28.03.1954: Saarland v Germany 1-3 (in Saarbrücken) (WCQ)

Referee: Bronkhorst (Netherlands), attendance: 53,000

After the fine display against Norway criticism of Herberger was toned down. A draw against Saarland in Saarbrücken would already assure qualification for the World Cup in Switzerland. Of the 16 player roster only Laband and Herkenrath were uncapped players.

German roster:
GK: Turek, Herkenrath
DF: Retter, Kohlmeyer, Laband
HB: Posipal, Liebrich, Mai, Schanko
FW: Rahn, Morlock, Ottmar Walter, Fritz Walter, Röhrig, Hans Schäfer, Richard Herrmann

Saarland:  1 Strempel – 2 Biewer, 5 Momber, 3 Keck – 4 Clemens, 6 Philippi – 8 Martin, 10 Siedl – 7 Otto, 9 Binkert, 11 Schirra

Germany: 1 Turek – 2 Retter, 5 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 4 Posipal, 6 Schanko – 8 Morlock, 10 Röhrig – 7 Rahn, 9 F.Walter (c) (31. O.Walter), 11 Schäfer

Scorers: 0-1 Morlock (37.), 0-2 Morlock (51.), 1-2 Martin (67., pen.), 1-3 Schäfer (83.)


25.04.1954: Switzerland v Germany 3-5 (in Basel) (F)

Referee: Griffiths (Wales), attendance: 50,000

The game against Saarland had illustrated Germany’s problems. There were only six sure starters (Turek, Retter, Posipal, Morlock and the Walter brothers). The most disputed player was Kohlmeyer. Herberger pondered to use either Posipal or Liebrich as full backs instead. Outside left Schäfer had played convincingly against Saarland in became the undisputed outside left. Behind him Richard Herrmann and Berni Termath stood by. And last but not least there was still outside right Helmut Rahn, to whom Herberger still held on despite his erratic nature. For the next test against Switzerland Turek and Schanko were not called up due to club commitments. Kubsch and Laband were both debuting in the senior team.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kubsch, Geissler
DF: Retter, Liebrich, Deinert, Kohlmeyer, Erhardt, Laband, Bauer
HB: Eckel, Harpers, Mebus, Posipal, Hutfles, Metzner, Herbert Schäfer, Mai, Röhrig, Gottinger
FW: Klodt, Rahn, Morlock, Weilbächer, Kraus, Ottmar Walter, Fritz Walter, Biesinger, Pfaff, Hans Schäfer, Richard Herrmann, Termath

Switzerland: 1 Stuber (29. Eich) – 2 Fesselet, 5 Eggimann (70. Zappia), 3 Bocquet – 4 Kernen, 6 Casali – 8 Vonlanthen II, 10 R.Ballamann – 7 Antenen, 9 E.Meier, 11 Fatton

Germany: 1 Kubsch – 2 Retter (13. Kohlmeyer), 5 Posipal, 3 Laband – 4 Eckel, 6 Mai – 8 Morlock, 10 F.Walter (c) – 7 R.Herrmann (66. Klodt), 9 O.Walter, 11 Schäfer

Scorers: 0-1 Schäfer (5.), 0-2 F.Walter (16.), 0-3 Morlock (30.), 0-4 Schäfer (31.), 1-4 Fatton (57.), 2-4 Ballamann (71.), 2-5 F.Walter (85.), 3-5 Kernen (86.)


1954 World Cup roster

01 Anton Turek (Fortuna Düsseldorf), 35 years, 14 A, Goalkeeper
02 Friedrich Laband (Hamburger SV), 29 years, 1 A, Full Back
03 Werner Kohlmeyer (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 30 years, 13 A, Full Back
04 Hans Bauer (Bayern München), 27 years, 2 A, Full Back
05 Herbert Erhardt (SpVgg Fürth), 24 years, Half Back/Full Back
06 Horst Eckel (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 22 years, 8 A, Half Back
07 Josef Posipal (Hamburger SV), 27 years, 16 A, Centre Half/Full Back
08 Karl Mai (SpVgg Fürth), 26 years, 3 A, Half Back
09 Paul Mebus (1. FC Köln), 34 years, 5 A, Half Back
10 Werner Liebrich (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 27 years, 3 A, Centre Half
11 Karl-Heinz Metzner (Hessen Kassel), 31 years, 2 A, Half Back/Inside Forward
12 Helmut Rahn (RW Essen), 25 years, 10 A, Winger
13 Maximilian Morlock (1. FC Nürnberg), 29 years, 13 A, Inside Forward
14 Bernhard Klodt (FC Schalke 04), 27 years, 6 A, Winger
15 Ottmar Walter (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 30 years, 12 A, Centre Forward
16 Friedrich Walter (1. FC Kaiserslautern), 33 years, 39 A, Inside Forward
17 Richard Herrmann (FSV Frankfurt), 31 years, 7 A, Winger
18 Ulrich Biesinger (BC Augsburg), 21 years, Centre Forward
19 Alfred Pfaff (Eintracht Frankfurt), 28 years, 1 A, Inside Forward
20 Hans Schäfer (1. FC Köln), 26 years, 6 A, Winger
21 Heinz Kubsch (FK Pirmasens), 28 years, Goalkeeper
22 Heinrich Kwiatkowski (Borussia Dortmund), 28 years, Goalkeeper


