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The Definitive Ranking Of All German National Soccer Teams, Ever

Germans are good at many things, but we are best at soccer.

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15. 1978 - 2nd Group (Argentina)

The 1978 World Cup was the only World Cup in which Germany was knocked out in the second round of the group stage. They were also defeated by Austria. It was the tail end of the golden age of German soccer.
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The 1978 World Cup was the only World Cup in which Germany was knocked out in the second round of the group stage. They were also defeated by Austria. It was the tail end of the golden age of German soccer.

14. 1998 - Quarterfinals (France)

The 1998 squad was a stepping stone to the 2000's, when German Soccer really took off again. Recognize that guy in the front row, second from the right? That's right, America; he's now your National Team coach, J├╝rgen Klinsmann.
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The 1998 squad was a stepping stone to the 2000's, when German Soccer really took off again. Recognize that guy in the front row, second from the right? That's right, America; he's now your National Team coach, Jürgen Klinsmann.

13. 1962 - Quarterfinals (Chile)

West Germany fell to Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals of the 1962 World Cup. The team came first in it's group but were unable to score even one goal in the quarterfinals.
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West Germany fell to Yugoslavia in the quarterfinals of the 1962 World Cup. The team came first in it's group but were unable to score even one goal in the quarterfinals.

12. 1994 - Quarterfinals (USA)

The 1994 team has our vote for best uniforms of all time. Just looking at them makes us nostalgic for the jeans jackets and flannel shirts of the nineties. They fit right in when they came to the US of A for the World Cup. Unfortunately, they lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals. Still, killer uniforms, guys.
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The 1994 team has our vote for best uniforms of all time. Just looking at them makes us nostalgic for the jeans jackets and flannel shirts of the nineties. They fit right in when they came to the US of A for the World Cup. Unfortunately, they lost to Bulgaria in the quarterfinals. Still, killer uniforms, guys.

11. 1958 - Fourth Place (Sweden)

This team definitely wins for best game face. The 1958 squad were maybe a bit to cocky after their "miracle" 1954 win. They allowed nine goals in the semifinal and third-place matches, which never happened to a German team ever again. Ever.
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This team definitely wins for best game face. The 1958 squad were maybe a bit to cocky after their "miracle" 1954 win. They allowed nine goals in the semifinal and third-place matches, which never happened to a German team ever again. Ever.

10. 2010- Third Place (South Africa)

Germany was looking for retribution going into the 2010 World Cup. They came in third in 2006, even though I think we can all agree they were the best team. During the group and knockout stages they only allowed two goals in five games, but they fell to the Spaniards in a heartbreaking semifinal match.
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Germany was looking for retribution going into the 2010 World Cup. They came in third in 2006, even though I think we can all agree they were the best team. During the group and knockout stages they only allowed two goals in five games, but they fell to the Spaniards in a heartbreaking semifinal match.

9. 1982 - Second Place (Spain)

The Italian National Team has had Germany's number for a long, long time. Counted together, the teams have seven World Cup victories and both are widely regarded as among the best teams, ever. Somehow, though, every time the two teams go head to head Germany seems to lose a bit of magic. Their overall record since 1954 is Italy-15, Germany - 7, and they have drawn 10 times. In 1982, Italy knocked the boys out of the running for the title once again. Here's hoping the curse is broken in 2014!
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The Italian National Team has had Germany's number for a long, long time. Counted together, the teams have seven World Cup victories and both are widely regarded as among the best teams, ever. Somehow, though, every time the two teams go head to head Germany seems to lose a bit of magic. Their overall record since 1954 is Italy-15, Germany - 7, and they have drawn 10 times. In 1982, Italy knocked the boys out of the running for the title once again. Here's hoping the curse is broken in 2014!

8. 1986 - Second Place (Mexico)

After only coming in second place after the group stages, the hopes of the West German fans were not as high. But then... the knockout stages began. West Germany did not allow a single goal for three consecutive games, but they themselves scored seven. It was a great run, but in the end they were shot down by Argentina in the final. On the bright side, check out those perms!
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After only coming in second place after the group stages, the hopes of the West German fans were not as high. But then... the knockout stages began. West Germany did not allow a single goal for three consecutive games, but they themselves scored seven. It was a great run, but in the end they were shot down by Argentina in the final. On the bright side, check out those perms!

