World Cup winners Lahm and Klose feature for Germany
One of the most successful national teams of all-time, the Germans have had some terrific players, and even when faced with a dearth of quality, they have often had the mentality to go far when it comes to tournaments. They are the second most successful nation in the history of the World Cup and the most successful in the history of the European Championships.
Germany's success on the international stage began in 1954, when they defied all odds to somehow beat the Magical Magyars of Hungary in what became known as the Miracle of Bern. Since then, the country has gone from strength to strength, having particular golden eras in the 1970's and present day. Below is Germany's definite 15 man squad for the International Legends World Cup, plus their 8 reserves from which you choose which 3 join the initial 15 to create a final 18 man squad for the tournament.
Oliver Kahn meets his match in Ronaldo during the 2002 World Cup final
From Harald Schumacher to Manuel Neuer, the Germans have been blessed with some serious talent between the sticks over the years, but arguably the finest has been Oliver Kahn. A fiery and passionate character who won 86 caps for his country, Kahn played in one of Germany's weaker eras, and was the most important player in their run to the 2002 World Cup final. Kahn is a legend at Bayern Munich, where he won 23 trophies.
The debate between who is a finer goalkeeper Oliver Kahn or Sepp Maier is a tricky one. Maier certainly played in a stronger Germany team, and has the medals to show for it. He won one World Cup, one European Championship and reached a further final. He made the all-star team in 1974 and won a grand total of 95 caps for West Germany. Maier spent his entire career at Bayern Munich.
This is turning into a list of Bayern legends... But at right-back it's a difficult shout between Berti Vogts and Philipp Lahm. Ultimately both should be in, and maybe following the fan vote they will be. Lahm has been the best full-back of his generation, a colossus for both Bayern and Germany, and has won everything the game had to offer him before retiring at the end of last season.
Franz Beckenbauer in action for Bayern Munich during the 1976 European Cup final
The captain of this team and it's outstanding player. For all the titles and trophies, one man stands out above all else at both Bayern Munich and Germany, and that is Franz Beckenbauer. Nicknamed 'Der Kaiser', the two-time Ballon d'Or winner played the role of sweeper better than anyone else in the history of the game. He won 103 caps for West Germany, winning the World Cup and European Championship in that time.
For all their attacking greats, it could be an impenetrable defence which sees Germany make it through to the latter stages of the International Legends World Cup. A centre-back of the highest calibre, Forster spent his club career with Stuttgart and Marseille, winning league titles with both. He played in two World Cup finals for Germany, losing both, but did win the European Championships in 1980.
The history books seem to have been unkind to Jurgen Kohler, rarely ranking him among the greatest defenders of all-time, despite hanging up his boots just 15 years ago, but he deserves a place in Germany's all-time squad. He played arguably his best football for Juventus and Borussia Dortmund, and won the World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, Bundesliga, Serie A and more.
Legendary left-back Paul Breitner during the 1982 World Cup final vs Italy
Among the best left-backs to have ever crossed the white line, Paul Breitner is one of only four players to have scored in multiple World Cup finals, and the only defender to have done so. The former Bayern Munich and Real Madrid man won the World Cup, European Championships and the European Cup, arguably football's three most illustrious competitions, and was runner-up in the 1981 Ballon d'Or.
Moving into midfield and we start with a real titan of the game. The most capped German of all-time with 150 caps to his name, Lothar Matthaus played in 5 World Cup's for Germany, the most of any outfield player in history, and he has played in more World Cup games than any other player. A winner of both the World Cup and Euros, Lothar Matthaus won the 1990 Ballon d'Or and was named German Footballer of the Year at the age of 38. Diego Maradona described him as his best rival.
Another German, another Ballon d'Or winner - Matthias Sammer was a world class defensive midfielder or sweeper. A Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund, Sammer captained East Germany in the countries last ever game before becoming an international for the unified German national team. He was named Player of the Tournament when Germany won Euro 1996.
Two of Germany's greatest ever players Fritz Walter and Franz Beckenbauer
When talking of great one-club men, Fritz Walter deserves to be named alongside the likes of Francesco Totti, Tom Finney and Ryan Giggs. The prolific attacking midfielder scored 357 goals 364 games for FC Kaiserslautern and scored 33 goals from 61 caps for Germany. The star and captain of Germany's first ever World Cup triumph in 1954, Walter has to be included. A wonderful playmaker, Walter was still playing for Germany at 37 in the 1958 World Cup, where injury ended his international career.
The glue that could hold this German midfield together at the International Legends World Cup, Gunter Netzer was an intelligent player and a first class passer of the ball. He played most of his club football for Borussia Monchengladbach and Real Madrid, and although he won only 37 caps for Germany, he won both the Euros and the World Cup. Netzer was runner-up to Franz Beckenbauer in the 1972 Ballon d'Or.
By far the youngest member of this squad, the inclusion of Thomas Muller is justified by his terrific World Cup pedigree. Having featured in just two World Cups, Muller has scored 10 goals from midfield, double that of any other active international player and already more than Diego Maradona. He is a player for the big occasions and perfectly encapsulates the German winning mentality.
Gerd Muller and Thomas Muller
From one Muller to another, moving onto the forwards in this squad, Gerd Muller can rival Franz Beckenbauer as the greatest German footballer of all-time. Just about as prolific as they come, Muller scored 653 goals in 707 games at club level as a player and 68 goals from 62 caps for Germany. Muller won the 1970 Ballon d'Or, the 1972 Euros, the 1974 World Cup and three consecutive European Cup titles with Bayern Munich.
A two-time Ballon d'Or winner, whilst his predecessor Gerd Muller was a natural born goal scorer who loved to pounce upon chances that fell his way in the box, Rummenigge was a more rounded footballer. A wonderful technician, Rummenigge liked to venture out into wide areas, take players on and score goals from outside the box.
If it was based purely on ability, Miroslav Klose wouldn't get in Germany's definite 15, but his World Cup record makes him impossible to leave out. The all-time leading scorer in World Cup finals, Klose overtook Ronaldo at the 2014 competition which Germany won, scoring his 16th World Cup goal. The Polish born striker played in four World Cup's for Germany, winning one, reaching the final in another and the semi-final in both of the other two.
Germany legend Michael Ballack is among the countries Reserves
That's it for Germany's definite 15, now it's over to you to pick which three reserve players get the nod and join the likes of Beckenbauer and Matthaus in Germany's final 18 for the International Legends World Cup. The eight reserve players to choose from are as follows:
1. Harald Schumacher - Former Koln and Fenerbahce goalkeeper - 76 caps
2. Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck - Former Bayern Munich centre-back - 44 caps
3. Berti Vogts - Former Borussia Monchengladbach full-back - 96 caps
4. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger - Former Koln and AC Milan full-back and sweeper - 47 caps
5. Bernd Schuster - Former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid midfielder - 21 caps
6. Michael Ballack - Former Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder - 98 caps
7. Uwe Seeler - Former Hamburg striker - 72 caps
8. Jurgen Klinsmann - Former Stuttgart, Inter, Monaco and Tottenham striker - 82 caps