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Best Bayern Munich XI of All Time

Wed 31 March 2021 | 11:30

Bayern is undoubtedly the biggest German football team and one of the world's bests. In 120 years of Bayern's marvelous history, many great players and legends served the Bavarians and many of them are a product of their youth system. Let's have a look at the best Bayern Munich XI of all time.

Bayern is definitely the most powerful and successful club in German football history. On a continental scale, they are one of the giants. They managed to win three consecutive European Cups (Champions League) and two Trebles, which means winning the Champions League and domestic league and cup titles in a single season.

Glory is a frequently used word in Bayern's history. Throughout this history, there are many football legends. In the prototype of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time, we labeled Paul Breitner as a left-back. In both positions, he was one of the world's best. Breitner replaced the great Stefan Effenberg in the midfield and Lizarazu won the lottery ticket to be on our list of Bayern Munich best 11 of all time. The absence of Effenberg might weaken the core strength of the team but on the other hand, there would be no need to worry about his many red and yellow cards.

Here is the list of best Bayern Munich XI of all time:

Most of the Bayern's stars were also Germany national team players, except one.

Goalkeeper – Sepp Maier

Years before

Manuel Neuer

and Oliver Kahn step up among the Goalkeeper legends, Sepp Maier was the savior of the Bavarian team. Sepp Maier joined Bayern's youth team at the age of fifteen in 1959 from TSV Haar. That was the only time a German legendary goalkeeper changed his club in his entire career. Germany has always had top quality goalkeeper and it's so hard to compete to best in this position. Sepp Maier was a key player of Bayern's 70s team that won every title possible.

Maier was first called up for the

national team

in 1966 as a substitute but in the 70's god the number one shirt of the Mannschaft. He won UEFA European championship in 1972 and FIFA world cup in 1974 as a West Germany player. From 1968 to 1974 Maier won four Bundesliga titles with

Bayern

and from 1974 they won three back-to-back European Cup championships. The Bavaria-born goalkeeper also won both European cup winners' cup, intercontinental cup, and four DFB-Pokals with his local team.

Sepp Maier was selected as Germany's Footballer of the Year in 1975, 1977 and 1978, while great players like Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge were at their peaks. Maier holds the record for Bayern's most appearances in all competitions with 700 caps. The first one of the

best Bayern Munich XI of all time

, caped in 442 consecutive Bundesliga matches which is the record in German football.

Right-Back – Philipp Lahm

Philipp Lahm spent much of his early career playing left-back, but mostly was a right-back and sometimes a defensive midfielder. Lahm is considered as one of the best defenders of his generation and one of the

Bayern Munich best XI of all time

. As a product of the Bayern Munich junior team, Lahm won the Bundesliga youth title two times, the second one as the captain. After that, he was introduced into the B team at the age of 17. In his second season, he became the captain again.

In 2002 he played his first game for the first team. After a two-year period on loan to Stuttgart, in 2005 he came back to Bayern and stayed at the club until 2017 when he retired. Playing 517 games for Bayern Munich, he won eight

Bundesliga

and six

DFB-Pokal

titles, three DFL super cups, the champions league title in 2012, and also UEFA super cup and FIFA club world cup in 2013.

He is renowned for his pace, technique, and precise tackling abilities, as well as his small stature, which earned him the nickname the "Magic Dwarf". As one of the all-time greatest XI of Bayern Munich, Lahm was in the list of FIFA FIFPro World XI for two years and won the FIFA world cup all-star team, dream team and, Castrol index all-star team awards. Also, his name was in the UEFA team of the year for five years. In 2017 he became Germany’s Footballer of the year.

Center Back – Franz Beckenbauer

Franz Beckenbauer is widely considered as one of the best footballers ever and one of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time. Due to his stunning performances and great leadership, he was nicknamed Der Kaiser, which means the Emperor. Beckenbauer is the only defender in football history that won Ballon d'Or twice. Only three defenders have won this prestigious award. Der Kaiser had a revolutionary style of sweeper defense or libero, while he often participated in the offensive phase of the game.

He served Bayern Munich as a player, manager, and president of the Bavarian club. Bayern won 13 major titles with Beckenbauer as a player and also the captain in most of them. He won Bundesliga and UEFA Cup as Bayern's manager in the '90s. From his numerous awards and honors, we can mention four Germany Footballer of the Year awards, FIFA World Cup Silver Ball in 1974 and Golden Foot in 2010 for his achievements as a football legend.

Beckenbauer was included in all kinds of dream teams and best footballers list such as Bundesliga Team of the Season (12 times), FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (3 times), World Soccer Greatest XI of all time, and the most recently Ballon d'Or Dream Team in 2020. Along with Mário Zagallo and Didier Deschamps, he is one of the three to win the World Cup as a player and manager. Franz Beckenbauer is undoubtedly the captain of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time.

