The DFB German Football Association (German FA) list him in the top 20 best German footballers of all time.
One of the best full backs of his era, Paul Janes established a record for most German caps which wasn’t broken until 1970. Janes started out as a right half back, but during the 1934 World Cup he debuted as right back and stayed at that position for some 4 seasons before moving back into a sweeper roll. One of Janes’ best assets was his powerful yet accurate shooting ability, which gave him the nickname “World Champion of Precision”. He was also a very calm player that kept his cool even in nerve-wrecking situations. Sepp Herberger said the following about Janes’ characteristics: “He rarely was caught off-guard on the pitch, as he had the ability to anticipate what the opponent was planning and he interpreted defensive play always as the first step in building up the next attack.” Despite his calmness and overall cleverness, Janes was renowned for an extravaganza that he had imported from South America: He was the first German footballer to specialize in the acrobatic bicycle kick.
During World War II, Janes served in the Reichsmarine. He captained Germany 31 times. Despite his age of 38, Janes almost would have had a comeback for Germany in the first international game after WWII in 1950, but he broke his foot shortly before and thus had to finish his career for good. Janes was known to be a silent man who didn’t divulge in too much talking. In 1934, he was asked about how it was like playing in the World Cup in Italy, his response was: “Warm”.
His home team was Fortuna Düsseldorf, where he worked as trainer after the war. He also coached Eintracht Trier.
- Member of Germany’s squad for the 1934 & 1938 FIFA World Cup (Fortuna Düsseldorf).
- Matches played for Germany: 71 (1932-1942)
- Goals: 7
1930–1940 Fortuna Düsseldorf
1940–1941 SpVgg. 1905 Wilhelmshaven
1941–1942 Fortuna Düsseldorf
1942–1944 Hamburger SV
1944–1946 Fortuna Düsseldorf
1946 Eintracht Frankfurt
1946–1951 Fortuna Düsseldorf
- Matches played for Germany in the FIFA World Cup: 8
1934 World Cup qualifying: Luxembourg – Germany 1-9
1934 World Cup first round: Germany – Belgium 5-2
1934 World Cup third place match: Germany – Austria 3-2
1938 World Cup qualifying: Finland – Germany 0-2
1938 World Cup qualifying: Germany – Estonia 4-1
1938 World Cup qualifying: Germany – Sweden 5-0
1938 World Cup first round: Germany – Switzerland 1-1
1938 World Cup first round: Germany – Switzerland 2-4