Monday, October 31, 2016

VfB Stuttgart Greatest All-Time Team

Bundesliga 1983-1984 title
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund,
Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04Werder Bremen,
Hamburger SVKaiserslauternBayer Leverkusen

FC KolnVfB Stuttgart

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.

VfB Stuttgart is best known for its football team which is part of Germany's first division Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart has won the national championship five times, most recently in 2006–07; the DFB-Pokal three times; and the UEFA Intertoto Cup a record three times.

The football team plays its home games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in the Neckarpark which is located near the Cannstatter Wasen where the city's fall beer festival takes place. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II currently plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, which is the second highest division allowed for a reserve team. The club's junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record ten times and the Under 17 Bundesliga six times.
1952 German Champion

Team
GK: Eike Immel (Germany)
Impel started with Borussia Dortmund.  He made a two million Deutsche Mark transfer to VfB Stuttgart in 1986, the biggest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper in the history German football at that time. He played 9 years as Stuttgart's regular goalkeeper, winning the Bundesliga title in 1992 and the UEFA Cup runner-up medal in 1989 with them. Afterwards he left for Manchester City, where he retired at the end of the 1995–96 season. Capped 19 times, largely because he retired from the West German team at the age of 28.
Eike Immel
GK: Timo Hildebrand (Germany)
Hildebrand was as part of what became known as "Stuttgart's young wild ones" team under coach Felix Magath in the early 2000's. Hildebrand also played a significant role in Stuttgart's victorious 2006–07 Bundesliga campaign, figuring as a backbone for the next generation of "wild ones" helping Stuttgart provide the third-best defence of the season. In 2007, he joined Valencia, but he never found the same successes after his stint with Stuttgart.  Earned 7 caps.

GK: Günter Sawitzki  (Germany)
Sawitzki played with tiny Sodingen, who had finished third in Germany in 1955, to join VfB Stuttgart in 1956. He stayed with VfB Stuttgart for the rest of his career.  For the national team, He was Toni Turek's successor in the West German goal. He went to the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cup, although he remained reserve on both occasions.

RB: Andreas Hinkel (Germany)
Andreas Hinkel started his career with VfB Stuttgart in 2000, before moving to La Liga club Sevilla in 2006.  He also played for Celtic and Freiburg.  While with stuttgart, he belonged to a generation known as the "wild ones".  Hinkel played 21 matches for Germany between 2003 and 2009, and was in their squad for Euro 2004.


CB/RB: Thomas Berthold (Germany)
He began his career in 1982 with Eintracht Frankfurt and played for them until 1987. From 1987 until 1991 he played in Italy: for Hellas Verona (1987–1989) and AS Roma (1989–1991). He then returned to Germany, signing for FC Bayern Munich (1991–1993) and VfB Stuttgart (1993–2000). He also played for Adanaspor. Between 1985 and 1994, Berthold earned 62 caps, participating in Mexico 1986 and Euro 1988 held in West Germany. He was a member of the West German team that won the 1990 World Cup,

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster (Germany)
With West Germany, Forster earned 81 caps between 1978 and 1988. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the World Cup in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France. His brother Bernd also played for West Germany and VfBStuttgart.
Karl-Heinz Forster
CB/LB: Günther Schäfer (Germany)
In his sixteen years playing for VfB Stuttgart, the defender gained the status of being one of the most popular players ever to play for them and one of the few players to earn two German championship titles with them. The most well-known play of his career was to clear a ball from the goal line by a bicycle kick, risking injury, in the final match of the 1991-92 season against Bayer Leverkusen, which Stuttgart went on to win 2-1, thus gaining the German championship title that season.

CB: Bernd Förster (Germany)
Förster started with SV Waldhof Mannheim, in Bundesliga 2. In 1975, he switched to FC Bayern Munich, but his stay there was highly unsuccessful. After establishing himself in the top flight with 1. FC Saarbrücken, Förster switched to VfB Stuttgart, where he played with his brother Karlheinz in the back-four. Capped 33 times, he was a key player at the WC finals in 1982, where he partnered his brother Karl-Heinz.

CB: Zvonimir Soldo (Croatia)
Soldo played with NK Dinamo Zagreb, NK Zadar and NK Inter Zaprešić in Croatia before joining VfB Stuttgart in 1996 where he played until 2016. During this period, Soldo won the German cup in 1997 and reached the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1998, as well as finishing as runner-up in the 2002/03 campaign. Capped 61 times.  He was Croatia's team at the 1998 World Cup Finals, where they reached the semi-final. He also played in Japan/Korea four years later.

LB: Ludovic Magnin (Switzerland)
In 1999, he made his professional debut for Yverdon Sports. In the summer of 2000, he transferred to Ticino side AC Lugano. In 2002, Magnin joined Werder Bremen, where he won the double (German Championship and German Cup). In 2005, he transferred to VfB Stuttgart, where he became a first-team regular within the first season and was a key player for his team in the following 2006–07 season.  Earned 63 caps and was at one point, the Swiss captain.

