Ranking Germany's 10 Greatest Blow-Outs
Germany's 7-1 rout of Brazil on Tuesday was one of the most shocking football results in World Cup history.
The match saw many longstanding records shattered as Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose, Sami Khedira, Toni Kroos (twice) and Andre Schurrle (also twice) found the net for Germany before Oscar delivered a last-minute goal that proved to be of little consolation for the host nation.
The Germans have many times before recorded emphatic victories in major competitions. Time and time again they've won by four goals or more. But has any such result been so emphatic, so significant?
B/R has rounded up Germany's biggest blow-outs (all are of four or more goals) at World Cups and European Championships and ranked them based on the significance of each and the lasting impression each left. Click "Begin Slideshow" to begin the countdown with number 10.
10) Germany 8-0 Saudi Arabia: 2002 World Cup Group Stage
It may not have been their greatest-ever display, but Germany's biggest-ever margin of victory in a competitive match came against Saudi Arabia in 2002.
A young Miroslav Klose scored a brace within 25 minutes, nodding in a pair of crosses. Michael Ballack and Carsten Jancker both hit the target before halftime, putting Germany halfway to their eventual result at the break.
The Saudis held firm for 25 minutes in the second half. Then Klose headed in his third, Thomas Linke added a sixth, Oliver Bierhoff made it seven and Bernd Schneider capped off the 8-0 rout in injury time.
Germany were in a transition phase as they entered the 2002 World Cup, with the humiliation of three group stage defeats at Euro 2000 still looming in recent memory. Their victory against the Saudis gave Die Mannschaft a big boost in a tournament in which they would eventually reach the final. And it was a coming-out party for Klose, who 12 years later is now the World Cup's record scorer.
9) Germany 4-0 Australia: 2010 World Cup Group Stage
Germany entered the 2010 World Cup with an inexperienced squad full of last-minute changes. Captain Michael Ballack was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury in the final match of the club season; possible backups Simon Rolfes and Heiko Westermann were also forced out of the squad not long before the tournament began.
Instead, Sami Khedira got the nod alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger, who only played his first game in central midfield for Germany in March, three months before the tournament kicked off. The March friendly with Argentina also marked the debuts of Thomas Mueller and Toni Kroos
Similarly to Khedira, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer found himself in a starting role rather suddenly. Following the tragic death of Robert Enke and an injury to Rene Adler, the then-Schalke man advanced from No. 3 to No. 1 in about half a year.
With such a young and inexperienced squad, anything could have happened to Germany in their World Cup opener with Australia. As events would unfold, things went very well for the Germans.
Lukas Podolski put Germany in control and at ease early, scoring within eight minutes of kickoff, and Miroslav Klose added a second that more or less put the match to rest on 26 minutes.
Mueller scored as the game entered its final quarter, a critical goal that gave him the confidence he needed to eventually become the tournament's Best Young Player and Golden Boot winner. And to top things off, Cacau found the net with 20 minutes left to play, finishing from a precise cross from the young and brilliant Mesut Ozil. It was a great start for many among Germany's new generation.
8) Germany 4-0 Portugal: 2014 World Cup Group Stage
Germany entered the 2014 World Cup with a mountain of adversity to overcome. Over half of Joachim Low's best XI were ruled out of the tournament or just returning from injury, and among his available players, only Toni Kroos and Mats Hummels were in notably great form in the weeks leading up to the tournament in Brazil.
Low had some tough choices to make, and many teams would have simply capitulated. But Germany got off to a great start in the group stage by hammering Portugal. Mario Gotze won an early penalty that Thomas Muller converted, and Mats Hummels headed in a second shortly after the half-hour mark.
The Nationalmannschaft were given some help by Pepe on 37 minutes when the Portuguese center back lost his cool and was sent off for a foolish head-butt against Mueller, who made it it 3-0 just before halftime. The Bayern man would complete his hat-trick on 78 minutes.
