German Soccer Personalities

About the Ratings

Rüdiger ABRAMCZIK (1956 - )
Career: 1973-88, Schalke 04, Bor Dortmund, 1.FC Nürnberg
Bundesliga: 316 matches, 77 goals
International: 19 caps, 2 goals
A speedy winger with some limited skills, he peaked in the late 70s with Schalke and jumped into the national squad. A Class B player.

Jörg "Ali the Hammer" ALBERTZ (1971 - )
Career: 1990 - 2008, Fort. Düsseldorf, Hamburger SV, Glasgow Rangers, Shanghai Shenhua, Greuther Fürth
Bundesliga: 150 matches, 29 goals
Scottish Premier League: 155 matches, 58 goals
International: 3 caps
A midfielder with a killer shot (hence his nickname), Albertz never lived up to his full potential in Germany, but was a hero with Rangers, winning 4 SPL titles and 3 cups. He was also voted Player of the Year - in China. In 2005 he signed with Fürth to try and help them with promotion and wrap up his career. A class B player.

Klaus ALLOFS (1956 - )
Career: 1975-1993, Fortuna Düsseldorf, 1.FC Köln, Olympique Marseille, Girondin Bordeaux,Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 424 matches, 177 goals
International: 56 caps, 17 goals
One of Germany's better forwards in the 1980s, he started his pro career with Fortuna in 1975 as a midfielder, and after 3 seasons joined his younger brother Thomas in attack. Class B player, with pretensions to Class A.

Thomas ALLOFS (1959 - )
Career: 1978-1992, Fortuna Düsseldorf, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 387 matches, 148 goals
International: 2 caps, 0 goals
Thomas Allofs came up to Fortuna Düsseldorf in 1978 to play along with his older brother Klaus and established himself a a decent goal scoring forward. He scored almost 150 Bundesliga goals in 14 seasons with Fortuna, 1.FC Köln and Kaiserslautern. Solid Class B player.

Gerald ASAMOAH (1978 - )
1998-present, Hannover 96, Schalke 04
Bundesliga: 161 matches, 26 goals
International: 25 caps, 3 goals
The book is still out, since he's only mid career. A powerful forward, but nothing special, and doesn't score. His main claim is that he's the first German international from Africa (Nigeria). So far not even a B, looks like Class C, but could improve as he peaks.

Klaus AUGENTHALER (1957 -)
Career: 1976-1991, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 404 matches, 52 goals
International: 27 caps
A world class defender in the 1980s, his 50 goals also included one from the midfield stripe. Despite his toughness (indeed, a vicious foul on popular Rudi Völler in 1985 almost ended his career and made "Auge" a buh-mann), he was only red carded once in his career. Since ending his playing career, Augenthaler has been a head coach with various clubs. A Class A, marginal class AA.

Markus BABBEL (1972 - )
Career: 1991-2007, Bayern München, Hamburger SV, FC Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, VfB Stuttgart
Budesliga: 287 matches, 12 goals A serviceable defender, Babbel has had a decent career that is winding down. Injury held things back in England. Marginal A class, but probably a strong B.

Michael BALLACK (1976 - )
Career: 1995-2011, Chemnitzer FC, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Bayer Leverkusen, Bayern München, Chelsea, Bayer Leverkusen
Bundesliga: 267 matches, 53 goals
International: 98 caps, 42 goals
Certainly Germany's most talented current player. A tall, strong, attacking midfielder with a good shot and powerful header. Germany relies on him to pull games out, and he can't always deliver. He should have stayed in Leverkusen, but went for the bog bucks at Bayern and Chelski. He seemed to be on the way to clear AA status, but his career at Bayern and Chelsea was somewhat disappointing and therefore he might be back around A.

Peter-Josef "Peco" BAUWENS (1886 - 1963)
Career: 1901-1919, Kölner SC
International: 1 cap
Bauwens is best remembered as the DFB boss in the post war years, 1949-62, when German soccer was re-establishing itself. Probable Class C.

Franz "Der Kaiser" BECKENBAUER (1945 -)
Career: 1963-1982, Bayern München, New York Cosmos, Hamburger SV
Bundesliga: 424 matches, 44 goals
International: 103 caps, 14 goals
Beckenbauer is Germany's greatest ever player, and one of the finest the World has ever seen. He redefined the role of a sweeper from a chopper through his elegant play. As captain of the German national squad, he led Germany to the pinacle of world soccer. His international career ended prematurely, as he was essentially banned from the team in 1977 when he decided to leave Germany for New York. After his playing days ended, he became national team coach in 1984, retiring after winning the World Cup in 1990. He then dedicated himself to his old club Bayern, stepping in as interim head coach on two occasions in the mid 1990s and eventually becoming club president. Clearly a Class AAA.

Michael BELLA (1945 - )
Career: 1964-78, MSV Duisburg
Bundesliga: 405 matches, 13 goals
International: 4 caps
A reliable hardworking defender - and at MSV, you would be busy. A class B player at best, but loyal to his club, which is worth brownie points.

Walther BENSEMANN (1873-1934)
One of the pioneers of German soccer, as an organizer and journalist. He was responsible for the England visit in 1899 which caused an upswing in popularity. His other major contribution was the founding of "kicker sportmagazin" in 1920. As a Jew, he wisely decided to leave for Switzerland in 1933 when the Nazis came to power.

Thomas BERTHOLD (1964 - )
Career: 1982-2000, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hellas Verona, AS Roma, Bayern München, VfB Stuttgart
Bundesliga: 332 matches, 22 goals
International: 62 caps, 1 goal
A solid defender for both club and country, part of the World Cup 90 winning side. Class B, marginal Class A.

Oliver "Olli" BIERHOFF (1968 - )
Career: 1986-2003, Bayer Uerdingen, Hamburger SV, M'Gladbach, Casino Salzburg, Ascoli, Udinese, AC Milan, AS Monaco, Chievo
Bundesliga: 73 matches, 10 goals
International: 40 caps, 24 goals
One of the few German players to make his name outside of Germany. A promising player, he basically washed out in the Bundesliga and went to Austria to salvage his career. He transferred to Italy's Serie B team Ascoli, but it was at Udinese that he began to get noticed. His heroic moment came by scoring both goals to win Germany the Euro title in 1996. Bierhoff was mostly noted for his powerful headers rather than his footwork. In 2004 he was appointed German national "team manager", essentially an assistant to head coach Jürgen Klinsmann. Basically Bierhoff is a marginal Class B, but in his moments was Class A.

Rainer BONHOF (1952 - )
Career: 1970-83, Gladbach, Valencia, 1.FC Köln, Hertha BSC
Bundesliga: 311 matches, 57 goals
International: 53 caps, 9 goals
A solid, tough defensive midfielder from Gladbach's 70s glory years. His final year 1978 saw him score 12 times as a defender and earned a big money transfer to Spain. Bonhof was actually Dutch, but became a German citizen in 1969 so he could play for Germany's youth team, and of course was on the 1974 World Cup winning side. At the end of the 1990s, he had a rather unsuccessful run as head coach of Gladbach. Solid Class B, marginal A.

Bernd BRANSCH (1944 - )
Career: 1963-74, Chemie Halle, Carl Zeiss Jena
DDR-Oberliga: 317 matches, 43 goals
International: 72 caps, 3 goals (GDR)
A fine defender for Chemie Halle, Bransch retired after the 1974 World Cup - after winning GDR Player of the Year for the 2nd time. Class B player.

Andreas BREHME (1960 - )
Career: 1981-98, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Bayern München, Inter Milan, Real Zaragoza
Bundesliga: 301 matches, 50 goals
International: 86 caps, 8 goals
A well travelled and hardworking midfielder, scored the gamewinner in 1990 World Cup. His best years were two stints with Kaiserslautern. Class A player.

Paul BREITNER (1951 - )
Career: 1970-83, Bayern München, Real Madrid, Eintracht Braunschweig
Bundesliga: 285 matches, 93 goals
International: 40 caps, 10 goals
A brilliant defender and later midfielder, Breitner was known as something of a wildman due to his politics and his beard and afro combo. A tough, yet very skilled technician, his falling out with Bayern led to his massive transfer to Madrid in 1974. After 3 years (2 tiitles), he returned to Germany, but to Braunschweig, before eventually returning to Bayern. In 1998, he was appointed national team coach - for one day. He was forced to resign because he kept criticizing the DFB. Today he is well known as a very opinionated football commentator. Class AA.

Hans-Peter BRIEGEL (1955 - )
Career: 1975-88, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Hellas Verona, Sampdoria
Bundesliga: 240 matches, 47 goals
International: 72 caps, 4 goals
Another rugged defender/midfielder that seem to get churned out in German soccer. Known as a tireless runner and hard tackler, Briegel was the first player to be named "German Footballer of the Year" while playing abroad. He played a major role in Verona's sensational scudetto winning side of 1985. Since retirement, he's coached various clubs and was also Kaiserslautern's sportdirector in the late 1990s. Class A, with some AA qualities.

Guido BUCHWALD (1961 - )
Career: 1983-1999, VfB Stuttgart, Karlsruher SC
Bundesliga: 334 matches, 28 goals
International: 76 caps, 4 goals
A solid defender, usually sweeper or stopper. Played on Stuttgart's two championship teams in 1984 and 1992. After the 1994 season he went to Japan, before returning finish out his career with KSC. Class A/B.

Karl BURGER (1883 - 1959)
Career: early 1900s, SpVgg Fürth
International: 11 caps, 1 goal
Burger was in 1909 squad that got the DFB's first international win. Was noted as a defender with good offensive skills. He benefitted from English coach William Towley's term at Fürth, who made him team captain. No rating.

Manfred BURGSMÜLLER (1949 - )
Career: 1969-90, RW ESsen, Bor. Dortmund, 1.FC Nürnberg, Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 447 matches, 213 goals
International: 3 caps
A versatile midfielder or forward, Burgsmüller had a long career, but really couldn't break into the national squad, because better players were available. Class B, maybe even C.

Georg BUSCHNER (1925 - )
Career: 1935-1958, SV Gera, Wismut Gera, Motor Jena
International: 6 GDR caps
Although a fine player, Buschner's fame comes as the greatest coach in GDR history. He took over in 1970 and led the squad to their greatest success, the 1974 World Cup and 1976 Olympic Gold. Class B/C. Coaching A.