Center Back – Klaus Augenthaler

Klaus “Augo” Augenthaler joined the Bayern Munich youth team in 1975 from FC Vilshofen. He played generally in the position of central defender, and in the latter part of his career, as a libero or sweeper. His nickname Augo, derived from his surname but meaning the eye in Germany. It was because of his ability to read the action and control a match from the back. As one of the

Bayern greatest XI of all time

, he played 404 games in Bayern’s first team in fifteen years until 1991.

He has the record of seven championships and three German cup triumphs and a 1990 world cup winners’ medal. From 1984 until the end of his career, he was the captain of Bayern. Kicker, mentioned his name in the Bundesliga team of the season two times. He scored 52 goals and the most famous of those was in August 1989, when he changed the game against

Eintracht Frankfurt

to 1-0 with his goal. He beat the Frankfurt goalkeeper Uli Stein with a shot from the halfway line, earning the goal of the season and goal of the decade awards. Augo was truly one of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time.

Left-Back – Bixente Lizarazu

Bixente Lizarazu began his professional career in

Bordeaux

. Initially, he was playing as a winger. After being told he wouldn’t make a career in football because of his frail physicality as a teenager, he impressed the staff and became a member of the senior squad in 1988. He was retrained to play as a counter-attacking left-back at the suggestion of coach Didier Couécou and soon replaced the veteran Gernot Rohr (later to be the club's manager) in the position.

Liza played Alongside Zidane in Bordeaux and in 1995 they won the UEFA Intertoto cup to qualify for the 1995 UEFA cup, which Bordeaux end up as runner up in the final against Bayern.

He played for

Athletic Bilbao

for a season and joined Bayern in 1997. It was a highly successful spell in Bavaria.

As one of the

Bayern all-time greatest XI

, He won six Bundesliga titles, which included three in a row between 1999 to 2001, as well as five DFB-Pokals, four DFB-Ligapokals, the champions league in 2001, and the international cup. On winning the Intercontinental Cup in 2001, he became the first player to be a current European and World champion in both club and international football.

He went to France for a six-month spell at

Marseille

in 2004, but then came back to Bayern In January 2005. During his second spell with Bayern, ending in 2006 when he gave way to the emerging Philipp Lahm. As one of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time in the left-back, he made 268 appearances in all competitions for Bayern scoring eight goals. 

Center Midfielder – Paul Breitner

There are not many footballers who top in versatile positions on the field. Paul Breitner was one the best players in both left-back and midfield roles for the Bavarians. Breitner was a key player for Bayern in the '70s and they were one of the most powerful and successful line-ups in football history.

Breitner had 337 caps for Bayern during two spells. The first spell started in 1970 and he mainly played as a left-back. Breitner won 6 major titles in his first spell including three consecutive Bundesliga titles, one DFB Pokal, and more importantly European Cup in 1973-74. After that, he left Bayern and had a very successful spell in

Real Madrid

where they won two La Liga championships and a Copa del Rey. Breitner's second spell began in 1978 and it was the time for him to change his role to a midfielder. Simultaneously another club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge also changed his role from forward to the midfielder and they formed a great combination.

As one of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time, Paul Breitner won two back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 1980 and 1981 and a DFB-Pokal in 1982. In 1982 Bayern reached the European Cup but unexpectedly lost the final match to English team

Aston Villa

and Breitner couldn't get that title as Bayern's captain. The peak of this football legend's career was in 1981 that he was named Germany Footballer of the Year and runner up for Ballon d'Or where his fellow teammate Rummenigge won the award.

Center Midfielder – Lothar Matthaus

As one of the greatest central midfielders of all time, Lothar Matthaus is a member of the FIFA 100 list of the greatest living football players chosen by Pelé. Diego Maradona said of Matthaus, "he is the best rival I've ever had. I guess that's enough to define him", in his book. The German legend played for many teams during his career but he spent more than half his career at Bayern Munich.

Matthaus had a very flexible playing style which helped the team to use him as a multi-purpose midfielder.  He was a master in perceptive passing, positional sense, well-timed tackling, as well as powerful shooting. Matthaus is another of the

Bayern Munich best 11 of all time

that had the honor of being the Bavarian's captain. He is one of the most successful players in football history.

He won many team titles with Bayern including notable seven Bundesliga titles, three DFB Pokals, and a UEFA Cup. Between the two spells of playing for Bayern, Matthaus spent four seasons in Italian Serie A with

Inter

which was also a great success for him and Inter. In 1990 he managed to win the World Cup with West Germany just one year after the Serie A championship that led him to win the Ballon d'Or in 1990. Among the other individual awards, he won in that year, we could mention Germany Footballer of the Year, World Soccer Awards Player of the Year, and IFFHS World's Best Player.