Mueller and Hummels' goals set the tone for the pair at the World Cup and both have been heroic ever since. The latter has been a rock in defense and scored twice while the former has found the net five times and given three assists, until recently dragging the German team offensively through the tournament.
7) West Germany 5-0 Switzerland: 1966 World Cup Group Stage
The 1966 World Cup was a memorable tournament for West Germany, who had struggled for more than a decade after winning the 1954 championship. A new generation, with the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Wolfgang Overath and Sepp Maier, made their way into the squad. And the tournament began brilliantly for the Germans and Beckenbauer in particular.
In their opener, West Germany obliterated Switzerland in one of their most dominant performances ever. They were 3-0 up at halftime through Sigfried Held, Helmut Haller and Beckenbauer, and 4-0 ahead after the latter completed his brace on 52 minutes. Haller rounded off the rout with 13 minutes left to play as Germany waltzed to victory.
Their opening-day hammering of Switzerland put West Germany on course for their next finals appearance, although they would lose controversially to England. But the result also was a glorious and confidence-building debut for Beckenbauer, who would later lead his team to World Cup glory.
6) West Germany 6-0 Mexico: 1978 World Cup Group Stage
Germany's second-greatest margin of victory in competitive play is six goals, a difference achieved by both the 1978 and 2014 World Cup teams. In the former scenario, West Germany met Mexico in the group stage.
Die Nationalmannschaft had won the previous World Cup but stuttered and were held to a scoreless draw against Poland in their 1978 opener, their first World Cup game without the legendary Gerd Muller. They opened the floodgates against Mexico, however.
Gerd's namesakes proved decisive in the early stages. Dieter Muller scored within 15 minutes and Hansi Muller added a second on the half-hour mark. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge scored a beauty on 38 minutes and Heinz Flohe added a fourth before halftime. After the break, Rummenigge scored a second goal of at least equal beauty before Flohe completed his brace.
The Germans would place second in their group and bow out after the second group stage after being held scoreless in three of their six games. But the result against Mexico was one positive in an otherwise forgettable campaign.
5) West Germany 7-2 Turkey: 1954 World Cup Group Stage Playoff
West Germany needed a playoff to progress from their group in the 1954 World Cup; after beating Turkey 4-1 and being mauled by Hungary 8-3, Die Nationalmannschaft were level on points with the Turks, setting the stage for a playoff.
Most teams would have fallen apart after such a humbling by Hungary, but just three days later, Sepp Herberger's legendary side came out aces against Turkey. Ottmar Walter and Hans Schafer scored within the opening 12 minutes before Mustafa Ertan pulled one back for Turkey. Max Morlock, who would eventually score a hat trick, also found the net in the first half.
After the break, Fritz Walter scored, Schafer completed his brace and Morlock his hat-trick before Lefter Kucukandonyadis found the net for Turkey, leaving the score at 7-2. It was one of the Germans' best-ever results and the manner in which it was attained is quite remarkable. So soon after the lowest of lows, they hit peak form.
It set the tone for the rest of their World Cup campaign, one that would end in their first-ever title.
4) Argentina 0-4 Germany: 2010 World Cup Quarterfinal
After Germany trounced England 4-1 in the round of 16, it was hard to see Joachim Low's side topping that result against an Argentina team that had won all their group stage games and cruised to victory over Mexico in the first knockout round. But they did.
Just days after Argentina coach Diego Maradona mistook Thomas Mueller for a ball boy at a press conference, it took less than three minutes for the then 20-year-old to nod in the game's opening goal from a set piece.
The versatile attacker later played a clever through-pass after being knocked to the ground, setting in motion the play that led to Miroslav Klose scoring what would not be his last goal of the game.
With a quarter of an hour left, Bastian Schweinsteiger—who over the 90 minutes put on what still is widely regarded as the best performance of his career—dribbled through the entire Argentine defense to tee up Arne Friedrich for his first and only career international goal. And to cap things off, Mesut Ozil led a breakaway that ended in a pinpoint chipped cross to Klose, who volleyed in from close range.
