Sunday, February 22, 2015

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

Wolfgang Overath and Gunter Netzer

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.
Eastern Regional Team (not only GDR players)
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 was established in 1946 after World War II from the Prussian provinces of Westphalia and the northern part of Rhine Province (North Rhine), and the Free State of Lippe by the British military administration in Allied-occupied Germany. North Rhine-Westphalia became a state of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949, and the city of Bonn served as the federal capital until the reunification of Germany in 1990 and as the seat of government until 1999.

It is the home of many current and former Bundesliga clubs such as MSV Duisburg, VfL Bochum, Arminia Bielefeld,Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04 Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and  FC Koln. 
Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels
GK: Toni Schumacher (Düren)
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   
GK: Manuel Neuer (Gelsenkirchen)
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.
GK: Toni Turek (Duisburg)
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 (Kaarst)
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 (Leverkusen)
The DFB listed 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. Janes played 71 times for Germany. He held Germany's all-time cap record until it was broken in 1970. His longest club stint was with Fortuna Düsseldorf.  He broke his foot after the restart of football after the War and had to retire.
Paul Janes
SW: Bernard Dietz (Hamm)
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 (Bergisch Gladbach)
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.
CB: Willi Schulz (Wattenscheid)

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 (Düren)
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.
LB/RB/SW: Horst-Dieter Hottges (Mönchengladbach)
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 (Oberhausen)
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.

CM: Gunther Netzer (Mönchengladbach)
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 (Oer-Erkenschwick)
Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1958 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 (Emmerich am Rhein)
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 (Gelsenkirchen)
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 (Siegburg)
Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974  World Cup, 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/LW: Marco Reus (Dortmund)
In 2009, Reus began his career with Bundesliga club Borussia Mönchengladbach. He became one of Europe's brightest young player.  In 2012, he joined Borussia Dortmund, his hometown club. Since 2011, Reus established himself as a regular member of Joachim Löw's national team, but he missed both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 European Championship through injuries.  He was a member of the team at the World Cup Finals in 2018.
Marco Reus 

RW:  Helmut Rahn (Essen)
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 (Cologne)
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.
Hans Schafer
FW: Klaus Allofs (Düsseldorf)
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 (Mönchengladbach)
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.

ST: Horst Hrubesch (Hamm)
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.

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Lippstadt)
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.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Honorable Mention
Jens Lehmann, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Norbert Nigbur, Hans Tikowski, Stefan Klos, Thomas Helme, Frank Mill, Torsten Frings, Reinhold Münzenberg, Ernst Kuzorra, Leroy Sane, Marc Reus, Illkay Gundogan, Julian Draxler, Fritz Herkenrath, Albert Brülls.

Squad Explanation 
--  Basically, I just looked into the birthplace of the more famous German players.  I probably missed many players.
-- Seventeen players from this team have won either the World Cup or the European Champion.  It would be difficult for the younger players to break into this team.
-- Jens Lehmann deserved to be on this team, but Toni Turek and Manuel Neuer have won a World Cup for Germany while Toni Schumacher was among the greatest ever German keepers.  I also have Fritz Herkenrath, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Norbert Nigbur, Hans Tikowski and Stefan Klos on the players' pool.
-- The rightback position is very strong with Berti Vogts and Paul Janes. I also took Rainer Bonhof who also played the rightback position.
-- Karl-Heinz Schnellinger could also play as a leftback.  So I have three leftbacks in this position.
-- Horst Szymaniak was one of West Germany's greatest midfielders.  
-- West Germany usually did not start Gunther Netzer and Wolfgang Overath together. At the 1974 World Cup Finals, West Germany used Rainer Bonhof to partner Overath in the Final.
-- Borussia Dortmund is the most successful club over here.  However, Mats Hummels and Marco Reus are the only two players selected on this team who is considered to be all-timer from the club.
-- Hans Schafer, Wolfgang Overath, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Klaus Allofs and Toni Schumacher played for FC Koln.
-- Goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was also known as Toni Schumacher.  He played for Koln between 1972 and 1987. He was the famous German goalkeeper starting at the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. Anton Schumacher was a goalkeeper for Koln between 1960 and 1968.  He was also known as "Toni Schumacher".  He played with another "Harold", Haraldo Konopka around the same time.  To avoid confusion, he earned the nickname "Toni", but would prove to be more confusing later in the club's history.  Anton Schumacher was also born in Goalkeeper Harald Schumacher was also known as Toni Schumacher.  He played for Koln between 1972 and 1987. He was the famous German goalkeeper starting at the World Cup Finals in 1982 and 1986. Anton Schumacher was a goalkeeper for Koln between 1960 and 1968.  He was also known as "Toni Schumacher".  He played with another "Harold", Haraldo Konopka around the same time.  To avoid confusion, he earned the nickname "Toni", but would prove to be more confusing later in the club's history.  Andoni Schumacher was also born in North Rhine-Westphalia.
-- Borussia Mönchengladbach's great team from the 1970's was known as "Die Fohlen".  Bertie Vogts, Gunter Netzer and Jupp Heynckes were on that team.
-- Helmut Rahn and Hans Schafer were two wingers at the 1954 World Cup Final.  Schafer assisted on the decisive goal scored by Rahn.  Both were considered among the best ever wingers from Germany.
-- Marco Reus's national team career was affected by injuries.  I selected him because he was a hero of two local clubs.  While Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach were considered rivals, they have more serious rivalry with other clubs.  So I do not see Reus' career as an issue.
-- Horst-Dieter Hottges could play as leftback, rightback and a sweeper as good as each position.
-- Three out of the four forwards selected here were heros of West Germany' Euro 1980 winning team.  Klaus Allofs, Karl-Heinz Rummenuigge and Horst Hrubech started in the Final against Belgium.
-- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge needed no introduction.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981 and was widely considered among the greatest ever for West Germany and Bayern Munich.
-- Horst Hrubesch was known as one of the greatest header of the ball in the game.  He was the hero of West Germany's Euro 1980 winning team.
-- Manfred Burgsmuller was born in Essen.  He is considered to be a local hero being a star with Borussia Dortmund.  But he only made honorable mention. He did not play enough for the national team.  I selected more international players over him.
-- Albert Brülls was an forgotten player.  He played in the 1962 World Cup Finals.

Starting lineup
Formation: 4-4-2
  • Willi Schulz and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger were both sweepers.
  • 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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