Unlike Brazil, Argentina and other successful footballing countries that are known for producing great talents, Germany is probably the only nation that doesn’t need that many exciting players to achieve great results.

Their work-ethic, discipline and fighting spirit – not individual genius – carries them through to the end.

Since the '50s, Germany has been by far the most honoured European country, with three World Cups and three UEFA Euros.

Here is our take on the best possible German XI of-all-time.

Formation : 4-1-2-1-2

Goalkeeper : Sepp Maier

A very close battle with the great Oliver Kahn, but if one were to analyse every aspect and detail that characterises a goalkeeper, Maier is the undisputed winner.

Having won 95 caps, Die Katze von Anzing (the cat from Anzing) is remembered for his super-fast reflexes and commanding presence between the sticks.

Right-Back : Berti Vogts

Vogts was not the player that someone would pay money to watch. He was the one though that would, on many occasions, cancel out the opposing star player that people had paid money to watch.

So trustworthy, so reliable, Monchenglanbach's favourite boy manage to make 96 appereances for his country.

Centre-Back : Franz Beckenbauer

The General of football.

Undoubtedly best German footballer ever.

The man who single-handedly invented the position of the libero (sweeper) was versatile, intelligent, graceful, had two equally accurate feet and a leading presence on the pitch that is matched by no-one.

Certainly one of the most complete football players ever - and one of the most decorated figurers to ever play the game.

Centre-Back : Matthias Sammer

Sammer was the one that used his great defensive awareness, leadership and consistency to lead Germany to the 1996 UEFA Euro win - and be named the most valuable player of the tournament.

He was the Ballon d'Or winner of the same year.

Left-Back : Andreas Brehme

Even to this day, nobody knows which is actually Brehme's regular foot. Both his feet were perfect, each one in its own way. He used his left-foot to unleash powerfull long shots and free-kicks and he used his right for accuracy in crosses and penalties.
One of the most important pillars under Germany's 1990 World Cup win.

Defensive-Midfielder : Paul Breitner

The man with the greatly-remembered beard and afro was a world-class left back and often a defensive midfielder - and a player who caused a lot of controversy in the media with his extraordinary, multifaceted and straight-talking personality.

Although he curiously played only 48 times for Germany, he easily wins his spot for his excellent tackles, thunderbolt shots and for how he dominated the whole left-wing.

Centre-Midfielder : Lothar Matthaus

The 1990 European Footballer of the Year is the most capped German player ever, making 150 games.

Matthaus was the key player to every team that he ever played in. He played as a sweeper, a defensive, central and an attacking midfielder, all of them in a perfect way.

Centre-Midfielder : Michael Ballack

Ballack is the best scoring midfielder of the German national team's history, with 42 goals.
Always a leader, always consistent and trustworthy - and with his aerial dominance and explosive shot, he makes the cut instead of Bernd Schuster.

Attacking-Midfielder : Gunter Netzer

A controversial choice, for many reasons.

The most obvious one is that he was a second fiddle behind Wolfgang Overath in both the 1966 and 1974 World Cups. He was not the first choice because of his laziness, his never getting back to defend and his lack of heading skill.

He was though, an outstanding football player when with the ball on his feet. His vision and playmaking abilities were unmatched. A fast decision-maker and always ready for great challenges, Gunter Netzer makes my final squad.

Centre-Forward : Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

One of the most fearsome strikers of his time. An all-around centre-forward, with dribbling skills and natural eye for goal being in his repertoire.

He was Bundesliga's top scorer on three different occasions. For Germany, he managed to score 45 goals during his 95 appereances.

Centre-Forward : Gerd Muller

If the statistics from RSSSF are to be believed, Gerd Muller has scored 1461 goals in his career. If you are not convinced by that, maybe you are by his 68 goals in 62 games wearing Germany's shirt.

Although his figure never fit the conventional idea of a great striker, Der Bomber was an incredibly good finisher and a heading master with uncanny goal-scoring instincts. Qualities that made him one the most prolific and successful scorers ever.

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Topics:
#Michael Ballack
#Germany Football
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