The result not only put Germany through to the semifinal, but affirmed the quality the young German team had shown against Australia and England earlier in the tournament.
To beat an Argentine side that had been in such great form—and to do so by such an incredible margin—was the crowning achievement for Germany at the 2010 World Cup. It gave Low and the young Germans confidence that they would bring to the club level and in later international tournaments.
3) West Germany 4-0 Uruguay: 1966 World Cup Quarterfinal
West Germany nearly replicated their group stage margin of victory over Switzerland in the 1966 World Cup quarterfinal, beating Uruguay 4-0 in a complete and utter humiliation of the two-time world champions.
As against SwitzerlandDie Nationalmannschaft scored their second, this time through Franz Beckenbauer. Five minutes later, captain Uwe Seeler struck and on 83 minutes Haller completed his brace.
Although Uruguay were able to hold West Germany to one goal for most of the game, the 1954 world champions found the net three times in 13 minutes to deliver a result that was as demoralizing to Uruguay as it was self-motivating. The Germans would go on to beat the Soviet Union in the semifinal but ultimately fell to England in the final.
2) West Germany 6-1 Austria: 1954 World Cup Semifinal
Prior to Tuesday, Germany's best-ever result in a major international semifinal was in 1954, when Die Nationalmannschaft hammered rivals Austria.
The Germans weren't as comprehensively dominant in that match as they were more recently against Brazil. And indeed, Hans Schaefer's solitary goal was all that separated the two teams at halftime. After the break, Max Morlock and Erich Probst traded goals to make it 2-1. Then the floodgates opened.
Fritz Walter netted penalties on either side of a goal his brother, Ottmar, scored. And not to be outdone, Ottmar completed his brace on 89 minutes. Germany's blitz of five goals in 42 minutes (including four in 14) put Germany out of sight and into the final with heads full of steam.
Heavily unfavored against a Hungary side that had destroyed them 8-3 in the group stage, West Germany drew confidence from the Austria game that would help them overcome Hungary in the final.
1) Brazil 1-7 Germany: World Cup 2014 Semifinal
In all of German football's illustrious history at major international tournaments, Tuesday's drubbing of Brazil is, for the time being, the greatest. The margin of victory may not have been as great as that of the 2002 hammering of Saudi Arabia but it was the second-greatest result in terms of goal difference that Die Mannschaft ever recorded. And its significance by far trumps that of any other result on this list.
Records were shattered again and again on Tuesday. The first to go was Ronaldo's record of 15 career World Cup goals, exceeded by Miroslav Klose. That the German striker clinched the record in Ronaldo's home country, in the very stadium in which the Brazil legend began his professional career, makes it all the more remarkable.
ESPN reported on the many records broken and indeed shattered in Tuesday's match. Germany became the fastest team in World Cup history to score five goals. Their seven over the course of 90 minutes was the highest-ever tally in a semifinal, as was their six-goal margin of victory.
Germany also reached the final for the eighth time in their history, a record, and also surpassed Brazil as the most prolific team in the tournament's history with 223 goals compared to 220 for the South Americans.
This wasn't a group stage match, nor was it a match played against a notably poor team. This was played against the World Cup record champions, the pre-tournament favorites, the host team that hadn't lost a competitive match at home for 39 years. This was played against a team that had progressed to the semifinal and was on the cusp of glory. And then everything fell apart.
Especially significant about Germany's victory on Tuesday is that it came after a string of performances that weren't exactly convincing. Joachim Low's side had been effective but not exactly brilliant overall since their opener against Portugal.
If they win the final in any manner, the massacre of Brazil will be remembered as the spark to catalyze the historic victory. As World Cup winner Olaf Thon told DeutschlandFunk radio (h/t Reuters), the match will be remembered as a "game of the century."