Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Werder Bremen Greatest All-Time Team

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.

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.

GK: Günter Bernard (Germany)
He 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 was a German international himself. He played over 400 games for Werder Bremen.  Capped 12 times. He was a bench player at Euro 1980 and the WC Finals in 1978.

GK: Oliver Reck (Germany)
In a 20-year professional career, he 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.  Capped once.

RB: Uli Borowka (Germany)
A versatile blue-collar worker with a powerful shot, he spent the better part of his career at Werder Bremen (nearly one full decade), amassing Bundesliga totals of 388 games and 19 goals over the course of 15 seasons. Borowka represented West Germany at Euro 1988.
Uli Borowka

RB: Thomas Schaaf (Germany)
A true one-club man, he spent his entire playing career with Werder Bremen. During his time with his only club, he won two national championships and as many DFB-Pokal. In the 1991–92 edition of the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, he was on the bench in the final against AS Monaco FC, but replaced injured Thomas Wolter after 30 minutes in an eventual 2–0 win in Lisbon.

SW: Rune Bratseth (Norway)
He is one of the best defenders in Norway's football history.  He went to the WC in 1994.  He was best remembered for his career with Werder Bremen.
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, Wolvesburg and Schalke 04.

CB/DM: Arnold Schütz (Germany)
He was one club man with Werder Bremen. He helped them to win the 1965 Bundesliga title.

CB: Thomas Wolter (Germany)
 Wolter arrived at SV Werder Bremen in the summer of 1984, from local amateurs Hamburg Eimsbütteler Ballspiel Club. He only played for them in his career.  Due to injury, Wolter was only able to appear in 16 matches in the 1987–88 campaign as the Hanseatic League team won the second national championship in its history, the first in 23 years. He also appeared in four German Cup finals in the late 80s/early 90s, winning two and losing two.

CB/DM: Frank Baumann (Germany)
Born in Würzburg, Bavaria, Baumann started out as a midfielder at 1. FC Nürnberg, where his talents were soon recognized in a defensive position.  He moved in 1999 to SV Werder Bremen. Capped 28 times.

LB: Horst-Dieter Hottges (Germany)
Horst-Dieter Hottges started his entire career with Borussia Mönchengladbach, but found successes with Werder Bremen.  He went to World cup Finals in 1966 and 1974 and the European Championship in 1972 .  He played in the WC Finals in 1974, but he lost his starting position after West Germany lost to East Germany at the Finals in 1974.

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.

DM: Dieter Elits (Germany)
He played 390 matches for SV Werder Bremen, his only club during his whole 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.  At the European Championship of 1996, he was a key player as Die Mannschaft won it.
Dieter Elits

CM/DM: Torsten Frings (Germany)
Remembered for his career with Werder Brenen, but also played for Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Toronto FC.  Capped 79 times.  He played in both 2002 and 2006 WC Finals as well as Euro 2008 and 2004.

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.

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: Max Lorenz (Germany)
From 1960 to 1969, he played for Werder Bremen.  Later, he joined Eintracht Braunschweig.  Capped 19 times.  He went the WC Finals in 1966 and 1970.
Max Lorenz

AM: Mesut Özil
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.  He was a part of Germany's World Cup winning team in 2014.

AM: Johan Micoud (France)
Micoud began with AS Cannes. 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.  Capped only 17 times, largely because of playing in the same time as Zidane.  He won the Euro 2000 and played at the WC in 2002.
Johan Micoud
AM: Diego (Brazil)
He began his career at Santos, where 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.  Capped 33 times, despite hyped as one of Brazil's greatest talents during his Santos' days.

ST: Andreas Herzog (Austria)
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 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. Capped 103 times for Austria, the most ever for Austria.
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)
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.

ST: Claudio Pizarro (Paraguay)
At the time of writing, he 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 19 times for 71 matches at the time of writing. 

ST: Rudi Völler (Germany)
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.  Capped 90 times.  He was a key player as West Germany won the World Cup in 1990.
Rudi Voller

Honorable Mention Valerien Ismaël, Willi Schröder, Norbert Meier, Wynton Rufer, , Tim Wiese, Frank Rost, Richard Ackerschott.

Squad Explanation
-- I took the three keepers with longest stints with the club.  Frank Rost and Tim Wiese missed out.
-- I am uncertain where Richard Ackerschott played.  So I dropped him.  He was the last player dropped.


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