LB: Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Philipp Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team.  He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga.  He also played with VfB Stuttgart on loan. He earned 113 caps for Germany at the end of the World Cup Finals in 2014 where he retired from the national team.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  

CB/CM: Guido Buchwald (Germany)
The best game of Buchwald's career was probably the final of the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he effectively marked the skilled footballer Diego Maradona, earning him the nickname "Diego". He was also part of Germany's disappointing 1994 FIFA World Cup squad and collected in his career 76 caps. he spent most of his career with Stuttgart, winning two league titles.  At the end of his career, he played in Japan.
Guido Buchwald
CM: Hermann Ohlicher (Germany)
Hermann Ohlicher spent ten seasons in the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart, playing 318 matches in the West German top-flight between 1973 and 1985. He won the league title in 1984, playing alongside Asgeir Sigurvinsson, Karl-Heinz Forster,  Guido Buchwald, etc,  He is Stuttgart's all-time appearance leader

CM: Karl Allgöwer (Germany)
Karl Allgöwer started with 2. Bundesliga team Stuttgarter Kickers from 1977 to 1980 as striker.  He moved to local rival VfB Stuttgart in 1980.   In 1989 the powerful free-kick specialist was part of the team that got defeated by Diego Maradona's SSC Napoli in the UEFA Cup final. He was capped 10 times. He was non-playing member at Mexico 1986.

CM: Bo Larsson (Sweden)
Bo Larsson was Sweden Player of the Year in 1965 and 1973.  He was the first player to win the award twice. He spent most of his career with Malmo.  He spent three seasons as a top player with Vfb Stuttgart.   He was awarded "Athlete of the Year" in 1969 by the city of Stuttgart.  In total he got 70 caps, scoring 17 times, and played at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, 1974 FIFA World Cup and 1978 FIFA World Cup.
Bo Larrson
CM/DM: Sami Khedira (Germany)
He began his career at VfB Stuttgart, winning the Bundesliga in 2007, before moving to Real Madrid in 2010. In his five seasons in Spain, he won seven domestic and international trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 2014. In 2015, he moved to Italian side Juventus on a free transfer, and immediately won the Serie A title in his first season with the club.  Earned over 70 caps.  He was a key player for Germany since 2009, winning the WC in 2014.


CM: Asgeir Sigurvinsson (Iceland) 
Asgeir Sigurvinsson is conisdered to be Iceland's greatest players.  He spent his foreign career with Standard Liege, Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart.  He spent 8 seasons with Standard Liege before spending an un successful season with Bayern Munich. He won the Bundelsliga in 1983-1984 with Stuttgart after joining them in 1982. He had 46 caps.

AM/CF/RW: Robert Schlienz (Germany)
Schlienz joined VfB Stuttgart in 1945 after the War. But in 1948, he amputed his left forearm after a car accident. Despite being handicapped, he was the captain and playmaker at VfB Stuttgart, leading the team to win the German Championship twice in 1950 and 1952 (runner-up in 1953) and the German Cup twice in 1954 and 1958. He earned three caps for West Germany under the famous coach Sepp Herberger.
Robert Schlienz

CM: Thomas Hitzlsperger (Germany)
Hitzlsperger started his career for Aston Villa in England, before returning to Germany to play for Stuttgart, where he played between 2005 and 2010 and won the Bundesliga in 2007. He also played for Lazio, West Ham United, Wolfsburg and Everton. He earned 52 caps.  He appeared at the 2006 World Cup Finals and then, two years at the Euro 2008.  After his retirement, he came out as gay, the highest-profile male footballer to do so.

CM: Hansi Müller (Germany)
Playing for his hometown side VfB Stuttgart, he took part in Euro 1980 with West Germany after a brief taste of action at the 1978 World Cup Finals, where he started all four games. The tournament would prove to be Müller's international peak as they emerged victorious. He had a disappointing 1982 World Cup, and despite returning to Italy to play for F.C. Inter Milan, he made his 42nd and last appearance for Die Mannschaft the following year.

AM: Krassimir Balakov 
Krassimir Balakov was one of the star player from the Golden Generation of the 1990's. He made 92 appearances for Bulgaria, between 1988 and 2003.  He was best remembered for forming a successful attacking partnership with strikers Fredi Bobic and Giovane Élber at Stuttgart, where he won two UEFA Intertoto Cups (2000 and 2002) and a DFB-Pokal (1997).  Before Stuttgart, He also had a successful spell with Sporting CP, playing with Luis Figo.
Krassimir Balakov 
ST: Mário Gómez (Germany)
Gomez started with Stuttgart before moving to Bayern Munich in 2009, winning a Bundesliga title in 2006-2007.  With Bayern Munich, Gómez was the Bundesliga top scorer in 2011, and helped the team to seven honours, including the UEFA Champions League in 2013.  Later, he played for Fiorentina and Besiktas.  At the time of writing, he has 78 caps.  He appeared in most major tournaments between 2008 and 2018.