Bum-Kun CHA (1953 - )
Career: 1978-1989, Darmstadt 98, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen
Bundesliga: 308 matches, 98 goals
International: 121 caps, 55 goals (South Korea)
South Korean Cha was hard-running, tricky forward who had several excellent Bundesliga seasons, winning UEFA Cups with Frankfurt (80) and Leverkusen (88). Probably the best Asian player ever in Germany. After retirement he returned to South Korea and was a key member of the 2002 World Cup committee. His son Doo-Ri Cha joined Bielefeld in the Bundesliga (2002-04) and 2.Liga Frankfurt (2004). Class B.

Edmund CONEN (1914 - 1990)
Career: 1930s-1940s, FV Saarbrücken
International: 28 caps, 27 goals
A central striker, Conen burst on to the scene with a hattrick against Belgium at the World Cup in 1934. A heart mumur discovered in 1936 postponed his career for 3 years. He rejoined the national team in 1939, ending his international career in 1942. After the war, he played for teams like Stuttgarter Kickers, Braunschweig and in Switzerland. Class A.

Jürgen CROY (1946 - )
Career: 1965-81, Sachsenring Zwickau
DDR-Oberliga: 372 matches
International: 94 GDR caps
One of the best goalkeepers of his time, Croy didn't receive as much recognition as others due to playing for the GDR. Whereas most GDR football stars were forced to "transfer" to elite clubs, Croy convinced the bureaucrats that as a keeper, he got better training playing for a weak squad. He certainly would have passed the century mark in internationals, but an injury ended his career. Class AA.

Bernd CULLMANN (1949 - )
Career: 1970-1984, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 341 matches, 19 goals
International: 40 caps, 6 goals
A reliable defensive midfielder whose career ended prematurely via injury. (9 games over his last two seasons). A graceful player who combined well with Wolfgang Overath. Class B.

Sebastian DEISLER (1980 - )
Career: 1998-2006, Bor. M'gladbach, Hertha BSC, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 100 matches, 15 goals
International: 22 caps, 3 goals
Deisler will probably end up as a posterboy for what happens when you push someone before he's ready. A technically gifted youngster, he was hailed as saviour of the national team, which was desperately sucking, and was thrust into the fray at 19. He couldn't deliver, and then injury, a disastrous transfer to Bayern, mental breakdown...Certainly one of the most talented German footballers, he never really recovered from all the damage, and called it quits in 2007 at only 27. It would be hard to even rate him as a class B.

Josef "Jupp" DERWALL (1927 - 2007 )
Career: 1949-1959, Alemannia Aachen, Fortuna Düsseldorf
International: 2 caps
Derwall became national squad coach in 1978, and although his record was decent statistically, his teams did not impress, despite winning the Euro title in 1980 and a runner up in the World Cup 1982. Partially responsible was his rather cynical "win" attitude, which contrasted with the more stylish (and winning) philosophy of his predecessor, Helmut Schön. The other cause of his downfall was that he wanted to treat the players as responsible adults, which proved to be asking too much. After failure in the 84 World Cup, he was replaced by Beckenbauer. Class B/C as player, probably B/C as coach.

Bernd DIETZ (1948 - )
Career: 1970-87, MSV Duisburg, Schalke 04
Bundesliga: 495 matches, 77 goals
International: 53 caps
Arguably the greatest ever Duisburg player, a rugged defender who captained the 1980 Euro-winning squad. Oddly enough, he started his career as a forward, and usually only scored 3-4 goals, despite playing all matches. After switching to defense, he was usually scoring 6-8 goals a year. When MSV was relegated in 1982, he left for Schalke. Class A/B.

Hans-Jürgen "Dixie" DÖRNER (1951 - )
Career: 1969-1986, Dynamo Dresden
DDR Oberliga: 392 matches, 65 goals
International: 100 GDR caps, 9 goals
One of the greatest players to come out of the GDR. A fine defender with superb ball control. After retirement, he has been a head coach, including 3 years with Werder Bremen. Class A, I don't think he was quite good enough for AA. Maybe A+.

Wolfgang DREMMLER (1954 - )
Career: 1974-1986, Bayern München, Eintracht Braunschweig
Bundesliga:: 310 matches, 15 goals
International: 27 caps, 3 goals
A typical hardworking German defensive midfielder, a fixture with the powerful Bayern teams of the 1980s. Class B.

Peter DUCKE (1941 - )
Career: 1960-1977, Carl Zeiss Jena
DDR-Oberliga: 349 matches, 153 goals
International: 68 GDR caps, 15 goals
A brilliant but often inconsistent center forward who had a reputation of being "difficult". For example, he never shined his boots, which enraged the bureaucrats. His brilliance was recognized by no less than FC Barcelona, which tried to buy him in 1963. Class A.

Roland DUCKE (1934 - )
Career: 1957-1971, Carl Zeiss Jena
DDR-Oberliga: 343 matches, 50 goals
International: 37 GDR caps, 5 goals
The older brother of Peter Ducke, Roland was a solid midfielder with Jena, and a GDR international in his own right. Class B.

Horst ECKEL (1932 - )
Career: 1949-1960, 1.FC Kaiserslautern
Oberliga-SW: 214 matches, 64 goals
International: 32 caps
A winger who was on the World Cup squads of 1954/58, Eckel was part of the powerful Kaiserslautern team of the 1950s. Class B.

Stefan "Effe" EFFENBERG (1968 - )
Career: 1987-2004, Bor. M'gladbach, Bayern München, Fiorentina, Vfl Wolfsburg, Al-Arabi/Qatar
Bundesliga: 370 matches, 71 goals
International: 35 caps, 5 goals
A gifted and contraversial midfielder, Effenberg had potential to be a legendary player. Instead his big mouth, overblown ego and jerk behaviour will probably be more remembered. At the 1994 World Cup, he gave the German fans "the finger" and was banned from the national squad "for life" by Berti Vogts, although 4 years later he was back, before he then "retired". Class A, should have been AA.

Lutz EIGENDORF (1956 - 1983)
Career: 1974-83, BFC Dynamo Berlin, 1.Fc Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Braunschweig
DDR-Oberliga: 100 matches, 9 goals
Bundesliga: 61 matches, 9 goals
International: 6 caps, 3 goals
Eigendorf was a GDR international who defected to the West in 1979. He was a decent midfielder, but nothing special. He was killed in a car crash under mysterious circumstances, and his friends claim he was murdered by Stasi agents. After reunification, Stasi files indeed revealed that they had several agents "watching" Eigendorf. Class C player.

Dieter EILTS (1964 - )
Career: 1985-2002, Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 390 matches, 7 goals, 57 yellow cards
International: 31 caps
Another hard-nosed defensive midfielder, Eilts main claim to fame is to be the most successful player from Ostfriesland. A solid player throughout his career, his highlight was perhaps a fine Euro tournament in 1996, although he also won two Bundesliga titles with Werder. Class A/B.

Lothar "Emma" EMMERICH (1941 - )
Career: 1960-81, Bor. Dortmund, VAV Beerschot, Austria Klagenfurt, Schweinfurt, SV Neckargerach, SpVgg Kastel
Bundesliga: 183 matches, 115 goals
International: 5 matches, 2 goals
A fine forward who will be mostly remembered for the "impossible" goal from the endline against Spain in the 1966 Wolrd Cup. He had a short, but excellent Bundesliga career, winning the scoring title in 1966 (31 goals) before leaving Germany. He played out his career with minor clubs. Class B. Possibly Class A in 1965-66.

Herbert "Ertl" ERHARDT (1930 - )
Career: 1947-1964, SpVgg Fürth, Bayern München
Oberliga Süd: 335 matches
International: 50 caps, 1 goal
A solid defender, usually sweeper for the German national team in the 1950s. Erhardt was on the World Cup squad in 1954, but remained on the bench. He had a fine tournament in 1958 and played in 1962. That year he also signed with Bayern for the princely salary of 50,000 DM. He used the money to build a house and then retired. Class B.

Wolfgang FAHRIAN (1941 - )
Career: 1960-1976, Ulm, Hertha BSC, 1860 München, Fortuna Köln
Bundesliga: 67 matches
International: 10 caps
He was the surprise choice as no.1 keeper for the squad in Chile 1962, despite playing for 2nd division Ulm. His meteoric rise was follwed by a a decent, if unspectacular career - mostly in the 2nd division. He was a solid keeper with Fortuna Köln from 1969, enjoying their promotion year 1973. Class C, possibly B for peak years.

Klaus FICHTEL (1944 - )
Career: 1965-1988, Schalke 04, Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 552 matches, 14 goals
International: 23 caps, 1 goal
A fixture at the back for Schalke for some 19 years, Fichtel had the misfortune to play during the period of some of Germany's greatest defenders (e.g. Beckenbauer, Vogts, Breitner, Höttges, Schwarzenbeck etc.), so could never really get the international recognition he probably deserved. A classy player, he was only yellow carded 6 times. Class B.

Klaus FISCHER (1949 - )
Career: 1968-1988, 1860 München, Schalke, 1.FC Köln, VfL Bochum
Bundesliga: 568 matches, 268 goals
International: 45 caps, 32 goals
A prolific goal scorer, Fischer's best years where in the mid 1970s with Schalke. He lost one year due to a ban for accepting bribes. After the 70s, his production fell off, but he nursed his career for another 10 years. He was the heir-apparent to Gerd Müller as national squad center-forward, and had a decent international scoring record. Class A, marginal AA.

Heinz FLOHE (1948 - )
Career: 1966-1980, 1.FC Köln, 1860 München
Bundesliga: 343 matches, 81 goals
International: 39 caps, 8 goals
A workhorse midfielder for Wolfgang Overath's visionary play in the Köln teams of the 70s. He played one year with 1860, during which he suffered a multiple fracture in his leg which ended his career. Class B.

Fritz "Frieder" FÖRDERER, (1888 - 1952)
Career: 1906-1920, Karlsruher FV, VfL Halle
International: 11 caps, 10 goals
One of the first stars of German football, Förderer was known for his technical skill and hard shot. He was one of Germany's leading players, with one the strongest clubs, KFV. Class B. No one before WWI would be considered A.

Bernd FÖRSTER (1956 - )
Career: 1974-1986, Bayern München, 1.FC Saarbrücken, VfB Stuttgart
Bundesliga: 291 matches, 25 goals
International: 33 caps
A solid defender, he formed a formidable defense with his younger brother Karl-Heinz in Suttgart's championship team of 1984. Class B.

Karl-Heinz FÖRSTER (1958 - )
Bundesliga: 272 matches, 17 goals
International: 81 caps, 2 goals
A world-class defender in the early and mid 1980s, KHF was Germanys' "Player of the Year" in 1982. After the 3-2 loss in the 86 World Cup final to Argentina, he retired from international football prematurely. He transferred to Olympique Marseille, winning two championships and gaining French citizenship. Class A, some AA elements.