17.06.1954: Germany v Turkey 4-1 (in Berne) (WC)

Referee: Da Costa (Portugal), attendance: 35,000

At the start of May the German FA reported 40 players in their preliminary World Cup squad. Surprises: no goalkeeper Adam and no Schanko! Even more surprising was the nomination of Ertel, Baumann, Traub and Waldner. A few days after this roster was announced standard right back Erich Retter suffered a severe knee injury that sidelined him for weeks and made him miss the World Cup roster. A hard blow for Herberger as Retter was one of the few sure starters in his team. On 3 June 1954 Herberger announced his final 22 player squad for the World Cup. With an average age of 27.86 years the German team was the oldest at the World Cup. With Kwiatkowksi and Biesinger two players were featured that had no senior team experience. Surprise omittances were Herkenrath, Harpers, Schanko, Gerritzen and Schade while the heavily criticized Kaiserslautern players were all called up. After the loss of Retter Kohlmeyer had to remain in the team (as left back), Hamburg’s Fritz Laband would replace Retter. The other debated position was that of outside right. Herberger’s decision to use the teamplayer Klodt instead of the egotist Rahn was met with support by the media.

Germany: 1 Turek – 2 Laband, 7 Posipal, 3 Kohlmeyer – 6 Eckel, 8 Mai – 13 Morlock, 16 F.Walter (c) – 14 Klodt, 15 O.Walter, 20 Schäfer

Turkey: 1 Turgay – 2 Ridvan, 5 Cetin, 3 Basri – 4 Mustafa, 6 Rober – 8 Suat, 10 Burhan – 7 Erol, 9 Feridun, 11 Lefter

Scorers: 0-1 Suat (3.), 1-1 Schäfer (13.), 2-1 Klodt (52.), 3-1 O.Walter (60.), 4-1 Morlock (84.)


20.06.1954: Germany v Hungary 3-8 (in Basel) (WC)

Referee: Ling (England), attendance: 65,000

After beating Turkey in the first game a draw against Hungary would be sufficient to reach the quarterfinals. In case of a loss a decision game would have to be staged against Turkey. Herberger knew that he had a strong team and that the “Magic Magyars” were not invincible. Herberger speculated that it would not be wise to field a full strength German team against the Hungarians in order to conceal the true strength of his team. Herberger was confident that even after losing against Hungary his team would be strong enough to finish off Turkey in a decision game. The German public and media however was thrilled to see their team measure up to the mighty Hungarians and when the news spread that Herberger would send a quasi-reserve team to face Hungary it was met with disbelief and shock. However it was not like Herberger just picking the 11 weakest players. Each player was carefully selected and assigned a special task. First Liebrich has to be named who was intended to man-mark Ferenc Puskas as Herberger thought that Liebrich was his best man-marker. The young and inexperienced Horst Eckel was intended to shadow the withdrawn centre forward Nandor Hidegkuti. In the outside right position, Herberger wanted to test how egotist Helmut Rahn would fare against the offense-minded Hungarian defense. The highest importance to Herberger was to have Fritz Walter lead the “reserve” team because Herberger wanted to give Walter first-hand experience playing against Hungary. To Herberger, the score was secondary, in fact, Herberger hoped for a distinct Hungarian victory so that they would feel in a safe place in case they would meet Germany a second time.

