Germany Olympic football team

The Germany Olympic football team represents Germany in international football competitions in Olympic Games. It has been active since 1908, and first competed in 1912. Olympic football was originally an amateur sport, and as the pre-World War II German national team was also amateur, it was able to send a full national team to the games. After the war, Germany was divided, but until 1964 East and West competed under the name of "United Team of Germany", although without a combined squad. From 1968 West Germany began to compete on its own, but were still forced to send an amateur team, who were not able to match the success of their professional counterparts in the World Cup and European Championship. The rules on amateurism were relaxed in the 1980s, which allowed West Germany some success, notably a bronze medal finish in 1988. Since 1992 the tournament has been competed by under-23 teams, making Germany's Olympic qualification dependent on the results of the under-21 team. Only in 2016 the Germans returned to the Olympic stage, with a silver medal after losing on a penalty shoot-out to hosts Brazil. Reunified Germany is now the only World Cup champion without the Olympic gold.

Nickname(s)Nationalelf (national eleven)
DFB-Elf (DFB Eleven)
(Die) Mannschaft (The Team)[1]
AssociationGerman Football Association
(Deutscher Fußball-Bund – DFB)
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Most capsChristian Schreier (22)
Top scorerGottfried Fuchs
Frank Mill (10 goals each)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Austria 5–1 Germany 
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 June 1912)
Biggest win
 Germany 16–0 Russian Empire 
(Stockholm, Sweden; 1 July 1912)[2]
Biggest defeat
 Austria 5–1 Germany 
(Stockholm, Sweden; 29 June 1912)
Summer Olympic Games
Appearances9 (first in 1912)
Best result2nd place, silver medalist(s) Silver Medal (2016)


Pre-World War II (1912–1938)Edit

Germany first sent a football team to the Olympics in 1912, where they were defeated in the first round, losing 5–1 against neighbours Austria. They entered a consolation tournament, however, where they recorded a 16–0 win over Russia, with 10 goals from forward Gottfried Fuchs – this is still the national team's highest margin of victory. They were eliminated in the next round, though, with a 3–1 defeat against Hungary. After World War I, Germany was banned from the 1920 Olympics, and didn't compete in 1924, returning to action in 1928, when they were eliminated in the quarter finals by eventual winners Uruguay. Uruguay would go on to win the inaugural World Cup two years later.

Football wasn't included in the 1932 Olympics, but returned for the 1936 games, in Berlin. As hosts, and having finished third at the previous World Cup, hopes of a German success were high. It wasn't to be, though: after a 9–0 win against Luxembourg, Germany were eliminated in the quarter finals, losing 2–0 to Norway. The result cost coach Otto Nerz his job, being replaced by his assistant Sepp Herberger.

Division and unity (1948–1980)Edit

Flag of the United Team of Germany 1956–1964

Following World War II, Germany were banned from the 1948 Olympics, but were back in 1952. By this point Germany was divided into three states – East Germany and the Saar protectorate having broken away, with what was left of the country commonly referred to as West Germany. Saar competed independently in 1952, but East Germany were unable to, and refused to represent a united German team. Consequently, the German Olympic team in 1952 was made up entirely of athletes from the west. The growth of professionalism in German football meant that the team they sent was no longer a senior national team squad, instead an amateur team. Despite this, Germany achieved their best result so far, reaching the semi-finals, where they were beaten by Yugoslavia. They lost 2–0 against Sweden in the bronze medal match.

Political tension between East and West Germany increased over time and this had an effect on sports as well. For the 1956 Summer Olympics, the west's football association delayed the negotiations for the process of forming a combined team for such a long time that the east's representatives gave up and let West Germany nominate the complete team for the United Team of Germany.[3] At the qualifying tournament, West Germany had a wild card and thus qualified.[4] The team lost its initial game against the USSR and came 9th equal alongside the other two losers of the initial round.[5][6]

Qualification games were held in 1960 and they are amongst the most bizarre games of football ever played by German teams, known as the "Geisterspiele" ("ghost games"). It was the first time that East and West German football teams competed, and the games were held in East Berlin (West Germany won 2–0) and, one week later, in Düsseldorf (West Germany won 2–1). This thus qualified the West German team. The stadiums were all but empty, with access available to journalists and officials only; no spectators were given access.[3] In the subsequent European qualifying tournament, the West German team was in group two with Poland and Finland. The top team would qualify and Poland was successful.[7]

The pre-qualification process repeated itself in 1964 but this time, spectators were allowed. East Germany won the first game in Karl-Marx-Stadt (now Chemnitz) with 3–0, and West Germany won 2–1 in Hanover.[3] Thus, East Germany won the right to go to the European qualifying championships. In round one, East Germany beat the Netherlands. In round two, East Germany and the Soviet Union drew twice and needed a play-off in Warsaw that was won 4–1 by East Germany, thus qualifying the East German team for the Olympics for the first time.[8] At the 1964 Olympic Games, the East German team won the bronze medal.[9] As the East German league was technically amateur, even though the athletes were state-sponsored and trained full-time, the same as all other Eastern Bloc countries, it was able to send an "A" national team.

