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7.4k voters

The Best Soccer Players from Germany

Updated August 25, 2020 57.6k votes 7.4k voters 190.6k 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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  • Gerd Müller1
    1,724
    556

    BirthplaceNördlingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛɐ̯t ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German...  more
  • Franz Beckenbauer2
    2,081
    686

    Franz Beckenbauer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Franz Anton Beckenbauer (pronounced [ˈfʁants ˈbɛkn̩ˌbaʊɐ]; born 11 September 1945) is a German...  more
  • Lothar Matthäus3
    1,566
    511

    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
    1,707
    514

    Philipp Lahm

    Defender

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    NationalityGermany, West Germany

    Philipp Lahm (German pronunciation: [ˈfɪlɪp ˈlaːm]; born 11 November 1983) is a German retired...  more
  • Bastian Schweinsteiger5
    1,509
    479

    Bastian Schweinsteiger

    Playmaker, Midfielder

    BirthplaceKolbermoor, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

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  • Oliver Kahn6
    1,315
    451

    Oliver Kahn

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceKarlsruhe, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

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  • Michael Ballack7
    1,020
    288

    Michael Ballack

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGörlitz, Germany

    NationalityGermany, German Democratic Republic

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

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    #115 of 1,294 The Best Soccer Players of All Time#1168 of 1,427 The Best Athletes Of All Time

  • Miroslav Klose8
    1,611
    546

    BirthplaceOpole, Poland

    NationalityGermany

    Miroslav Josef Klose (German: [ˈmiːʁoslaf ˈkloːzə] (listen), Polish: Mirosław Józef Klose;...  more
  • Toni Kroos9
    1,594
    515

    Toni Kroos

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGreifswald, Germany

    NationalityGermany, German Democratic Republic

    Toni Kroos (German pronunciation: [ˈtoːniː ˈkʁoːs]; born 4 January 1990) is a German...  more
  • Manuel Neuer10
    2,206
    902

    Manuel Neuer

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

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

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  • Rudi Völler11
    588
    273

    Rudi Völler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHanau, Germany

    NationalityWest Germany, Germany

    Rudolf "Rudi" Völler (pronounced [ˈfœlɐ]; born 13 April 1960), nicknamed "Tante Käthe"...  more
  • Thomas Müller12
    1,836
    847

    Thomas Müller

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceWeilheim in Oberbayern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

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  • Jürgen Klinsmann13
    903
    501

    BirthplaceGöppingen, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

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

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  • Marco Reus14
    1,151
    404

    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
    841
    495

    Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceLippstadt, Germany

    NationalityGermany,West Germany

    Karl-Heinz "Kalle" Rummenigge (German: [ˌkaɐ̯lˈhaɪnts ˈkalə ˈʁʊmənɪɡə]; born 25 September...  more
  • Paul Breitner16
    543
    305

    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
    1,656
    777

    Mesut Özil

    Midfielder

    BirthplaceGelsenkirchen, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

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  • Matthias Sammer18
    445
    249

    Matthias Sammer

    Defender, Sweeper

    BirthplaceDresden, Germany

    NationalityGerman Democratic Republic, Germany

    Matthias Sammer (German pronunciation: [maˈtiːas ˈzamɐ]; born 5 September 1967) is a retired...  more
  • Uwe Seeler19
    447
    276

    Uwe Seeler

    Forward

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Uwe Seeler (German pronunciation: [ˈuːvə ˈzeːlɐ]; born 5 November 1936) is a German former...  more
  • Sepp Maier20
    549
    350

    Sepp Maier

    Goalkeeper

    BirthplaceMetten, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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

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  • Lukas Podolski21
    608
    291

    Lukas Podolski

    Forward, Midfielder

    BirthplaceGliwice, Poland

    NationalityGermany, Poland

    Lukas Josef Podolski (German pronunciation: [ˈluːkas poˈdɔlski]; born Łukasz Józef Podolski...  more
  • Andreas Brehme22
    447
    271

    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
    671
    245

    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

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  • Günter Netzer24
    307
    198

    Günter Netzer

    Playmaker, Midfielder

    BirthplaceMönchengladbach, Germany

    NationalityGermany

    Günter Theodor Netzer (born 14 September 1944 in Mönchengladbach) is a former German football...  more
  • Fritz Walter25
    445
    293

    BirthplaceKaiserslautern, Germany

    NationalityGermany

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