Andreas "Resi" FRANZ (1897 - 1970)
Career: 1912-1936, SpVgg Fürth, TSV Fürth
International: 10 caps, 4 goals
A key figure in the great Fürth teams of the 1920s, Franz was known as a quick and tricky forward, and his hattrick against Austria in 1924 showed him at the height of his powers. Class B.

Henning FRENZEL (1942 - )
Career: 1960-78, Chemie Leipzig/1.FC Lok Leipzig
DDR-Oberliga: 420 matches, 152 goals
International: 56 caps, 19 goals (GDR)
A fine player who played almost 20 years for Leipzig, he ranks 3rd in the all-time DDR-Oberliga match list. At age 62 he played with a Lok team in a friendly, even scoring a goal. Class B player due to longevity.

Steffen FREUND (1970 - )
Career: 1988-2004, Stahl Brandenburg, Schalke, Bor. Dortmund, Tottenham Hotspur, 1.FC Kaiserslautern, Leicester City
Bundesliga: 178 matches, 9 goals
International: 22 caps
A solid defensive midfielder, his best years were with Dortmund in the 90s when he was part of the Champions League winner squad and the Euro 1996 champs. His career in England was basically crap. At best a Class B player.

Gottfried FUCHS (1889 - 1972)
Career: Karlsruher FV, Düsseldorfer SC International: 6 caps, 14 goals
Fuchs will be forever remembered for what happened on July 1st, 1912: in the 16-0 win over Russia, he scored 10 goals. He was part of the legendary attacking trio of KFV with Fritz Förderer and Julius Hirsch. Class B.

Maurizio GAUDINO (1966 - )
Career: 1984-99, SV Waldhof, VfB Stuttgart, Eintracht Frankfurt, VfL Bochum, Antalayaspor, some Mexican team
Bundesliga: 294 matches, 48 goals
International: 5 caps, 1 goal
A talented midfielder, his main claim to fame is that he was convicted of being part of an auto-theft ring, but I think he managed somehow to avoid the slammer. Should have been at least class B, but more like a Class C.

Ludwig "Lutte" GOLDBRUNNER (1908 - 1981)
Career: Bayern München
International: 39 caps
An athletic defender, Goldbrunner was the anchor of the defense from the first great Bayern squad of the 1930s. Class A/B.

Jürgen "Grabi" GRABOWSKI (1944 - )
Career: 1965-80, Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga: 441 matches, 109 goals
International: 44 caps, 5 goals
A fine winger, Grabowski usually played on crap Frankfurt teams, but nevertheless managed a good international career with the great German squad of the early 1970s. His directness and power-play tended to find more favor with Helmut Schön than the constant dribbling of Stan Libuda. Class B.

Ernst GRUBE (1890 - 1945)
Grube was the leader of the Communist sports organization, the Kampfsportgemeinschaft, better known as "Rotsport". A Communist party delegate in the 1930 Reichstag, Grube, like most KPD members, spent more time villifying the Socialists and their ATSB than worrying about the Nazis. In 1933, the Nazis banned Rotsport and threw Grube in a concentration camp. He managed to survive until the final weeks of the war, when he was murdered at Bergen-Belsen. After the war, several stadiums and sports facilities were named after him in the GDR.

Hans HAGEN (1894 - 1957)
Career: 1914-42, SpVgg Fürth
International: 12 caps
A small but speedy defender, Hagen devoted his entire career to his club, ending his playing days at age 48(!). Class B.

Helmut HALLER (1939 - 2012)
Career: 1957-77, BC Augsburg, FC Bologna, Jueventus Turin, FC Augsburg, Bayern Hof, VfR Heilbronn, VfR Bürstadt, BSV Schwenningen
International: 33 caps, 13 goals
Haller was a fine forward and perhaps the only post 1963 international that never played in the Bundesliga! His crowning effort was the 1966 World Cup, with 6 goals in 5 games. After winning back-to-back titles with Juve in 1972 and 1973, he returned to Germany to play out his career with several weak clubs. Class B, possibly A.

Asbjörn HALVORSEN (1898 - 1955)
Career: 1921-33, Hamburger SV
International: 21 caps (Norway)
Halvorsen was one of the first foreigners to make a big splash in German football. The small defensive midfielder was a tactical genius, and was a key component in Hamburg's 1922 championship. A famous photo shows him and his friend Tull Harder (see below!) inside the championship wreath, Harder almost a head taller than the little Norwegian. Halvorsen left Germany in 1933 for his homeland. He was Norway's manager in the stunning upset of Germany at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. When Germany occupied Norway in WW-II, Halvorsen organized athlete strikes, and was thrown in a concentration camp. He almost died, but was released in a prisoner exchange in 1945. One wonders what he might have thought about Harder's concentration camp career...Probably B/C.

Dietmar HAMANN (1973 - )
Career: 1993-2011, Bayern München, Newcastle United, FC Liverpool, Bolton Wanderers, Manchester City, Milton Keynes
Bundesliga: 106 matches, 6 goals
Premier League: 268 matches, 12 goals
International: 59 caps, 5 goals
A fine defensive midfielder, whose actually had a better career in England. Solid Class B, marginal Class A.

Otto "Tull" HARDER (1892 - 1956)
Career: 1913 - 1934, Hamburger SV, Victoria Hamburg
International: 15 caps, 14 goals
A veritable tank of a forward and prolific scorer, Harder anchored the strong HSV teams of the 1920s and was until the appearance of Uwe Seeler perhaps the best ever HSV player. He was a fan favorite, but his rough personality and drinking often caused him to be benched by club bureaucrats. He left HSV in 1931 and continued his career on the local level with minor Hamburg clubs. However, his legacy is ruined by what happened after his career ended. Harder joined the Nazi party in 1932, and the SS a year later. He wanted assignment to a frontline Waffen-SS division (he had won the Iron Cross in WWI), but was assigned to guard duties instead. He became a concentration camp commandant and after the war was sentenced to 15 years in prison for War Crimes. He was released in 1951 and withdrew from public view, a bitter man. Marginal Class A, but since he was an asshole, B.

Thomas "Icke" HÄSSLER (1966 - )
Career: 1984-2004, 1.FC Köln, Juventus Turin, AS Roma, Karlsruher SC, Borussia Dortmund, 1860 München, SV Salzburg
Bundesliga: 400 matches, 68 goals
International: 101 caps, 11 goals.
A diminutive and creative attacking midfielder, Häßler had a long and productive career, despite being somewhat of a wandering gypsy. After winning the World title in Italy 1990, he transferred to Serie A and upon his return to Germany, was one of the key components in Karlsruhe's strong BL showings. Class A, with B tendencies.

Siegfried "Siggi" HELD (1942 - )
Career: 1963-81, Kickers Offenbach, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Uerdingen
Bundesliga: 422 matches, 72 goals
International: 41 caps, 5 goals
Born in the Sudetenland and known for his bushy eyebrows, Held was a strong play making midfielder or winger, participated in two World Cups (66/70) and served two tours of duty with Dortmund and Offenbach. After retiring, he became a head coach for several clubs, e.g. Schalke, Dynamo Dresden, VfB Leipzig and national coach of Iceland, Malta and Thailand. Class A/B.

Thomas HELMER (1965 - )
Career: 1984-2000, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Bayern München, Hertha BSC, Sunderland
Bundesliga: 390 matches, 41 goals
International: 68 caps, 5 goals
A hardnosed defender and sweeper, Helmer was a world-class player in the early/mid 90s with Bayern. He's also one of the few Bundesliga pros to have done the Abitur, with a very high grade point average. Class A, marginal AA.

Josef "Sepp" HERBERGER (1897 - 1977)
Career: 1921-29, SV Waldhof, VfR Mannheim, Tennis Borussia
International: 3 caps, 2 goals
Herberger was a decent player, but his calling was coaching and his legacy will be forever linked with the 1954 World Cup win. He took over as national team coach from Otto Nerz in 1936 and ran the team until 1964. Player, must have been Class B. Coaching: AA/A.

Matthias HERGET (1955 - )
Career: 1976-90, VfL Bochum, RW Essen, Bayer Uerdingen, Schalke
Bundesliga: 237 matches, 26 goals
International: 39 caps, 4 goals
Herget was relatively unknown even in Germany, since he played his whole career with generally crap teams, often in the 2nd division. Neverthless, the GDR born Herget was a solid defender who played well enough to get frequent national squad call ups. Class B, deserves A.

Fritz HERKENRATH (1928 - )
Career: 1947-61, Preussen Dellbrück, 1.Fc Köln, RW Essen
International: 21 caps
A fine goalkeeer, Herkenrath was at the height of his powers with Essen in the late 1950s, and started as keeper in the 1958 World Cup. Class B.

Josef "Jupp" HEYNCKES (1945 - )
Career: 1964-78, Bor. M'gladbach, Hannover 96
Bundesliga: 369 matches, 222 goals
International: 39 caps, 14 goals
Known today mostly as a dour disciplinarian head coach, it's easy to forget that Heynckes was a brilliant forward for some of Germany's great teams. He was at his peak in the mid 70s, when he would score up to 30 goals a year for powerful Gladbach. After retiring, he became a successful coach, with Gladbach, Bayern, Frankfurt, Athletic Bilbao, Real Madrid (Champions League winner 1998), Benfica, Schalke etc. Generally, his methods brought excellent results, but he would soon wear out his welcome. Class A player. Coaching: A-C.

Gottfried HINZE (1873 - 1953)
Hinze was a soccer pioneer, as a player he went with his club Duisburger TV on an England tour in 1896. However, his importance is as an official. He became DFB president in 1905 and was instrumental in rebuilding the organization after WW-I and getting the international sanctions lifted against German football. He gave up his post in 1925.

Julius HIRSCH (1892 - 1943)
Career: 1910-1925, Karlsruher FV, SpVgg Fürth
International: 7 caps, 4 goals
Along with Gottfried Fuchs, one of only two Jewish players to play for Germany. Hirsch was part of KFV's attacking front that included Fuchs and Förderer. He was presumably murdered in Auschwitz. Class B.

Dieter HOENESS (1953 - )
Career: 1977-87, VfB Stuttgart, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 288 matches, 127 goals
International: 6 caps, 4 goals
The younger brother of Uli, Dieter Hoeness lacked the talent of his brother, but had a respectable career. He was mainlly known for powerful headers from his receding hairline. Today he's a somehwat less successful business manager than his brother, among others with Hertha BSC. Class C, possible B-.