Germany: 22 Kwiatkowski – 4 Bauer, 10 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 7 Posipal, 9 Mebus – 6 Eckel, 19 Pfaff – 12 Rahn, 16 F.Walter (c), 17 R.Herrmann

Hungary: 1 Grosics – 2 Buzanszky, 3 Lorant, 6 Zakarias, 4 Lantos – 5 Bozsik, 9 Hidegkuti – 7 J.Toth, 8 Kocsis, 10 Puskas, 11 Czibor

Scorers: 0-1 Kocsis (3.), 0-2 Puskas (17.), 0-3 Kocsis (21.), 1-3 Pfaff (26.), 1-4 Hidegkuti (53.), 1-5 Hidegkuti (55.), 1-6 Kocsis (68.), 1-7 J.Toth (74.), 2-7 Rahn (78.), 2-8 Kocsis (79.), 3-8 Herrmann (83.)


23.06.1954: Germany v Turkey 7-2 (in Zürich) (WC)

Referee: Vincenti (France), attendance: 20,000

After the “disaster” against Hungary media and fans were furious at Herberger’s decision to change the team in eight positions which now led to an unnecessary third game. To Herberger however this was the most sense-making way, especially since his team would now avoid meeting the hard-to-play South American teams. In the “test” match against Hungary, valuable information was gained: Liebrich dealt quite well with Ferenc Puskas while usual centre half Posipal was doing badly whenever he crossed his path with Puskas. Equally important was Herberger’s insight that Fritz Walter’s passing skill, his quickly played passes to the wingers, were an adequat means to tear-up the Hungarian defense. In the second game against Turkey, Herberger sent out almost the same team as in the first game. Only Kohlmeyer was given a break after tough game against Hungary. In his place Bauer started. The only surprise was that Rahn, who played well against Hungary, was benched again.

Germany: 1 Turek – 2 Laband, 7 Posipal, 4 Bauer – 6 Eckel, 8 Mai – 13 Morlock, 16 F.Walter (c) – 14 Klodt, 15 O.Walter, 20 Schäfer

Turkey: 12 Sükrü – 2 Ridvan, 5 Cetin, 3 Basri – 17 Naci, 6 Rober – 11 Lefter, 4 Mustafa – 7 Erol, 20 Necmi, 22 Coskun

Scorers: 1-0 O.Walter (7.), 2-0 Schäfer (10.), 2-1 Mustafa (22.), 3-1 Morlock (31.), 4-1 Morlock (61.), 5-1 F.Walter (62.), 6-1 Morlock (76.), 7-1 Schäfer (79.), 7-2 Lefter (82.)


27.06.1954: Germany v Yugoslavia 2-0 (in Geneva) (WC)

Referee: Zsolt (Hungary), attendance: 30,000

After the rout against Turkey, Germany had safely reached the quarterfinals. Next opponent was Yugoslavia who had stated before the World Cup that they wanted to win the Cup. And it was the Yugoslavians of all European sides that were considered most likely to beat the Hungarians. In this game, Herberger opted for the individualist Rahn instead of Klodt. Problematic however was the defense which was worrying Herberger because the Yugoslavian forwards were all of world class calibre. Especially Posipal was struggling in his form. Thus Herberger decided to rest Posipal and in place of Bauer, Kohlmeyer was back in the team. Herberger picked Werner Liebrich has his defensive pillar and this proved to be a game-deciding move.

Germany: 1 Turek – 2 Laband, 10 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 6 Eckel, 8 Mai – 13 Morlock, 16 F.Walter (c) – 12 Rahn, 15 O.Walter, 20 Schäfer

Yugoslavia: 1 Beara – 2 Stankovic, 5 Horvat, 3 Crnkovic – 4 Cajkovski, 6 Boskov – 10 Bobek, 9 Vukas – 18 Milutinovic, 8 Mitic, 11 Zebec

Scorers: 1-0 Horvat (10., o.g.), 2-0 Rahn (86.)


30.06.1954: Germany v Austria 6-1 (in Basel) (WC)

Referee: Orlandini (Italy), attendance: 56,000

Herberger and his team had managed a sensation by eliminating the fancied Yugoslavians and by reaching the semi final. After his brilliant display against Yugoslavia, Liebrich was now a sure starter in the stopper position. The nominal stopper Posipal had however shown good performances in training and Herberger wanted to add him to the team again. Neither half back nor inside forward positions were free (both roles that Posipal had already played). The only weak spot remaining were the full backs. Left back Kohlmeyer however had raised his level vividly against Yugoslavia. Herberger thus decided to bench Fritz Laband to make room for Jupp Posipal in the right back position. Herberger’s reasoning: “a defender of world class has to be able to play in any defensive position”.

