Germany's greatest defenders
We take a look at the stars of Germany's rearguard.
Last Updated: 03/06/10 9:13am
Impressive stopper Augenthaler played at two World Cup finals, with his bow coming in 1986. At said tournament he participated in two group matches. Then, four years later, Augenthaler tasted glory as he was a key member of Germany's World Cup winning side at USA 1990.
The legendary Beckenbauer, nicknamed Der Kaiser, was twice named European Footballer of the Year. The sweeper played at three World Cup tournaments, reaching the final with his nation in 1966. Four years later they stuttered in the semi-finals against Italy, but in 1974 Beckenbauer captained his nation to success on their own turf. Overall, Beckenbauer played in 18 World Cup matches, scoring five goals.
Defender Berthold featured at three consecutive World Cup tournaments, starting in 1986. The stopper was a key player for the Germans at the competition in Mexico as they finished as runners-up. But four years later Berthold and his team-mates would resolve their heartache as they saw off the Argentines in the showpiece. Berthold also played at the 1994 competition.
Brehme etched his name in German footballing folklore when he fired home the winning goal in the World Cup final against Argentina in 1990. The left-back, who was two-footed, first played at the 1986 tournament where Germany finished as runners-up, yet he did score versus France. Four years later the Germans exacted revenge against the Argentines, with Brehme netting in the 85th minute to seal glory. He also played at the 1994 competition.
Attacking left-back Breitner played at two World Cup tournaments, with his first appearances on the world stage coming at the 1974 competition on his homesoil. And at said competition Breitner netted three goals including a strike in the final that helped Germany claim glory. He was again a pivotal player four years later in Spain, and again he scored in the showpiece, but this time the Germans lost to Italy.
Superb defender Buchwald enjoyed a marvellous World Cup debut as he assisted his side in lifting the trophy at the 1990 competition hosted in Italy. Indeed, Buchwald shone brightest in the final against Argentina as he did a fine job in marking the dangerous Diego Maradona. The stopper was again called upon four years later but Germany lost at the quarter-final stage.
German centre-back Fichtel was part of the team which finished third at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico. The solid stopper played in five matches, winning in each of those appearances, and was not selected for the 4-3 loss to Italy in the semi-finals.
Foerster operated at centre-back for his nation boasted impressive man-marking capabilities. He played for his country on 81 occasions, including 14 World Cup appearances. He played at two tournaments on the world stage, but twice finished up as a runner-up.
Kohler is widely considered one of the best defenders of his generations and is regarded as among the best centre-backs ever to grace the game. He played at three World Cup tournaments, lifting the competition's trophy in 1990. Overall, he made 13 World Cup appearances.
Kohlmeyer operated at left-back for his nation and was mighty impressive during their successful 1954 World Cup campaign. Indeed, he put in several fine performances, with his last-ditching tackling and blocking of particular note.
Liebrich was a shining light for Germany at the 1954 World Cup. The stopper put in several high quality displays, with his aerial strength and reading of the game particularly standing out. He did, however, infamously injure Ferenc Puskas in Germany's opening game, with the world-class striker struggling with fitness during the competition thereafter.
Posipal was a member of Germany's successful 1954 World Cup winning side. He played at right-back during the tournament as the Germans reached the final and stunned the brilliant Hungarians with a 3-2 success in Berne.
German Reuter was famed for his rapid pace. He played at two World Cup tournaments, his first appearances coming at the 1990 edition hosted. He played four times for his nation in Italy. Reuter did not feature in 1994 but made one final World Cup showing at the 1998 competition.
Schnellinger is regarded as one of Germany's greatest ever defenders, such were the consistent high quality of his performances. The powerful stopper featured at four straight World Cup finals, but never got his hands on the trophy. Indeed, the closest he came was in 1966 when the Germans were beaten by hosts England.
Former Bayern Munich defender Schwarzenbeck was a key member of Germany's successful side at the 1974 World Cup. Indeed, the stopper played in seven matches during the tournament as Germany reached the final and saw off Holland in Munich.
Legendary defender Vogts made almost 100 appearances for his national side. The tough-tackling stopper featured in three World Cup, with his undoubted highlight coming in 1974 when he helped nullify the threat of Johan Cruyff as Germany beat Holland in the final.
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