Saturday, October 22, 2016

FC Kaiserslautern Greatest All-Time Team

1997-1998 Bundesliga title

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.

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.

GK: Ronnie Hellstrom (Germany)
Ronnie Hellstrom is considered one of the greatest keepers in the 1970's.  He started his career in 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. 

GK: Gerald Ehrmann (Germany)
He almost spent his entire career with FC Kaiserslautern.  He won two Bundesliga title and 4 German Cups.

GK: Tim Wiese (Germany)
Having progressed through the youth teams at DJK Dürscheid and Bayer Leverkusen, 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.

CB/RB: Axel Roos (Germany)
He 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.
Axel Roos

CB: Miroslav Kadlec   (Czech Republic)
During his career, Kadlec played for four Czech clubs, and also had an eight-year stint with Bundesliga's 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where he was crowned league champion in 1991 and 1998. Capped 64 times 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)
He spent 12 seasons in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. He represented Germany in two friendlies between 1979 and 1983.

CB: Werner Liebrich (Germany)
He is notable for his role in West Germany's triumph in the 1954 FIFA World Cup, and spending his entire playing career of almost twenty years with hometown club Kaiserslautern.

LB/CB/DM: Hans Peter Briegel (Germany)
Briegel's original sport was Decathlon.  From 1975 to 1984, he played with FC Kaiserslautern before he moved on to Hellas Verona in Italy, capturing the Serie A title in 1985. The same year Briegel was named German Footballer of the Year, being the first foreign-based winner.  With West Germany, he won the European Championship in 1980.  He played in the WC Finals of both 1982 and 1986.
Hans-Peter Briegel

CB/DM: Thomas Dooley (USA)
Dooley was the son of a US serviceman stationed in Germay.  He won the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern in 1990-1991 and then the UEFA Cup with Schalke 04 in 1996-1997.  Capped 81 times.  He was a key player as the United States reached the 2nd round at the 1994 WC Finals and was the captain at the WC 1998.  He was the U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1993.

LB: Werner Kohlmeyer (Germany)
Kohlmeyer won the German football championship with 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1951 and 1953.  He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. In total he earned 22 caps for West Germany.

LB: Andreas Brehme (Germany)
He is best remembered for his career with Kaiserslautern and Inter Milan.  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.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC 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)
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, he played in the Bundesliga for the first FC Nuremberg , the first FC Kaiserslautern and VfL Wolfsburg.  He won the Bundesliga and the German Cup with Kaiserslautern. Capped 6 times.  He went to USA 1994.  

CM: Hans Bongartz (Germany)
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 Euro 76 in Yugoslavia. He moved to 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 1978 where he was to finish his career in 1984.

CM: Ciriaco Sforza (Switzerland)
He 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, 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.  He moved to Bayern Munich after the WC Finals.  he also played for Chelsea before his retirement.

CM/FW: Josef Pirrung (Germany)
Played 304 games for Kaiserslautern between 1969 and 1981, he earned two senior caps in 1974.

AM/FW: Fritz Walter (Germany)
The captain of the 1954 WC team.  He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. He played with Kaiserslautern.

ST: Miroslav Klose (Germany)
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.
Miroslav Klose

ST: Ottmar Walter (Germany)
He 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)
He 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.

ST: Werner Baßler (Germany)
He started his career with Kaiserslautern in the 1930's.  His career was interrupted by the War.  He played with Felix Walter, winning the German league in 1951.

ST: Klaus Toppmöller (Germany)
Toppmöller scored 108 Bundesliga goals for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 204 matches in the West German top flight.  He is widely considered the club's greatest player.  He 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.

Squad Explanation
--Yes, I do not know enough of the team  I based a lot of the players from the team that won the Bundesliga in the 1998.  I also selected Michael Ballack and Tim Wiese, who was only young players while at the club.  


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