Wednesday, November 2, 2016

FC Koln Greatest All-Time Team

1963-1964 Bundesliga champion

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

FC Koln was formed in 1948 as a merger of the clubs Kölner Ballspiel-Club 1901 and SpVgg Sülz 07.  Like many of Germany's other professional football clubs, 1. FC Köln is part of a larger sports club with teams in other sports like handball, table tennis and gymnastics. 1. FC Köln had around 78.500 members as of May 2016, making it the fourth largest club in 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.
Koln won the Double in the 1977-1978 season
Team
GK: Harald Schumacher (Germany)
Harald "Toni" Schumacher had 76 caps between 1979 and 1986.  He won the 1980 European Championship in Italy and came second at the World Cup finals, in both 1982 and 1986.  He was best remembered for a highly controversial incident in the 1982 World Cup semifinal against France when he collided with and seriously injured French defender Patrick Battiston.  He spent the prime of his career with FC Koln, where he won the "Double" in 1978. 
Toni Schumacher
GK: Bodo Illgner (Germany)
Bodo Illgner played for Köln between 1986 and 1996.  He joined  Real Madrid in 1996, winning the Champions league in 1998. His starting position was succeeded by Iker Casillas. He was capped 54 times between 1987 and 1994.  He helped West Germany to the 1990 World Cup, where he became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup final. He also played in 1994 World Cups Finals and two other European Championship.

GK: Manfred Manglitz (Germany)
Manfred Manglitz was a member of the West Germany squad at 1970 FIFA World Cup, playing four times for his country from 1965 to 1970.  His career, however, was remembered for a match fixing scandal known as "Bundesligaskandal" in 1971. He received a lifetime ban. For his club career, he played with Bayer Lverkusen, FC Koln and MSV Duisburg.

RB: Harald Konopka (Germany)
Harald Konopka won three German Cup's with 1. FC Köln and was runner-up with them in two other editions.  Konopka was part of the famous FC Köln squad that won the Bundesliga and the Cup in the same season (double) in 1978. He also played a season for Borussia Dortmund for the remainder of his career. Capped twice. He went to the World Cup Finals in 1978. He played once in the Finals.

ST/RB: Karl-Heinz Thielen (Germany)
Born in 1940, Karl-Heinz Thielen played for his entire career for Koln from 1959 to 1973.  He made nearly 300 appearances for the club. He won the German league in 1962.  Then, he won the first ever Bundesliga in the 1963-1964 with the club. The title was the first ever Bundesliga title in Germany.  He was capped twice for the West german national team in the 1960's.

CB: Jurgen Kohler (Germany)
Jurgen Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's.   He earned 105 caps for West Germany/Germany between 1986 and 1998.  He won the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  For his club career, he played with Koln, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.  He was Footballer of the Year in Germany in 1997.
Jurgen Kohler
CB: Gerhard Strack (Germany)
He earned 10 caps and scored one goal for West Germany from 1982 to 1983, and was included in the West German team for the 1984 UEFA European Football Championship, but did not play. The one goal he scored, against Albania in a European Championship qualifier in 1983, was vital: it ensured that West Germany qualified for Euro 84 ahead of Northern Ireland.

CB: Paul Steiner (Germany)
Steiner appeared in 349 games in the Bundesliga, scoring 27 times from 1979 until 1991 with MSV Duisburg and 1. FC Köln. With the latter side, he was instrumental in five league finishes in the top three, also winning the German Cup in 1983 and losing the 1985–86 UEFA Cup to Real Madrid.  Capped once in 1990.

CB: Wolfgang Weber (Germany)
Wolfgang Weber played his entire career for FC Köln between 1963 and 1978.  He was capped 53 times.  He was best remembered for scoring the last minute equaliser For West Germany at the Final of the World Cup in 1966 against England that sent the Final into extra time.  He also played at the European Championship in 1968 and the World Cup Finals in 1970.  He had 53 caps between 1964 and 1975.

