15 Greatest German Goalkeepers in the History of Football

Who is the best Germany goalkeeper ever?

Apart from Italy and Spain, Germany is known as a country with the most numbers of world-class goalkeepers in Europe. This country has given birth to hundreds of talented goalkeeper whose abilities have been recognized by the international world. Some of them even managed to bring Germany national team become world champions and also won many prestigious titles at club level.

In this article, I present a ranking of 15 best German goalkeepers from time to time. Some player in this article even also had successful career outside Germany, where they played for several clubs in Italian, Spanish, and English leagues. Without further ado, here is the list:

15. Timo Hildebrand

Timo Hildebrand is a goalkeeper who played a major role in helping Stuttgart claim the Bundesliga title in the 2006-07 season. He also holds a record for a goalkeeper who managed to maintain the longest consecutive clean sheets in the German League, with a record of 884 minutes without conceding a single goal. Despite having great skills as a goalkeeper, Hildebrand rarely got a chance to play in the German national team because he couldn't compete with Oliver Kahn, Jens Lehmann and Manuel Neuer.

14. Bert Trautmann

Unlike most goalies on this list, Trautmann had more successful career outside Germany. He spent 15 years of his career in the period 1949 to 1964 played for Manchester City. Despite not winning a lot of trophies, Trautmann regarded as one of the legends of Manchester City. He played in more than 500 matches with the Citizens. His most dramatic performance took place in the FA Cup final in 1956, where he helped City to be a champion and played in full 90 minutes match, despite his neck bones were broken.

13. Eike Immel

Eike Immel was Germany's most expensive goalkeeper when he was transferred from Borussia Dortmund to Stuttgart with a value of two million Marks. Previously, he played for Borussia Dortmund and was trusted to be the number one goalkeeper of the team since he was 17 years old. His career with Stuttgart was quite successful, where he claimed a Bundesliga title in the 1991-92 season. He was also included the West Germany squad that won the Euro 1980. Despite playing well, Eike also has a bad record, becoming the most-conceded Bundesliga goalkeeper, with a total of 829 goals conceded from 534 matches.

12. Toni Turek

Toni Turek was the West Germany national team first-choice goalkeeper in the 1954 World Cup. In the tournament, he performed quite brilliantly and led his country to become world champion. Toni also did a brilliant saves in the final match against Hungary, where he saved a close-range shot from Hungarian player, Nandor Hidegkuti. Turek spent most of his career playing for Fortuna Düsseldorf, a German League club.

11. Stefan Klos

Stefan Klos was the first goalkeeper of Borussia Dortmund when the team won the Champions League in the 1996-97 season. Not only in Germany, he was also quite successful player at Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish League. Together with Dortmund, Klos won two Bundesliga titles and one Champions League trophy. As a Rangers player, Klos claimed four Scottish League titles and three Scottish Cups trophies.

10. Raimond Aumann

Aumann was the number one goalkeeper of Bayern Munich in the late 1980s to mid-1990s. Together with Munich, he won six Bundesliga titles and two German Cup trophies. He was also part of the West Germany squad that won the 1990 World Cup, although he didn't play in even a single match in the tournament. He ended his career as a professional footballer with a Turkish club, Besiktas, in 1995.

9. Jens Lehmann

Jens Lehmann was a tough, brilliant, and eccentric goalkeeper. He was part of a golden generation of Arsenal that won the 2003-04 Premier League season without any single defeat in the competition. Not only that, Lehmann also holds the record for the most clean sheets in the Champions League, in which he did not concede for ten consecutive games. One of his best performances with German national team occurred in the World Cup 2006, where he helped his country rank third in the tournament.

8. Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer was signed by Munich to replace their legendary goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn. Although at first his ability was doubted, Neuer managed to prove his capacity as a great goalkeeper. He is even today regarded as the number one goalkeeper in Germany. Manuel Neuer's greatness started to be recognized by Munich's fans when he succeeded in helping the club win five titles in the 2012-2013 season. He was also selected as the world's best goalkeeper in 2013 by IFFHS.

7. Wolfgang Kleff

Although he rarely got a chance to play in the national team because he couldn't compete with Sepp Maier, Kleff ability as a goalkeeper cannot be doubted. He was one of the legendary Mönchengladbach player who led the club claim five Bundesliga titles and a DFB trophy. From 1968 to 1976, he always appeared in every match of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Kleffwas also included in the squad of West Germany that won the Euro 1972 and World Cup 1974.

6. Hans-Jorg Butt

Butt is one of the highest scoring goalkeepers in the world. Throughout his career, he scored 32 goals, most of them were scored from penalty kicks. He also played several times for German national team, although he very rarely got the chance to play as a starting goalkeeper because Oliver Kahn's and Jens Lehmann's existence. Butt's best achievements came at the end of his career, when he won the German League in the 2009-10 season with Bayern Munich.

5. Andreas Koepke

Andreas Koepke was a nightmare for England national team. The keeper played very well in Euro 1996, where he became the main protagonist in defeating England in semifinal round by saving Gareth Southgate's penalty. Koepke even successful helped Germany become the champion of the tournament and he was awarded as the best European goalkeeper of the year. Although he played brilliantly in the national team level, Koepke didn't win any trophy at club level.

4. Bodo Illgner

Bodo Illgner holds the record as the first goalkeeper who did not conceded a goal in the World Cup final. This achievement was made in the 1990 World Cup final, where he helped his country become the champion by defeating Argentina. Throughout his career, Illgner was known as a goalkeeper who is strong in one-on-one situation. He also underwent a successful career with Real Madrid, winning two La Liga trophies and two Champions League titles.

3. Harald Schumacher

Harald Schumacher was the number one German national team goalkeeper in the 1980s. He is known as a formidable goalkeeper, helping his country to be the European Cup 1980s champion. Nevertheless, Schumacher is extremely hated by the French of his dirty play in the match between West Germany versus France in the World Cup 1982. In the match, Schumacher jumped onto Patrick Battiston, knocked him unconscious. He also kicked French national team out of the tournament through penalty shoot-out. Throughout his career, Schumacher won two Bundesliga titles with two different clubs, FC Koln and Borussia Dortmund.

2. Oliver Kahn

Tough and authoritative. Along with Peter Schmeichel, Kahn is regarded as a goalkeeper in the 90s who have the best leadership skills. Kahn also made a lot of achievements, both with Bayern Munich and the German national team. He became the only goalkeeper in history to win the title of the Golden Ball at the World Cup tournament. His large contribution in German football is also made ​​Kahn regarded as one of the best Bundesliga players. With Bayern Munich, he won eight Bundesliga titles, six German Cups and one Champions League trophy.

1. Sepp Maier

In terms of ability, loyalty, and the number of titles he won; Maier is the one who deserves to be crowned as Germany's best goalkeeper of all time. He spent 18 years of his career playing only for one club, Bayern Munich. Together with Munich, he won four Bundesliga titles, three Champions League trophies, and three times elected as Germany's best footballer. Not only that, he also showed outstanding performance in helping German national team to be the champion of the World Cup 1974. Throughout his career, Maier played in 95 matches for his country.

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