Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Werder Bremen Greatest All-Time Team

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 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.

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.
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: Uli Borowka (Germany)
A versatile blue-collar worker with a powerful shot, Borowka played with Borussia Monchengladbach between 1981 and 1987, but he spent the better part of his career at Werder Bremen (1988 to 1995), amassing Bundesliga totals of 388 games and 19 goals over the course of 15 seasons. With Bremen, he won two league titles and 1992 Cup Winners Cup. Borowka played 5 times for West Germany, 4 of which were appearances at the Euro 1988 held at home.
Uli Borowka

RB: Thomas Schaaf (Germany)
Thomas Schaaf was a true one-club man, spending 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)
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.

CB/DM: Arnold Schütz (Germany)
Arnold Schutz's father also playd for Werder Bremen. He himself was one club man with Werder Bremen from 1955 to 1972. "Pico" started his career as a center forward, but gradually moved to become a midfielder.  He helped them to win the 1965 Bundesliga title as its captain. It was the club's first 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, Frank 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, where he played until 2009. Baumann was capped 28 times. He appeared at the World Cup Finals in 2002 as well as the European Championship in 2004.

LB: 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.

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)
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

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.

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: 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

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: 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: 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 (Paraguay)
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, Willi Schröder, Norbert Meier, Wynton Rufer, Tim Wiese, Frank Rost, Richard Ackerschott.

Squad Explanation
-- I rewarded players for loyalty, but I also sometimes selected young players who left a smaller club early.  In the world of football, it is difficult for a smaller club to keep a great player for long.  Mesut Özil and Rudi Voller were selected for this team for that reason. 
-- 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, nt just an emerging player while playing here.
-- 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.
-- Arnold Schütz was their captain for their first ever Bundesliga title in 1965.  The league was only founded in 1963.
-- The international careers of both Diego and 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 was somewhat limited after his stay here.  I do not consider his career elsewhere is a factor  The same applied to Diego.
-- I took the three keepers with longest stints with the club.  Frank Rost and Tim Wiese missed out.
-- Klose was Bundesliga league top scorer in 2005-2006 while playing for Werder Bremen. 
-- Ailton was the first foreigner to win the German Footballer of the Year award 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.


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