Thursday, August 11, 2016

Bayern Munich Greatest All-Time team

2013 Champions' League
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Bayern Munich is the most successful, German clubs.  They won more European Cups and Bundesliga than any other German teams.  However, they were not a big club until the 1960's when Bundesliga became a professional league.  Their successes began around the time Franz Beckenbauer joined them in 1965.  They won three, straight European Cup from 1974 to 1976.  After twenty-five years of successes in the domestic competitions and near misses at the European Cup, they won the European Cup (Champions' league) again in 2001 and in 2013.  They won the title 5 times, making them one of the most successful clubs in Europe.

The 1974 team
GK: Sepp Maier (Germany)
Nicknamed "The cat from Anzing", Maier was considered one of the greatest goalkeeper ever in the 1970's. He had 95 caps for West Germany, winning the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup at home in 1974. For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich. He also won three straight European Cups for Bayern Munich.  He was German Footballer of the Year: 1975, 1977, 1978.

GK: Oliver Kahn(Germany)
Oliver Kahn is one of the most successful German players in recent history.  For Bayern Munich, he won eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Cup in 1996, the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup, both achieved in 2001. For Germany, his heroic performance helped Germany to finish 2nd at the 2002 World Cup Finals in Korea/Japan.  He was the Gold Ball winner in that World Cup Finals.  He played 86 times for Germany from 1995 to 2006.
Kahn and the 2001 Champions' league

GK: Manuel Neuer (Germany) 
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.

RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Philipp Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team. He had 113 caps for Germany from 2004 to 2014.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  For club football, he played his entire career with Bayern Munich, except for a two year loan spell with VfB Stuttgart. He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga on the same year.  He is a member of Bayern Munich's Hall of Fame.
Philipp Lahm
RB: Willy Sagnol (France)
Willy Sagnol played with St Etienne and Monaco.  He was better known for his stint with Bayern Munich, winning the Champions' League in 2001.  He played for the national team from 2000 to 2008.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 2006. He became the regular stater after Lilian Thuram moved to centre-back. He had 58 caps.

CB: Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck (Germany)
Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck was the center-back for both West Germany and Bayern Munich during the 1970's.  Between 1971 and 1978, he played 44 times for West Germany.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.  He was a one club man for Bayern Munich, where he won three straight European Cup.

DM/CB: Ludwig Goldbrunner (Germany)
Ludwig Goldbrunner went to the World Cup Finals in 1938 for Germany.  He became known in 1937 as one of the "Breslau-Elf" (Breslau Eleven) players, after they thrashed Denmark with an 8:0 score.  He spent his entire career with Bayern Munich, winning the German title in 1932.  He was considered to be one of Bayern's greatest players. 

SW/CM: Franz Beckenbauer (Germany)
Franz Beckenbauer was one of the best ever player in history.  Known as Der Kaiser, he was credited with revolutionizing the sweeper position.  He was twice selected European Footballer of the Year. Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  At the club level, he won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He also played for Hamburger and NY Cosmos.
Franz Beckenbauer
SW: Klaus Augenthaler (Germany)
Klaus Augenthaler played his entire career with with FC Bayern Munich from 1983 to 1990. He won seven Bundesliga titles.   He was voted as one of greatest players in Bayern Munich's history.  With 27 caps, he was the starting sweeper for West Germany at World Cup in 1990, where West Germany won.  He also went to Mexico 1986.

CB: Lucio (Brazil)
Lucio was the star of Brazil 2002 World Cup winning Team. He earned 105 caps for Brazil.  He reached the Champions' League final with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.  In 2004, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he won one German Cup and three Bundesliga titles. He also helped Inter Milan win the 2010 Champions League against his former club Bayern Munich.