CB/LB: Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
In his prime, Karl-Heinz Schnellingerwas considered one of the best leftbacks in the world.  He participated in 4 World Cup Finals, unfortunaitely sandwiched between West Germany's two World Cup winning tournaments.  He was remembered one of the first German footballer to star in Italy.  He had a remarkable stint with AC Milan and As Roma.  He won the European Cup in 1969 with AC Milan. He was awarded the (German Footballer of the Year) in 1962. 
Karl-Heinz Schnellinger
CB/LB: Herbert Zimmermann (Germany)
Herbert Zimmermann  started as a striker for Bayern Munich.  He never found much playing time, but was a part of the squad of FC Bayern Munich that won the Bundesliga in 1973 and 1974, and the European Cup in 1974.  He joined Koln in 1974 and converted into a successful defender.  He was capped 14 times. He was a part of the team that won the European Championship in 1980.  He also went to the World Cup in 1978.

LB: Henrik Andersen (Denmark)
Andersen played eight years at Belgian club RSC Anderlecht, with whom he won the 1983 UEFA Cup. He joined Koln in 1990.  He represented Denmark in 30 matches, and scored two goals. He represented Denmark at the 1986 World Cup and the triumphant Euro 1992 tournament, where he suffered a serious knee injury, during the semi-final against Holland.


DM/SW: Bernhard Cullmann (Germany)
Bernhard Cullmann began his footballing career in 1969 with SpVgg Porz, until he was signed by 1. FC Köln in 1970. He played 341 matches in the Bundesliga for them before his retirement in 1984. He played 40 matches for the German team between 1973 and 1980, scoring six goals.[4] He participated at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the 1978 FIFA World Cup, and the victorious UEFA Euro 1980.


CM: Bernd Schuster (Germany)
Schuster was the star of West Germany's Euro 1980 winning team, but disagreed with the German Football Association and seldom played for West Germany after the tournament.  He started with FC Koln in 1978. He was a star at La Liga in the 1980's, playing for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. He was the first player to have won the Spanish Cup for the big three in Spain. He later played for Bayer Leverkusen.
Bernd Schuster

LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath (Germany)
Wolfgang Overath was one of the best left midfielders in history,  He won the 1974 World Cup with West Germany at home, where he kept Gunter Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  In addition to 1974 World Cup Finals, he also went to the 1966 and 1970 World Cup Finals. He had World Cup medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. He spent all of his career with Koln, winning the Bundesliga in 1963.  
Wolfgang Overath
RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski   (Germany)
Littibarski was a major star in the 1980's.  He had over 70 caps and played in three World Cup Finals (1982, 1986 and 1990) with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times, winning his final World Cup in 1990. He spent most of his career with Koln, winning the DFB-Pokal once, in 1983, and was three times runner up in the Bundesliga (1982, 1989 and 1990).  He has also played for RC Paris in Ligue 1 as well as for JEF United Ichihara and Brummel Sendai in Japan.
Pierre Littibarki
LW:  Hans Schafer  (Germany)
Hans Schafer played for 1. FC Köln between 1948 and 1965. He also played for the West Germany, earning 39 caps and scoring 15 goals. He played in three World Cups, in 1954, 1958, and 1962, earning a winner's medal in 1954 and scoring a total of seven goals. Between 1957 and 1962, Schäfer captained Germany 16 times. He was German Player of the Year in 1963. He spent all of his career with Koln.
Hans Schafer winning the 1964 Bundesliga

AM: Heinz Frohe (Germany)
He played for 1. FC Köln (1966–1979), winning the Bundesliga title in 1978, and the DFB-Pokal in 1968, 1977 and 1978. He also played for TSV 1860 München (1979–1980). Earned 39 caps and scored 8 goals for Die Mannschaft (West Germany). He was in the winning squad for the 1974 FIFA World Cup. He also played in the 1976 European Football Championship and the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

AM: Josef Rohrig (Germany)
Josef Rohrig played at 1. FC Köln for ten years between 1950 and 1960, and was part of the team which reached the final of the DFB-Pokal and finished second the German football championship. He also made sporadic appearances for the West Germany national football team between 1950 and 1956, playing 12 times and scoring two goals.

AM: Thomas Hassler (Germany)
Hassler was a star player in the 1990's.  He played for Koln, Juventus, Roma, Karlsruher, 1860 Munich and SV Salzburg. He appeared over 100 times for the German natinal team. He was a member of the teams which won the 1990 FIFA World Cup (as West Germany) and UEFA Euro 1996. He also appeared at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, the 1992 and 2000 UEFA European Championships, and the 1988 Olympic Games.

