Okay, so this XI does not include household names like Oliver Kahn, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Michael Ballack. Surprised ? With all due respect to the aforementioned players, there were far better players that adorned the famous red jersey.
Let’s take a look at who make the cut in the Bavarians’ all time eleven.
Sepp Maier (West Germany)
Bayern Munich (1962–1979)
For those wondering where Oliver Kahn is have never heard or read about Sepp Maier. It is also near to impossible to find someone who witnessed the legendary Bayern man in action. A product of the Bayern academy, Maier went on to represent the Bavarians for an incredible 536 times during an illustrious career that spanned for 17 years. He also made 95 appearances for West Germany, winning the 1974 FIFA World Cup with his national side. An imposing figure between the sticks during the 70’s era, Maier was nicknamed Die Katze von Anzing (The cat from Anzing) for his quick reflexes. He holds the record for most consecutive Bundesliga appearances, appearing for an astounding 442 times on the trot between 1966-1979. The Metten born goalkeeper’s post retirement career included goalkeeping coach duties with Germany and Bayern Munich, where he was influential as a mentor to another great German goalkeeper, Oliver Kahn. His accolades include 3 Bundesliga titles, 4 DFB-Pokal, 3 successive European Cup’s between 1973-76, while also being named the best goalkeeper of the 1974 World Cup.
Right-back – Phillip Lahm (Germany)
Bayern Munich (2002-present)
The epitome of Bayern’s current success, Phillip Lahm is the only player who is still playing, making into our all-time Bayern eleven. He ousts the likes of Klaus Augenthaler and Willy Sagnol for the right-defender berth. A player known for his immaculate tackling ability, coupled with his versatility, work rate and ‘heart on sleeve’ attitude, Lahm no doubt will go down as the best defenders the world has ever seen. Equally at home in a new defensive-midfield role under Pep Guardiola, the 31-year-old’s stewardship has seen Bayern Munich win it all after being named the captain in 2011. Lahm is the only player to have captained teams to FIFA World Cup, The Treble, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Super Cup, going to show how successful the modern Bayern era has been under the ‘Magic Dwarf’s’ leadership.
Libero – Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany)
Bayern Munich (1964–1977)
There would be no team complete without Franz Beckenbauer at the heart of the defence. The man who originated the libero or the sweeper role, Der Kaiser was the leader of the ‘threepeat’ (European Cups in 1974,75, 76) side. Beckenbauer was by far the best defender during his era, arguably the best of all time. He was innovative, versatile and one of the most complete players, and made 427 appearances for the Die Roten, and a further 103 for West Germany. Beckenbauer won the Ballon d’Or twice in 1972 and 1976, also being nominated 10 times In the top five for the prestigious award; a staggering amount for a defender. He won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal on 4 occasions each, and the aforementioned threepeat.
Centre-back – Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck (West Germany)
Bayern Munich (1966–1981)
Another pillar of the successful Bayern era of the 70’s Schwarzenbeck was the cornerstone of the Bayern defence for 15 years. An indomitable figure, impossible to be overpowered in the air, ‘Katsche’ somehow received less praise than deserved as compared to the likes of Beckenbauer. It was he who scored the equalising goal against Atlético Madrid in the European Cup final match of 1974 in the last minute of extra time with a long-range effort, the replay of which the Bavarians won 4-0 . He too was the part of the ‘threepeat’, besides also winning the Bundesliga 6 times, and 3 German Cup’s.
Left-back – Bixente Lizarazu (France)
Bayern Munich (1997–2004)
The only foreigner in our Bayern eleven, Bixente Lizarazu completes our back four, slightly edging out legendary left-back Paul Breitner for the left full-back position. Although the fluffy-bearded German was a blazing left-back, his was more successful in a midfield role. ‘Liza’ meanwhile, went on to rule Bayern’s left sided defence for 7 affluent years. The short-statured Bordeaux youth product arrived at the Munich Olympic Stadium from Athletic Bilbao, and went on to become arguably the best left-back to pull a Bayern jersey. His transfer put an end to Bayern’s traditional Libero system, altering to a back-four system. Many claim that Lizarazu’s arrival was instrumental in reforging Bayern Munich as a European powerhouse. The Frenchman, who made 182 appearances for club, and 97 appearances for country, back in his time became the first player to be the European and World Champion, both at club and country level.
