The Germany national football team, nicknamed Die Mannschaft, are the current World Champions, having won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

 

Germany played their first international match on 5 April 1908, losing 5-3 to Switzerland in Basel. After the Second World War, the national team was divided into the two new German states, West Germany and East Germany, although only West Germany gained recognition from FIFA and UEFA. After West Germany won the 1990 World Cup in Mexico, the state reunified, and incorporated East Germany to form one single national team.

 

Germany do not have one particular home stadium and play their home matches at various stadiums around the country. One of the most frequently used stadiums is the 74,000-seater Olympiastadion in Berlin.

 

Germany have appeared in 18 World Cups, winning the tournament on four occasions; in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014. Their first World Cup win came as West Germany came from 2-0 down to beat Hungary 3-2 in the final in Switzerland. West Germany won the World Cup again when they hosted the tournament in 1974.

 

In July 2014, Germany won their fourth World Cup in Brazil. Mario Gotze’s goal after extra time sealed a 1-0 win over Argentina in the final at the Maracana.

 

Prior to their 2014 World Cup win, the national side had finished second or third in their last five successive major tournaments, including three World Cups and two European Championships. Germany have participated in 11 European Championships and have won the tournament on three occasions, most recently in 1996.

 

Miroslav Klose is the national side’s all-time leading goalscorer with 71 goals in 137 caps. Lothar Matthaus holds the record for the most Germany caps, with 150. Matthaus won the 1991 FIFA World Player of the Year award and captained the side during their 1990 World Cup win.

 

Former captains of the side include Uwe Seeler, Franz Beckenbauer, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Jurgen Klinsmann, Oliver Kahn, Michael Ballack and Philip Lahm, who announced his retirement after the 2014 World Cup Final.

 

Joachim Low has coached the side since 2006. Bastian Schweinsteiger currently captains the team, while Lukas Podolski has more caps than any other active player.

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