Top 10 most capped German players

Thomas Müller took fifth place for most caps in a German shirt after making his 114th senior international appearance for Die Mannschaft in their UEFA Nations League clash with England. But who are the four still in front of him?

bundesliga.com presents you the German top 10…

1) Lothar Matthaus
Caps:
150
International awards:
UEFA Euro 1980 winner, 1990 FIFA World Cup winner

The term ‘legend’ is often used in football, but there is no doubt that the title applies to Matthäus. Besides seven Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich and a Scudetto with Inter Milan, he was the first German in a decade to receive the Ballon d’Or. This 1990 gong came on the captain’s back Die Mannschaft to World Cup glory in Italy. It was the third of a record five finals tournaments he would appear in, from 1982 to 1998. Of his 150 caps, 25 came to World Cups, which is the record for tournament appearances. He also played in four European championships, winning the first (again in Italy) in 1980. In fact, he made his international debut at this tournament. A 20-year career representing his country, which included 23 goals, ended at Euro 2000 against Portugal. He is both the oldest player and goalscorer in German history.

look: Matthäus’ top 3 goals

2) Miroslav Klose
Caps:
137
International awards:
Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Klose’s career was odd in that he was far more prolific for his country than his clubs. And the forward didn’t even have to play for Germany, with Poland – his native country – also interested after consistent performances for Kaiserslautern. But his first cap came in March 2001 against Albania, scoring off the bench and celebrating with his usual forward flip. He would then be part of the team that finished second in the 2002 World Cup and scored five (headed) goals to win the Silver Boot. And scoring at World Cups became his thing, winning the Golden Boot at the home tournament in 2006 with five others, becoming the all-time top scorer with 16 goals and only the third player to do so in four final tournaments. different. His last game was the triumphant 2014 final in Rio de Janeiro, ending with a national record 71 goals – three more than Gerd Müller, although more than twice the number of games.

look: The best of Klose in the Bundesliga

3) Lucas Podolsky
Caps: 130
International awards:
Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

There are many similarities between Podolski and Klose. Both born in Poland, both more prolific at international level, both long-time national team stalwarts. As well as winning club trophies in Germany, England, Turkey and Japan, the striker is best known for his hammering left foot, which he put to good use one last time in his Champions League game. farewell against the Three Lions in March 2017. It came 13 years after his debut when he became the first second division player since 1975 to earn his first cap for Germany. After helping boyhood club Cologne gain promotion, he became a regular member of Die Mannschaft and would appear in seven tournaments between Euro 2004 and 2016, also being named the best young player at the 2006 World Cup – beating Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He scored Germany’s fastest ever goal after just nine seconds in a friendly against Ecuador in the build-up to the 2014 World Cup success. His 49 goals also puts him at the third in the all-time goalscoring charts.

4) Bastien Schweinsteiger
Caps: 121
International awards:
Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

‘Schweini’ has won just about everything he could in his career, winning eight Bundesliga titles, a record seven DFB Cups, the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, an FA Cup and the World Cup. The midfielder made his international debut against Hungary in June 2004 and will feature in this summer’s Euros – his first of seven tournaments. His 41 caps at the age of 22 was a record until Podolski beat him with 44 shortly after. He was first-choice central midfielder in Euro 2012 qualifying and reached his century of cap in October 2013. Following Philipp Lahm’s international retirement following the 2014 World Cup victory, Schweinsteiger was appointed new captain of the country by Joachim Löw. He announced the end of his own international career after Euro 2016 and a national record of 18 European Championship appearances. His 121st and final cap was a friendly against Finland. Manchester United and Chicago Fire’s last man finished on 24 goals for Germany.

look: Schweinsteiger’s top 5 goals in the Bundesliga

5) Thomas Muller
Caps: 114
International awards:
Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

A one-club man on Bayern’s books since 2000, the unassuming Müller has become one of German football’s greats and his country’s most decorated player. His debut came on his home ground at the Allianz Arena against Argentina in January 2010. He then started the first game of the World Cup that year for only his third cap and scored his first goal in the same game. He finished the tournament with the Golden Boot after five goals and three assists, as well as the Best Young Player award – the third German in a row to win it after Klose and Podolski. He got five more four years later in Brazil, this time winning the Silver Boot and, of course, the World Cup trophy. The self-proclaimed Raumdeuter would later feature in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup before being dropped by Löw, who reversed his decision not to select him after two years before the delayed Euro 2020 tournament. Not yet 33 before September 2022 and again a key player under Hansi Flick, Müller is undoubtedly targeting the Qatar World Cup and a home Euro in 2024.