LB/CM: Paul Breitner (Germany)
Breitner was the first player to score a goal at two different WC Final match.  He had 48 caps for West Germany. He won the Euro 1972 and then, the World Cup in 1974. He spent most of his career with Bayern Muinch and then, went to play for Real Madrid in Spain.  During his club career, Breitner won seven National Championships with Bayern Munich (1972, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1981) and Real Madrid (1975, 1976), the Champions' Cup (1974) as well as the German (1971, 1982) and Spanish Cups (1975). 
Paul Breitner
LB:  Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Bixente Lizarazu was the leftback for the all-conquering French, winning the World Cup in 1998 and European Championship in 2000. He had 97 caps. Lizarazu began his professional career with Girondins de Bordeaux, but better known for playing with Bayern Munich for 9 seasons. He won the Champions' League in 2001. He is a Basque and he also played for Atletico Bilbao. 

DM: Mark van Bommel (Holland)
In Holland, Mark van Bommel's career was associated PSV, where he had two separated stints.  However, his most famous part of his career was spent with Bayern Munich. He was their first ever non-German captain.  He played 79 times for Holland and was a main player as Holland reached the Final of  the World Cup in 2010. 

DM: Franz Roth (Germany)
Franz Roth was nicknamed the "Bull". He was known for scoring important goals for Bayern Munich.  He scored three times in three different club Finals in Europe for Bayern Munich, namely the 1967 Cup Winners' Cup, and both 1975 and 1976 European Cup Final. He spent nearly his entire career with the club.  He was the part of the team that won three straight European Cup.

 CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Bastian Schweinsteiger was an important player for both club and country.  He was capped 121 times. He went to three European Championships and as many World Cups, including their victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. At the club level, Schweinsteiger is a youth product of Bayern Munich.  He won the 2013 Champions' league title with Bayern Munich. Late in his career, he played for Manchester United and Chicago Fire.
Bastian Schweinsteiger
CM: Michael Ballack (Germany)
Born in East Germany, Michael Ballack was the best German player of his generation. first made his name with Bayer Leverkusen, helping them to the Final of the Champions' League in 2002. On the same summer, he helped Germany reaching the Final of the 2002 World Cup Finals in Japan/Korea.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the World Cup Finals.  He also played for Chelsea before his retirement.

CM: Stefan Effenberg (Germany)
Stefan Effenberg started his career with Borussia Moncehngladbach before moving to Bayern Munich in 1990 and then, in Fiorentina in 1992.  His most successful club career came during his second stint with Bayern Munich. He helped the club to reach the Final of the Champions' League twice, winning in 2001.  For Germany, he was only capped 35 times.  His international career was cut short after the "giving a finger" incident during the World Cup Finals in 1994.
Stefan Effenberg

CM: Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
Matthaus captained the West German team in winning the World Cup in 1990.  He was the European Player of the Year and the first ever World Player of the year in 1990. He played in five  World Cups, a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He played in 4 European Championships,winning the 1980 edition. At the club lebel, he played for Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

RW/LW/FW: Arjen Robben (Holland)
Arjen Robben was an important player for Bayern Munich's dominance in Europe as they reached three Champions' League Finals in 4 years, winning the one in 2013.  He also played with Real Madrid, Chelsea and PSV Eindhoven.  For Holland, he had 96 caps between 2003 and 2017.  He helped Holland to reach the Final of the 2010 World Cup Finals and then, four years later the semi-final in 2014.
Arjen Robben
RW/LW: Franck Ribery (France)
Ribery is one of the best French players of his generation.  Individually, Ribéry is a three-time winner of the French Player of the Year award and has also won the German Footballer of the Year becoming the first player to hold both honours.  He won the Champions' League in 2013 with Bayern Munich. He played in two World Cup Finals and helping France to a 2nd place in 2006.

AM: Mehmet Scholl(Germany) 
Mehmet Scholl was born in Germany of Turkish hertiage.  He started with Karlsruher, but spent almost hs entire career with Bayern Munich.  He won the Bundesliga title 8 times and the Champions' league n 2001.  Injuries has limited his career with the national team.  He played at Euro 2000, but he never played in any of the World Cup Finals.

