Americans have good reason to hate all things German this week, as Germany stands in the way of America’s World Cup knockout-stage aspirations. But win or lose, Americans shouldn’t ignore German stocks — a who’s who of world-leading multinationals.
Longtime soccer fans will know Germany as an ugly but crudely effective team that bludgeons likeable teams into submission. West Germany beat crowd-favorites Hungary in 1954 and the Netherlands in 1974. More modern fans know Die Mannschaft to be a more precise, finely tuned German side.
Of the 20 World Cup tournaments to date, German teams have made their way to three championships (second only to Brazil and tied with Italy), and German teams are worthy competitors every World Cup. German teams have more top-four finishes than any other country (12), while sharing the record of most top-two finishes with Brazil, with seven.
It seems that German teams exists to give the rest of the world someone to root against. Journalist and soccer historian David Winner once wrote that “A World Cup without Germany would be like Star Wars without Darth Vader.”
However, you shouldn’t let emotion get in the way of a decent trade. So, here are three globe-spanning German stocks that Americans should set their patriotic sentiments aside to buy (while continuing to root against Germany, of course).