Defensive midfielder – Stefan Effenberg (Germany)
Bayern Munich (1990–1992, 1998–2002)
A leader, with brute strength, a ferocious tackler, powerful shooting ability and an equally controversial character, Stefan Effenburg was a complete package. His second spell with the Bavarians was more notable, where he led them to the 2001 Champions League. Der Tiger was infamous for his rough tackling, which saw him rack 109 yellow cards during his career; an all-time worst when he retired. He won 3 Bundesliga, and also 2 DFB-Pokal trophies.
Box-to-box midfielder – Lothar Matthäus (Germany)
Bayern Munich (1984–1988, 1992–2000)
The man who keeps Michael Ballack out of the team, the captain and architect of Germany’s 1990 World Cup triumph, Lothar Matthäus represented Bayern Munich in two distinguished spells. Argentine legend Diego Maradona in his book Yo soy el Diego was quoted saying “He(Matthäus) is the best rival I’ve ever had. I guess that’s enough to define him”. A dynamo, tireless runner with a shot in him, it is easy to see why Matthäus’s playing career was successful. After winning the Ballon d’Or in 1990, Matthäus won the first ever FIFA World Player of the Year, and since remains the only German to have won it. His accolades include 7 league titles, and 3 German Cup’s.
Attacking-midfielder – Mehmet Scholl (Germany)
Bayern Munich (1992–2007)
Mehmet Scholl was one of the most successful Bayerm Munich players ever. An attacking-midfielder by trade, Scholl possessed exquisite technical and playmaking ability, while being equally adept at dead-ball situations. After arriving from Karlsruher SC, the German with Turkish ancestry retired at Bayern Munich, and donned the famous number 7 jersey. Scholl went on to win the Bundesliga for as many as 8 times, a record only shared by former team-mate Oliver Kahn. His further accolades include the 2001 Champions League, and also 5 DFB-Pokal winners’ medal.
Right-forward – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Bayern Munich (1974–1984)
A cult hero amongst the Bayern faithful, Rummenigge still stands as one of the most decorated Bayern Munich players. During his playing career, ‘Kalle’ won almost everything that came to his way with the Die Roten, with his heavy- goal contribution leading to his. He scored 162 goals in 310 games for Bayern Munich, and was the league’s top scorer on three occasions in 1980, ‘81 and ’84. His leathal eye for goal also made him successful with West Germany, bagging 45 goals in 95 outings for the Nationalelf. Rummenigge later on formed a formidable partnership with team-mate Paul Breitner, and were affectionately dubbed Breitnigge by German newspaper Bild. Along with 9 trophies with Bayern Munich, he won the Ballon d’Or in 1980. Still associated with his boyhood club, Rummenigge is now the CEO of Bayern Munich.
Left-forward – Ulrich Hoeneß (West Germany)
Bayern Munich (1970–1979)
A left-sided forward, ‘Uli’ spent eight-and-a-half years with Bayern Munich, making 239 appearances and scoring 86 times. During the short stint, Uli achieved tremendous success with the Bavarians. He won the league titles, also being part of the ‘threepeat’. Sadly, Hoeneß’ career was cut short by a knee injury at the age of only 27, which compelled the forward to quit his playing career. He is most remembered for his performance in the replay of the 1974 Champions League final replay against Atlético Madrid, where he set-up two goals aiding his side to a 4-0 win.
Striker – Gerhard Müller (West Germany)
Bayern Munich (1964–1979)
None other than Gerd Müller completes our all time eleven jigsaw. It is hard to imagine the team not to be spearheaded by Bayern Munich’s all time top scorer, a staggering 398 goals in 453 outings; an unparalled feat which might not be achieved by anyone soon. If that was not enough, Müller has also stabbed more than a goal per game for West Germany with 68 in 62 caps. With bulky stature, an astonishing aerial ability and knack of scoring all sorts of goals from anywhere, Der Bomber was a defenders nightmare. The 1970 Ballon d’Or winner won no less than 13 trophies with Bayern, which most notably included the ‘threepeat’ and 4 league titles. If it were not for his goals, Bayern Munich’s success suddenly dwindles, with Rummenigge and Beckenbauer rightly saying “We owe him everything”
Captain : Franz Beckenabuer
Manager : Ottmar Hitzfeld ( 1998–2004, 2007-2008)
Der General managed Bayern Munich between 1998–2004 and again in 2007 for a season. In the 7 seasons as a manager, Hitzfeld became Bayern’s most successful manager. He steered the Bavarians to 14 trophies, that included the 2001 Champions League, 6 league titles, 3 DFB Pokal trophies, and 4 League Cups.