ST: Giovane Elber (Brazil)
Discovered by AC Milan at the age of 18,  Elber went unnoticed there before he moved to Grasshopper Club Zürich.  At Stuttgart he formed the so-called magic triangle with Krassimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic. The following summer, he moved to Bayern Munich where, save for one year, he was always crowned the club's top scorer. He won the Champions' League in 2001. Due to stiff competition, Élber only played 15 times for Brazil.  
Elber
ST: Fredi Bobic (Germany)
Born in Yugoslavia, he emigrated to Germany as a baby.  He first made a name with Stuttgart.  In 1996, he was the Bundesliga's top scorer with 17 goals. At Stuttgart, he formed part of a successful attacking line-up, along with  Giovane Élber and attacking midfielder Krasimir Balakov, known as the "magic triangle".  He would also play for Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin, etc.  Capped 37 times.  He helped Germany to win the Euro 1996 in England.

ST: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)
Klinsmann won the World Cup in 1990 and then, captained the 1996 European Championship winning team.  He played in all major international tournaments from 1988 until his retirement in 1998.  He had successful club spells with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a popular player while in England, despite a lot of negative press at the time of his signing.  He won both the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in 1995. 
Jurgen Klinsmann

Honorable Mention
Alexander Hleb, Dieter Hoeneß, Ricardo Osorio, Karl Barufka, Matthias Sammer, Kevin Kurányi, Cacau, Rolf Blessing, Fritz Walter, Erwin Waldner, Erich Retter, Helmut Roleder, Marcelo Bordon.

Squad Explanation
-- This is not a balanced team.  I am out of my depth with my knowledge of this club.  I selected too many midfielders and strikers.
-- From the early 1950's, Stuttgart won two league titles.  Robert Schlienz was the only member of that ear that made my team. Karl Barufka was the last player dropped from my team.
-- From the 1983-1984 Bundesliga team, I have the following players: Asgeir Sigurvinsson, Karl-Heinz Forster, Hermann Ohlicher, Bernd Forster and Guido Buchwald. 
-- From 2006-2007 team, I have the following players: Thomas Hitzlsperger, Timo Hidebrand and Mario Gomez.  Sami Khedria was a young player that season. 
-- The team was also the finalist at the 1989 UEFA Cup, losing to Diego Maradona's Napoli in the Final. Eike Immel, Guido Buchwald, Ásgeir Sigurvinsson and Jurgen Klinsmann were a part of that team.
-- I selected Thomas Hitzlsperger over Karl Barufka.  I am not too familiar with Barufka.
-- Giovane Élber, Fredi Bobic and Krasimir Balakov formed an attack line what was known as the "magic triangle"(German: Magisches Dreieck).  Under manager Joachim Löw, they were one of the most exciting line in the Bundesliga in the late 1990's.  They reached the Final of the 1998 Cup Winners Cup. Zvonimir Soldo and Thomas Berthold also played on that team.
-- Zvonimir Soldo edged out Marcelo Bordon. Soldo was the captain of the club for over 200 matches.
-- Philipp Lahm only spent two seasons on loan with Vfb Stuttgart. He made a big impact over there, finishing second as the German Player of the Year in his first season.  
-- Both Timo Hildebrand and Andreas Hinkel was very good when he played for Stuttgart.  Hildebrand edged out Helmut Roleder.

Formation



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bayer Leverkusen Greatest All-Time Team

UEFA Cup winner in 1988
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.

Bayer Leverkusen was founded in 1904 by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (rowing, tennis and hockey). In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity formally called Bayer 04 Leverkusen GmbH.
Bayer Leverkusen have won one DFB-Pokal and one UEFA Cup. Their local rivals are 1. FC Köln.
Champions' League Final 2002

Team
GK: Hans Jörg Butt  (Germany)
Known for taking penalty kicks, Hans Jörg Butt scored 26 goals in the Bundesliga. He played for Hamburger SV, Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in his country.  During his career, Butt scored three times from the penalty spot against Juventus with three clubs. He had 4 caps.  He represented Germany as a backup keeper in both 2002 and 2010 World Cup Finals and Euro 2000. He made a single appearance in 2010.
Hans Jörg Butt
GK: Rüdiger Vollborn  (Germany)
During a 17-year professional career, Rüdiger Vollborn played solely for Bayer Leverkusen, appearing in a total of 401 Bundesliga games between 1982 and 2000.  He was the hero of the UEFA Cup victory with them in 1988, winning the penalty shootout against Espanyol. He was also their all-time appearance record holder.  He represented West Germany at the under 21 level.