7. 1970 - Third Place (Mexico)

The semifinal game between Italy and West Germany is often referred to as the "Game of the Century" by soccer fans. This game had it all - high scores, fouls, injuries. Franz Beckenbauer FRACTURED his clavicle and STAYED IN THE GAME WITH HIS ARM IN A SLING. Dedication. Unfortunately, Germany lost the match 4-3. There is now a plaque in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City honoring Germany and Italy for playing this magnificent match.
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The semifinal game between Italy and West Germany is often referred to as the "Game of the Century" by soccer fans. This game had it all - high scores, fouls, injuries. Franz Beckenbauer FRACTURED his clavicle and STAYED IN THE GAME WITH HIS ARM IN A SLING. Dedication. Unfortunately, Germany lost the match 4-3. There is now a plaque in Azteca Stadium in Mexico City honoring Germany and Italy for playing this magnificent match.

6. 2002 - Second Place - (Korea and Japan)

The 2002 squad had a few familiar faces - as of now, Miroslav Klose is still on the 2014 roster - but it was primarily a veteran team. They came in second place after falling to Brazil in the final. This was also Michael Ballack's first World Cup before taking over as captain for most of the 2000's.
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The 2002 squad had a few familiar faces - as of now, Miroslav Klose is still on the 2014 roster - but it was primarily a veteran team. They came in second place after falling to Brazil in the final. This was also Michael Ballack's first World Cup before taking over as captain for most of the 2000's.

5. 1966 - Second Place (England)

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The goal that...wasn't. The 1966 finale saw one of the most controversial goals in history, and even to this day some aren't quite sure if the ball crossed the line or not, but we will let you judge for yourselves. Germany lost in Wembley Stadium 4-2 to England after the "ghost goal."

4. 1990 - First Place (Italy)

In 1990 all eyes were once again on Germany. The Berlin Wall had just come down; the government was in talks with the East German government regarding reunification, but all anyone REALLY cared about was the World Cup. As in 1954 and 1974, the West German team proved that they were not to be counted out.
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In 1990 all eyes were once again on Germany. The Berlin Wall had just come down; the government was in talks with the East German government regarding reunification, but all anyone REALLY cared about was the World Cup. As in 1954 and 1974, the West German team proved that they were not to be counted out.

3. 2006 - Third Place (Germany)

Being in Germany during the 2006 World Cup was sort of like being in any other country than Germany. The sense of national pride in every city was overwhelming and very un-German. Up until 2006, it was hard to find a German flag outside of any official building, but during that month of June, it seemed like everyone had one on hand. The team came in third place after losing to Italy in the semifinals and defeating Portugal in the third-place game, but the month definitely impacted German national pride.
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Being in Germany during the 2006 World Cup was sort of like being in any other country than Germany. The sense of national pride in every city was overwhelming and very un-German. Up until 2006, it was hard to find a German flag outside of any official building, but during that month of June, it seemed like everyone had one on hand. The team came in third place after losing to Italy in the semifinals and defeating Portugal in the third-place game, but the month definitely impacted German national pride.

2. 1974 - First Place - (Germany)

From 1970-1976, the German National Team never failed to reach a semifinal game in a major international match. Franz Beckenbauer, the heart and soul of the team, is routinely listed as one of the greatest players, ever. The 1974 team hosted the other 15 rival teams in West Germany, and they even went head to head against their East German counterparts. When they won the finale at home against the Netherlands in Munich, it was like a sigh of relief for the entire country.
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From 1970-1976, the German National Team never failed to reach a semifinal game in a major international match. Franz Beckenbauer, the heart and soul of the team, is routinely listed as one of the greatest players, ever. The 1974 team hosted the other 15 rival teams in West Germany, and they even went head to head against their East German counterparts. When they won the finale at home against the Netherlands in Munich, it was like a sigh of relief for the entire country.

1. 1954 - First Place (Switzerland)

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If you ask any German "What is the 'Miracle from Bern?'" they will look at you with a shocked expression, as if they can't believe that someone could go through life without knowing about the Greatest. Soccer. Triumph. In. History. In 1954, just a few short years after the end of the Second World War and in Germany's first World Cup appearance since the fifties, the team brought victory home to a country that desperately needed something to cheer for. In the nail-biting finale, West Germany toppled favorite Hungary 3-2. The 1954 final was such a monumental event for Germany that when the Swiss tore down the Wankdorf Stadium, where the "Miracle" took place, Switzerland offered a patch of grass to the German government. It is still in the garden of the Chancellery in Berlin.

Come Watch the World Cup With Us!

The German Embassy is hosting YOU in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC on Thursday, June 26. Be there!

The German Embassy is hosting YOU in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC on Thursday, June 26. Be there!

Written By Lauren Rogers

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