Ulrich "Uli" HOENESS (1952 - )
Career: 1970-79, Bayern München, 1.FC Nürnberg
Bundesliga: 250 matches, 86 goals
International: 35 caps, 5 goals
Today Hoeness is known as the blow-hard windbag of a Business manager of Bayern München, always arrogantly pontificating about this or that. But he certainly has superb business skills, as he's been a key portion of Bayern's unstoppable rise, and became a millionaire running the family sausage business. It's often forgotten that he was a superb midfielder whose career was cut short by injury. In 1972 he scored the opening goal in Germany's brilliant 3-1 win over England at Wembley, which was essentially the birth of the most powerful Germany national squad ever. Although perhaps unlucky injury-wise, he did have some other luck: in 1982, he was the sole survivor of an airplane crash. Class A, had AA moments.

Richard "König" HOFMANN (1906 - 1983)
Career: 1922-1949, Meerane 07, Dresdner SC
International: 25 caps, 24 goals
A small forward, Hofmann was perhaps the star player of the late 1920s, and was known for his cannon shots with either foot. A prolific scorer, he was kicked out of the national team for having an advertising deal with a cigarette company in 1933. However he continued to play with the powerful Dresdner SC team until his 40s. Later he became a youth coach in the GDR. Class A, might have developed into AA.

Bernd "Holz" HÖLZENBEIN (1946 - )
Career: 1967-81, Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga: 420 matches, 160 goals
International: 40 caps, 5 goals
A speedy and productive winger, Hölzenbein was loyal to his club through his career. His crowning moment was his swan dive for a penalty in the 1974 World Cup final against Holland. Class B, A for diving :)

Horst-Dieter HÖTTGES (1943 - )
Career: 1963-78, Bor. M'gladbach, Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 420 matches, 55 goals
International: 66 caps, 1 goal
A tireless and dogged defender, Höttges formed a tandem with Vogts in the national squad, and played his career for a largely weak Bremen squad. Class A, marginal AA.

Horst HRUBESCH (1951 - )
Career: 1975-86, RW Essen, Hamburger SV, Standard Liege, Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 224 matches, 136 goals
International: 21 caps, 6 goals
Hrubesch is certainly not "Rubbish". In fact, he's probably the prototype of what the world expects a German center forward to be: tall, blond, built like a tank, somewhat clumsy, with a vicious shot and powerful header. That would be Hrubesch in a nutshell. He got a somewhat later start in his pro career, it wasn't until his mid-20s that he was even in the 2nd division. He ended up pointman for the successful HSV teams of the late 70s/early 80s. Class B, possible A.

Bodo ILGNER (1967 - )
Career: 1985-2001, 1.FC Köln, Real Madrid
Bundesliga: 326 matches
International: 54 caps
Another of the rare Abitur achievers. Ilgner was a solid keeper who surpringly retired from international play in 1994. Class A/B.

Adolf JÄGER (1890 - 1944)
Career: 1906-27, Altona 93 Hamburg
International: 18 caps, 11 goals
Jäger was the star of the pre-WWI era, known as a footballing genius and initiator. Altona's stadium is named after him. Jäger was killed in an air-raid in 1944. OK, give the man an "A".

Hans "Jakl" JAKOB (1908 - 1994)
International: 38 caps
A fine keeper who was the backbone of the national squad in the 1930s. Class B.

Paul JANES (1912 - 1987)
Career: 1931-, Fortuna Düsseldorf
International: 71 caps, 7 goals
A superb right-side defender with a hard shot, he held the German international record until it was passed by Uwe Seeler in 1970. Class A, marginal AA.

Jens JEREMIES (1974 - )
Career: 1994-2006, 1860 München, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 235 matches, 9 goals, 66 yellow cards
International: 55 caps, 1 goal
His main claim to fame is that he became the ultimate traitor when he transferred from 1860 to Bayern. Almost as bad as Sol Campbell going from Spurs to Arse. Basically Jeremies was a "chop down anything that moves" player, reasonably effective, at least early and middle career. Class B.

(1926 - 1983)
Career: 1946-61, RW Oberhausen, SSV Wuppertal, Fortuna Düsseldorf
International: 31 caps, 4 goals
A hardnosed defender with a cannon shot, known for his free kicks and penalties. Class A/B.

Oliver "Olli" KAHN (1969 - )
Career: 1987-present, Karlsruher SC, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 453 matches
International: 76 caps
Beer is nectar of the gods, but you know what happens when it sits on the shelf too long? It stinks! Or it becomes Olli Kahn. One of the World's best keepers through 2002, it was his brilliant display in the World Cup that year that got Germany to the final. And yet that was also his downfall, as a horrible gaff gifted Ronaldo the deciding goal. Since then, he's made so many similar turds that fans laugh at him. It's a bit sad when you think about it. Clearly a Class AA, but if he keeps on coming up with howlers, he could drop down to Class A.

Manfred KAISER (1929 - )
Career: 1950-65, Wismut Gera, Wismut Aue
DDR-Oberliga: 336 matches, 32 goals
Kaiser was the first GDR "Player of the Year" in 1963, and known as a skillful technician. Class B.

Hans KALB (1899 - 1945)
Career: 1.FC Nürnberg
International: 15 caps, 2 goals
A stellar player for the great Nürnberg squads of the 1920s, Kalb evidently never met a meal he didn't like. Usually out of condition and overweight, his precision passing and positional sense made him an outstanding player nevertheless. Class B.

Manfred "Manni" KALTZ (1953 - )
Career: 1971-91, Hamburger SV, FC Mulhouse
Bundesliga: 581 matches, 76 goals
International: 69 caps, 8 goals
A world class defender and worthy heir to Beckenbauer's crown, Kaltz was captain of the fine championship HSV teams. He still holds the Bundesliga record for penalty goals (53), also no.2 on all-time matches list. Class AA.

Eugen KIPP (1885 - 1931)
Career: 1905-1914, SpFr Stuttgart, Stuttgarter Kickers
International: 18 caps, 10 goals
He scored the match winner in Germany's first international victory, a 3-2 over Switzerland in 1910. A fine forward, and one of the most popular players of his era, Kipp's career ended prematurely via WWI: he lost a leg at Ypres. Class B?.

Ulf KIRSTEN (1965 - )
Career: 1983-2003, Dynamo Dresden, Bayer Leverkusen
DDR-Oberliga: 154 matches, 57 goals
Bundesliga: 350 matches, 182 goals
International: 100 caps (51 DFB, 49 GDR), 34 goals (20 DFB, 14 GDR)
A fine forward who was one of the first big stars to come out of the GDR and move to the West. His arrival in 1992 began the transition of Leverkusen to one of the Bundesliga's top squads. Class A.

Jürgen KLINSMANN (1964 - )
Career: 1984-98, VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Monaco, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 221 matches, 110 goals
International: 108 caps, 47 goals
A hard running, graceful forward, consistent scorer, Klinsmann was a hugely popular player - whereever he showed up. After a fine start with Stuttgart, he became a wandering gypsy, never spending more than 3 seasons in one location. His stay with Tottenham not only ended in being named Premiership Player of the Year, but becoming one of the great Spurs legends, and most popular players. Leaving acrimoniously after one year for Bayern (he wanted to finally win a club title), he returned to Tottenham to save them from relegation: his 4 goals against Sheffield the final saving points. In 2004 he was appointed head coach of the German national team, despite having no managerial experience. Although he was under constant criticism, he wide open attacking football reestablished the national squad, and a 3rd place finish at the 2006 World Cup proved his naysayers wrong. Class AA.

Jürgen KOHLER (1965 - )
Career: 1983-2002, SV Waldhof, 1.FC Köln, Bayern München, Juventus Turin, Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 398 matches, 28 goals, 85 yellow cards
International: 105 caps, 2 goals
Another hardnosed defender, anchoring the back for club and country. Probable Class A.

Werner KOHLMEYER (1924 - 1974)
Career: 1944-57, 1.FC Kaiserslautern
International: 22 caps
Solid defender with the strong FCK teams of the 1950s, after his career he drank himself to death. Class B.

Andreas "Andi" KÖPKE (1962 - )
1981-2001, Holstein Kiel, SC Charlottenburg, Hertha BSC, 1.FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Olympique Marseille
Bundesliga: 346 matches, 2 goals
Köpke was an outstanding keeper who had to wait a while before getting the call. Player of the Year for 1993. Class A/B.

Karl-Heinz "Charly" KÖRBEL (1954 - )
Career: 1972-91, Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga: 602 matches, 45 goals
International: 6 caps
The true "iron-man" of the Bundesliga, Körbel holds the record for most games played. A solid defender, he became a starter half-way through the 1972 season, and then never missed more than 3-4 games a year for 19 straight seasons - and remained loyal to his club after retiring, becoming head coach. Marginal Class B player.

Erwin KOSTEDDE (1946 - )
Career: 1965-82, Preussen Münster, MSV Duisburg, Kickers Offenbach, Bor. Dortmund, Standard Liege, Hertha BSC, Union Solingen, Stade Laval, Werder Bremen, VfL Osnabrück
Bundesliga: 219 matches, 98 goals
International: 3 caps
Germany's first "colored" international, Kostedde was a decent forward and wandering gypsy, yet also perhaps Offenbach's most popular player ever. Class B/C.

Erwin KREMERS (1949 - )
Career: 1967-79, Bor. M'gladbach, Kickers Offenbach, Schalke 04
Bundesliga: 261 matches, 61 goals
International: 15 caps, 3 goals
Otto Nerz would have loved this player: an ideal winger, kick the ball and then run like hell after it, and then cross just before the touchline. He peaked at the right time, a member of the 1974 World Cup winners. Class B.

Helmut KREMERS (1949 -)
Career: 1967-79, Bor. M'gladbach, Kickers Offenbach, Schalke 04
Bundesliga: 273 matches, 50 goals
International: 8 caps
Twin brother of Erwin, he might have actually been a better player, but as a defender, Germany had plenty already. Class B.

Stefan KUNTZ (1962 - )
Career: 1980-99, Bor. Neunkirchen, VfL Bochum, Bayer Uerdingen, 1.FC Kaiserlautern, Besiktas, Arminia Bielefeld
Bundesliga: 449 matches, 179 goals
One of the better players to come out of the Saarland, Kuntz was a well travelled forward. Class B.

Andreas KUPFER (1914 - )
International: 44 caps, 1 goal
A favorite of Sepp Herberger, who swarmed about his left foot. His main claim to fame is that he was in the national squad for the last international of the 3rd Reich (1942 against Slovakia) and the first post WWII match (1950 against Switzerland). Class B.

Lothar KURBJUWEIT (1950 - )
Career: 1968-84, Stahl Riesa, Carl Zeiss Jena, Chemie Halle
DDR-Oberliga: 357 matches
International: 66 caps, 4 goals (GDR)
Another fine defender from the GDR. Class B player.