GK: René Adler (Germany)
Adler started at age six playing for VfB Leipzig's youth side. After nine years for Leipzig, Adler joined the youth system of Bayer 04 Leverkusen in 2000. He signed a five-year contract at Bundesliga rivals Hamburger SV in 2012.  He made his debut for Germany on 11 October 2008 in a World Cup qualifier against Russia. Despite having been confirmed as Germany's main team goalkeeper for the World Cup, a serious rib injury prevented him from travelling to South Africa. 

RB: Jorginho (Brazil)
Regarded as one of the best full-backs of his generation, Jorginho started playing professionally for local side América Football Club, moving after just one season to Clube de Regatas do Flamengo.  In 1989, he joined Bayer 04 Leverkusen.  He signed with league giants FC Bayern Munich in 1992–93. Capped 64 times for the Brazilian national team, scoring three goals. He played at both the 1990 and the 1994 FIFA World Cups.  In the latter edition, he was named in the All-Star squad.

RB: Boris Živkovic (Croatia)
Živković played for FK Sarajevo, NK Marsonia (from Slavonski Brod). and NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac (from Siget, Zagreb). He then played for Bayer Leverkusen, including the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final.  In the summer of 2003, Živković  joined Portsmouth F.C.  Later, he played for VfB Stuttgart and Hajduk Split.  Capped 39 times and was part of the squad at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

CB: Christian Worns (Germany)
Christian Worns started his career with Waldhof Mannheim but played the majority of his career with Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund. He also had a short stint with Paris SG.  At the international level, he was capped 66 times by Germany.  He went to European Championship of 1992 and 2004, and the 1998 World Cup Finals. However, he was bypassed by Jurgen Klinsmann for the 2006 World Cup Finals at home.
Christian Worns 
CB: Jens Nowotny (Germany)
Jens Nowotny started with Karlsruher SC. He played in nearly 300 official games with Bayer Leverkusen in one full decade, helping them reach the 2002 Champions League final.  He also played for Dinamo Zagreb at the end of his career.  He went to Euro 2000 and 2004, but missed the World Cup Finals in 2002.  In 2006, he was a part of the World Cup team, playing at home.  He was capped 48 times in total.

CB: Thomas Hörster (Germany)
Thomas Hörster started with local Schwarz-Weiß Essen, but joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1977. After winning promotion to the Bundesliga in 1979, Hörster was an essential defensive unit for Bayer Leverkusen in the following 13 seasons.  He won the UEFA Cup in 1988.  He was capped 4 times. His debut came in the September of 1986 in a friendly against Denmark. He represented to the 1988 Olympics, winning a bronze medal.

CB: Lucio (Brazil)
Lucio was the star of the 2002 World Cup winning team. He earned 105 caps for Brazil between 2000 to 2011.  He reached the UEFA Champions' League final with Bayer Leverkusen in 2002, but losing to Real Madrid.  In 2004, he moved to Bayern Munich, where he won one German Cup and three Bundesliga titles. He also helped Inter Milan to win the 2010 Champions League playing against his former club Bayern Munich in the Final.
Lucio 
CB: Carsten Ramelow (Germany)
Known for his tough tackling and defensive positioning, Ramelow played professionally for Hertha BSC (1991-1995) and Bayer Leverkusen (1996 to 2008), during a 17 year career. For Germany, he played 46 times.  He represented the nation at the 2002 World Cup, where Germany reached the final against Brazil.  He was an unused sub at the European Championship in 2000. 

LB: Jan Heintze (Denmark)
Jan Heintze played with PSV Eindhoven, winning the European Cup in 1988.  He also played for Bayer Uerdingen and Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga. He played 86 matches for Denmark between 1987 and 2002, but missed the 1992 European Championship because of an injury.  He was their captain for his last two years with the national team.

DM: Lars Bender (Germany)
Lars Bender started his career with 1860 Munich in 2006.  In 2009, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen, where he eventually became their captain.  His twin brother Sven joined the club in 2017. He was part of the German under-19 side that won the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship. He and his twin brother Sven were named jointly as players of the tournament.  At the time of writing, he had 19 caps since 2011. He represented them at the 2010 European Championship.
Lars Bender vs Atletico Madrid
DM: Simon Rolfes (Germany)
Simon Rolfes started his career at Werder Bremen after progressing through their academy. Then, he played for Alemannia Aachen. In 2005, he moved to Bayer Leverkusen, where he would become their captain. He spent the next 10 seasons there. He was capped 28 times. He played in the Euro 2008, where Germany finished second.

DM/CM: Ze Roberto (Germany)
Zé Roberto made his name with Portuguesa in Brazil. He then joined Real Madrid in 1997 for a brief spell, where he helped them win La Liga, before moving back to Brazil to play for Flamengo.  However, his peak years were spent in the Bundesliga. In 1998, he joined German side Bayer Leverkusen and went to Bayern Munich in 2002.  Capped 84 times.  He went to France 1998 and Germany 2006.
Ze Roberto
LW: Dieter Herzog (Germany)
Herzog played more than 350 Bundesliga matches, scoring more than 60 goals for Fortuna Düsseldorf(from 1970 to 1976) and Bayer 04 Leverkusen (from 1976 to 1983)in his professional career.  He was capped 5 times.  He was a part of the 1974 FIFA World Cup winning team.  He played against Yugoslavia and Sweden in the Finals.  

