2022 was…well, not the best year for Germany fans. The German national team won a measly four games all year, and failed to advance to the latter rounds of both the Nations League and the World Cup. The only positive was that the team didn’t finish dead last in their respective groups in both competitions, like they did in 2018. Maybe that’s improvement…?
But there were still a handful of goals that were pleasing to the eye, and gave us Germany fans some good memories nonetheless. Let’s take a look.
#5. Thomas Müller vs. Netherlands
Goal Scored: 1-0, FT: 1-1
We kick things off with a goal against the first real powerhouse that Hansi Flick’s new Germany faced. The Netherlands were the best team that Germany had faced in their past few games, but Hansi Flick and his men were not intimidated despite a strong home crowd in Amsterdam. In fact, it was none other than Bavarian born Thomas Müller who gave Germany the lead against the hosts. Jamal Musiala latched onto a through ball and chased it to the endline before cutting it back. A faulty clearance landed at Müller’s feet, and the Bayern veteran didn’t hesitate to smash a powerful shot into the top corner. It was a great goal, if a tad unorthodox from der Raumdeuter, who’s not really known for scoring beautiful goals.
#4. Thomas Müller vs. Italy
UEFA Nations League Group 3 Matchday 3
Goal Scored: 3-0, FT: 5-2
This one is a similar goal to the previous one. Germany were already two goals to the good when Thomas Müller struck again. Another cross and faulty clearance found Müller with the ball at his feet again, and the beloved Bavarian connected a strong half volley that bounced off the ground and nestled into the net. It was the goal that ultimately sealed Germany’s sole win in this Nations League campaign.
Müller has hinted at his international retirement following Germany’s dismal World Cup campaign. Will this goal be his last in black and white? Hopefully not. Müller still has a lot to offer the team in terms of experience, and he deserves a shot at redemption at the upcoming Euros, at least as a super sub.
#3. Timo Werner vs. Italy
UEFA Nations League Group 3 Matchday 4
Goal Scored: 4-0, FT: 5-2
With the aforementioned Müller goal giving them a comfortable three goal cushion, Germany was cruising towards a historic win over their nemesis Italy. However, they didn’t let their foot off the gas just yet. Müller was involved again, this time in the build up. The Bayern forward sent teammate Serge Gnabry free with a sumptuous outside-of-the-boot pass, and Gnabry squared it nonstop for Timo Werner to finish things off. The finish wasn’t the prettiest, but the play behind the goal warrants it a place on this list.
Seconds later, Werner scored another, and it was only then that Germany let off some pressure, conceding two late goals but still winning convincingly.
#2. Kai Havertz vs. England
UEFA Nations League Group 3 Matchday 6
Goal Scored: 2-0, FT: 3-3
Germany’s final game of the Nations League ended up being a dead rubber, with Germany having sealed safety in League A while opponents England had already been relegated. Still, no side was willing to settle for a defeat in their last game, and played out a thrilling 3-3 draw, with Germany taking a two-goal lead before England turned the tables only for Germany to equalize again.
The second Germany goal was the pick of the bunch though. Kai Havertz, who plays his club football in England, was on target with a beautiful curler from outside the box that gave the goalkeeper no chance. Arjen Robben would have been proud. Havertz was also the one who scored Germany’s late equalizer to ensure the points would be shared.
#1. Niclas Füllkrug vs. Spain
FIFA World Cup Group E Matchday 2
Goal Scored: 1-1, FT: 1-1
Germany’s World Cup campaign didn’t feature a lot of really good goals. One, though, was pretty important, and it came from super sub Niclas Füllkrug. With his team a goal down in the closing stages of the game, the Bremen striker latched onto a loose ball from Jamal Musiala and fired into the far side netting with little hesitation. It was a powerful goal from some powerful play, which was how Germany should have played all tournament. Alas, 20 lax minutes against Japan consigned Germany to another excruciating group stage exit.
Nevertheless, Germany fans can take solace in the fact that their team did not play bad at all, especially against Spain in their second match. As long as the team can deliver those kinds of performances, and goals, for 90 minutes, the future is not as bleak as it may seem.