Germany have won three FIFA World Cups, and their teams have usually been among the top seeds in the various World Cups. German teams have played in some classic matches with England, Italy and Hungary and others on the way to World Cup glory. These are a few of the great Germany games in the tournament.
Hungary vs West Germany: 1954
When Germany reached their first World Cup final, they were not the favorites to lift the trophy. The Hungarians had some great players, especially upfront, such as Kocsis and Puskas who had scored many goals in that World Cup and set new records. They had also played West Germany in the group stages, and beaten them 8 - 3.
In a rain-soaked final the Hungarians duly took their expected lead in the first-half. Within 10 minutes the Germans were trailing by two goals, and the Hungarians seemed well on their way to victory. However, the game quickly turned when Germany scored soon after Hungary's second, and a another German goal in the first half ensured the teams were level at the interval.
After the interval the Hungarians pressed forward for the winning goal. But the ball would not go in the German net. A few minutes from the end of the game Germany scored a third goal that won the game. Hungary's unbeaten run ended, and for West Germany it was their first triumph in the FIFA World Cup.
England vs West Germany: 1966
The 1966 World Cup final at Wembley was undoubtedly a classic. Even though this was a game which the Germans lost, it was an enthralling contest between two great teams. In this game the Germans were the first to go in front, but then that all changed when England equalized with Hurst's first goal of the game. A second England goal within the last 15 minutes seemed to have won the game, but then a late German equalizer made the score 2 - 2. The goal might have included a German handball shortly before putting the ball in the back of the England net, but it was given.
In the extra-time period England pressed forward, and struck the woodwork once. That was before Hurst stepped up to score England's third goal. The ball bounced off the crossbar, down and out of the German net. Had the whole ball crossed the line before rebounding out? As the referee gave it England went ahead, and Hurst ensured Germany's defeat with the third goal of his hat-trick. The game ended England 4 Germany 2, but the Germans remained skeptical that the third goal should have been given.
Germany vs England: 1970
After 1966 the German and England teams met again in the 1970 tournament. Both teams made it to the quarter-finals, and it was there that they played for a place in the semifinals. Banks was ruled out for England before the game, but England went two goals in front before half-time.
However, in the second half Germany got back in the match when Beckenbauer scored. Within the last 10 minutes the Germans equalized to take the game to extra time. Hurst had a goal ruled out in the extra-time period, before the Germans scored a third goal that sealed a great comeback. After their defeat in 1966 it was a great victory, but the Germans weren't celebrating at the end of the semifinal, which they lost to the Italians.
West Germany vs Holland: 1974
The 1974 FIFA World Cup was played in Germany with both East German and West German teams. However, it was the West German team which had the better players, and their team went all the way to the final. In the final they came up against a Cruijff inspired Holland, which had dazzled in previous games in the finals.Credit: Image licensed under public domain on Wiki Commons.
Holland went a goal up in the first few minutes when a penalty was given, and duly converted. However, they could not clinch a second goal, and Germany got back in the game when a second penalty was given. From the spot they equalized, and shortly before the interval Muller scored a decisive second goal. As neither team could score in the second half the 1974 FIFA World Cup was effectively won within the first half, and West Germany lifted the trophy.
Germany vs England: 1990
Another classic England vs Germany game, this time at Italia '90. England and Germany met in the semifinals, a game that included the eventual winners of that World Cup. Germany scored first with a deflected free-kick which beat Shilton, but within the final 10 minutes England equalized to take the match to extra time. During the period no teams could score a winning goal, although both struck the woodwork; and one England goal was offside. With the final score 1 - 1 penalties were taken, and England missed two penalties which ensured Germany's victory. They went on to win the FIFA World with a 1 - 0 victory against Argentina in a somewhat drab final.
These games were among the best German matches in the FIFA World Cup. Their final victories against great Hungarian and Dutch teams, as well as their three matches with some of England's strongest sides were among the team's best games.