Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Werder Bremen Greatest All-Time Team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

2003-2004 Bundesliga title

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

Bayern MunichBorussia Dortmund,
Borussia MönchengladbachSchalke 04Werder Bremen,
Hamburger SVKaiserslauternBayer Leverkusen
FC KolnVfB StuttgartEintracht FrankfurtWolfsburg.
Northern Germany

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.

Bremen's football club has been a mainstay in the Bundesliga, the top league of the German football league system. Bremen have won the Bundesliga championship four times and the DFB-Pokal six times. Their latest Bundesliga championship came in 2004, when they won a double,[5] their last win of the German cup came in 2009. Bremen have also had European success, winning the 1992 European Cup Winners' Cup.  Bremen also reached the final match of the last edition of the UEFA Cup in 2009 (it was rebranded the UEFA Europa League the following season), During the mid-2000s, Bremen was one of the most successful teams in the Bundesliga.

Since 1924, Werder Bremen's stadium is the Weserstadion. The club has a rivalry with Hamburger SV, another club in northern Germany, known as the Nordderby (English: North derby).
Cup Winners Cup in 1992
GK: Günter Bernard (Germany)
Günter Bernard is the son of Robert Bernard, who was a German international football player himself. A member of the 1966 FIFA World Cup squad of West Germany, Günter Bernard joined SV Werder Bremen in the founding year of Bundesliga from boyhood outfit Schweinfurt 05, He stayed loyal to Bremen until his retirement in 1974 and was the clubs first-choice in their surprise Bundesliga winning campaign in 1965.
Gunter Bernard

GK: Dieter Burdenski (Germany)
Dieter Burdenski is the son of Herbert Burdenski (1922–2001), who also played for Werer Bremen and was a German international himself. Dieter played over 400 games for Werder Bremen between 1972 and 1988. He was capped 12 times for West Germany. He played between the careers of Sepp Maier and Toni Schumacher. He was a bench player at Euro 1980 and the World Cup Finals in 1978.

GK: Oliver Reck (Germany) 
In a 20-year professional career, Oliver Reck was best known for his stints with Werder Bremen and Schalke 04, for whom he appeared in more than 500 official games combined, 471 in the Bundesliga alone.  He scored a single goal for Schalke. Reck was capped once in June, 1996 before Euro 1996.  He was a part of Germany's European Championship winning team in 1996 as a backup.

RB: Sepp Piontek (Germany)
Piontek is a son of Leonard Piontek, a Polish interwar footballer. Piontek started his playing career with VfL Germania Leer. Between 1963 and 1972, the full-back played 203 Bundesliga matches with 14 goals for SV Werder Bremen (he previously registered 75 matches and one goal with the side in Oberliga Nord (1960–1963), prior to the creation of Bundesliga), adding six caps (no goals) for the West German national team.

RB: Clemens Fritz (Germany)
Having begun his career at Rot-Weiß Erfurt and Karlsruher SC, he joined Bayer Leverkusen in 2003. In 2006 he moved to Werder Bremen, winning the DFB-Pokal and helping them to the UEFA Cup final in 2009. In a two-year international career for Germany starting in 2006, he earned 22 caps and scored two goals. He was part of their team which finished as runners-up at UEFA Euro 2008.

CB: Per Mertesacker (Germany)
At 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in), Mertesacker is known for his height. From 2003 to 2006, he played for Hanover 96. From 2006 to 2011, he played for Werder Bremen. Then, he played from 2011 to 2018 for Arsenal. Mertesacker established himself as Germany's first choice centre-back for ten years, participating in European Championship in 2008 and 2012, as well as the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups, winning the latter. He earned 104 caps.

SW: Rune Bratseth (Norway)
Rune Bratseth is one of the best defenders in Norway's football history.  He went to the World Cup in 1994.  Bratseth started his career at local club Rosenborg BK. He was best remembered for his career with Werder Bremen.  Bratseth was named Norway's Golden Player – the best Norwegian footballer of the past 50 years by the Norwegian Football Association, in November 2003, to celebrate UEFA's jubilee. He earned 60 caps, captaining Norway at the 1994 World Cup.
Rune Bratseth 
CB: Naldo (Brazil)
Naldo began his football career  with RS Futebol and Juventude in Brazil.  He moved to Germany in 2005.  He played with Werder Bremen form 2005 to 2012.  He then played for Wolvesburg and Schalke 04. For Brazil, he had 4 caps, but was called up numerous times. He was a part of the team that won the Copa America in 2007, but did not play in the tournament.

