Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Borussia Mönchengladbach Greatest All-Time Team

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.

Borussia Mönchengladbach were founded in 1900, with its name derived from a Latinized form of Prussia, which was a popular name for German clubs in the former Kingdom of Prussia. The team joined the Bundesliga in 1965, and saw the majority of its success in the 1970s, where, under the guidance of Hennes Weisweiler, they captured five league championships with Die Fohlen [diː ˈfoːlən] team; a term coined as the squad were young with a fast, aggressive playing style. Mönchengladbach also won two UEFA Cup titles during this period.

Since 2004, Borussia Mönchengladbach have played at Borussia-Park, having previously played at the Bökelbergstadion since 1919. Based on membership, Borussia Mönchengladbach is the fifth largest club in Germany, with over 75,000 members. The club's main rivals are FC Köln and Bayer Leverkusen.

UEFA Cup 1978-1979
GK: Wolfgang Kleff  (Germany)
From 1968 to 1976, Kleff did not miss any domestic game of Borussia Mönchengladbach. He won five Bundesliga (1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977) one DFB-Pokal (1973) and one UEFA Cup (1975) trophy. He was also in the Borussia Mönchengladbach team when they lost to Liverpool F.C. in the UEFA Cup final in 1973 and the European Cup in 1977. He was also part of the team which won the 1979 UEFA Cup. He was a part of the West German team that won the WC in 1974.

GK: Uwe Kamps  (Germany)
Uwe Kamps was a one club player with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He played for them from 1982 to 2004.  He played over 450 games for the club.  He won a single DFB-Pokal in the 1994-1995 season. He was best remembered saving 4 penalties in the semifinal of the 1991-1992 German Cup against Bayer Leverkusen.
GK: Yann Sommer (Switzerland)
Sommer started at Basel in 2007, where he won the Swiss Super League on four consecutive occasions before transferring to Mönchengladbach in 2014.  He played briefly in Liechtenstein on loan with Vaduz.  At the time of writing, he has 66 caps since 2012.  He went to 2014 and 2018 World Cup, and the 2016 and 2020 European Championship.  He was Swiss Footballer of the Year twice.

RB: Berti Vogts (Germany)
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”, Berti 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.  At the international level, he had 95 caps for West Germany between 1967 and 1978.  He won both the World Cup in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972. He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the World Cup Final in 1974. 
Berti Vogts 
DM/RB: Rainer Bonhof (Germany)
Rainer Bonhof 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.

SW/DM: Hans-Günter Bruns (Germany)
Hans-Günter Bruns started with Schalke 04, but better remembered for his two stints with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  In 1980, he dribbled past the entire defence of Bayern Munich and nearly scored a goal.  The goal was considered one of the "Greatest Goal Never Scored" in the history of the Bundesliga.  He earned 4 times.  He went to the 1984 European Championship, but did not play a game.

SW: Wilfried Hannes (Germany)
Hannes played Borussia Mönchengladbach from between 1975 and 1986. He was on the Bundesliga Championship and UEFA Cup winning season of 1975. He went on to collect two more German Bundesliga titles in 1976 and 1977 and the UEFA Cup in 1979 as well as European Cup runners-up in 1977 and UEFA Cup runners-up. He went to the 1982 World Cup Finals.  In total, he had 8 caps.

Klaus-Dieter Sieloff started with Stuttgart in 1960.  From 1969 to 1974, he played with Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He won two league titles. For Germany, he only played 14 times.  He first played behind Willi Schulz or Karl-Heinz Schnellinger as the German sweeper before 1970.  After 1970, Franz Beckenbauer took over the position.  He went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals.

CB: Patrik Andersson (Sweden)
Patrik Andersson was capped 96 times for Sweden, playing in the 1994 and 2002 World Cup Finals, the 1992 and 2000 European Championship. He is known for his 8 seasons in the Bundesliga.  He won a Champions' League title with Bayern Munich in 2001. He also played for Blackburn Rovers, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Barcelona.