Ernst KUZORRA (1905 - 1990)
Career: 1915-1948, FC Schalke, Vienna Wien
International: 12 caps, 7 goals
Kuzorra was probably the best player of his era, and the heart of the great Schalke team of the 1930s-40s. A brilliantly skilled player, he however did not get along with national squad coach Otto Nerz, who didn't like his dribbling. Kuzorra's answer ("Asshole") ensured that he remained on Nerz' crap list. It also didn't help that Kuzorra, who started working in the coal mines at age 15, played as a full professional briefly in Austria. He remains of the greatest Schalke heros along with his brother-in-law, Fritz Szepan. Class A, likely AA.

Udo LATTEK (1935 - )
Probably Germany's most successful post-WWII club coach. After a ho-hum career as a player with VfL Osnabrück, he became Bayern München coach in 1970, and promptly won 3 titles. Then he went to Bayern's then arch-rival Bor. M'gladbach and won 2 more titles!! He was in charge of Bor. Dortmund for a couple of years, then off to Barcelona. He returned to Bayern in 1983: notch up another 3 championships. Upon leaving in 1987 he tried his hand as General Manager of 1.Fc Köln, but was without success, so returned to coaching, ending his career in 1993 with Schalke. He retired from coaching to become a popular TV commentator. But wait! There's more: in 2000 he jumped in for a disastrous Dortmund squad, saving them from relegation. In addition to 8 Bundesliga titles, he won the Champions League, was runner up another two times, won the UEFA Cup and 3 DFB Cups.

Ernst LEHNER (1912 - 1986)
Career: Schwaben Augsburg, Blau-Weiss Berlin
International: 65 caps, 30 goals
Lehner was a rough-and-tumble forward (usually found on the right wing) who became Germany's most capped player in 1936. Despite his gifts, his club was usually weak and in 1939, disgusted with yet another relegation, he tried to switch clubs. His request was denied, and it was not until next year, when already drafted into the Wehrmacht and posted to Berlin, that he was able to change. After the war he became head coach with several clubs, and had a reputation of being a hard-ass. Class A.

Ludwig LEINBERGER (1903 - 1943)
Career: 1920-33, Bayern Nürnberg, BV Solingen, SpVgg Fürth, VfR Köln
International: 24 caps
A midfielder with the powerful Fürth teams of the 1920s, Leinberger was a hardnosed midfielder built like a tank. He died of wounds in WWII. Class B.

Reinhard "Stan" LIBUDA (1943 - 1996)
Career: 1963-76, Schalke 04, Bor. Dortmund, Racing Strasbourg
Bundesliga: 264 matches, 28 goals
International: 26 caps, 3 goals
A true "artiste" in the mold of another Schalke legend, Ernst Kuzzora. Libuda was a magnificant dribbler, his nickname after English soccer legend Sir Stanley Matthews. At times he could dominate a game, at others he would disappear (perhaps then his nickname was after Stan Laurel...) Libuda would probably have been happier in Latin America, where they admire dribbling as art. In Germany, they've generally favoured wingers that thump the ball and run after it. Class B sometimes C, but AAA dribbling.

Werner LIEBRICH (1927 - 1995)
Career: 1946-62, 1.FC Kaiserslautern
International: 16 caps
A solid defender, he was the "stopper" in the 1954 World Champions and the great FCK teams of the 1950s. He actually came up through the youth system, having joined the club when he was 8 years old. Class A/B.

Willi "Ente" LIPPENS (1945 - )
Career: 1966-79, RW Essen, Bor. Dortmund, Dallas Tornado
Bundesliga: 242 matches, 92 goals
International: 1 cap (Holland)
Actually born in Germany but a Dutch citizen, Lippens got his nickname because he waddled like a duck. A popular player, especially with Essen, (they've sucked since he left), he was a good dribbler and decent goal scorer. He was also renowned for his gift of gab. Class C.

Felix LINNEMANN (1882 - 1948)
Accused by many to be a powerhungry weasel, Linnemann took over as DFB president in 1925 and tried to curry favor with the Nazis after Hitler came to power by enthusiastically "aryanizing" football. After the war, he was thrown in a prison camp, getting his just desserts. Upon release, his poor health caused him to retire and he died soon afterwards.

Pierre "Litti" LITTBARSKI (1960 - )
Career: 1978-94, 1.FC Köln, Racing Paris, JEF United Ichihara
Bundesliga: 406 matches, 116 goals
International: 73 caps, 18 goals
Littbarski was small, quick winger with excellent dribbling skills and usually good for 16-17 goals in his early years. Later he tended to drop back and assume more of a playmaker role. During his peak, he was undoubtedly one of the world's best wingers. As a head coach, he's led MSV Duisburg and teams in Japan. Class A.

Wolfgang-Felix MAGATH (1953 - )
Career: 1976-86, Hamburger SV
Bundesliga: 306 matches, 46 goals
International: 43 caps, 3 goals
A short, but quick and highly skilled midfielder, Magath was known as a highly intelligent playmaker (He also did the Abitur and studied economics at the university, he's also an excellent chess player). He was one of the key players with HSV's rise to the top in the late 70s/early 80s. Since retirement, he's made his name as a coach who gets results, but usually wears out his welcome. Among his stops have been Hamburg, Nürnberg, Bremen, Stuttgart, Bayern...Another factoid is that his father is Puerto Rican, which probably makes him the greatest Puerto Rican footballer in history. Class B, marginal A.

Karl MAI (1928 - 1993)
Career: 1948-64, SpVgg Fürth, Bayern München, Young Boys Bern, FC Dornbirn
International: 21 caps, 1 goal
When most Germans think about Karl May, they also think about Kara Ben Nemsi and Old Shatterhand. This Mai was a solid defender and one of the Heroes of Bern. Class B.

Josef "Sepp" MAIER (1944 - )
Career: 1962-79, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 473 matches
International: 95 caps
You have to give the man his due. He might have been a clown, but he certainly was Germany's greatest goalkeeper ever, and certainly one of the world's best. He didn't have the great reflexes, but he had superb vision and positioning, and never made mistakes. He won everything there is to win in Germany and internationally, even though his career ended somewhat prematurely due to an auto accident in 1979. (He had started every Bayern Bundesliga game from 1966 on, a run of 442 straight matches.) Since retirement, he's been a goalkeeping coach for Bayern and the national team. Class AAA.

Manfred MANGLITZ (1940 - )
Career: 1963-71, MSV Duisburg, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 257 matches, 1 goal
International: 4 caps
An excellent keeper, he had a big mouth and was always bragging about his skill, which is one reason that Helmut Schön didn't like him, although he was probably better than Tilkowski and certainly better than Fahrian. However, he besmirched his career by accepting bribes to lose games in the Bundesligaskandal of 1971, and was banned for life. He was pardoned in 1975 and played 1 season for Mülheim. Class B, probably Class A if he hadn't been criminally involved.

Lothar "Loddar" MATTHÄUS (1961 - )
Career: 1979-2000, Bor. M'gladbach, Bayern München, Inter Milan, New York Metrostars
Bundesliga: 464 matches, 121 goals
International: 150 matches, 23 goals
Because of his big mouth and the foot that usually is found in the vicinity, "Loddar", as he is not-affectionately called by opposing fans, is somewhat diminished as a player in most folks minds. But he was a great one, not only Germany's record international, but also World Player of the year in 1990, 1991 and absolute top level for almost 20 years. Recently he has been a relatively successful national coach - for Hungary. But he's been on a permanent campaign to take over the DFB job as well, currently held by one of his many "enemies", Jürgen Klinsmann (He once bet "10,000 DM that Klinsmann would suck at Bayern.") Like Effenberg, you're just as likely to find news about him in the tabloids as the sports pages. He might be AAA, but since he's a jerk, AA.

Gerhard MAYER-VORFELDER (1933 - )
Another egomaniac powerhungry bureaucrat who used his political connections to move up. Was president of VfB Stuttgart for years, eventually becoming DFB boss. His shenanigans finally caught up with him and he was essentially booted out in 2004.

Andreas "Andi" MÖLLER (1967 - )
Career: 1985-2005, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bor. Dortmund, Juventus Turin, Schalke
Bundesliga: 429 matches, 110 goals
International: 85 caps, 29 goals
Better known as "der Heulsuse der Nation" (The snivelling whiner of the nation), Möller was an extremely skilled and talented midfielder, who won just about everything. Unfortunately, he always seemed like he was whining about something. He also had a reputation of not coming through in big games. If he had more mental toughness, he would probably have gone down as one of the greatest midfielders in history. He could have been at least AA, but probably an A, possibly even a B.

Dieter MÜLLER (1954 - )
Career: 1972-86, Kickers Offenbach, 1.FC Köln, Girondin Bordeaux, VfB Stuttgart, 1.FC Saarbrücken
Bundesliga: 303 matches, 177 goals
International: 12 caps, 9 goals
"Mein Gott, the Jerries just got rid of one Müller..." must have been the reaction when Dieter Müller burst on the scene with a hattrick in the European championship of 1976. Perhaps the pressure of the name was too great, and DM left Germany in 1982. The legacy of Gerd Müller was impossible to live up to. His most productive years were in Köln, including a 34 goal BL season in 1977. Class B, started off as at an A.

Gerd "der Bomber" MÜLLER (1945 - )
Career: 1964-1980, Bayern München, Ft.Lauderdale Strikers
Bundesliga: 427 matches, 365 goals
DFB Cup: 48 matches, 63 goals, European Cups 74 matches, 66 goals
International: 62 caps, 68 goals
Simply the greatest goalscorer in history. Müller was short and stubby, yet when the ball was in the air, he would outleap a 6 ft 5 defender and the goalkeeper, he was slower than molasses, but he could beat everyone to get his toe on the ball, his dribbling resembled more like off a baby's chin than Sir Stanley Matthews, yet in the box he could contort his body into any shape and whisk around 3 defenders. No matter, the result was always the same - the ball was in the back of the net. There's no arguing that great goal scorers like Franz Binder, Pele, Puskas, di Stefano, Cruyff etc. were better players. They could run rings around Müller with one leg tied to their back. But Müller did one thing better than them: he scored goals. (Yeah, yeah, Pele scored 1,000+, but only if you count friendlies against half-naked Amazonian Indian tribes). The world had never seen anyone like der Bomber. If he had played in a less sophisticated era, like England until the Premiership, where they just thumped the ball into the box and hoped to see what happened, he probably would have scored 100 goals a year. Müller retired from the national team after the World Cup win 1974 - at the height of his career - otherwise his international record would have been even more outstanding. He would have easily beaten Puskas' astounding 83 goals, and the Hungarian played in a time when teams didn't even know how to pronounce "defense". Müller played in an era of an ascendancy of catennaccio and it's followers. He probably shouldn't have been called "der Bomber", since he didn't have much of a shot. Perhaps "the back stabber", because you never saw it coming and there was nothing you could do about it. Class AAA.

