In the postwar era, Germany became East and West as the Cold War began. As such, two German soccer teams emerged. One was of West German soccer team, and the other was the GDR's side. Germany's western team was by far the best side.
West Germany qualified for its first World Cup in 1954. Hungary was the clear favorites to lift the trophy in that cup. Among their star players were Puskas and Kocsis, and they defeated the Germans 8 - 3 in the group stages. Despite that defeat they still reached their first final where they once again played Hungary. Germany somehow won that game 3 - 2 and their first ever cup.
This first cup victory could not be repeated during the 1950s. During the '60s, West Germany almost won a second cup in England. In the 1966 FIFA World Cup, they made it to another final and this time played the hosts England.
It was a great game, and the Germans made an ideal start as they went in front. However, England came back and was winning the game 2 - 1 before a late equalizer took the match into extra-time. Hurst scored the third, but disputed, goal that might not have entirely crossed the line. Nevertheless, the referee gave it; and Hurst also scored the fourth goal to ensure a 4 - 2 win for England.
In the 1970 World Cup, West Germany played England again. This time the teams played in the quarter-finals. Despite falling two goals behind, the Germans still won the game 3 - 2. It was a great comeback, and after defeating England they played Italy in the semifinals. This was a classic match that had five goals in extra-time. It ended 4 - 3 to the Italians after Rivera scored Italy's fourth winning goal.
Belgium hosted the 1972 UEFA European Championship, and West Germany qualified for the finals. At this European Championship Germany lifted the trophy for the first time. The Germans played the USSR in the final and ran out 3 - 0 winners.
West Germany hosted the 1974 World Cup, and their team had some great players. Muller was one of their star players who remains the national teams most prolific striker. East Germany was also in this cup, and they played West Germany in the group stages. The GDR team won that game 1 - 0, but West Germany still reached the final.
In that match they came up against a Holland team playing in their first final. Holland went a goal up in the first half. However, they did not extend their lead; and Muller's second goal won it for the Germans.
West Germany did not retain the cup in 1978, but reached the final in 1982. Although they lost that game to the Italians, it was the first of three FIFA World Cups finals the team played from '82 to 1990. The second was in 1986, but Argentina won that match 3 - 2 after Germany came back from two goals down. At Italia '90 the Germans lifted their third World Cup with a 1 - 0 victory against Argentina. It was a dull game won by a late penalty.
In the next FIFA World Cup there was no West German team. Before the '94 finals Germany reunited after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Consequently, the side became a united German team with players from both the east and west of the country included. Germany emulated the triumphs of the West Germans when they won the World Cup in Brazil.