From 1968, East and West Germany competed separately, but West Germany failed to qualify for the 1968 games, losing against the United Arab Emirates in qualification. The 1972 Olympics were held in Munich, and West Germany qualified automatically as hosts – the amateur team, which contained future World Cup winner Uli Hoeneß and Champions League-winning coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, reached the second round, where they were eliminated in a group containing East Germany, who went on to win the bronze medals. West Germany did not qualify for either the 1976 or 1980 Olympics, losing against Spain and Norway respectively. However, East Germany managed to win the first gold medal at the 1976 summer Olympic after beating Poland 3-1 in the final. The East Germany also failed to win its second gold medal and received only the silver under defeated of Czechoslovakia 1-0 in the final of summer Olympic in 1980.

Olympiaauswahl (1984–1988)Edit

The strict rules on amateurism had favoured Communist countries, who were able to send their senior national teams to the Olympics, as their leagues technically had amateur status. These rules were relaxed for the 1984 games: countries could select professional players, but only those who hadn't played in the finals of the World Cup. As such, West Germany selected a team known locally as the Olympiaauswahl (Olympic selection), similar in make-up to the B international team. Initially West Germany failed to qualify for the 1984 games, but were granted a reprieve following the boycott by Eastern Bloc countries. A team including future World Cup winners Andreas Brehme and Guido Buchwald reached the quarter-finals, losing 5–2 against Yugoslavia.

West Germany qualified for the 1988 Olympics, where they achieved their best ever result: third place. Having emerged from a group including China, Sweden and Tunisia, they beat Zambia 4–0 in the quarter finals. After losing on penalties to Brazil in the semi-finals, they beat Italy 3–0 to take the bronze medals: to date, this is the team's only tournament victory against Italy. Three strikers from the Olympic squad – Jürgen Klinsmann, Frank Mill and Karlheinz Riedle – would go on to win the World Cup two years later, along with midfielder Thomas Häßler.

Reunification (1992–present)Edit

A Germany squad at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Germany was reunified in 1990, and the 1992 Olympics saw another rule change: football squads would be made up of players under the age of 23, with three overage players allowed. On 23 June 2015 Germany was qualified for the first time after reunification for the 2016 Olympic games. The last time an Olympic team was specifically selected was in 1998 (a 1–0 defeat against Portugal). Olympic qualification is now decided by the under-21 team in the UEFA Under-21 Championship.

In the 2016 games held in Rio de Janeiro, Germany won the silver medal after losing to Brazil by 5–4 on penalty shoot-out; this was the first football game played between the two countries since the 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinal in which Germany beat Brazil 7–1. The German team also achieved the largest victory of the tournament, thrashing Fiji by a score of 10–0 in the group stage.

Results and fixturesEdit


  Win   Draw   Lose   Voided or Postponed   Fixture


17 July 2021 Friendly Germany   1–1   Honduras Wakaya, Japan
17:00 UTC+9
Report (DFB)
Stadium: Kimiidera Athletic Stadium
Attendance: 0
22 July 2021 2020 Summer Olympics GS Group D Brazil   4–2   Germany Yokohama, Japan
17:30 UTC+9
Stadium: International Stadium Yokohama
Attendance: 0
Referee: Iván Barton (El Salvador)
25 July 2021 2020 Summer Olympics GS Group D Saudi Arabia   2–3   Germany Yokohama, Japan
20:30 UTC+9
Stadium: International Stadium Yokohama
Attendance: 0
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)
28 July 2021 2020 Summer Olympics GS Group D Germany   1–1   Ivory Coast Rifu, Japan
17:00 UTC+9 Löwen   73' Report Henrichs   69' (o.g.) Stadium: Miyagi Stadium
Referee: Leodán González (Uruguay)