CB/SW: Ulrich Stielike (Germany)
Ulrich Stielike is one of a small handful of players to have played in all 3 European club finals, the World Cup Final and the European Championship Final.  He was part of the Mönchengladbach team that won three Bundesliga titles, the UEFA Cup in 1975 and gained a runner-up medal in the European Cup in 1977.  He joined Real Madrid in 1977, where he won the UEFA Cup.  He was capped 42 times, winning Euro 1980.  He also played in the 1982 World Cup Finals.
Ulrich Stielike
LB: Michael Frontzeck (Germany)
Frontzeck began his career in 1982 with Borussia Mönchengladbach. From 1989 to 1994, he played for VfB Stuttgart. He returned to Borussia Mönchengladbach for the season 1995–96 but played in the 1996–97 season with Manchester City. After playing for SC Freiburg, he returned to Borussia Mönchengladbach. He played for Germany from 1984 to 1992 19 times and won a runners-up medal in UEFA Euro 1992.

RM/DM: Herbert Wimmer (Germany)

Between 1966 and 1978 Herbert Wimmer played in 366 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Mönchengladbach and scored 51 goals. With the club he won five national championships (1970, 71, 75, 76, 78), the German Cup in 1973 and in 1975 the UEFA Cup.  With Germany he won the 1972 European Football Championship and the 1974 FIFA World Cup

CM:  Lothar Matthaus (Germany)
Lothar Matthaus captained the West German national 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 FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He also won the Euro 1980 in Italy, and played in the 1984, 1988, and 2000 European Championships.
Lothar Matthaus 
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 the one in 2001.  For Germany, he was only capped 35 times.  His career was cut short after the "giving a finger" incident during the World Cup Finals in 1994.   
Stefan Effenberg

CM: Gunther Netzer (Germany)
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.

Gunther Netzer
LM: Dietmar Danner (Germany)
Dietmar Danner played for Borussia Mönchengladbach between 1971 and 1980. He won three German championships and one German cup title, as well as two UEFA Cup titles with them. After 1976, he never regained his fitness after an injury. He earned six caps for the German national football team from 1973 to 1976. He was included in the team for the UEFA Euro 1976.

AM/LW: Marco Reus (Germany)
In 2009, Marco 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 finally played in the 2018 World Cup Finals.

Marco Reus
CM/AM/CB: Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp (Germany)
Born in 1947, Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp spent 11 seasons in the Bundesliga with FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Mönchengladbach.  From 1967 to 1971, Wittkamp played for his hometown club Schalke 04. He played Borussia Mönchengladbach between 1971 and 1978. He was a member of the team known as "Die Fohlen".

AM: Uwe Rahn (Germany)
Uwe Rahn played 318 Bundesliga matches in his professional career, scoring the majority of his 107 Bundesliga goals in his eight years at Borussia Mönchengladbach from 1980 to 1988.  He was the Bundesliga top scorer in the 1986–87 season. He capped 14 times for West Germany. He went to the 1986 World Cup Finals in Mexico, but he did not play a game there. He was the German Footballer of the Year award in 1987. 

ST/LW:  Jupp Heynckes (Germany)
Jupp Heynckes 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 also played for Hanover 96. At the international level, he was a part of the Golden Generation that won Euro 1972 and the World Cup in 1974.  He played the first two matches at West Germany 1974, but suffered an injury and missed the rest of the tournament.
Jupp Heynckes 
ST: Herbert Laumen (Germany)
Herbert Laumen scored more than 120 West German top flight goals. He is Borussia Mönchengladbach's second all-time leading scorer, where he played from 1962 to 1971.  He was a part of the team that helped the club to promotion to Bundesliga. He also played for n SV Werder Bremen, Metz (France) and FC Kaiserslautern.  He won two caps for the West German team in the late 1960s.