FW: Uli Hoeness (Germany)
Hoeness was a part of the generation that won the 1974 World Cup, the 1972 European Championship and three straight European cup with Bayern Munich. He was remembered as the star player at the 1974 European Cup Final against Atletico Madrid, scoring a double in that game. After retirement, he worked for Bayern Munich.

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (Germany)
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: Giovane Élber (Brazil)
At his prime, Giovane Élber was one of the greatest strikers playing in Europe.  He formed the famous magic triangle with Krassimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic at VfB Stuttgart.  With bayern Munich, he was the star player as the club won 4 league titles and the Champions' League in 2001.  However, he only played 15 times for Brazil, largely due to stiff competition.

ST: Gerd Muller (Germany)
"Der Bomber" was widely considered to be the greatest striker in history. He scored 68 goals in 62 matches for Die Mannschaft.   He scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearance, mostly with Bayern Muinch.   He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. At the international level, he played over 60 times for West Germany.  He won the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972. He was the European Player of the Year in 1970.  
Gerd Muller

Honorable Mention
Conrad Heidkamp, Jürgen Klinsmann, Jean Marie Pfaff, Hans Pfluegler, Franz Roth, Jorginho, Sören Lerby, Hasan Salihamidzic, Dieter Hoeness, Claudio Pizarro, Wolfgang Dremmler, Roy Makaay, Thomas Muller, Herbert Erhardt, Jerome Boateng, Samuel Kuffour, Robert Lewandowski.

Squad Explanation
-- Bayern Munich before the later 1960's were not a good team. Conrad Heidkamp is the only player of note who played for them.
-- From the 1970's, I selected 7 players.  They won three straight European Cup. They are Gerd Muller, Uli Hoeness, Franz Beckenbauer, Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Franz Roth and Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck.
-- From the 2001 Champions' League winning team, I took Oliver Kahn, Steffan Effenberg, Willy Sagnol, Mehmet Scholl, Givone Elber and Bixente Lizarazu. 
-- Manuel Neuer, Arjen Robben, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery were on the 2012-2013 Champions' League winning team.
-- Neuer has won the Champions' League.  I took him over Pfaff. 
-- Lucio was a big surprise. He was among the best defender in the world while playing for Bayern Munich. Samuel Kuffour might have deserved his space.
--  Franz Roth was the last player selected.  He does not have the same name reorganization as the more modern player, but he is the 4th all-time leading scorer, despite playing as a midfielder.  I took him over Claudio Pizarro, Roy Makaay, Roland Wohlfarth, Thomas Muller and Hasan Salihamidzic. I chose him because he scored important goals for the club.
-- Stefan Reuter, Jürgen Kohler and Andrea Brehme only played briefly for the club.
-- Mark van Bommel was the first foreign captain on the team.  His inclusion might be a surprise to many fans.
-- Thomas Muller' is now the third leading scorer for Bayern Munich.  I would re examine his status at the end of his career. Giovane Élber won a Champions' League, but Thomas Muller also did.  In times, he would earn a place on the team.
-- Robert Lewandowski's stats are also good, but I will wait and see how his career with the club would end.  He has not played too many seasons with Bayern Munich.
-- My selection of Uli Hoeness is heavily influenced by his involvement with the club after his retirement.  It is something that I do not normally considered.  However, Hoeness' name has embedded with the club for so long.  It is hard not to identify Hoeness with the club. 
-- I added Jerome Boateng to honorable mention.  I am pending Mats Hummels' consideration for honorable mention.  He was from their academy, but he spent most of his career with Borussia Dortmund.  He needed to play a few more years in Munich. The same applied to David Alaba. He is still young.

-- I do not have a preference between Kahn and Maier.
-- I want to pair Beckenbauer with a stopper.
--  I could move Breitner to the midfield and start Lizarazu as the leftback.   
-- I prefer Lahm as the rightback because the rightback position is thinner. I would rather start Breitner or Lizarazu on the left side than Sagnol on the right. 

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