Honoured – and at times arguably burdened – with the responsibility of managing, guiding and coaching the team, the Nationaltrainer has long been seen as the public face of the Nationalmannschaft.
There have been just ten Nationaltrainers in all since 1923, when Professor Dr. Otto Nerz was the first to be appointed to the post. Between them, these ten individuals have achieved a fantastic record: in addition to a combined six World and European titles, the German national team have reached a further seven major tournament finals and have made the last four more than any other side at both the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship.
The first three Nationaltrainers held the position for an astonishing 53 years between them: since the resignation of Helmut Schön however the nature of the role has changed massively, with there being far more pressure from an increasingly demanding press and a public that is quick to praise but even quicker to condemn. As a result, in contrast to the first 53 years the last 33 have seen no fewer than seven men appointed to the role, with varying degrees of success.
With the exception of Erich Ribbeck between 1998 and 2000, each of the ten men who have coached the national team have reached at least one major tournament semi-final; six – Sepp Herberger, Helmut Schön, Jupp Derwall, Franz Beckenbauer, Berti Vogts and current incumbent Joachim Löw – have won at least one item of international silverware, with Schön winning both the FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Championship in the 1970s. In 2002, Rudi Völler would take the team all the way to the World Cup final, but was not quite able to join that illustrious half-dozen.
Of the three Nationaltrainers who weren’t able to guide the team all the way to a major tournament final, two reached the last four in what were their only tournaments in charge – Professor Nerz the 1934 World Cup (Germany didn’t compete in the 1930 tournament) and Jürgen Klinsmann in 2006 – with their sides claiming third place on both occasions. That only leaves the unfortunate Ribbeck, whose side were eliminated at the group stage at Euro 2000.
As this website is centred on the period from the appointment of Jupp Derwall onwards, this section provides a brief overview of the first three Nationaltrainers but concentrates on the last seven since 1978 – complete with a detailed statistical analysis of their respective careers in charge of the Nationalmannschaft.
The Early Nationaltrainers (1923-1978) »
Jupp Derwall (1978-1984) »
Franz Beckenbauer (1984-1990) »
Berti Vogts (1990-1998) »
Erich Ribbeck (1998-2000) »
Rudi Völler (2000-2004) »
Jürgen Klinsmann (2004-2006) »
Joachim Löw (2006-) »