Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day four, as we recall the four times Germany were crowned champions of the world.
Our story begins in 1954, when West Germany entered the World Cup in Switzerland, looking to restore some national pride after being previously banned from the 1950 World Cup due to their involvement in World War II. However, after a group stage humiliation at the hands of Hungary, many believed that their 8-3 defeat would spell the end of their campaign.
Nevertheless, a side inspired by the brilliance and genius of Kaiserslautern legend Fritz Walter rallied to the final in Bern. With the rain pouring down, Germany faced their demons as the Mighty Magyars stood in their way once again. Regardless, despite going 2-0 down within eight minutes, West Germany triumphed 3-2 to claim their first World Cup title.
However, 20 years would go by until West Germany tasted victory again, but this time it would be on home soil. The final in Munich saw Johan Cruyff’s Netherlands come into the tie as the overwhelming favourites, and after two minutes, it was clear to see why.
The Dutch had impressed all tournament with their visionary concept of ‘Total Football’ on display, but after taking an early lead, they crumbled. Gerd Müller’s winning goal in the second half sealed the title for West Germany as they claimed their second World Cup crown.
Sixteen years later, at the Stadio Olimpico, West Germany would be able to celebrate all over again. A rematch of the final four years earlier pitted the Germans against Argentina. Regardless, this time, it would be the South Americans on the losing side.
An overly defensive display by Diego Maradona’s side saw West Germany dominate the game with 23 shots to their solitary one. Nevertheless, it would ironically be an Andreas Brehme penalty that condemned a nine-man Argentina to defeat.
Then, finally, in 2014, Argentina looked to right the wrongs of 1990. This time there was no Maradona, but instead, Lionel Messi stood in Germany’s way. However, they were able to keep Argentina’s star man quiet throughout as they slowly chipped away in an attempt to find the lead.
Nevertheless, with the game edging towards penalties, Mario Götze and André Schürrle combined to steal the show. Schürrle’s cross was volleyed in by Götze, as for the first time, a unified Germany claimed football’s greatest achievement. Poor displays have since tarnished Germany’s name on the World Cup stage, but it is hard to imagine that it will be long until they lift the trophy aloft again.
GGFN | Will Shopland