Hans "Hansi" MÜLLER (1957 - )
Career: 1977-85, VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, AS Como, Tirol Innsbruck
Bundesliga: 143 matches, 54 goals
International: 42 caps, 5 goals
An extremely gifted midfielder, Hansi Müller's reputation is somewhat discounted because of his "pretty-boy" image; he certainly could have been a male model. Perhaps this was a reason why he never lived up to his potential. Class B, possibly A.

René MÜLLER (1959 - )
Career: 1977-95, 1.FC Lok Leipzig, Dynamo Dresden, FC St.Pauli
DDR-Oberliga: 264 matches
Bundesliga: 81 matches
International: 46 caps (GDR)
A solid goalkeeper and successor to Jürgen Croy as the undisputed GDR no.1 goalie, he won GDR Player of the Year awards in 1986 and 1987. He left Leipzig in 1991 to play in the Bundesliga, ironically with Dresden. Class B player. Recently be's been manager of Rot-Weiss Erfurt.

Max MORLOCK (1925 - 1994)
Career: 1941-64, 1.FC Nürnberg
Bundesliga: 21 matches, 8 goals
International: 26 caps, 21 goals
A fine forward whose career ranged from the Gauliga, Oberliga to Bundesliga! Morlock's main claim to fame was the first goal for Germany in their 1954 World Cup Final, but had a superb record in the Oberliga Süd, setting records with 451 matches and 286 goals. Class A/B.

Reinhold "Eisener" MÜNZENBERG (1908 - 1986)
Career: 1930-1940, Alemannia Aachen
International: 41 caps
Known as "ironman" for his 100% effort at all times, Münzenberg was a fine defender known for his superb air game and bedrock of the national team in the 1930s. Greatest player in Aachen's history. Class A.

Otto NERZ (1892 - 1949)
The first DFB national team coach, a disciplinarian and a fan of the English running, physical game. He slightly modified Herbert Champman's "W-M" system and made massive improvements in German national squad performance. Nerz was a card carrying Socialist from 1919-33, which eventually led to his downfall, although perhaps the 1936 Olympics disaster was equally at fault. His coaching is probably B, could have been A if he hadn't been so stubborn about his system.

Günter NETZER (1944 - )
Career: 1963-77, Bor. M'gladbach, Real Madrid, Grasshoppers Zürich
Bundesliga: 230 matches, 82 goals
International: 37 caps, 6 goals
A brilliant midfielder tactician and strategist, Netzer was one of the most graceful players ever to grace a German pitch. He was especially known for his swerving free kicks like that English guy that married the Spice Girl.(Check out the movie "Bend it like Netzer"). He left the great Gladbach teams in 1973 for Spain, amid feuds with his coach and management. After winning titles, he retired and became sports manager with Hamburg, starting them on their rise to world class in the late 1970s. In the national team, he was a constant rival to Wolfgang Overath. Today Netzer is well known as an opinionated football commentator and media mogul, whose company is constantly trying to corner the market on football broadcasts. Class A, circumstances prevent AA.

Hermann NEUBERGER (1919 - 1992)
A long serving bureaucrat with clever political intrigue skills (no doubt from his Jesuit education and serving on the General Staff of the Wehrmacht in WWII Rome), Neuberger became DFB president in 1975. In the 1950s he was boss of the "independant" Saarland federation, and maneuvered them back to Germany.

Bernd NICKEL (1949 - )
Career: 1967-83, Eintracht Frankfurt Bundesliga: 426 matches, 141 goals
International: 1 cap A long serving, hardworking forward for Frankfurt. Class C player.

Yasuhiko OKUDERA (1952 - )
Career: 1977-86, 1.FC Köln, Werder Bremen
Bundesliga: 234 matches, 26 goals
International: 32 caps, 9 goals (Japan)
The first Japanese player in the Bundesliga, he was discovered by Hennes Weisweiler. Very versatile, he played forward, midfield and defense during his stay in Germany. Class C.

Wolfgang OVERATH (1943 - )
Career: 1963-77, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 409 matches, 84 goals
International: 81 caps, 17 goals
Köln's greatest player and one of Germany's best ever midfield playmakers, Overath was a hugely popular player. He made his debut for Kön in the first ever Bundesliga game, and was already in the national team a month later. He represented Germany in 3 successful World Cups, 1966, 70, 74, and like many, retired internationally after winning it all. Often rumoured to be the next president of 1.FC Köln, especially when things aren't going well. Class AA/A.

Paul "Pömpner" PAULSEN (1892 - 1934)
Career: 1912-1930, VfB Leipzig
International: 6 caps, 3 goals
One of Germany's best left-wingers of the early period. Killed in an auto accident. Class B.

Career: 1970-84, 1.FC Magdeburg
DDR-Oberliga: 301 matches, 82 goals
International: 57 caps, 3 goals
A fine midfielder for Magdeburg, part of European Cupwinners success. Probable Class B, marginal Class A.

Josef "Jupp" POSIPAL (1927 - 1997)
Career: 1947-58, Arminia Hannover, Hamburger SV
International: 32 caps, 1 goal
Posipal came from the Siebenbürgen region of Romania (Transylvania, actually). Considered one of the best "stoppers" in the early 1950s, (European select in 1953) he switched to right back for the 1954 World Cup to accomodate Werner Liebrich. Class A/B.

Josef "Pötsche" PÖTTINGER (1903 - 1970)
Career: 1921-29, Bayern München
International: 14 caps, 8 goals
A graceful player from the 20s, Pöttinger suffered from knee problems that prematurely ended his career. The center-forward represented a more graceful period, before Otto Nerz began to enforce the more physical game. Class A.

Helmut "Boss" RAHN (1929 - 2003)
Career: 1946-65, SC Oelde, SpfR Katernberg, RW Essen, 1.FC Köln, SC Enschede, MSV Duisburg
Bundesliga: 19 matches, 7 goals
International: 40 caps, 21 goals
A protypical German forward, Rahn, "der Boss", was a vertitable tank with a vicious shot, whose two goals against Hungary gave Germany the World Cup. A sometimes cranky, alltimes hard drinking SOB, Rahn dominated the national team in the 1950s - when he wasn't being banned. Class A.

Stefan REUTER (1966 - )
Career: 1985-2004, 1.FC Nürnberg, Bayern München, Juventus Turin, Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 502 matches, 25 goals
International: 69 caps, 2 goals
A reliable and durable player, whether as straight defender or defensive midfielder. Class B, A for longevity.

Erich RIBBECK (1937 - )
Career: 1959-68, Wuppertaler SV, Viktoria Köln
A long serving coach, Ribbeck's legacy will unfortunately be as the worst DFB manager. He started his career as a defender, but early on was drawn to the trainer role, and at age 31, was the youngest head coach in the Bundesliga in 1968 with Frankfurt. He's coached many Bundesliga clubs since (best result probably winning the UEFA Cup with Leverkusen in 1988), and was DFB assistant to Derwall. He finally got the call in 1998 after the crap national team performance in France. But his stay was a disaster, and he was forced out by 2000, the only manager in history to fail to win a majority of matches. Class A coach, except for national team, which was non-existant "D".

Karl-Heinz "Kalle" RIEDLE (1965 - )
Career: 1986-99, Blau-Weiss Berlin, Werder Bremen, Lazio Roma, Bor. Dortmund, FC Liverpool
Bundesliga: 207 matches, 72 goals
International: 42 caps, 16 goals
A serviceable if not spectacular forward, since he never scored enough, oft injured or otherwise on the bench. Class B.

Oskar "Ossi" ROHR (1912 - 1988)
Career: 1930-49, Bayern München, Grasshoppers Zürich, Racing Strasbourg, VfR Mannheim, Schwaben Augsburg, FK Pirmasens, SV Waldhof
International: 4 caps, 5 goals
A fine technician with a hard shot, Rohr was one of the keys to Bayern München's title in 1932. His claim to fame has to be as one of Germany's first "legionaires", as he quit German football for greener pastures of full professionalism in 1934. In 1937 he won the French scoring title with Strasbourg. In Germany, he was accused of "Betraying the Fatherland" so when Germany conquered France, Rohr was thrown in a concentration camp, then drafted and sent to the eastern front. His soccer skills saved him, as he was eventually allowed to play for elite Luftwaffe and other military teams. After the war he stayed in Germany and finished out his career. His nephew Gernot Rohr would later follow his footsteps: after starting his career with Bayern, he too transferred to France. Class A/B.

Karl-Heinz "Kalle" RUMMENIGGE (1955 - )
Career: 1974-88, Bayern München, Inter Milan, Servette Geneve
Bundesliga: 310 matches, 162 goals
International: 95 caps, 45 goals
Another world class forward for Bayern München and Germany, he was ridiculed as a crap player at the start of his career, but blossomed into a deadly striker, winning European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981. Very skilled and quick, more like the Klinsmann style than the "Panzer" centerforward a la Harder or Hrubesch. His career ended a bit early due to injury. Today he's vice-president of Bayern München under the Beckenbauer-Hoeness regime...Class AA.

Michael RUMMENIGGE (1964 -)
Career: 1982-94, Bayern München Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 309 matches, 80 goals
International: 2 caps
Perhaps he owed his start to his famous older brother Karl-Heinz, but he had a decent career as a forward and midfielder. Class C.

Matthias SAMMER (1967 - )
Career: 1985-98, Dynamo Dresden, VfB Stuttgart, Inter Milan, Bor. Dortmund
DDR-Oberliga: 102 matches, 39 goals
Bundesliga: 178 matches, 41 goals
International: 51 caps, 8 goals (DFB), 23 caps, 6 goals (GDR-DFV)
"Oh, the knees..." If not for that, one might be speaking of Sammer in the same sentence as Beckenbauer as the greatest German player ever. He was already a star in the GDR when the wall fell, and moving west, quickly proved himself as a World-class defender - playing the identical offensive sweeper/libero role that Beckenbauer pioneered (except Sammer scored a lot more!) Unfortunately, bad knees forced an end at the height of his career. He then became a head coach, leading Dortmund to the UEFA Cup and Bundesliga titles, before moving on to Stuttgart. Class AA, without injury probably would have ended up as AAA.