Germany: 1 Turek – 7 Posipal, 10 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 6 Eckel, 8 Mai – 13 Morlock, 16 F.Walter (c) – 12 Rahn, 15 O.Walter, 20 Schäfer

Austria: 16 Zeman – 3 Happel, 5 Ocwirk, 2 Hanappi – 6 Koller, 8 Schleger – 9 T.Wagner, 10 Probst – 7 R.Körner, 21 Stojaspal, 11 A.Körner

Scorers: 1-0 Schäfer (33.), 2-0 Morlock (47.), 2-1 Probst (52.), 3-1 F.Walter (57., pen.), 4-1 O.Walter (61.), 5-1 F.Walter (65., pen.), 6-1 O.Walter (87.)


04.07.1954: Germany v Hungary 3-2 (in Berne) (WC)

Referee: Ling (England), attendance: 65,000

With Germany reaching the World Cup final, Herberger’s gamble early in the tournament had paid off. Of course there was also a good deal of luck involved, especially in the game against Yugoslavia. The German public were happy enough just to see their team reach the final, they would have been comfortable with Germany losing honorably against the “invincible” Hungarians. Naturally Herberger didn’t share that feeling. 14 days had passed since the 3-8 against the same opponent and Herberger had used the time well to optimise his team, especially the defense was no in much better shape than at the start of the tournament, with Werner Liebrich as central anchor and the initially out-of-form Jupp Posipal had played very well as right back against Austria. Moreover, Fritz Walter knew that the very offensive Hungarian defense was vulnerable to quick attacks over the wings. Another advantage for Herberger’s team was the complete confidence and even cockiness of the Hungarians, their complete assuredness that they were indeed invincible. They had eliminated two of the hardest opponents in Brazil and Uruguay and the unfancied German side to them was nothing more than a formality. In their minds, they were already champions of the world.

Germany: 1 Turek – 7 Posipal, 10 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 6 Eckel, 8 Mai – 13 Morlock, 16 F.Walter (c) – 12 Rahn, 15 O.Walter, 20 Schäfer

Hungary: 1 Grosics – 2 Buzanszky, 3 Lorant, 6 Zakarias, 4 Lantos – 5 Bozsik, 9 Hidegkuti – 11 Czibor, 8 Kocsis, 10 Puskas, 20 M.Toth

Scorers: 0-1 Puskas (6.), 0-2 Kocsis (8.), 1-2 Morlock (10.), 2-2 Rahn (19.), 3-2 Rahn (85.)


26.09.1954: Belgium v Germany 2-0 (in Brussels) (F)

Referee: Bronkhorst (Netherlands), attendance: 70,000

Of the World Cup winning side only Horst Eckel was missing in the first game of the new season in Brussels against Belgium. Eckel was unavailable due to a broken leg, but then also Hans Schäfer had to leave the team due to trouble with his knee and Fritz Walter asked not to play due to his rather bad condition. With Fritz Herkenrath a new goalkeeper was intended to get some first team experience (and also because Toni Turek’s career was nearing an end at the age of 35). Next to Herkenrath another newcomer was Biesinger. The 19-year old Klaus Stürmer was also in the roster but had to wait until the next game for his debut.

German roster:
GK: Turek, Herkenrath
DF: Erhardt, Bauer, Kohlmeyer
HB: Posipal, Liebrich, Mai, Metzner
FW: Rahn, Klodt, Morlock, Ottmar Walter, Fritz Walter, Schäfer, Pfaff, Richard Herrmann, Stürmer, Biesinger

Belgium: 1 Gernaey (24. Geerts) – 2 Dries, 5 Carre, 3 van Brandt – 4 Huysmans, 6 Mees – 8 Anoul, 10 Houf – 7 Lemberechts, 9 Coppens, 11 Mermans

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 Erhardt, 5 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 4 Posipal (c), 6 Mai – 8 Morlock, 10 Biesinger – 7 Rahn, 9 O.Walter, 11 Klodt

Scorers: 1-0 Coppens (7.), 2-0 Anoul (53.)