Current squadEdit

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Florian Müller (1997-11-13) 13 November 1997 (age 23) 3 0   VfB Stuttgart
2 2DF Benjamin Henrichs (1997-02-23) 23 February 1997 (age 24) 3 0   RB Leipzig
3 2DF David Raum (1998-04-22) 22 April 1998 (age 23) 3 0   Greuther Fürth
4 2DF Felix Uduokhai (1997-09-09) 9 September 1997 (age 24) 3 1   FC Augsburg
5 2DF Amos Pieper (1998-01-17) 17 January 1998 (age 23) 2 0   Arminia Bielefeld
6 3MF Ragnar Ache (1998-07-28) 28 July 1998 (age 23) 3 2   Eintracht Frankfurt
7 4FW Marco Richter (1997-11-24) 24 November 1997 (age 23) 3 0   FC Augsburg
8 3MF Maximilian Arnold* (captain) (1994-05-27) 27 May 1994 (age 27) 2 0   VfL Wolfsburg
9 4FW Cedric Teuchert (1997-01-14) 14 January 1997 (age 24) 3 0   Union Berlin
10 4FW Max Kruse* (1988-03-19) 19 March 1988 (age 33) 3 0   Union Berlin
11 3MF Nadiem Amiri* (1996-10-27) 27 October 1996 (age 24) 3 2   Bayer Leverkusen
12 1GK Svend Brodersen (1997-03-22) 22 March 1997 (age 24) 0 0   Yokohama FC
13 3MF Arne Maier (1999-01-08) 8 January 1999 (age 22) 3 0   Arminia Bielefeld
14 3MF Ismail Jakobs (1999-08-17) 17 August 1999 (age 22) 0 0   1. FC Köln
15 2DF Jordan Torunarigha (1997-08-07) 7 August 1997 (age 24) 3 0   Hertha BSC
16 2DF Keven Schlotterbeck (1997-04-28) 28 April 1997 (age 24) 3 0   SC Freiburg
17 3MF Anton Stach (1998-11-15) 15 November 1998 (age 22) 2 0   Greuther Fürth
18 3MF Eduard Löwen (1997-01-28) 28 January 1997 (age 24) 3 1   FC Augsburg
22 1GK Luca Plogmann (2000-03-10) 10 March 2000 (age 21) 0 0   Werder Bremen

Competitive recordEdit

For the East Germany team record, look here.

  Gold medal    Silver medal    Bronze medal    Fourth place  

Olympic GamesEdit

Summer Olympic Games record Qualifications record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GF GA Squad GP W D L GF GA
  1900 Did not enter Did not enter
  1912 First round 7th 3 1 0 2 18 8 Squad Invited
  1920 Banned Banned
  1928 Quarter-final 5th 2 1 0 1 5 4 Squad Invited
  1936 Quarter-final 6th 2 1 0 1 9 2 Squad Qualified as hosts
  1948 Banned Banned
  1952 Fourth place 4th 4 2 0 2 8 8 Squad Invited
  1956[a] First round 9th 1 0 0 1 1 2 Squad Automatic qualification 1956
  1960 Did not qualify 6 3 0 3 9 11 1960
  1964[b] 2 1 0 1 2 4 1964
  1968 2 1 0 1 1 2 1968
  1972 Second round 5th 6 3 1 2 17 8 Squad Qualified as hosts 1972
  1976 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 2 3 1976
  1980 Did not enter Did not enter 1980
  1984 Quarter-final 5th 4 2 0 2 10 6 Squad 6 3 1 2 8 5 1984
  1988 Bronze medal 3rd 6 4 1 1 16 4 Squad 8 5 2 1 16 4 1988
  1992 Did not qualify UEFA European Under-21 Championship 1992
  1996 1996
  2000 2000
  2004 2004
  2008 2008
  2012 2012
  2016 Silver medal 2nd 6 3 3 0 22 6 Squad 2016
  2020 Group stage 9th 3 1 1 1 6 7 Squad 2020
  2024 To be determined To be determined
Total 2 medals 10/27 37 18 6* 13 112 55 26 13 4 9 38 29 Total
*Denotes draws including knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.
**Red border indicates tournament was held on home soil.
  1. ^ A team from West Germany made up the United Team of Germany
  2. ^ East Germany won the play-off and represented the United Team of Germany

Coaching historyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ In Germany, the team is typically referred to as Die Nationalmannschaft (the national team), DFB-Elf (DFB eleven), DFB-Auswahl (DFB selection) or Nationalelf (national eleven). Whereas in foreign media, they are regularly described as (Die) Mannschaft (literally meaning the team).
  2. ^ "All matches of The National Team in 1912". DFB. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2008.
  3. ^ a b c Braun, Jutta; Wiese, René (18 September 2009). "Deutsch-deutsche Geisterspiele" [All-German ghost games]. Der Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  4. ^ Gerrard, Russell (16 April 2015). "Football Qualifying Tournament". Recreational Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  5. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Football at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Football". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  6. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Football at the 1956 Melbourne Summer Games: Men's Football Round One". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2018.
  7. ^ Gerrard, Russell (5 April 2018). "Football Qualifying Tournament". Recreational Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  8. ^ Gerrard, Russell (5 April 2018). "Football Qualifying Tournament". Recreational Sport Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  9. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Football at the 1964 Tokyo Summer Games". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 17 April 2020. Retrieved 4 November 2018.