Sunday, February 22, 2015

North Rhine-Westphalia Greatest all-team 23-member team

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
East German Players after 1990
German Americans/American Germans
German Turks 
German-born Players Capped by Other National Teams
Germany All-Time Team After Beckenbauer

Germany All-Time Team before 1972

North Rhine-Westphalia is the most populous state in Germany.  It is the home of many current and former Bundesliga clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Köln, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Schalke 04, MSV Duisburg, VfL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld, etc.

GK: Toni Schumacher 
Toni Schumacher was the goalkeeper for the German national team throughout the 1980's, winning the European Championship in 1980.  He led West Germany to the Final at both 1982 and 1986 World Cup Finals, losing on both occasions.  However, he was remembered for an ugly incident against Patrick Battiston during the semifinal of Spain 1982.  His club career was associated with Koln.
Toni Schumacher   
Neuer established as Germany's number 1 before the World Cup Finals in 2010.  Since then, he has been considered one of the best keeper in the world. He helped Germany winning their 4th World Cup in 2014. In 2014, Neuer finished third in the voting, behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award.  He started with Schalke 04, but moved to rival Bayern Munich in 2010. He is the second most expensive keeper of all-time.
Between 1950 and 1954, Toni Turek played 20 games for the German national team.  He was the starting keeper for West Germany at World Cup Finals in 1954, where the Germans won their first World Cup.  The Final was an upset against Hungary and the match was known as the "Miracle of Bern".  His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.

RB: Berti Vogts
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”, Vogts was one of the greatest rightback in German history.  He won 5 Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Cups with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He had 95 caps, winning both the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championshipmin 1972. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the WC Final in 1974. 

RB: Paul Janes
The DFB list Paul Janes in the top 20 best German footballers of all time.  He is known as one of the best fullback in the world before the War. He went to two World Cup Finals in 1934 and 1938. He was a member of the Breslau Eleven that beat Denmark 8:0 in Breslau in 1937. His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.   

CB: Willi Schulz
Willi Schulz was one of the best center-backs in the world during the 1960's.  He played 66 times for West Germany between 1959 and 1970. He was the starting sweeper in the 1966 World Cup Finals in England.  He also went to the World Cup Finals 4 years later in Mexico, but was injured.  Helmut Schon preferred Beckenbauer as a midfielder while he played as a sweeper. He started with Schalke 04 in 1960.  From 1965 to 1973, he played for Hamburger SV.
Willi Schulz
CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
In his prime, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger was considered one of the best leftbacks in the world.  He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two WC winning tournaments.  He was remembered one of the first German to star in Italy.  He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and As Roma.  He won the European Cup in 1969.
SW: Bernard Dietz
Dietz played 53 times for the West German national team.  He was the captain of the team that won the European Championship in 1980.  He also went to European Championship 4 years before in 1976  as well as the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina.  For his club career, he played for Duisburg and Schalke 04.
CB: Mats Hummels
Mats Hummels came through the Bayern Munich youth system, but only made one appearance with the senior team.  He signed with Borussia Dortmund in 2009 after a loan spell. Over there, he established himself among the best centerbacks in the world.  In 2016, he made a dramatic return to Bayern Munich.  For Germany, he was a part of the 2014 World Cup winning team, where he was voted into the team of tournament.

LB: Horst-Dieter Hottges
Horst-Dieter Hottges started his entire career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, but found successes with Werder Bremen.  He went to World cup Finals in 1966 and 1974 and the European Championship in 1972 .  He played in the WC Finals in 1974, but he lost his starting position after West Germany lost to East Germany at the Finals in 1974.

LB:  Erich Juskowiak
Erich Juskowiak made his national team debut in 1951, but did not go to the 1954 World Cup Finals in Switzerland.  However, he  was the starting leftback for the West German national team at Sweden 1958 four years later.  He also became the first German player to be sent off in a World Cup Finals match over there while playing in the semifinal against host Sweden.
Gunter Netzer was the star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the World Cup in 1974.  His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England.  He later joined Real Madrid in 1973 and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's in a period dominated by Real Madrid. He was known for his pop star lifestyle during his playing career.
Gunter Netzer
CM: Horst Szymaniak 
Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  He went to the WC Finals in 1959 and 1962.  He played for SpVgg Erkenschwick, Wuppertaler SV, Karlsruher SC, Calcio Catania, F.C. Internazionale Milano, A.S. Varese 1910, and Tasmania 1900 Berlin. He joined Inter Milan in 1962 at a time when Serie A clubs seldom signed German players.