SW/CB: Per Røntved (Denmark)
Per Røntved played 75 times for Denmark between 1970 and 1982. He was at one point the cap record for Denmark before Morten Olsen broke it in 1985.  He was named 1972 Danish Player of the Year.  He played professionally for German club SV Werder Bremen from 1972 to 1979, where he was one of the best defenders in the Bundesliga. He also played for Danish clubs Brønshøj BK, Randers Freja, and Hvidovre IF.

LB/RB/SW: Horst-Dieter Hottges (Germany)
Horst-Dieter Hottges started his professional career with Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1963, but found successes with Werder Bremen.  He had over 60 caps.  He went to World cup Finals in 1966 and 1974 and the European Championship in 1972 . He lost his starting position after West Germany lost to East Germany in the first round of the 1974 World Cup Finals.  He could play in multi-positions.

DM/LB: Max Lorenz (Germany)
From 1960 to 1969, Max Lorenz played for his hometown club Werder Bremen.  Later, he joined Eintracht Braunschweig, where he played between 1969 and 1972.  At the international level, Lorenz was capped 19 times between 1965 and 1970. He went the World Cup Finals in both 1966 and 1970, but only appeared once in the Mexico.  However, he played in West Germany's historical victories over both England and Brazil in 1968.
Max Lorenz
DM: MirkoVotava (Germany)
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Votava started learning his football trade at local FK Dukla. However, his parents left the country during the Prague Spring. He began playing professionally with Borussia Dortmund in 1974. He subsequently moved to Atlético Madrid in 1982, winning the Copa del Rey in 1985.  In 1986, he joined Werder Bremen, winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1992.

CM/DM: Torsten Frings (Germany)
Frings was remembered for his career with his two stints with Werder Brenen, but also played for Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Toronto FC.  He was capped 79 times.  He played in both 2002 and 2006 World Cup Finals as well as Euro 2008 and 2004. He was suspended for the semi-final of the World Cup Finals against Italy after he received a controversial ban after involving in a brawl against Argentina in the quarterfinal.

DM: Dieter Elits (Germany)
Dieter Elits played 390 matches for SV Werder Bremen, his only club during his entire professional career, and scored seven goals. Eilts is regarded as one of the finest discoveries of legendary coach Otto Rehhagel. He won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1992.  Elits also had 31 caps betweem 1993 and 1997.  At the European Championship of 1996, he was a key player as Die Mannschaft won it. He formed the backbone of the defence with Matthias Sammer and Thomas Helmer.
Dieter Elits
RM: Mario Basler (Germany)
Basler started his career with 1. FC Kaiserslautern, making only one league appearance. In 1993, he joined 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.

LW: Marco Bode (Germany) 
Between 1989 and 2002 he was active in 379 games for Werder, in which he scored 101 goals, making him the record Bremen goal-scorer. Despite some offers by major European clubs such as Bayern Munich, he remained loyal to Werder Bremen, retiring somewhat early after the 2002 World Cup. Bode also won renown because he was a particularly fair and decent player who only was booked ten times in his entire Bundesliga career and never got sent off. 

LM/AM: Norbert Meier (Germany)
Meier's career as a player was spent mostly at SV Werder Bremen where he played first team football from 1980–1990. In 1988 he became German champion with Werder Bremen under under coach Otto Rehhagel. During this time he also made 16 appearances for West Germany in midfield scoring twice.  He went to Euro 1984.  Meier ended his playing days at Borussia Mönchengladbach, where he played two and a half years. 

AM: Johan Micoud (France)
Johan Micoud began with AS Cannes. as an replacement for Zinedine Zidane.  In 1992, he joined FC Girondins de Bordeaux, where the club won the Ligue 1 title.  In 2000, he played for Parma AC and then,  SV Werder Bremen two years later, where he won the league and cup double in 2004.  He was capped only 17 times, largely because of playing in the same time as Zinedine Zidane.  He was a part of the team that won the Euro 2000.  He also played in the World Cup Finals in 2002.
Johan Micoud
AM: Mesut Özil
Mesut Özil is a third generation German of Turkish decent.  He played for Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen before making a dream move to Real Madrid after South Africa 2010.  He moved to Arsenal in 2013, which was then a transfer record for German players.  For the national team., he was a part of Germany's World Cup winning team in 2014. At the time of writing, he has over 90 caps.