ST: Frank Mill (Germany)
Frank Mill played 17 times for West Germany between 1982 and 1990.  He was part of the 1990 FIFA World Cup winning squad of West Germany, but served as the fourth striker. Furthermore, he participated at the 1984 and at the 1988 Summer Olympics, where he won the bronze medal with the German team. He started with  Rot-Weiss Essen in 1976.  From 1981 to 1986, he played for  Borussia Mönchengladbach.  He moved to Borussia Dortmund in 1986, where he played until 1994.
Frank Mill
ST: Martin Dahlin (Sweden)
Martin Dahlin played for Malmö FF, Borussia Mönchengladbach, AS Roma, Hamburger SV and Blackburn Rovers. The most successful time of his career he spent with Borussia Mönchengladbach with whom he won the German Cup in 1995, playing along with Stefan Effenberg. From 1991 to 1997, he played 60 times for Sweden.  He was a star at the 1994 World Cup Finals, where Sweden reached the semifinal.

FW: Henning Jensen (Denmark)
In 1972, Henning Jensen joined Borussia Mönchengladbach. At Mönchengladbach, Henning Jensen played alongside fellow Danish national team player Allan Simonsen in the attack. He won the 1972–73 DFB-Pokal, 1974–75 UEFA Cup, and two Bundesliga championships in his four years at the club. He earned a big move to Real Madrid in 1976 along with his club teammate Gunter Netzer.  He also played with Nørresundby BK, Ajax and AGF.

RW/SS/ST: Allan Simonsen (Denmark)
Allan Simonsen most prominently played for Borussia Mönchengladbach, winning the 1975 and 1979 UEFA Cups, as well as for Barcelona, winning the 1982 Cup Winners' Cup.  He is the only footballer to have scored in the European Cup, UEFA Cup, and Cup Winners' Cup finals. Simonsen was named 1977 European Footballer of the Year.  he was a part of Denmark's Euro 1983 team, but was injured after the first game.  By 1986, he was an aging player and played in one match in the WC Finals.
Alan Simonsen
Honorable Mention
Christian Hochstätter (Germany), Heinz Ditgens (Germany), Hans-Jörg Criens (Germany), Albert Brülls (Germany), Hans Klinkhammer (Germany), Michael Klinkert (Germany), Heinz Wittmann (Germany), Juan Arango (Venezuela), Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany), Wolfgang Kneib (Germany), Kai Erik Herlovsen (Norway), Holger Fach (Germany), Dante (Brazil), Ulrich Borowka (Germany), Horst Köppel (Germany), Christian Hochstätter (Germany), Marcell Jansen (Germany), Bernd Krauss (Germany), Heiko Herrlich (Germany), Matthias Ginter (Germany), Granit Xhaka (Switzerland).

