Germany is one of the three most successful national teams at international competitions, after Brazil and Italy, having won a total of three World Cups and three European championships.
They are also one of the most consistent teams. They are also one of the most consistent teams. Aside from winning three world and continental titles, they were also runners-up three times in the European Championships, four times in the World Cup and won 3rd place in the World Cup three times as well.
The German FA could not afford to travel to Uruguay for the first World Cup staged in 1930 during the Great Depression, but finished third in the 1934 World Cup in their first appearance in the competition. After Austria became part of Germany in the Anschluss of March 1938, that country’s national team – one of Europe’s better sides at the time due to professionalism – was disbanded despite having already qualified for the 1938 World Cup. In the 1938 World Cup that began on 4 June, the German team managed only a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, and then lost the replay 2-4 in front of a hostile crowd in Paris, France. That early exit stands as Germany’s worst ever World Cup result. After the Second World War, Germany was banned from competition in most sports until about 1950, with none of the three new German states, West Germany, East Germany and Saarland, entering the 1950 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as the German Football Association was only reinstated as full FIFA member after this World Cup.
In 1971, Franz Beckenbauer became captain of the national side, and he led West Germany to great success as they became both the European and World Champions. They won the European Championship at their first attempt in Euro 72, after beating the Soviet Union 3-0 in the final. Then as hosts of the 1974 World Cup, they won their second World Cup, after beating the Netherlands 2-1 in the final at the Olympiastadion.
Two matches in the 1974 World Cup stood out for West Germany. The first group stage saw a politically charged match as West Germany played a game against East Germany. Both teams already were qualified for advance to the next round, and the East Germans won 1-0. After being eliminated in the first round of Euro 84, Franz Beckenbauer returned to the national team as coach to replace Derwall. In the 1986 World Cup, West Germany finished as runners-up for the second consecutive tournament, after again beating France 2-0 in the semi-finals, but losing to the Diego Maradona-led Argentina 3-2 in the final. In Euro 88, West Germany’s hopes of winning the tournament on home soil were spoiled by the Netherlands, as the Dutch gained revenge of their loss in 1974 by beating them 2-1 in the semi-final.
In the 1990 World Cup, West Germany finally won their third World Cup title in the unprecedented third consecutive final appearance. Beckenbauer, who won the title as captain in 1974, thus became the second person (after Mário Zagallo) to have won the World Cup as both a player and a coach, and the first as both a captain and a coach. Germany won their first major international title after the reunification at Euro 96, becoming European champions for the third time. They defeated England, who were the hosts, again on penalty kicks (6-5, after a 1-1 draw) in the semi-finals, and the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final.
However, in the 1998 World Cup, Germany was again eliminated by a less heralded opponent in the quarter-finals, this time in a 3-0 rout by Croatia. Entering the 21st century, Germany’s standing as one of the best national sides in the world, and as of a team that almost always reaches the later rounds of major tournaments, was starting to be discouraged by disappointing results.
In Euro 2000, the aging team went out in the first round after failing to win any of their three matches, including a 1-0 defeat to rivals England and an embarrassing 3-0 loss to a second-string Portugal side.
The Germans’ success was based on deep reserves of experience, finely-honed tactical know-how, and the ability to rise to the occasion when the chips are down. Their qualifying campaign merely served to emphasise the enduring nature of those attributes. Michael Ballack will be utterly determined to lead his country to a major international title after the runners-up spot at the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan, third on home soil in 2006, and another second place at UEFA EURO 2008 in Austria and Switzerland
COACH: Joachim Low.
Miroslav Klose (Bayern Munich): Plays forward.Despite his unassuming public persona, Bayern Munich striker Klose comes next in the dressing room hierarchy. His record of 48 goals in 93 internationals puts him third in the Germany all-time scoring chart, behind only living legend Gerd Muller (68 goals) and former GDR goal-getter Joachim Streich (55). Events in South Africa will show whether fellow Bayern men Lahm and Schweinsteiger, and Podolski, who returned home to Cologne from Munich in summer 2009, have what it takes to acquire world-class billing. Diminutive but exceptionally versatile full-back Lahm looks the best bet of the three.
Germany which is the 5th on FIFA table as of 3rd March 2010 is one of the World’s most outstanding in World cup and so will show up this while