LM: Knut Reinhardt (Germany)
Knut Reinhardt started in 1985–86 with Bayer 04 Leverkusen.  He won the UEFA Cup in 1988. In the 1991 summer he moved to Borussia Dortmund, where he remained for the next eight years. Reinhardt contributed with 47 matches to Borussia's back-to-back national championship conquests of 1995 and 1996. Capped 7 times between 1988 and 1992.

CM: Andrzej Buncol (Poland)
Andrzej Buncol played for clubs such as Ruch Chorzów, Legia Warszawa, FC Homburg (West Germany), Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) and Fortuna Düsseldorf (Germany). He played for the Polish national team.  He was a participant at the 1982 FIFA World Cup (where Poland won third place) and the 1986 FIFA World Cup. After the 1986 World Cup, he emigrated to West Germany.

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 Japan/Korea 2002, but missing the Final game himself due to a suspension.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the World Cup Finals.  He also played for Chelsea before his retirement. He had 98 caps between 1999 and 2010. 
Ballack against Real Madrid at the Champions' League Final

AM/CM: Bernd Schneider
Nicknamed Schnix by fans and teammates, Schneider started out at his hometown club Carl Zeiss Jena in East Germany and made a name for himself during his decade-long stint at Bayer Leverkusen. He earned the nickname "The White Brazilian" for his dribbling and passing skills as well as his accurate free kicks and corners.  Capped 81 times for Die Mannschaft.  He was a key player at the World Cup Finals in 2006.

CM: Yıldıray Baştürk
Born in Germany of Turkish ancestry, Yıldıray Baştürk is best remembered for his most successful years at Bayer Leverkusen. In 2002, he was the playmaker of a great Leverkusen that finished second in the German league, the German Cup and the Champions League Final.  That same year, he led Turkey to the semi-final of the 2002 World Cup in Japan/Korea. He had 49 caps in total. He also played for Wattenscheid 09, VfL Bochum, Hertha BSC, VfB Stuttgart and English club Blackburn Rovers.

ST: Herbert Waas (Germany)
Herbert Waas spent most of his career with Bayer Leverkusen, with whom he won the UEFA Cup in 1988.  He scored one of penalties during the shootout in the Final against Espanyol.  He also played for 1960 Munich, FC Bologna, Hamburger SV, FC Zurich and Dynamo Dresden.  He won 11 caps for West Germany, scoring once between 1983 and 1988.

ST: Stefan Kießling (Germany)
Stefan Kießling made his professional debut for Nürnberg as a 19-year-old in 2003 before being sold to Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2006. A German international since 2007, Kießling has earned six caps, failing to score a goal at the senior level. He represented Germany at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, featuring in two matches for the eventual third-place side.


ST: Dimitar Berbatov  (Bulgaria)
Dimitar Berbatov is its all-time leading goalscorer for Bulgaria. He has also won the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year a record seven times, surpassing the number of wins by Hristo Stoichkov.  He started with CSKA Sofia, but earned his reputation with Bayer Leverkusen between 2001 and 2006, playing in the Champions league Final in 2002. After two seasons with Tottenham Hotspur, he joined Manchester United.
Dimitar Berbatov

ST: Ulf Kirsten (Germany)
Ulf Kirsten started with Dynamo Dresden.  He was one of the first East German footballers to enter the Bundesliga after the German reunification. In the German Bundesliga he played 350 matches for Bayer Leverkusen and scored 182 goals.  Kirsten's 100 caps are almost evenly split: 49 for East Germany and 51 for the re-unified Germany. Kirsten played for his country at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and Euro 2000.

ST:  Cha Bum Kun 차범근 (South Korea)
Cha Bum Kun is probably the greatest Asian player in the modern era.  He won two UEFA Cups, one each for Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen. he also played for Air Force in South Korea and SV Darmstadt 98. He was widely considered one of the best forwards in the Bundesliga throughout his career. He became the third-highest-paid footballer in Germany while playing there. For the national team, he had 135 caps and went to Mexico 1986.
Cha Bum Kun

Honorable mention
Robert Kovac, Juan, Martin Kree, Franco Foda, Diego Placente, Lars Bender, Christian Schreier, André Schürrle, Paulo Sergio

