceKarlsruhe, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

    More Oliver Kahn 

    #223 of 403 Famous Role Models We'd Like to Meet In Person#37 of 164 The Best Soccer Players of the '90s

  • Bastian Schweinsteiger6
    1,515
    482

    Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Playmaker, Midfielder

    BirthplaceKolbermoor, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

    More Bastian Schweinsteiger 

    #66 of 102 Best Manchester United Players of All Time, Ranked#4 of 12 The Best Professional Soccer Players Who Retired In 2019

  • Michael Ballack7
    1,025
    290

    Michael Ballack

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGörlitz, Germany

    NationalityGermany, German Democratic Republic

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

    More Michael Ballack 

    #111 of 1,310 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#1168 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • Toni Kroos8
    1,605
    514

    Toni Kroos

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGreifswald, Germany

    NationalityGermany, German Democratic Republic

    Toni Kroos (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːniː ˈkʁoːs]; born 4 January 1990) is a German...  more
  • Miroslav Klose9
    1,618
    548

    BirthplaceOpole, Poland

    NationalityGermany

    Miroslav Josef Klose (German: [ˈmiːʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] (listen), Polish: Mirosław Józef Klose;...  more
  • Manuel Neuer10
    2,224
    909

    Manuel Neuer

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

    More Manuel Neuer 

    #6 of 32 The Best Goalies In The World Right Now#16 of 77 Who Is The Most Famous Athlete In The World Right Now?

  • Rudi Völler11
    592
    275

    Rudi Völler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHanau, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe"...  more
  • Thomas Müller12
    1,847
    855

    Thomas Müller

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceWeilheim in Oberbayern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

    More Thomas Müller 

    #34 of 115 The Funniest Professional Athletes#5 of 41 The Best Bayern Munich Forwards Of All Time

  • Jürgen Klinsmann13
    907
    504

    BirthplaceGöppingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

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

    More Jürgen Klinsmann 

    #36 of 38 The Best Current Soccer Coaches/Managers#12 of 84 The Best Tottenham Hotspur Players of All Time

  • Marco Reus14
    1,161
    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
  • Karl-Heinz Rummenigge15
    844
    501

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLippstadt, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge (German: [ˌkaɐ̯lˈhaɪnts ˈkalə ˈʁʊmənɪɡə]; born 25 September...  more
  • Paul Breitner16
    547
    307

    Paul Breitner

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceKolbermoor, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Paul Breitner (born 5 September 1951 in Kolbermoor, Bavaria) is a former German footballer,...  more
  • Mesut Özil17
    1,670
    781

    Mesut Özil

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

    More Mesut Özil 

    #1334 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#94 of 103 Coolest Soccer Players

  • Matthias Sammer18
    448
    251

    Matthias Sammer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceDresden, Germany

    NationalityGerman Democratic Republic, Germany

    Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a retired...  more
  • Sepp Maier19
    552
    352

    Sepp Maier

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceMetten, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

    More Sepp Maier 

    #17 of 188 The Best Soccer Goalies of All Time#3 of 9 The Best Bayern Munich Goalkeepers Of All Time

  • Uwe Seeler20
    448
    278

    Uwe Seeler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Uwe Seeler (German pronunciation: [ˈuːvə ˈzeːlɐ]; born 5 November 1936) is a German former...  more
  • Lukas Podolski21
    612
    294

    Lukas Podolski

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceGliwice, Poland

    NationalityGermany, Poland

    Lukas Josef Podolski (German pronunciation: [ˈluːkas poˈdɔlski]; born Łukasz Józef Podolski...  more
  • Andreas Brehme22
    450
    273

    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
  • Mats Hummels23
    677
    247

    Mats Hummels

    Defender, Midfielder

    BirthplaceBergisch Gladbach, Germany

    NationalityGermany, West Germany

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

    More Mats Hummels 

    #84 of 356 The Best Current Soccer Players#105 of 452 The Best Soccer Defenders of All Time

  • Günter Netzer24
    309
    200

    Günter Netzer

    Playmaker, Midfielder

    BirthplaceMönchengladbach, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Günter Theodor Netzer (born 14 September 1944 in Mönchengladbach) is a former German football...  more
  • Fritz Walter25
    448
    295

    BirthplaceKaiserslautern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Friedrich "Fritz" Walter (31 October 1920 – 17 June 2002) was a German footballer. He usually...  more