16.10.1954: Germany v France 1-3 (in Hanover) (F)

Referee: Griffiths (Wales), attendance: 86,000

Germany’s performance in Brussels was unworthy of a World Cup winner. Herberger faced the problem that the “Heroes of Bern” were relatively old already and due to the war there was a real gap between them and new rising junior players. Herberger knew that he faced having to build a new team in the coming years, there was only one player of the old team who he was not willing to drop and that was Fritz Walter. For the game against France Walter again declined his participation though. After the long-term injuries of Eckel and Schäfer Helmut Rahn also was sidelined with an injury. With Pfeiffer, Schicks, Stürmer, Islacker and Uwe Seeler five young talents were called up. Of them, only Schicks would never be featured in the first team. The 17-year old Uwe Seeler was rightly considered to be the most talented player among these five youngsters. In this game against France his great international career, which would span the next 16 years, began.

German roster:
GK: Turek, Herkenrath
DF: Posipal, Kohlmeyer, Erhardt
HB: Metzner, Liebrich, Mai, Pfeiffer, Schicks
FW: Klodt, Morlock, Ottmar Walter, Islacker, Termath, Stürmer, Seeler

Germany: 1 Turek – 2 Erhardt, 5 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 4 Posipal (c), 6 Mai – 8 Stürmer, 10 Islacker (22. Seeler) – 7 Klodt, 9 O.Walter, 11 Termath

France: 1 Remetter – 2 Kaelbel, 5 Jonquet, 3 Marche – 4 Mahjoub, 6 Louis – 8 Dereuddre, 10 Ben Barek (27. Foix) – 7 Grillet, 9 Kopa, 11 Vincent

Scorers: 0-1 Foix (33.), 0-2 Vincent (35.), 0-3 Foix (55.), 1-3 Stürmer (75.)


01.12.1954: England v Germany 3-1 (in London) (F)

Referee: Orlandini (Italy), attendance: 100,000

Despite the loss against France there were some promising rudiments. But then jaundice struck many players that were part of the 1954 WC team. The first ones were Rahn, Morlock, Fritz Walter and Kubsch who had to be hospitalised and were sidelined between 3 and 6 months. Others were soon to follow and all this of all things right before the hard game against England in Wembley. Only three World Cup winning players remained in the roster. The only “Hero of Bern” that had was replaced by an equal player was Toni Turek who had a worthy successor in Fritz Herkenrath. The whole forward line could show off exactly 1 cap. Striking was Herberger’s tendency to rely on older players instead of younger ones. Instead of drawing on fresh players Erwin Waldner and Berti Kraus, he drew on the two 29-year old Pfeiffer and Beck.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kubsch
DF: Posipal, Kohlmeyer, Erhardt
HB: Liebrich, Harpers, Miltz
FW: Kaufhold, Waldner, Seeler, Derwall, Beck, Kraus, Pfeiffer

England: 1 Williams – 2 Staniforth, 5 Wright, 3 Byrne – 4 Phillips, 6 Slater – 8 Bentley, 10 Shackleton – 7 Matthews, 9 Allen, 11 Finney

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 Posipal (c), 5 Liebrich, 3 Kohlmeyer – 4 Erhardt, 6 Harpers – 8 Pfeiffer, 10 Derwall – 7 Kaufhold, 9 Seeler, 11 Beck

Scorers: 1-0 Bentley (28.), 2-0 Allen (48.), 2-1 Beck (77.), 3-1 Shackleton (79.)


19.12.1954: Portugal v Germany 0-3 (in Lisboa) (F)

Referee: van der Meer (Netherlands), attendance: 70,000

18 days after the Wembley game the last match of 1954 was scheduled. As expected the forward line of the Wembley game was scrapped, only the fine technical inside left Jupp Derwall remained.

German roster:
GK: Herkenrath, Kwiatkowski
DF: Posipal, Juskowiak, Bauer
HB: Erhardt, Liebrich, Harpers, Schreiner
FW: Klodt, Miltz, Kress, Derwall, Pfaff, Waldner

Portugal: 1 Gomes (74. Barrigana) – 2 Caldeiro, 3 Carvalho – 4 Pedroto, 5 Passos, 6 Cayado – 8 Vasques, 10 Travassos – 7 Baptista, 9 Matateu, 11 Albano (30. Bentes)

Germany: 1 Herkenrath – 2 Posipal (c), 5 Liebrich, 3 Juskowiak – 4 Erhardt, 6 Harpers – 8 Miltz, 10 Derwall – 7 Klodt, 9 Kress (77. Waldner), 11 Pfaff

Scorers: 0-1 Erhardt (7.), 0-2 Pfaff (55.), 0-3 Juskowiak (74.)


next year ->

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.