AM: Diego (Brazil)
Diego began his career at Santos, where he played with Robinho. He won two Campeonato Brasileiro Série A titles before moving to Porto in 2004. After two seasons, he moved to Werder Bremen where he won domestic honours and helping them to the 2009 UEFA Cup Final. He also won honours at Atlético Madrid, including the UEFA Europa League in 2012.  He was only capped 33 times, despite hyped as one of Brazil's greatest talents during his Santos' days.

ST: Andreas Herzog (Austria)
Andreas Herzog started his career at local giants Rapid Vienna, but was sent out on loan to First Vienna during 1987–88. That move proved to be successful and he was soon recalled to Rapid to start the 1988–89 season. He also played for Werder Bremen where he would spend eight years, divided in two periods by a season at Bayern Munich where he won the UEFA Cup. He was capped 103 times for Austria, the most ever for Austria. He attended both 1990 and 1998 World Cup Finals.
Andreas Herzog

ST: Ailton (Brazil)
Aílton's career began in Brazil, and he played in his homeland with Mogi Mirim EC, Santa Cruz FC and Guarani FC. He then moved to UANL Tigres in Mexico, which made way to a 1998–99 move to SV Werder Bremen in Germany.  Due to his achievements at Bremen, he was selected in 2004 as the first foreigner to win the German Footballer of the Year award. The 2004–05 season saw a lucrative move to FC Schalke 04.

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.

ST: Claudio Pizarro (Peru)
At the time of writing, Claudio Pizarro is the all-time leading foreign scorer in the Bundesliga history.  His career in Germany was sandwiched between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen.  He also played for Chelsea in England.  For the national team, he only scored 20 times for 85 matches at the time of writing between 1999 and 2016. He played in the 2018 World Cup Final, Peru's first World Cup Finals since 1982.  He scored a single goal in the Finals.

ST: Rudi Völler (Germany)
Rudi Völler started his career with TSV 1860 Hanau, before joining Werder Bremen in 1982. After becoming Bundesliga's top scorer, he was transferred to A.S. Roma.  In 1992, Völler moved to Olympique Marseille, where he won the Champions League in 1993. He joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994.  At the international level, he was capped 90 times.  He was a key player as West Germany won the World Cup in 1990, playing alongside Jurgen Klinsmann.
Rudi Voller

Honorable Mention
Valerien Ismaël (France), Willi Schröder (Germany), Wynton Rufer (New Zealand), Tim Wiese (Germany), Frank Rost (Germany), Richard Ackerschott (Germany), Ivan Klasnić (Croatia), Klaus Allofs (Germany), Tim Borowski (Germany), Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany), Manfred Burgsmüller (Germany), Frank Ordenewitz (Germany), Per Mertesacker (Germany), Clemens Fritz (Germany), Heinz Steinmann (Germany), Frank Verlaat (Netherlands), Frank Baumann (Germany), Dieter Zembski (Germany), Uli Borowka (Germany), Thomas Wolfer (Germany), Thomas Schaaf (Germany), Klaus Fichtel (Germany), Tim Borowski (Germany).

