FIFA World Cup Group D focus: German Football History

A brief look back at the impressive history of German football

German football history makes impressive reading from its early days until now. They're one of the most successful sides ever, not only in World Cups but also in European Championships.

Their past speaks for itself and when the trophy and medals are handed out at the end of any World Cup tournament, the Germans are usually not far away.

Here's a brief look at how they've got on in the past.

Previous FIFA World Cups:

- Germany have won the FIFA World Cup three times (1954, 1974 and 1990)

- Apart from the 1930 and 1950 tournaments, which they did not enter, Germany have contested every FIFA World Cup finals.

Italy 1934 Germany finished third in their first ever World Cup France 1938 Worst performance to date when they didn't get past the 1st round Switzerland 1954 Germany's first World Cup triumph after beating Hungary in the final. Sweden 1958 Finished fourth after losing to the hosts in the semis Chile 1962 Went out in the Quarter finals to Yugoslavia England 1966 Lost 4-2 to England in one of the most famous finals ever Mexico 1970 Finished third after losing to Italy in the semis Germany 1974 First time on home soil and their second World Cup victory after beating Holland Argentina 1978 Germany made the second round but went no further Spain 1982 Germany lost to Italy after winning the first ever World Cup penalty shootout in the semis Mexico 1986 Argentina beat Germany in the final in the tournament made famous by the "hand of God" Italy 1990 Winners for the third time and their most recent victory USA 1994 Surprising quarter final loss to Bulgaria in the quarter finals France 1998 Croatia shocked Germany in the quarter finals witha 3-0 win Korea/Japan2002 Again runners-up after losing to Brazil in the final Germany 2006 Finished third on home soil after losing to Italy


Group D favourites and three-time FIFA World Cup winners Germany are usually there or thereabouts come the end of most world cups, meaning the hopes of the nation are usually sky high.

They-ve so far won in Switzerland in 1954, on home soil in 1974 and in Italy in 1990. In qualification, the country has actually competed as West Germany, East Germany and Saarland during the years prior to the Berlin wall coming down.

They are one of the three most successful sides in international football history.

Aside from their wins are three European Championships and they-ve also been runners up on four occasions in the World Cup and three in the European championships.

The Germans' consistent success is not built on a flashy style like Brazil, the flair of Italy or slick passing like France (or gung ho like England!), its more a case of quiet efficiency.

In the early years, they played a few unofficial matches against England sides and were soundly beaten but a few years later the first official German side lost 5-3 to Switzerland.

Germany seem to have several landmark games with their Swiss neighbours, including post war matches and Germany-s first championship was also won on Swiss soil.

Looking away from their formidable history in World Cups, their worst World Cup came in 1938 when they drew again against the Swiss and lost to them in a replay in front of an extremely hostile Paris crowd.

Other disappointing results include the loss against England in the final in 1966 and four years later when they lost to Italy in the semi final.

Despite these results, it's much harder to find out when Germany don't perform at a World Cup!

Interesting German Stats

-If they can-t get the better of sides in 90 minutes or extra time, they tend to take it on penalties. They-ve won four shootouts at tournaments so far.

Since losing to Czechoslovakia in Euro 76, they-ve never been on the wrong end of a penalty shootout. In fact the last time Germany missed a penalty in a tournament was 1982.

-Germany have reached the World Cup Final seven times, a record they share with Brazil

-Germany have an astonishing 11 semi final appearances in World Cups, one more than Brazil who have played in two more tournaments.

-In the last 14 World Cup tournaments, Germany have at least reached the quarter finals and they-ve never failed to qualify for a tournament they-ve entered.

-In the history of German football they-ve played 826 games, winning an impressive 473, drawing 169 and losing 184. They-ve scored almost 1900 goals in this time!

Overall you will struggle to find many bad times for the German squad and come World Cup time, they-re always extremely strong and you-d never bet against them.

German victories seem to rely on deep reserves of experience, tactical know-how, and the ability to dig deep when the going gets tough.

Their qualifying campaign this time round followed their similar route to the 2002 final, where they were fairly unimpressive throughout but managed to battle their way to the final.

Who-d bet against them doing it again, it-s going to be a tough ask for the Qantas Socceroos to top the table over one of world football-s major nations.