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 mainly contributed to the club. I sometimes selected famous players who began their careers at a given club. Mario Basler, Miroslav Klose, Michael Ballack and Tim Wiese made their names elsewhere.  They only played briefly for this club.
-- Otto Rehhagel led the club to grain promotion from Bundesliga 2 in 1996-1997 season, the season after it went down.  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 only in a minor role.
-- 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.  They sent the most players to the World Cup winning squad. Fritz Walter needed no introduction. The club's stadium Fritz-Walter Stadion is named after him. Ottmar Walter is the brother of Fritz.
-- Kaiserslautern also won the 1990-1991 Bundesliga title.
Gerald Ehrmann, Thomas Dooley, Stefan Kuntz and Axel Roos played on that team.
-- Andreas Brehme (Germany) played two stints with the club. 
-- 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. 
--  Ciriaco Sforza  was one of the greatest Swiss players. His club career was remarkable here, but never settled down elsewhere.
-- Josef Pirrung played 304 games for Kaiserslautern between 1969 and 1981.  He is among the top appearance player for the club.
--  
-- Mario Basler was home grown, but he only played once for the club before moving onward. He later returned to play for the club at the end of the career that out him into this team.
-- Gerald Ehrmann was a popular figure while playing for the club.
-- Klaus Toppmöller is their all-time leading scorer.

Formation



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