Squad Explanation
-- In July 2021, I realised that this team was missing plenty of star players.  I did a massive overhaul of the team.  
-- Between 1987 and 1993, Werder Bremen won two Bundesliga, two DFB-Pokals and a Cup Winners' Cup.
-- The 1992 Cup Winners' Cup is their only trophy in Europe. Rune Bratseth, Marco Bode, Dieter Eilts, Oliver Reck, MirkoVotava, Thomas Wolter Uli Borowka and Thomas Schaaf from that team were selected into this all-time team.  They also won the Bundesliga a year later in the 1992-1993 season.  By that time, Andreas Herzog had joined the club.
--  In addition, Nobert Meier, Miroslav Votava, Rune Bratseth, Oliver Reck and Dieter Eilts were also on the 1987-1988 Bundesliga winning team.  Karl-Heinz Riedle finished second in the Bundesliga in scoring that season.  He made honourable mention.
1987-1988 Bundesliga winner 
-- Werder Bremen won the Bundesliga in 2003-2004 season.  I only selected two players from the team, namely Ailton and Johan Micoud, Ailton finished the season as the Bundesliga;s top scorer.  He also won the German Player of the Year in 2004.  He was the first foreigner to win the award. Frank Baumann was their captain, but I left him off the team(please see central defender).
--  Werder Bremen won their first ever Bundesliga title in 1965.  The league was only founded in 1963.  Günter Bernard, Sepp Piontek, Arnold Schütz, Horst-Dieter Hottges and Max Lorenz from that team also made this all-time team.  Arnold Schütz was their captain.  Sepp Piontek who would become the famous coach for "Danish Dynamite" at the World Cup Finals in 1986.  He was also one club man for this team.
-- I took the three keepers with longest stints with the club. Dieter Burdenski played nearly 500 games for Werder Bremen.  Günter Bernard was the starting goalkeeper for their league winning team in 1965.  He played 11 seasons with the club.  Oliver Beck won two leagues and the 1992 Cup Winners' Cup.  He spent 13 seasons here.  Tim Wiese spent much lesser time with the club and less decorated.  Frank helped Bremen to win the 1998–99 DFB-Pokal. In the final, he scored a penalty himself before saving from Lothar Matthäus in the penalty shootout.
-- Horst-Dieter Hottges could play as leftback, rightback and a sweeper as good.  I also selected Max Lozenz as his backup leftback.  On the right side, Sepp Piontek was selected.  I left off one club player Thomas Schaaf (Germany) as well as Karl-Heinz Kamp and Karl-Heinz Geils.  Piontek was more famous, but I might be affected by his association as the manager of Denmark national team.  In the end, I took Clemens Fritz because he had some international experience playing in the Euro Finals.
-- Because Hottges could play in multi-position, I could be flexible in my selecting my last few players players, regarding positions.  Arnold Schütz, Tom Borowski, Jonny Otten,  Uli Borowka, Manfred Burgsmüller, Clemens Fritz, Norbert Meier and Karl-Heinz Riedle were the serious candidates for the last remaining spots.  In the end, I just selected the players based upon positional needs.  I took Norbert Meier and Clemens Fritz(see elsewhere).
-- Rune Bratseth played for Werder Bremen during its most glorious period.  He was voted into Bundesliga Team of the Year three times during that period.  Naldo was also voted into that three times while playing the club.  Per Mertesacker was also voted once (while playing with Naldo).  He was also Germany's main central defender during his duration over here.  It was my understanding that Per Røntved (Denmark) was rated as one of the greatest sweepers in the Bundesliga of all-time.  The other central defenders considered included one club player Thomas Wolfer.  SW: Bruno Pezzey was one of Austria's greatest defender, but he did not accomplish as much as the four selected.  
-- The defensive midfield position well-covered with MirkoVotava, Dieter Elits and Torsten Frings.  So I left off Arnold Schütz and Tim Borowski.  Schütz's father also played for Werder Bremen. He himself was one club man with Werder Bremen from 1955 to 1972. He helped them to win the 1965 Bundesliga title as its captain. It was the club's first Bundesliga title.
-- The team was also loaded with attack midfielders (Diego, John Micoud and Mesut Ozil).  I took AM Norbert Meier because he mainly played on the left.  My left side was weak.
-- I normally rewarded players for their loyalties and longevities, but in the world of football, it is difficult for a smaller club to keep a great player for long. I sometimes overlooked the issue for young players who made a name at the club but left early.  Both Mesut Özil and Rudi Voller were selected for this team for this reason. 
-- Mesut Özil did not do much with Schalke 04.  With Werder Bremen, he was the assist leader in the Bundesliga and became a key player for the German national team.
-- The international careers of both Diego and Johan Micoud were very limited, but they were among the top players at Bundesliga while playing for Werder Bremen.
-- Mario Basler was considered one of Germany's best players while playing with Werder Bremen.  His career remained unfulfilled after he left the club.  I do not consider his career elsewhere is a factor  The same applied to Diego. Furthermore, the team needed side midfiedlers and wingers.
-- Claudio Pizarro is the club's all-time leading scorer.  Miroslav Klose was Bundesliga league top scorer in 2005-2006 while playing for Werder Bremen. Rudi Voller was Bundesliga's top scorer in the 1982-1983 season. He was the German Footballer of the Year in 1983. He was a star player, not just an emerging player while playing here.  
-- I am uncertain about Richard Ackerschott position.  So I dropped him.  He was the last player dropped.

Claudio Pizarro is the club's all-time leading scorer.  Marco Bode is second.  He was at one point the all-time leader.


  1. Burdenski
    Bratseth Naldo Hottges
    Basler Frings Bode
    Diego Özil
    Völler Pizarro

    Of the 25 members I'd probably mix in keepers Frank Rost and Tim Wiese, defender Uli Borowka and playmaker Willi Schröder. Fritz and Lorenz can go. The EC2 winning team had a three-man backline, to accomodate the abundance of centers.