The four-time world champions haven’t had the best of times since the World Cup 2018.
Germany is without a doubt one of the most successful nations in global football, both on continental and international stages. The country has produced legions of homegrown legends, past and present, who have made their clubs and nation proud.
The trophy cabinet of “Die Mannschaft” is one of envy for any footballing nation on the planet with the nation having won four World Cups (two as West Germany), three European Championships (two as West Germany), and the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2017. Not to mention a host of runners-up and third-place finishes at all these tournaments which speaks volumes of their consistency and capability.
But like every big nation, Germany’s illustrious history also has its fair share of stains and bad results. Here, we bring to you the five worst defeats in Germany’s competitive history.
5. Germany 1-5 England (2001)
The game between Germany and England at Olympiastadion was staged as part of the qualifiers for the 2002 World Cup. England had defeated Germany only twice in the previous 35 years in competitive football. But the night in Berlin changed for the worse for Germany as England ran out 5-1 winners in the game.
It seemed like Germany’s dominance was to continue when they opened the scoring at the sixth minute. But that was to be the only highlight of the night for Germany as England stole the show. Particularly, Michael Owen who produced one of the best displays of his career with a scintillating hat-trick along with strikes from Steven Gerrard and Emile Heskey.
Although Germany eventually qualified and made it to the final of the ensuing World Cup, the defeat to their continental rivals is sure to be a bitter taste in the mouth and a black mark in their glorious history.
4. France 6-3 West Germany (1958)
Way back in the 1958 World Cup, France and Germany locked horns in the third place playoff game where Les Bleus trounced Die Mannschaft 6-3.
Just Fontaine opened the scoring but Germany (then, West Germany) equalised right-back. But France ran away with the tie with four goals before Germany could respond back. The other goals were only of academic interest from them and a treat for the statisticians.
Just Fontaine wrapped up a dream World Cup with four goals in the game and 13 in the tournament, the record for the most goals scored in a single World Cup edition.
3. Hungary 8-3 West Germany (1954)
Germany had also endured a humiliating defeat in the 1954 World Cup where they were smashed 8-3 by the indomitable Hungary team which is considered among the finest national team iterations of all time.
The team containing legends such as Sándor Kocsis and Real Madrid legend Ferenc Puskás made light work of Germany as the Magyars strolled to an 8-3 win, having smashed South Korea 9-0 in the previous game. But the game proved to be the wakeup call for the Germans as they went from strength to strength and got their sweet revenge by upsetting the tournament favourites in the final. Germany came from 2-0 down in the 10th minute to take the tie 3-2 and their maiden World Cup trophy back to Berlin. A tale of true redemption indeed!
2. Austria 6-0 Germany (1931)
Germany’s earliest instance of ignominy came in an international friendly against their geographical neighbours Austria. The Austrians vanquished the Germans with a 6-0 scoreline at the end of the game.
A hat-trick from Anton Schall and goals from Karl Zischek, Adolf Vogel, and Fritz Gschweidl did the business as Germany endured their joint-worst competitive defeat ever.
1. Spain 6-0 Germany (2020)
Germany’s worst ever competitive defeat came in the November 2020 international break where the 2014 World Cup Champions were blown away by the team that won the edition four years before them, for the first time in their history.
Spain were all over Germany and strolled to the victory with a hat-trick from Manchester City winger Ferran Torres to add to goals from Alvaro Morata, Torres’ City team-mate Rodri, and Mikel Oyarzabal which gave Spain a passage into their first appearance in the UEFA Nations League semifinals.
Germany simply didn’t seem to turn up in the game as Spain gave them no room, making it the first time that La Roja had scored three goals in the first 45 minutes against Germany. The stats speak for themselves regarding the gulf in class as Spain controlled 70% of the possession and pummelled 23 shots with 10 of them on Manuel Neuer’s goal. Germany, on the other hand, ended up with a woeful two shots with none of them on target.
The defeat continued their poor run of performances since the 2018 World Cup for which they qualified without a defeat or a blemish in sight. But since then, they have raised eyebrows on their performances which have been more of surprise and shock than awe.