Squad Explanation
-- Bayer Leverkusen finished second in the Champions' League, Bundesliga and the German Cup in the 2001-2002 season.  They almost won a treble, but ended without a single trophy.  It was sad season, but it was still a very good result. Hans Jörg Butt, Lucio, Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto, Boris Živkovic, Jens Nowotny, Carsten Ramelow, Bernd Schneider, Yıldıray Baştürk and Ulf Kirsten played for the club that season. Lucio would win a World Cup that summer.  Butt, Ballack, Schneider and Ramelow helped Geramy to reach the World Cup Final while Yıldıray Baştürk helped Turkey to a third place.
-- René Adler stayed in the home of Rüdiger Vollborn when he joined Leverkusen as a youth player.
-- Brazilan players such as Lucio, Ze Roberto and Jorginho started their European career with Bayer Leverkusen.  In the 1990's, they were known for their scouting department in Brazil. 
-- Bayer Leverkusen was one of the first club to tap into East German players after the renunciation. They signed Andreas Thom.  Later Ulf Kirsten played for them.  Michael Ballack and Bernd Schneider were also born in East Germany, but did not transfer directly from an East German clubs.
-- I took one left back.  Instead, I brought an extra centerback, Carsten Ramelow.
-- Stefan Kießling held the appearance record for the club.  I selected him over many more famous players.
-- Cha Bum Kun made the team of the season for Bundesliga while playing for Bayer Leverkusen.  He helped the club to win a UEFA Cup in 1988, scoring one of the goals in the Final.
-- Rüdiger Vollborn, Cha Bum Kun, Thomas Hörster, Knut Reinhardt, Andrzej Buncol and Herbert Waas
-- Rudi Voller and Bernd Schuster came at the end of their career. They did not do enough.


Formation




Saturday, October 22, 2016

FC Kaiserslautern Greatest All-Time Team

1997-1998 Bundesliga title

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund,
Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04Werder Bremen,
Hamburger SVKaiserslauternBayer Leverkusen
FC KolnVfB Stuttgart

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.

On 2 June 1900, Germania 1896 and FG Kaiserslautern merged to create FC 1900. In 1909, the club went on to join FC Palatia (founded in 1901) and FC Bavaria (founded in 1902) to form FV 1900 Kaiserslautern. In 1929, they merged with SV Phönix to become FV Phönix-Kaiserslautern before finally taking on their current name three years later.



Kaiserslautern have won four German championships, two DFB-Pokals, and one DFL-Supercup. Since 1920, Kaiserslautern's stadium is the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

Team
GK: Ronnie Hellstrom (Sweden)
Ronnie Hellstrom is considered one of the greatest keepers in the 1970's and the greatest Swedish goalkeeper.  He started his career in Sweden's Hammarby IF. He joined FC Kaiserslautern in 1974 and left in 1984. For the national team,  he played in the World Cup Finals in 1970, 1974 and 1978. In total, he received 77 caps. He won the Golden ball (Guldbollen) twice, in 1971 and 1978 as the best Swedish player of the year.

GK: Gerald Ehrmann (Germany)
Gerald Ehrmann started with FC Koln where he had limited action playing behind Toni Schumacher.  He nearly spent his entire career with FC Kaiserslautern between 1984 and 1997.  He was their goalkeeper coach starting in 1996, but he returned as a backup keeper in 1998. With them, he won two Bundesliga title in the 1977–78 and 1990–91 season and 4 German Cups.

GK: Tim Wiese (Germany)
Having progressed through the youth teams at DJK Dürscheid and Bayer Leverkusen, Tim Wiese started his professional career at Fortuna Köln, and went on to play for 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Werder Bremen before signing for 1899 Hoffenheim in 2012.  Capped 6 times for Die Mannschaft.  He was a part of the World Cup team in 2010, but was the only player who did not see any action.

CB/RB: Axel Roos (Germany)
Axel Roos started his professional career in 1984 when he first signed a contract for the German Bundesliga-Team 1. FC Kaiserslautern. He went on to win the Bundesliga in 1991 and 1998, the German DFB-Pokal in 1990 and 1996, as well as the Supercup in 1991. Roos was loyal to his team throughout his entire professional career.  He was a one club man with the Kaiserslautern.  He retired in 2001 after playing over 300 matches for them.
Axel Roos
CB: Miroslav Kadlec (Czech Republic)
During his professional career, Kadlec played for four Czech clubs. Between 1990 and 1998, he also had an eight-year stint with Bundesliga's 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where he was crowned league champion in 1991 and 1998. He was capped 64 times by Czechoslovakia and later the Czech Republic. He took part in the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1996 European Championship silver, where his team finished second.

CB: Jürgen Groh (Germany)
Jürgen Groh spent 12 seasons in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. With Hamburger SCV, he won the European Cup in 1983. He played a single season with Trabzonspor in Turkey before returning to Kaiserslautern in 1986. He represented Germany in two friendlies once in 1979 and the other in 1983. He had 9 other B internationals.

