German men’s national football team represents Germany in the international men’s football tournament. The team is governed by German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund), which was founded in 1900. The team is also under the global jurisdiction of the Federation of International Football Association and the Union of European Football Association (UEFA).
After the destruction of Nazi Germany, Germany was divided into different regions and territories. Allies of World War II took control of Germany. The four major powers, United States, United Kingdom, France, and the Soviet Union divided the country among them. The Federal Republic of Germany was the western part of the country and was controlled by the Western Bloc. This region was represented in international football tournaments as West Germany. The eastern part, the German Democratic Republic, was controlled by the Soviet Union and represented in international tournaments as the East Germany team. There was one more team, the Saarland team, which represented the Saar Protectorate, a region administered by the French Fourth Republic.
In 1990, after Germany’s reunification, all the three teams merged to form a unified German national team.
The German team is managed by Joachim Low who has been in charge since 2006 and has been with the team as an assistant manager since 2004. He led the national team to its fourth world cup title in 2014 and became the only European team to win the world title in South America. The team is captained by Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
With a record 2,205 points, they managed to earn the highest Elo rating of any national football team in history at the end of 2014 World Cup.
History of German national football team
The German Football Association was founded in 1900. The first official match of the national team was played in 1908 against Switzerland in Basel.
Many Jewish players represented the German team before the Nazis took control of the country. Notable among them were Julius Hirsch, who was the first Jewish player to represent the national team, and Gottfried Fuchs, who scored a record 10 goals in a single match for the Germans at 1912 Olympics. However, after the Nazis took control, the German Football Association erased Fuchs records between 1933 and 1945, a result of hard-core ultra-nationalism.
The Swiss were of great help to the German team during the World War years. The Swiss were the first team to play with the Germans after World War I in 1920. Even after the Second World War, when the German team was banned from most international tournaments, the Swiss became the first opponents in 1950. During the second world war, the national team was disbanded as most players had to join the armed forces.
Three national teams
The three new German teams — West Germany, East Germany, and Saarland — did not participate in the 1950 World Cup qualifications. The Germans were banned until 1950 from most international sports competitions. The West German team qualified for the 1954 World Cup.
Saarland participated in the 1952 Summer Olympics and played in the 1953 World Cup qualifiers. In 1957, Saarland merged with the Federal Republic of Germany.
The East German team started playing after the establishment of the Deutscher Fußball-Verband der DDR (DFV) in 1952. The East Germans were the only team to defeat their western counterparts in the 1974 World Cup campaign’s group stage, in a tournament which the West German team eventually won.
The German team is one of the most successful national teams at football’s biggest stage. The team has won four world titles, joint second with Italy, and one short of Brazil’s record 5 titles. They won the world title in 1954, 1974, 1990, and the last in 2014. The team has also achieved second-place and third-place finish four times each and has once finished in the fourth position. The team was present in 19 out of the 21 tournaments and has failed to progress to the quarterfinals only twice in its history.
Germany has won 3 European titles, joint-most with Spain. They won in 1972, 1980, and 1996. They have participated in 12 European campaigns, out of which 5 were as West German team. They have also qualified for the Euro 2020 and will host the 2024 European Championship.