Hans SCHÄFER (1927 - )
Career: 1948-65, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 39 matches, 20 goals
International: 39 caps, 15 goals
The best Köln player until Overath came along. Usually playing on the left wing, Schäfer was a top player in the 1950s, particpating in 3 World Cups (54,58,62) and captaining the last two. In the twilight of his career, he even won German Player of the Year (1963). He played his whole career with 1.FC Köln - from it's founding in 1948. Class A.

Karl-Heinz SCHNELLINGER (1939 - )
Career: 1958-75, 1.FC Köln, AS Roma, AS Matova, Inter Milan, Tennis Bor. Berlin
Bundesliga: 19 matches
International: 47 caps, 1 goal
This sleek and durable defender hardly played in the Bundesliga, but was a superb player abroad. Schnellinger is one of the few to play in 4 World Cups: 58,62,66,70. After winning the title with Köln in 1962 and fine World Cup, he transferred to Italy. He only scored once for the national team, but that was the dramatic last second goal in the 1970 World Cup semi-final...against Italy. He ended his career with Tennis Borussia in the Bundesliga. Class A.

Helmut SCHÖN (1915 - 1996)
Career: 1933-1950, Dresdner SC, Dresden-Friedrichstadt
International: 16 caps, 17 goals
He goes down in history as Germany's greatest national coach, but he was also a superb player. He was at the peak of his playing career in the 1940s, leading his Dresdner SC to two titles and two Cups. An excellent forward with fine dribbling skills, Schön made an irresistible attacking partnership with Richard Hofmann. After the war, he remained as a coach in the GDR until fleeing to the west. He became head coach of the "independent" Saarland, and coached against Germany in the 1954 World Cup qualifiers. Later he would become Herberger's assistant, then taking over in 1964. His record was impressive: World Cup 1966 runner-up, 3rd in World Cup 1970, 1972 European Champion, 1974 World Cup champion, 1976 European runner up. He ended his coaching career after the 1978 World Cup. Cerebral and calm, his crisis moment was perhaps after the 74 loss to the GDR, when he spaced out. He had to be bitch-slapped by Beckenbauer to get his act back together and go on to his greatest triumph. Player: Class A, coach, AAA.

Günter "Moppel" SCHRÖTER (1927 - )
Career: 1950-63, Volkspolizei Berlin, Dynamo Dresden
DDR-Oberliga: 321 matches, 140 goals
International: 39 caps, 13 goals (GDR)
A forgotten, but fine player in the GDR, "Moppel" was a small but quick and tricky attacking midfielder, known for constant dribbling. He captained the GDR selection some 25 times. Class B.

Willi "World Cup Willi" SCHULZ (1938 - )
Career: 1959-73, Union Günningfeld, Schalke 04, Hamburger SV
Bundesliga: 263 matches, 5 goals
International: 66 caps
A fine defender who starred in the 66 World Cup, hence his nickname. His career started in amazing fashion: in 1959, playing for a low 3rd division side, he was called up to the "amateur" national squad, and in the same year was in the "A" national team! In fact, it wasn't until after the 1962 World Cup that he joined Schalke. It's highly unlikely that you'll ever see a 3rd division player in the national squad again...Class A/B.

Harald "Toni" SCHUHMACHER (1954 - )
Career: 1972-96, 1.FC Köln, Schalke 04, Fenerbahce, Bayern München, Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 464 matches
International: 76 caps
His memory is somewhat clouded outside Germany due to his brutal attack on Battiston in the 1982 World Cup against France, but Schuhmacher was a brilliant goalkeeper, and he would make sure you knew it, since he was always ready to toot his own horn. His big mouth and a "tell-all" book accusing players of doping finally got him kicked off the national squad and booted out of Köln. His career actually ended in 1992, but in 1996, as goalkeeper coach for Dortmund, he was subbed into the match in the 88th minute of the last game of the season. Class A.

Bernd SCHUSTER (1959 - )
Career: 1978-97, 1.FC Köln, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, UNAM Pumas
Bundesliga: 120 matches, 18 goals
Primera: 316 matches, 87 goals
International: 21 caps, 4 goals.
Damn, Schuster and Schuhmacher on the same team, the coach must have committed suicide. A brilliant but "difficult" midfielder, "The Blond Angel" Schuster certainly had the talent. He left Germany for great success in Spain, where he won several titles and cups. His international career was cut short due to his attitude. He was feuding with another egomaniac, Paul Breitner, so quit the team in 1981. He later thumbed his nose at Beckenbauer when he wanted him back. After retirement, he's become a head coach, most notably with several clubs in Spain. Class A, ego prevented AA.

Georg "Katsche" SCHWARZENBECK (1948 - )
Career: 1966-81, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 416 matches, 21 goals
International: 44 caps
It helps to have brilliant teammates. Schwarzenbeck probably would have amounted to little, except that he was in a backfield with Breitner and Beckenbauer in front of Sepp Maier. As it was, he was known as "Beckenbauer's waterboy". Big and somewhat clumsy, he was effective in an oafish sort of way. Neverthless, he was a solid defender, whose career ended due to an achilles heel injury. After retiring, he took over his auntie's office and tobacco shop and turned it into the official office supply company for Bayern München. Class B, possibly C.

Uwe "Uns Uwe" SEELER (1936 - )
Career: 1953-72, Hamburger SV
Bundesliga: 239 matches, 137 goals
International: 72 caps, 43 goals
"Our Uwe". A world class striker and one of Germany's most popular players ever. A small but powerful forward, Seeler was built like a tank and shot like one too. His powerful headers made him an early candidate for "Hair Club for Men". He was known as a hardworking, unselfish, classy player, a true gentleman of the pitch. A prolific scorer, it's estimated he scored about 550 goals in 700 senior matches. After retirement, in the late 1990s he became president of HSV, his rule was hampered by various scandals, but hardly tarnishing his hero status among Hamburgers. His older brother Dieter also had a short Bundesliga career with HSV, and his father Erwin was one of the city's best players pre-WWII. Class AA, marginal AAA.

Otto SIFFLING (1912 - 1939)
Career: 1930-39, SV Waldhof
International: 31 caps, 17 goals
One of the bright stars of the pre-WWII era, Siffling became a sensation with his 5 goals against Denmark in 1937. A technically gifted player, he scored some 120 times in 8 seasons for Waldhof, leading them deep into the playoffs on sveral occasions. A heavy smoker and drinker, Siffling died of a mysterious ailment. Class A.

Allan SIMONSEN (1952 - )
Career: 1970-86?, Velje BK, Bor. M'gladbach, FC Barcelona, Charlton Athletic
Bundesliga: 178 matches, 76 goals
International: 56 caps, 21 goals (Denmark)
A tiny player with flowing blond hair, he looked like a wuss. But, damn, he could play! Simonsen orchestrated the great Gladbach teams of the mid 70s. Technically gifted, quick forward, and quite durable. After his career ended, he coached teams such as Luxembourg and the Faroe Islands.

Jürgen SPARWASSER (1948 - )
Career: 1966-79, 1.FC Magdeburg
DDR-Oberliga: 271 matches, 112 goals
International: 58 caps, 15 goals
"THE goal." It almost became a curse for Sparwasser. The crowning moment turned into a quasi nightmare after he scored the only goal in the GDR's sensational 1-0 win over West Germany in the 1974 World Cup. After a short heroic status, the GDR regime used the goal for propaganda purposes, and he came to be highly resented among GDR soccer fans. All sorts of runours ("he got a free house, a car, hard currency") turned out to be untrue, but the public believed it. He eventually had to leave the east and became President of the Soccer Players Union. As a player, Sparwasser was a fine forward, but he will only be remembered for that goal... Class A/B.

Ulrich "Uli" STIELIKE (1954 - )
Career: 1972-88, Bor. M'gladbach, Real Madrid, Xamax Neuchatel
Bundesliga: 109 matches, 12 goals. International: 42 caps, 3 goals
A hardnosed but skilled defender or defensive midfielder, Stielike was always willing to chop someone down if he had too. He was victimzed by the silly DFB requirement that "foreign based players" be banned from the national squad in the mid 70s. Stielike eventually was allowed back, as he was a key player in winning 3 Spanish titles with Madrid - and the national team had begun to suck after 1978. His coaching career included a stint as Swiss national team coach. Class A.

Joachim STREICH (1951 - )
Career: 1969-85, Hansa Rostock, 1.FC Magdeburg
DDR-Oberliga: 376 matches, 229 goals
International: 102 caps, 55 goals
A superb forward, and he would certainly let you know about it, as he had the highest opinion of himself. Very tricky and quick, Streich holds virtually all GDR scoring records. Class A, possibly AA.

Thomas STRUNZ (1968 - )
Career: 1986-2001, MSV Duisburg, Bayern München, VfB Stuttgart
Bundesliga: 235 matches, 32 goals
International: 41 caps, 1 goal
Part of the "FC Hollywood" that was Bayern München in the 90s, Strunz was a versatile defender or midfielder. He was loved in the scandal sheets, as his wife was a stunning model and they were voted "Dream Couple of FC Bayern". His career eventually petered out and Stefan Effenberg stole his wife...Class B.

Heinrich "Heiner" STUHLFAUTH (1896 - 1966)
Career: 1916-33, 1.FC Nürnberg
International: 21 caps
Germany's top goalkeeper of the 1920s, and hero of the victory over Italy in 1929. He wasn't known for acrobatics, but for his powerful punching of the ball (and any opponent that got his head where it didn't belong). Also known for running around in and out of the box. Whatever, he was effective: in 5 title matches in the 1920s, he didn't concede a goal. Class B, marginal A.

Fritz SZEPAN (1907 - 1974)
career: 1925-47, FC Schalke, Vienna Wien
International: 34 caps, 8 goals
Another proletarian footballer, a midfield genius and architect of the Schalke passing game, the heart of the dominant team of the 1930s-40s. Szepan, like his brother-in-law Kuzorra, never fit in the national squad, which followed Otto Nerz "thump and run" tactics. In 1930, he and Kuzorra were banned for professionalism, and they left for Vienna. After a year, the ban was lifted and they returned to Schalke. After retirement, he had some coaching success (winning the title with RW Essen sensationally in 1955) and was briefly president of Schalke. Probably belongs in AA.

Horst SZYMANIAK (1934 - 2009)
Career: 1953-68, SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Catania, Inter Milan, AS Vaerse, Tasmania Berlin, FC Biel, St.Louis Stars
Bundesliga: 29 matches, 1 goal
International: 43 caps, 2 goals
A gifted midfielder, Szymaniak burst onto the scene with Wuppertal, and was still in the national squad even though they fell into the 2nd division. By the early 1960s, he left for the greener pastures of full professionalism in Italy. A wandering gypsy, Syzmaniak returned to Germany to captain the worst Bundesliga team ever, Tasmania Berlin. Class AA skills, but barely A.