FW: Klaus Allofs (Germany)
Klaus Allofs made his name with Fortuna Düsseldorf, where he was the Bundesliga top-scorer in 1978-1979, winning two German Cup with them.  He later played for Koln, Olympique de Marseille, Bordeaux and Werder Bremen.  With Werder Bremen, he won the 1992 Cup Winners' Cup. He had 56 caps. He was the top scorer at the European Championship in 1980, where West Germany was the champion.  He played at European Championship in 1984 and the World Cup Finals in 1986.
Klaus Allofs

FW: Lukas Podolski (Germany)
Born in Poland, Lukas Podolski grew up in Germany.  He made 81 appearances for Koln before moving to Bayern Munich. With Bayern, Podolski won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal double in 2008. Podolski returned to 1. FC Köln in 2009. He later played for Arsenal, Inter Milan, Galatasaray and Kobe Vissel. He was capped over 120 times.  He is a regular member of the national team from 2003 to 2016.  He was a part of the team that won the World Cup in 2014.
Lukas Podolski

ST: Heinz Hornig (Germany)
Hornig was capped by West Germany on seven occasions, making his debut in 1965 and his final appearances the following year. He was a member of the German squad at the 1966 FIFA World Cup, although he did not play a game in the tournament. He played his club football for 1. FC Köln between 1962 and 1970, and he appeared for them in the 1962–63 European Cup against Dundee.

ST: Hannes Löhr (Germany)
Hannes Löhr scored 166 top division goals for 1. FC Köln. He is the all-time leading scorer for the club.  He played with their great team in the 1960's.  He also won the Double in 1978 for the club.  Löhr won 20 caps for West Germany and appeared at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico.  He was a part of the team that won the 1972 European Championship, but did not play in the Finals.

ST: Dieter Muller (Germany)
Muller played for Koln, Stuttgart, Bordeaux, Grasshopper Club Zurich, FC Saarbrucken and Kickers Offenbach.  He set a record for the most goals scored by a player in a single Bundesliga match. In 1977, he scored six goals to Köln's 7–2 victory over Werder Bremen.  He was crowned Bundesliga topscorer that season and the season before in 1978. He was capped 12 times. He was best remembered for scoring a hat trick against Yugoslavia and a goal against Czechoslovakia at Euro 1976.
Dieter Muller

Honorable Mention
Jonas Hector, Armin Görtz, Dieter Prestin, Thomas Allofs, Heinz Simmet, Fritz Pott, Hansi Sturm, Roger van Gool, Morten Olsen, Christian Muller, Jonas Hector.

Squad Explanation
-- FC Köln had a great team in the early 1960's. They won the first Bundesliga in 1964.  Hans Schäfer, Karl- Heinz Schnellinger, Wolfgang Overath, Wolfgang Weber, Karl-Heinz Thielen and Heinz Hornig. Hannes Löhr was not on the 1963-1964 team. Schnellinger also left for AC Milan in 1963.
-- Hannes Löhr played in the 1960's, but was also a member of the 1978 Double winning team.  He is their all-time leading scorer.
-- From the 1978 "Double"(Bundesliga/German Cup) winning team, I selected Harald Schumacher, Gerhard Strack, Herbert Zimmermann, Harald Konopka,  Bernhard Cullmann, Heinz Frohe and Dieter Muller made the team. Wolfgang Weber was on the team, but did not play that season.  He retired soon afterward.
-- Dieter Muller was Bundesliga top scorer twice(1977 and 1978).
-- FC Koln reached the Final of the UEFA Cup in 1986, where they lost to Real Madrid.  From that period, I selected Harald Schumacher, Pierce Littibarski and Paul Steiner.  Thomas Hassler also played that season.
-- Harald Schumacher was also known as Toni Schumacher.  Anton Schumacher was a goalkeeper for Koln between 1960 and 1968.  He was also known as Toni Schumacher.
-- Manfred Manglitz was not punished for his match fixing scandal.
-- Schnellinger was one of the best defender in the world during his time with Koln.  He was awarded the (German Footballer of the Year) in 1962. 
-- Bernd Schuster only played two seasons, but he made his name here.  I sometimes selected great players who made their name in a smaller clubs.  It is much harder for a smaller club to keep a player such as Schuster for too long.  The same applied to Jürgen Kohler who also only spent two seasons here, but he made his first senior national team cap here.
-- Jonas Hector is too young to be considered at the time of writing. I ut him on honourable mention.

Formation





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