CB: Werner Liebrich (Germany)
Werner Liebrich played 16 times for West Germany.  He played in West Germany's triumph in the 1954 FIFA World Cup.  He was remembered for injuring Ferenc Puskas in the match at the Group Stage between Hungary and West Germany. Puskas returned to play in the Final, but was ineffective. For his club career, he spent his entire playing career of almost twenty years with hometown club Kaiserslautern between 1946 and 1962.

LB/CB/DM: Hans Peter Briegel (Germany)
Hans Peter Briegel's original sport was Decathlon.  From 1975 to 1984, he played with FC Kaiserslautern before he moved on to HellasVerona in Italy.  With them, he captured the Serie A title in 1985, a surprising result at the time. The same year Briegel was named German Footballer of the Year, being the first foreign-based winner.  He later played with Sampdoria. With West Germany, he had 72 caps.  He won the European Championship in 1980.  He played in the World Cup Finals of both 1982 and 1986.
Hans-Peter Briegel

CB/DM: Thomas Dooley (USA)
Thomas Dooley was the son of a US serviceman stationed in Germany and a German mother.  He won the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern in 1990-1991 and then the UEFA Cup with Schalke 04 in 1996-1997.  He was capped 81 times between 1992 and 1999.  He was a key player as the United States reached the 2nd round at the 1994 World Cup Finals and was the captain at the World Cup in 1998.  He was the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1993. He is a Members of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

LB: Werner Kohlmeyer (Germany)
Werner Kohlmeyer played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern from 1941 to 1957.  He won the German football championship with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1951 and 1953.  Later, he played for Homburg. He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. he was known for a few goaline saves in the Finals, especially against Yugoslavia.  In total he earned 22 caps for West Germany.  

LB: Andreas Brehme (Germany)
Brehme is best remembered for his career with Kaiserslautern and Inter Milan.  He also played for Bayern Munich briefly.  He was the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 1989, in an era where the best players played in Italy.  He had 86 caps for both West Germany and Germany.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 World Cup Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final. He also played in 1986 and 1994 World Cup Finals, and three European Championship.
Andreas Brehme

RM/RW: Horst Eckel (Germany)
In the 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Eckel became the first substitute in the history of football. He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. He also participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.  During his club career he played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern and SV Röchling Völklingen. Because of his rapid way of playing, he got the nickname Windhund (sighthound).

RM: Mario Basler (Germany)
Mario Basler started his career with 1. FC Kaiserslautern, making only one league appearance. In 1993, he joined Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen, after previously playing for Hertha BSC and Rot-Weiss Essen in the 2. Bundesliga. With Bremen, Basler won the DFB-Pokal in 1994. During the 1994–95 season, he was joint top-goalscorer in the Bundesliga with 20 goals. Basler joined FC Bayern Munich in 1996, where he won the Bundesliga title in 1997 and 1999.  Capped 30 times.

LM/DM: Martin Wagner (Germany)
As a professional footballer, Martin Wagner played in the Bundesliga for the FC Nuremberg , FC Kaiserslautern and VfL Wolfsburg.  He won the Bundesliga in 1998 and the German Cup in 1996 with Kaiserslautern. Wagner was capped 6 times in the 1990's.  He went to the 1994 World Cup Finals in the USA, where he played in two matches.

CM: Hans Bongartz (Germany)
Hans Bongartz began his footballing career at SG Wattenscheid 09 and became a central midfielder to be reckoned with even before moving to FC Schalke 04 in 1974. He participated in the European Championship in 1976 where he played in the Final as a sub against Czechoslovakia. He moved to 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1978 where he was to finish his career in 1984.

CM: Ciriaco Sforza (Switzerland)
Sforza was one of the best Swiss players in the modern era. He went to the 1994 WC Finals and Euro 1996 for Swizterland.  In 1993, after winning the "Swiss footballer of the Year" award, he moved abroad to play in Germany. He was probably best remembered for his three separated stints with Kaiserslautern.  In his second stint, they won the Bundesliga in 1998, the season after they returned to the Bundesliga from the lower division.  In between his two stints, he played with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.
Sforza with the 1997-1997 league title

CM: Michael Ballack (Germany)
Born in East Germany, Michael Ballack was the best German player of his generation. He started with Kaiserslautern.  He 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 Japan/Korea 2002.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the WC Finals.  he also played for Chelsea before his retirement.

CM/FW: Josef Pirrung (Germany)
Josef Pirrung played 304 games for Kaiserslautern between 1969 and 1981.  He is among the top appearance player for the club. At the end of his career, he played for Wormatia Worms. For the national team, he was on the 40 member list for the 1974 World Cup Finals, but did not make the cut. He earned two senior caps in 1974 after the World Cup Finals.

AM/FW: Fritz Walter (Germany)
Fritz Walter was the captain of the 1954 World Cup winning team.  His brother Ottar Walter was also on that team. He had over 60 caps and also went to the 1958 World Cup Finals. He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. During the War, he captured as a POW and his life was spared because the guards recognised him as a famous footballer. He played his entire career with Kaiserslautern between 1937 and 1959.