Squad Explanation
-- In July 2021, I accidently deleted half of my team.  It was a good time to redo part of the team.
-- The official Bundesliga website came up with their all-time Best XI: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Bertie Vogts, Hans-Günter Bruns, Dante, Rainer Bonhof, Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthaus, Marco Reus, Gunter Netzer and Juan Arango in 2017.  My blog was completed in 2016.  Moreover, this list was only Bundesliga eras only.  Two younger players, namely Dante and Juan Arango, were not even on my honorable mention. I am sure that the experts over there know more than I do. So I add them on Honorable Mention.  I am surprised with their exclusion of Jupp Heynckes and Alan Simonsen over Juan Arango.
-- Borussia Mönchengladbach's golden period was in the 1970's when they won 5 Bundesliga titles.  They were nicknamed "Die Fohlen". Obviously, a large number of players were chosen from that generation.  I have 14 players who had played in the 1970's.  They are Gunter Netzer, Wolfgang Kneib, Bertie Vogts, Wilfried Hannes, Klaus-Dieter Sieloff, Hans-Günter Bruns, Ulrich Stielike, Herbert Wimmer, Dieter Danner, Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp, Jupp Heynckes, Herbert Laumen, Henning Jensen, Allan Simonsen and Jupp Heyncke.
--  In 2021, I decided to add Yann Sommer (Switzerland) to team. Uwe Kamps, Wolfgang Kleff and Wolfgang Kneib were my original keepers.  Uwe Kamps is the all-time appearance record holder. They played together in the 1970's.  Kleff was the obvious choices as he played in the greatest period of the club.  Kneib actually played with Kleff. Kneib spent eight seasons in the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Arminia Bielefeld. With Mönchengladbach, he played between 1976 to 1980.  
-- Yann Sommer (Switzerland) already spent 7 seasons as their starters as of July, 2021.  Marc-Andre ter Stegen's name also came up, but he only spent two seasons as a starter here.  He was well-known because of playing for Barcelona FC.  The club enjoyed its best results since the 1970's with Sommer in goal.
-- I cannot find space for Rainer Bonhof on the midfield because of the emerge of Stefan Effenberg and Lothar Matthäus. I found him a spot as a backup rightback.  The starter of course would be Bertie Vogts. He is all-time record appearance holder.
-- For the leftback position, Michael Frontzeck was probably the best known, but of course, he was not as famous as his counterback on the right.  Hans Klinkhammer (Germany) and Marcell Jansen made honorable mention.
Michael Frontzeck 
-- The peak of SW/DM Hans-Günter Bruns' career was actually in the 1980's. Herbert Laumen's peak was in the 1960's.  Both players also played with some of the players in the glorious period in the 1970's. Laumen helped the club to enter Bundesliga for the first time.  Hans-Günter Bruns scored 60 goals for the club.
-- Dante was voted into their greatest team as mentioned, but I did not rate him as high as the players from the previous generations. Hans-Günter Bruns, Wilfried Hannes, Klaus-Dieter Sieloff and Uli Stielike were very big names at their time.  Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp could also play as a defender.
-- The team had too many sweepers and defensive midfielders. Herbert Wimmer and Ulrich Stielike were unsung heros of German football.  Rainer Bonhof and Hans-Günter Bruns also played as a midfielder.  The team was loaded with box-to-box/defensive/ holding midfielders.
-- Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthaus and Gunter Netzer were easy selections.  Netzer is probably their greatest players while the other two were young players at the time.  With the club, Stefan Effenberg made "kicker" Bundesliga Team of the Season four times.  Lothar Matthäus made it once before he moved to Bayern Munich,  Effenberg's honors came after he played for Fiorentina and Bayern Munich and before his second stint with Bayern Munich.  
-- Heinz Ditgens was the first ever player capped by Germany while playing for the club.  He made honourable mention.
-- Allan Simonsen won the Ballon d'or (European player only at that time)in 1977 while playing for them. Igor Belanov won the same award, but he was not playing for the club. His prime was played elsewhere.  Simonsen's inclusion did not need explanation.
-- Marco Reus was the Bundesliga Player of the Season and German Footballer of the Year in 2012 when he played for the club.  
-- Uwe Rahn was German Player of the Year in 1987.  He finished as the highest scorer in the Bundesliga in the 1986-1987 season.
-- Juan Arango? Marco Reus, Allan Simeone, Uwe Rahn, Gunter Netzer and Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp all could play as an attack midfielder.  How could I fit him? Granit Xhaka also could not break into the team.  Everyone was the legends of the club and the Bundesliga.
-- Oliver Neuville played for them at the end of his career.  Part of it was played in the lower division. I did not seriously consider him.
-- I did think Albert Brülls should be on the team. I have a hard time deciding between Martin Dahlin, Frank Mill and him.
-- Lothar Matthäus, Jupp Heynckes, Herbert Laumen, Stefan Effenberg and Günter Netzer were all home grown.
1994–95 DFB-Pokal


  1. Simenson was a great goal scorer on he was only 5’5.

  2. Ulrik Le Fevre was an Superb left winger in the golden period at the beginning 1970th. He should bei considered in honorable mentions.
    Düring the complete 1970th Christian Kulik served MG as an outstanding midfielder, with high abilities. Unfortunately He often was injured. But He deserves a honorable Mention.