The National Sport of Germany is Soccer.
Soccer in Germany is emotional, uniting generations with its world-famous fan culture.
To learn more about sports culture in Germany, read our article about the most popular sports in Germany.
Table of Contents
#1 History of Soccer
- 1874: First documented soccer game in Germany.
- 1900: Formation of the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball-Bund or DFB).
- 1954: “The Miracle of Bern” – Germany wins its first FIFA World Cup, overcoming Hungary in a match that became a symbol of post-war recovery and pride.
- 1974: Germany hosts and wins the FIFA World Cup.
- 1990: Germany clinches its third World Cup title in Italy.
- 2006: Germany hosts the FIFA World Cup, bringing a soccer renaissance across the nation.
- 2014: Germany secures its fourth World Cup title in Brazil.
#2 Culture and Traditions
Soccer is deeply embedded in Germany’s cultural tapestry. More than a sport, it represents a communal experience, a symbol of national pride, and an avenue for social bonding.
The Bundesliga, inaugurated in 1963, isn’t just Germany’s premier soccer league—it’s a weekend ritual for millions. The DFB-Pokal, an annual football cup competition, becomes a focal point each year, captivating fans across the country.
One of the most unifying events are the public viewings. During international tournaments like the World Cup or the European Championships, squares and parks transform with massive screens, letting fans from all walks of life celebrate, mourn, and dream together.
#3 How it Works: Rules, Gameplay and Equipment
📕 Rules & Gameplay
- Match Duration: A standard match consists of two halves, each lasting 45 minutes, with a 15-minute break in between.
- Objective: Each team tries to score by getting the ball into the opposing team’s goal.
- Players: Each team has 11 players, including one goalkeeper.
- Offside: A player is offside if they are nearer to the opponent’s goal than both the ball and the second last opponent when the ball is played to them.
- Fouls: Direct and indirect free-kicks and penalty kicks are awarded for infringements of the rules.
⚙️ Equipment & Gear
- Ball: Round and made of leather or another suitable material.
- Goalposts: Located at each end of the field, they are 7.32 meters wide and 2.44 meters tall.
- Kits: Teams wear distinguishing kits, with goalkeepers wearing different colors to stand out.
- Shin Guards: Protection for players from potential tackles or hits.
- Boots: Specialized shoes designed for the sport’s requirements.
#4 Modern Development of Soccer
Soccer’s evolution in the 21st century has been marked by key technological advancements like VAR and goal-line technology, upholding game integrity and fair play.
The English Premier League (EPL), since its 1992 inception, has emerged as the pinnacle of club football, boasting unparalleled viewership and attracting global talent. This dominance has elevated clubs such as Manchester United and Liverpool to international brand status.
Concurrently, soccer’s globalization sees a diverse player base in top leagues, while women’s soccer gains momentum, with events like the FIFA Women’s World Cup drawing significant attention.
#5 Soccer and the Olympics
Soccer has been a part of the Olympic Games since its early days, with the men’s competition first taking place in 1900 and the women’s in 1996.
Over the years, Olympic soccer has served as a platform for young talent to shine on the global stage, gaining recognition and paving their way to illustrious careers.
#6 Famous Athletes and Achievements
- Franz Beckenbauer: Often referred to as ‘Der Kaiser’, he won the FIFA World Cup both as a player (1974) and as a manager (1990). Beckenbauer is also renowned for his elegance on the ball and his leadership on and off the field.
- Gerd Müller: His incredible scoring prowess earned him the nickname ‘Der Bomber’. Müller played a pivotal role in Germany’s 1974 World Cup victory and remains one of the highest goal-scorers in World Cup history.
- Miroslav Klose: Holds the record for the most goals in FIFA World Cup tournaments, securing his 16th goal in the 2014 edition, where Germany emerged as champions.
- Oliver Kahn: One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Kahn’s heroics were instrumental in guiding Germany to the 2002 World Cup final, where he became the only goalkeeper to win the tournament’s Golden Ball award.
- Jürgen Klinsmann: Not only a prolific striker for Germany in the 1990s, but also went on to manage the German national team, guiding them to a third-place finish in the 2006 World Cup hosted by Germany.
#7 Where to watch Soccer
- Sky Deutschland and DAZN: Mainstream platforms offering comprehensive coverage of Bundesliga matches and other European leagues.
- ARD and ZDF: Public broadcasters featuring the DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga highlight shows.
- Live in Germany: Catch electrifying live matches at iconic stadiums like Allianz Arena (Munich), Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund), and Veltins-Arena (Gelsenkirchen).