DM/RB: Rainer Bonhof
He was the youngest member of the World Cup winning team in 1974.  He assisted in Gerd Muller's winning goal at the Final.  He also played at Argentina 1978 and a part of Euro 1980 winning team.  He played with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He joined Valencia in 1978, which prompted the DFB to remove their ban on selecting foreign based players for the national team. 

CM: Fritz Szepan
Fritz Szepan is one of Germany's greatest midfielders and perhaps, the best German player before the War.  He played in both 1934 and 1938 World Cup Finals.  In 1938, Szepan was named captain of the "Unified Germany" team shortly after the Anschluss. He played his entire career with Schalke 04.  He was voted as the club's greatest ever player.
LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974  WC, where he kept Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  In addition to 1974 World Cup Finals, he also went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals. He spent all of his career with Koln.

AM: Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil is a third generation German of Turkish decent.  He played for Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen before making a dream move to Real Madrid after South Africa 2010.  He moved to Arsenal in 2013, which was then a transfer record for German players.  For the national team., he was a part of Germany's World Cup winning team in 2014. At the time of writing, he has over 90 caps.
RW:  Helmut Rahn
Rahn was known as "Der Boss" (English: "The Boss") because of his on-field leadership and occasionally also as "The Cannon from Essen".  He was considered one of the best ever German winger.  His club career was associated with Rot-Weiss Essen.  Capped 40 times.  He was a star of the 1954 WC team.  He scored the winning goal in the final vs Hungary. He also went to the WC Finals in 1958.

LW:  Hans Schafer  
Hans Schafer played for 1. FC Köln between 1948 and 1965. He also played for the West Germany, earning 39 caps and scoring 15 goals. He played in three World Cups, in 1954, 1958, and 1962, earning a winner's medal in 1954 and scoring a total of seven goals. Between 1957 and 1962, Schäfer captained Germany 16 times. He was German Player of the Year in 1963. He spent all of his career with Koln.

FW: Klaus Allofs
Klaus Allofs made his name with Fortuna Düsseldorf, where he was the Bundesliga top-scorer in 1978-1979, winning two German Cup with them.  He later joined Koln, Olympique de Marseille, Bordeaux and Werder Bremen.  He was the top scorer at Euro 1980, where West Germany was the champion.  He played at Euro 1984 and Mexico 1986.

ST/LW:  Jupp Heynckes
He was the third highest goal scorer in Bundesliga's history.  He spent most of his career with Borussia Mönchengladbach and was part of their glorious team in the early 1970's. He won Euro 1972 and the WC in 1974.  He played the first two matches at West Germany 1974, but suffered an injury and missed the rest of the tournament.

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was one of the best players in the world during the 1980's.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1980 and was part of the squad that finished runner-up at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He was a young star in Argentina 1978.  He spent the best parts of his club career with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
ST: Horst Hrubesch
Horst Hrubesch was a part of West German national team player pool throughout the 1980's.  He was known as one of the most powerful header of the ball in the game.  He was known for his partnership with Manfield Kaltz who was one of the best crossers in the game.  Together, they won the European Cup in 1983 with Hamburger.

Honorable Mention
Jens Lehmann, Thomas Helme, Torsten Frings, Reinhold Münzenberg, Ernst Kuzorra.

Squad Explanation 
Jens Lehmann deserved to be on this team, but two of the keepers have won a WC for Germany while Schumacher was among the greatest ever German keepers.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-4-2
  • Several defenders are possible starters.  Paul Janes and Mats Hummels could have started.
  • West Germany did not start Overath and Netzer on the field together, but I would try it here. 
  • I have better attackers than Horst Hrubesch, but he is an out and out striker.  He probably would form a better partnership with Rummenigge.
  • Schafer could replace Overath.  He is a better winger and might fit Hrubesch.

Formation II: 4-3-3
  • The team has depth. I can be flexible in its formation.  Hrubesch is the target man with Schafer and Rummenigge on each side of the flank. 


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