WORLD CUP APPEARANCES
WORLD CUP RECORD
(1954, 1974, 1990, 2014)
GOALS SCORED (RANK)
Germany didn’t partake in the first World Cup in Uruguay, but its entry in 1934 was a successful one. The team defeated Belgium and Sweden before losing to Czechoslovakia in the Semi-finals. Germany then beat Austria 3-2 in the third-place game.
Germany was bounced early in 1938, dropping a First Round game to Switzerland. The Swiss then lost a round later to Hungary.
World Cup Not Held
Competing as West Germany for the first time, the team posted a 1-0-1 record in the Group Stage with a 4-1 win over Turkey and an 8-3 loss to Hungary. West Germany needed a 7-2 play-off win over Turkey to reach the Knockout Stage, but then cruised to the Final, a rematch with Hungary. This time around, West Germany won 3-2 for its first World Cup title.
Though West Germany’s 1-2-0 Group Stage record wasn’t dominant, it did edge Northern Ireland, Czechoslovakia and Argentina for the most points. West Germany then defeated Yugoslavia before losing to Sweden in the Semi-finals. France took down West Germany by a score of 6-3 in the third-place game.
After winning its group, West Germany again matched up against Yugoslavia in the Quarter-finals. Unlike four years earlier, when West Germany won 1-0, it was Yugoslavia coming out on top 1-0.
West Germany’s run in the 1966 World Cup took the team all the way to a championship matchup with England, the host nation. The Final was played at London’s Wembley Stadium in front of more than 95,000 fans. England won 4-2 in extra time.
The 1970 World Cup was another near-miss for West Germany. After going 3-0-0 in the Group Stage, West Germany won a satisfying Quarter-finals matchup against England. The team then fell to Italy, but rebounded with a 1-0 victory over Uruguay in the third-place game.
West Germany hosted the 1974 FIFA World Cup and finished with a 6-0-1 record. Its only loss was a 1-0 defeat to East Germany in the Group Stage. From there, West Germany was 3-0-0 in the Second Round and defeated the Netherlands in the Final for the country’s second World Cup championship.
A repeat title was not in the cards for West Germany. The team finished second to Poland in the Group Stage, but still advanced. With two ties and a loss in the Second Round, West Germany ended as the sixth-ranked team.
West Germany reached the four-team Knockout Stage and faced France in the Semi-finals. After the teams played to a 3-3 tie, West Germany won 5-4 on penalty kicks. In the Final, West Germany lost 3-1 to Italy.
West Germany again navigated to the World Cup Final in 1986, and again came up short. After trailing Argentina 2-0 in the championship game, West Germany rallied to tie the game. A late goal by Jorge Burruchaga gave Argentina a 3-2 win.
With yet another deep run through the Knockout Stage, West Germany became the first country to play in three straight World Cup Finals, a feat later matched by Brazil. The championship game was a rematch of four years earlier, again pitting West Germany against Argentina. West Germany’s 1-0 victory was the first shutout Final in World Cup history.
Coming off a third World Cup title, Germany competed as a unified country for the first time since 1938. The team won its Group Stage and defeated Belgium in the Round of 16, but lost 2-1 to Bulgaria in the Quarter-finals.
The 1998 World Cup saw another Group Stage victory and another Quarter-finals exit. Germany beat Mexico in the Round of 16 before losing 3-0 to Croatia a round later. Croatia went on to take third place.
There would be no third straight Quarter-finals exit in 2002. In the Knockout Stage, Germany defeated Paraguay, the United States and South Korea – each by a score of 1-0 – to reach the World Cup Final. The team had to settle for runner-up, though, losing 2-0 to Brazil.
Germany hosted the World Cup for the second time, with the first coming in 1974 as West Germany. After a 5-0-0 start to the tournament, Germany was upset by Italy in the Semi-finals, but rallied to defeat Portugal in the third-place game.
Germany achieved a second consecutive third-place finish in 2010. The team scored eight total goals in Knockout Stage wins over England and Argentina before losing 1-0 to Spain in the Semi-finals. Germany then defeated Uruguay 3-2 in the third-place game.
Not since 1986 has Germany taken any place but first in the Group Stage. The streak of top finishes extended to seven in 2014. In the Knockout Stage, Germany advanced to a Semi-finals matchup with hosting Brazil and notched a dominant 7-1 victory. Germany then defeated Argentina in the Final for its fourth World Cup championship.
If Germany can win the World Cup, it would become the third country to win back-to-back titles, joining Italy (1934 and 1938) and Brazil (1958 and 1962). Germany would also match Brazil for the most championships, with five each.