ST: Miroslav Klose (Germany)
Miroslav Klose is best known for his performances with the German national team. He was part of the German squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  He is the top goalscorer in the history of the FIFA World Cup, having scored 16 goals. Klose is also the top scorer of all time for Germany. He spent most of his career playing in Germany, but played in Italy at the end of his career. He was born in Poland of German ethnicity. His father was capped by Poland.
Miroslav Klose

ST: Ottmar Walter (Germany)
Ottmar Walter played together with his brother, Fritz Walter, at the club 1. FC Kaiserslautern. They also played together for the Germany national football team in the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Walter scored four goals in the tournament as West Germany won their first ever World Cup title. In total, Walter earned 20 caps and scored 10 goals for Germany. For his club 1. FC Kaiserslautern he scored unequaled 336 goals in 321 league and cup matches.

ST: Olaf Marschall (Germany)
Olaf Marschall was a star player in East Germany before the reunification.  He joined Austrian outfit SCN Admira/Wacker.  He joined Dynamo Dresden to help the East German outfit escape relegation from the German Bundesliga in 1993–94. In 1994, he joined 1. FC Kaiserslautern and established himself as one of the elite scorers in the Bundesliga. He won the DFB-Pokal in 1996 and in 1998 the Bundesliga title.  he earned caps for both East Germany and Germany.

ST: Stefan Kuntz (Germany)
Kuntz played for VfL Bochum, Bayer 05 Uerdingen, 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Arminia Bielefeld. Kuntz also played in Turkey for Beşiktaş J.K. In 1986 and 1994 Kuntz was the top scorer in the Bundesliga.  He was part of the winning German team of UEFA Euro 1996. Kuntz played a key role in the 1–1 draw with England in the semi-final, scoring the equalizer soon after England took the lead. He lost a game in German uniforms.

ST: Werner Baßler (Germany)
Werner Baßler started his career with Kaiserslautern in the 1930's alongside brothers Fritz Walter and Ottmar Walter.   His career was interrupted by the War.  After the war, he won the German league in 1951 with Kaiserslautern.  He later played for VfR Mannheim between 1951 and 1953. He was joint top scorer for the league in 1948 and 1951.

ST: Klaus Toppmöller (Germany)
Klaus Toppmöller started with V Rivenich and Eintracht Trier before joining FC Kaiserslautern in 1972.  He scored 108 Bundesliga goals for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 204 matches in the West German top flight.  He is the all-time leading scorer for them.  He also played briefly in the NASL in the 1980's and FSV Salmrohr in the Bundesliga 2.  His international career was very limited. He only earned 3 caps and scored 1 goal during his international career for West Germany.
Klaus Toppmoller

Honorable Mention
Karl Schmidt, Lincoln, Roland Sandberg,  Pavel Kuka, Harry Koch, Michael Dusek, Michael Schjønberg, Thomas Allofs, Andreas Buck, Ernst Diehl.

Squad Explanation
-- I might have made many mistakes for this team.  Normally, I selected players who contributed to the club. Mario Basler, Miroslav Klose, Michael Ballack and Tim Wiese made their names elsewhere.
-- Otto Rehhagel led the club to grain promotion from Bundesliga 2 in 1996-1997 season.  They won the Bundesliga title in their first season back in the Bundesliga. Olaf Marschall, Andreas Brehme, Axel Roos, Martin Wagner and Ciriaco Sforza were a part of the team. Ballack also played that season, but as a minor player.
-- FC Kaiserlautern also won two league titles in the 1950's. Fritz Walter, Ottmar Walter, Werner Liebrich, Werner Kohlmeyer, Horst Eckel and Werner Baßler played on those teams.  With the except of Werner Baßler, the other five were on West Germany's 1954 World Cup winning team.  Fritz Walter needed no introduction. The club's stadium Fritz-Walter Stadion is named after him. 
-- Ernst Diehl is one of the all-time appearance record holder for the club, but Miroslav Kadlec, Jürgen Groh and Werner Liebrich are ahead of him.  Hans Peter Biregel can also play in the centerback position.
-- I also selected Miroslav Klose, Michael Ballack and Tim Wiese, who was only young players while at the club.  Ballack played a single season as a regular member of the squad.  I still have question marks over him whether he belongs to this team.
 -- Miroslav Klose made his name with the club, earning a place on the 2002 World Cup Finals. However, the peak of his career was not here. He was also  not home grown. So Thomas Allofs deserved a spot over him. I might have been influenced by Klose's achievements elsewhere.  So I might have made a mistake here.
-- Hans Peter Briegel was among the best fullback of his generation in Europe.  He was known for his power and stamina. 
-- Mario Basler was home grown, but he only played once for the club before moving onward. He later returned to play for the club.  It was his career at the end of the career that out him into this team.
-- Gerald Ehrmann was a popular figure while playing for the club.

Formation