Andreas THOM (1965 - )
Career: 1983-2000, BFC Dymano Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic Glasgow, Hertha BSC
DDR-Oberliga: 158 matches, 77 goals
Bundesliga: 211 matches, 41 goals
International: 10 caps, 2 goals (+ 51 caps, 16 goals for GDR)
Thom was the first GDR international to switch to the west when the wall came down. Class B.

Olaf THON (1966 - )
Career: 1983-2002, Schalke 04, Bayern München
Bundesliga: 443 matches, 82 goals
International: 52 caps, 4 goals
Thon became a full international at age 18, the youngest since Uwe Seeler. He started as a midfielder and eventually ended up as a defender. He burst on to the scene with Schalke in 1983, helping them back into the Bundesliga and scoring 5 times against Bayern in the Cup. He soon transferred to Bayern, which he referred to as his favorite club. However after 6 seasons, he returned for several successful years to Schalke. Probably Class A.

Hans TILKOWSKI (1935 - )
Career: 1955-70, Westfalia Herne, Bor. Dortmund, Eintracht Frankfurt
Bundesliga: 121 matches
International: 39 caps
The top German goalkeeper through the mid 1960s, "Player of the Year" in 1965. Class A/B.

Bernhard "Bert" TRAUTMANN (1923 - )
Career: 1945-64, St.Helens Town, Manchester City
English First Division: 508 matches
A superb goalkeeper, and no one in Germany has ever heard of him. Trautmann was a paratrooper (winning the Iron Cross) in WWII on the eastern front, and then in the West. He was captured (and escaped) by the Russians, Americans, French and finally the Brits, who greeted him with the immortal line "Hello Fritz, fancy a cup of tea?". He was sent to a POW camp in England, and was discovered in pickup games. After a year with St.Helens Town, he was signed by Manchester City. His heroic moment on the pitch was the 1956 FA Cup final, when he played on despite breaking his neck!! That year he also became the first foreigner to be named "Footballer of the Year". Obviously a fine, heroic goalkeeper, he was never considered for Germany because he was a full professional and he played abroad. In 2004 he was awarded an OBE ("Order of the British Empire"), not just for football, but for his work in improving German-British relations. Despite being a Jerry, he is a hero in England, and most would rate him Class AA. Certainly he would be at least an A.

Anton "Toni" TUREK (1919 - 1984)
Career: 1937-57, Duisburger SV, SSV ULm, Eintracht Frankfurt, TSG Ulm, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Bor. M'gladbach
International: 20 caps
Solid goalkeeper for Germany in the 1954 World Cup, he was at the peak of his career with Fortuna through the mid 1950s. Class A/B.

Camilo UGI (1884 - 1970)
Career: 1902-1921, Leipzig BC, Vfb Leipzig, Olympique Marseille, FSV Frankfurt, SpfR Breslau, SpFr Leipzig
International: 15 caps, 1 goal
One of the first Germans to seek his fortune abroad, Ugi (whose grandfather was Italian) left VfB Leipzig for Olympique Marseille in 1908. (Actually, he had a job in Marseille). After returning, he played for FSV Frankfurt, and then when his job took him to Breslau, he joined a club there. His career started when he joined Leipzig BC, but they felt he wasn't good enough, so put him on the reserve team. He scored two goals in the first half of his first match, so they subbed him out at halftime and sent him to play in the top team the same day! Class B.

Adolf "Ala" URBAN (1914-1943)
Career: 1932-42, Schalke 04
International: 21 caps, 11 goals
A fine left wing, Urban was part of the Schalke "Kreisel" that dominated German football in the 1930s and 1940s. Urban was killed in combat at Stalingrad in 1943. Class B, possibly A.

Eberhard VOGEL (1943 - )
Career: 1962-82, 1.FC Karl-Marx-Stadt, Carl Zeiss Jena
DDR-Oberliga: 440 matches, 188 goals
International: 74 caps, 25 goals (GDR)
The recordholder for DDR-Oberliga matches, Vogel was a fine forward who is somewhat forgotten today. Class A.

Hans-Hubert "Berti" VOGTS (1946 - )
Career: 1965-79, Bor. M'gladbach
Bundesliga: 419 matches, 32 goals
International: 96 caps, 1 goal
A world class defender, Vogts was nicknamed "the Terrier", because he was about as small as a rabid chihuahua, constantly yapping at the heals and harassing the world's best forwards, and totally neutralizing them. A solid player with the national team, he took over as captain after Beckenbauer's "retirement". After retiring, Vogts became a youth coach with the DFB, and then was appointed national team boss in 1990 again following Beckenbauer's footsteps. Although it is fashionable to ridicule his managerial skills, he did manage to get some decent results, including the 1996 Euro Championship title, when his gamble (against much opposition) to call up Olli Bierhoff was rewarded. However it was impossible to live up to the demands, and his relationship with the media was crap. That, along with his reputation as a poor loser, led him to quit in 1998. After a few years, he changed his name to Berti McVogts and became Scotland's manager. Here his problem was crap players, and in late 2004, he threw in the towel. Class AAA as player, B as coach.

Rudi VÖLLER (1960 - )
1978-96, Kickers Offenbach, 1860 München, Werder Bremen, AS Roma, Oympique Marseille, Bayer Leverkusen
Bundesliga: 232 matches, 132 goals
International: 90 caps, 47 goals
A fine forward and fan-favorite in both Germany (where he was known as "Ruuudiii!!!!") and Rome, Völler had a long and productive career, probaly around 350 goals in some 600 senior matches. Known as a very speedy forward, he combined well with players like Rumenigge, Allofs and Klinsmann in his national team years. Völler took over as national team coach after the Ribbeck disaster, and managed to restore some respectability, with a runner-up finish in Japan/Korea 2002. However a poor performance in Euro 2004 caused him to resign in frustration. Class A.

Miroslav "Mirko" VOTAVA (1956 - )
Career: 1976-97, Bor. Dortmund, Werder Bremen, VfB Oldenburg
Bundesliga: 546 matches, 43 goals
International: 5 caps
A popular player, Votava was a fixture as defensive midfielder for Dortmund and Bremen for some 20 years. Class B player.

Fritz WALTER (1920 - )
Career: 1937-59, 1.FC Kaiserslautern
International: 61 caps, 33 goals
One of Germany's most popular players ever, a living legend, and a wizard in the attack, Walter captained the legendary "Heroes of Bern" and embodied the "new Germany" after the disaster of WWII. He's also an integral part of 1.FC Kaiserslautern - the stadium is named after him. His leadership of this club in the 1950s brought them to the heights of German football.Through his career, he was loyal to his club; in 1951, Atletico Madrid offered him a then incredible 250,000 DM salary, but he turned it down. He was known as "a thinking man's player" and was essentially Sepp Herberger's coach on the pitch. (Herberger even tried to convince his favorite player to come out of retirement and play in the 1962 World Cup.) His soccer skills probably saved his life. After WWII, he was scheduled to be sent to Siberia prison camps with other soldiers, but a guard recognized him from the Germany-Hungary match of years ago, and changed his orders. He was one of the few players to play in the national team pre and post WWII. Class AA.

Ottmar WALTER (1924 - )
Career: 1942-59, SV Cuxhaven, Holstein Kiel, 1.FC Kaiserlautern
International: 21 caps, 10 goals
The younger brother of Fritz, Ottmar was a fine player in his own right. After starting his career in the navy (hence playing for Cuxhaven and Kiel), he joined Kaiserslautern and played center forward. He scored almost 300 goals in his Oberliga Süd career. Class A/B.

Wolfgang WEBER (1944 - )
Career: 1963-77, 1.FC Köln
Bundesliga: 356 matches, 21 goals
International: 53 caps, 2 goals
A fine defender, Weber didn't score much, but one he did was the tying goal in the 1966 World Cup final that sent the game into overtime. Known as a tough but fair player (only 8 yellow cards in 15 years, and half of those in single season), Weber was the backbone of the Köln defense. Class A/B.

Konrad WEISE (1951 - )
Career: 1970-86, Carl Zeiss Jena
DDR-Oberliga: 310 matches, 17 goals
International: 86 caps, 2 goals (GDR)
The best defender in the GDR, Weise was selected to the 1974 World Cup All-Star team. Class A.

Hennes WEISWEILER (1919 - 1983)
A superb manager, who rose to fame as the coach of Gladbach, who he coached from entering the Bundesliga in 1965 to 1975, winning 3 titles plus the UEFA Cup. He then went to FC Barcelona, but spent most of his time feuding with Johan Cruyff, so returned to Germany after only one season, taking the reigns of 1.FC Köln, winning another title in 1978 and doing the double (He also won 2 Cups with Gladbach). After leaving in 1980, he briefly coached the New York Cosmos, and then finished with Grasshoppers Zürich, where he died of heart failure.

Herbert "Hacki" WIMMER (1944 - )
Career: 1966-78, Bor. M'gladbach
Bundesliga: 366 matches, 52 goals
International: 36 caps, 4 goals
Wimmer missed his calling; he could have been an Olympic Marathon Gold medalist. Although limited in skills, he was like the EveryReady Bunny: he just kept on running. He was a midfield workhorse for Gladbach and the great German teams of the early 1970s, allowing players like Beckenbauer, Netzer and Overath orchestrate the moves. Class A/B. AA for effort.

Christian WÖRNS (1972 - )
Career: 1990-2008, SV Waldhof, Bayer Leverkusen, Paris SG, Bor. Dortmund
Bundesliga: 503 matches, 30 goals
International: 66 caps
A fairly talented defender, he made his Bundesliga debut at 17. Class A/B.

Willi WORPITZKY (1886 - 1953)
Career: 1904-1920, Berliner BC,Viktoria Berlin, VfB Pankow
International: 9 caps, 5 goals
Germany's top forward prior to WWI, he actually started his career as a goalkeeper before switching to center forward for Viktoria. Class A/B.

Christian ZIEGE (1972 - )
Career: 1990-2005, Bayern München, AC Milan, Middlesborough, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, Bor. M'gladbach
Bundesliga: 197 matches, 38 goals
International: 72 caps, 9 goals
A serviceable but ultimately overrated defensive midfielder, Ziege is at least prolific in getting yellow carded. His career started promising - his runs down the left flank especially dangerous - but after leaving Bayern, his weaknesses were laid bare. He gained international fame with his idiotic Mohawk at the 2002 World Cup, which would have been OK if he hadn't sucked. Marginal A, probably a B.

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany :