Perfect Germany set new standards

Germany's ten-game perfect run in reaching the FIFA World Cup has set new standards in European Qualifying for both winning and scoring: we look at all the unblemished records.

Germany celebrate their record-breaking 43rd goal in qualifying
Germany celebrate their record-breaking 43rd goal in qualifying ©Getty Images

Germany have never failed to qualify for the FIFA World Cup, but the holders' run in reaching Russia 2018 has set new standards.

Not only did their ten wins in a six-team group equal the UEFA record, but their tally of 43 goals is the most in European Qualifying ever for either the World Cup or a UEFA EURO (a mark also achieved in 2018 qualifying by Belgium). It is Germany's third perfect run to a World Cup: no other European nation has done it more than once.

In fact, their current 16 World Cup qualifying wins in a row equals their own record as West Germany, set between 1969 and 1985 (they made the 1974 and 1978 finals automatically as hosts and holders respectively). Their current run might have been 20 had they not let a 4-0 lead slip to draw with Sweden in October 2012.

Away, they are on a 13-game World Cup qualifying winning run and have never lost such a fixture outside Germany. Their only ever defeats in World Cup qualifying have come at home – 1-0 v Portugal in Stuttgart in 1985 and 5-1 v England in Munich in 2001, tournaments which Germany still made and reached the final.

  • (West) Germany's all-time World Cup qualifying record: P91 W72 D17 L2 F282 A67
Highlights: Germany qualify with 3-1 win in Northern Ireland
Highlights: Germany qualify with 3-1 win in Northern Ireland

We look at the other perfect runs which have taken UEFA nations to the World Cup or EURO and how they have done in the finals.

European Qualifiers: perfect runs

(min: 4 games)

World Cup
1954: France 4 games, reached quarter-finals; Yugoslavia 4, quarter-finals
1962: West Germany 4, quarter-finals; Soviet Union 4, quarter-finals
1982: West Germany 8, runners-up; Poland 4, third place
2010: Spain 10, winners
2018: Germany 10, ?

Most goals scored: Belgium, Germany 43 (2018)
Best goal difference: Germany +39 (2018)

1992: France 8, group stage
2000: Czech Republic 10, group stage
2004: France 8, quarter-finals
2012: Germany 10, runners-up; Spain 8, winners
2016: England 10, round of 16

Most goals scored: Spain 42 (2000)
Best goal difference: Spain +37 (2000)