look: The indefatigable Thomas Müller

6) Philippe Lahm
Caps: 113
International awards: Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

A Munich native, Lahm spent two seasons with Bayern reserves before a highly successful loan spell at VfB Stuttgart between 2003 and 2005. He established himself as the team’s first-choice left-back in a development that went from strength to strength. turned out to be decisive in his career. Lahm then made his Germany debut on 18 February 2004 in a 2–1 win over Croatia and was rarely absent from the squad afterwards when fit. He also scored the opening goal of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, a sensational curler in the 4-2 win over Costa Rica, was named captain ahead of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and took his retired after winning the World Cup with Germany in Brazil in 2014.

look: The best of Lahm in the Bundesliga

7) Manuel Neuer
Caps: 111
International awards: Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

While the 2010 World Cup was transformational for Lahm as captain, it was also significant for Neuer. Rene Adler was Germany’s No.1 at the start of the tournament, but after injury forced him out, Neuer stepped up – and he hasn’t relinquished the top spot in over a decade. He was so impressive at the tournament in South Africa that it earned him a move to Bayern from boyhood club Schalke the following season. A serial winner of World Goalkeeper of the Year, Neuer’s legacy as one of the all-time greats was cemented when he showcased his ‘sweeping keeper’ style to a global audience. in the 2014 World Cup, the often hailed round of 16 match against Algeria. as one of his best displays. The 36-year-old has captained Germany since Bastian Schweinsteiger retired in 2016.

look: Neuer’s world-class stops

8) Jurgen Klinsmann
Caps: 108
International awards: 1990 FIFA World Cup winner, 1996 European Championship winner

Another genuine German legend, Klinsmann made a name for himself at VfB Stuttgart in the early 1980s, before making his Germany debut aged 23 in a 1-1 draw with Brazil in 1987. in the right place at the right time, Klinsmann was a fox in the box, an elusive striker whose movement and timing always seemed to put him ahead of his scorer. He was the first player to score in three successive European Championships – including that of 1996 – while he also appeared in three World Cups. Klinsmann finished with 47 goals in 108 international appearances, placing him fourth in Germany’s all-time rankings.

9) Toni Kroos
Caps: 106
International awards: Winner of the 2014 FIFA World Cup

The epitome of elegance and grace on the ball, Bayern Munich spotted Kroos’ talent early on and signed him from Hansa Rostock at the age of 16. The midfielder really blossomed as a professional during a two-year loan spell at Bayer Leverkusen between 2008 and 2010, and won his first senior cap at international level in March 2020 before being capped for the World Cup later that year. With an unrivaled passing range, it’s no surprise that Kroos has featured in three European Championships (2012, 2016, 2020) and three World Cups (2010, 2014, 2018), proving a cornerstone of the Joachim Löw’s team for more than a decade. The Real Madrid star scored twice in as many minutes in Brazil’s 7-1 humiliation en route to winning the 2014 World Cup, and eventually retired from international duty in June 2021 after amassing 106 caps .

look: Toni Kroos: Made in the Bundesliga

10) Jürgen Kohler
Caps: 105
International awards: 1990 FIFA World Cup winner, 1996 European Championship winner

As reliable a centre-back as you could wish to see, it’s no surprise that Kohler’s international career spanned 12 years, three European Championships and two World Cups, with club spells at Bayern Munich, the Juventus and Borussia Dortmund. He made his senior Germany debut in a 2-0 win over Denmark in September 1986 and was a mainstay in the side until his retirement in 1998. A member of Germany’s Cup-winning side world 1990, he led Die Mannschaft at Euro 1996 as captain, only to suffer an injury in the first game which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament. Nonetheless, he returned to reach a century of international caps, becoming the fourth German to reach that milestone after Franz Beckenbauer, Matthäus and Klinsmann.