Center Midfielder – Bastian Schweinsteiger

Bastian Schweinsteiger is regarded as one of the greatest midfielders of all time, due to his tactical awareness, positioning, passing, and tackling ability, and also is one of the

all-time greatest XI of Bayern Munich

. As a product of the Bayern youth team, Schweinsteiger was in Bayern for seventeen seasons, before joining

Manchester United

in 2015. During his years with Bayern, he was regarded as one of the best midfielders in the world. Schweinsteiger could possess a fearsome shot from range, as well as excellent crossing.

In 500 games that he played for Bayern first team, he scored 68 goals in all the competitions, winning eight Bundesliga titles, including three in a row between 2012 to 2014, seven DFB-Pokals, a FIFA club world cup, the 2010 DFL super cup and a champions league in 2012. In 2010, Schweinsteiger’s name was on the list of FIFA world cup dream team and he won a shared FIFA world cup most assists with

Thomas Muller

,

Mesut Ozil

, Kaka, and Dirk Kuyt.

As a member of Bayern Munich hall of fame and one of the Bayern Munich best ever XI, Schweinsteiger received the 2013 German player of the year due to his performance for Bayern Munich. He was a fan favorite at Bayern and was usually called Fußballgott (football god) by Bayern's fans.In 2015, he joined Man United after a long journey in Bayern, playing sparingly for 18 months before joining

Chicago Fire

. A few days after his move, Mourinho stated that he regretted the way he had treated Schweinsteiger. As one of the best German footballers of all time, he truly earned his place in the list of best Bayern Munich XI of all time.

Forward – Thomas Muller

Thomas Muller has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles like attacking midfielder, second striker, center forward, and on either wing. He is considered as one of the best forwards in Bayern history and one of the

Bayern Munich best ever XI

. Despite his lack of physical strength, he has been praised for his technique, awareness, tactical intelligence, and positioning. 

As a product of the Bayern youth team, he became involved in the first team under manager Jurgen Klinsmann in 2008. But his first contract for the senior team was signed in 2009. Since then, he has played in 566 games for Bayern and scored 212 games in all the competitions. With the club, he has won nine Bundesliga titles, which includes eight seasons in a row from 2012 till now, six DFB-Pokals, six DFL super cups, the 2013 FIFA club world cup, and two champions league titles in 2012 and 2019.

As one of the Bayern greatest XI of all time, Muller broke the Bundesliga’s record for assists by providing 21 in a season, a record in the top five leagues jointly held with 

Messi

 in La Liga, and scored 14 goals in the treble of 2019–20 season. In the 2010 world cup, he won FIFA’s golden boot, best young player, and world soccer young player of the year awards, and in Bundesliga, he got the newcomer of the season title. Also, in 2014, he won FIFA’s silver boot, silver ball, all-star team, and the dream team cups. 

Forward – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Today football fans know Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the chairman of Bayern but back then in the 70s to the early 80s, he was one of the best players in the World and one of the Bayern Munich best XI of all time.  Rummenigge played for a decade in Bayern’s colors before moving abroad to Italy to join Inter Milan and before the departure he won enormous amounts of glory with Bayern. He managed to win 2 Ballon d’Ors in 1980 and 1981 that due to his amazing performances Bayern won two Bundesliga trophies those years.

Rummenigge mainly played as a forward where due to his versatile skills he could be in any forward roles such as winger or shadow striker. Despite being a natural-born goal scorer, Rummenigge showed heart-warming performances as a midfielder. This variety of the tactical roles was only possible with great technique as he could dribble past many opponents easily alongside his sharpshooter vision and powerful blasts on target.

As one of the best Bayern Munich XI of all time, Rummenigge was named the top scorer of many competitions like DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga and when legendary Gerd Müller left Rummenigge covered for him and became European Cup best goal scorer too. Rummenigge was a key player for Germany's national team too and appeared in 95 matches for West Germany and scored 45 goals. He managed to win UEFA European Championship in 1980 where he played midfielder. Rummenigge reached two World Cup finals but West Germany lost both of them, one to Paolo Rossi's Italy and the other to Argentina with Maradona.

Forward - Gerd Muller

As one of the

best Bayern Munich XI of all time

, Gerd Muller is regarded one of the best players and goal scorers of all time. He joined Bayern Munich in 1964, where he played alongside Franz Beckenbauer and Sepp Maier. Until 1979, when he departed from the club, he played 605 games and scored 563 goals in all competitions.

He was short and not notably fast, but he had an uncanny goal scoring instinct. His short legs gave him perfect balance in spaces and he could rely on short bursts of speed. For seven years, he got the Bundesliga top scorer title and won two European golden shoe awards. On the international level, averaging more than a goal a game with West Germany, Müller is now 19th on the list of all-time international goal scorers, despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 48. Among the top scorers, he has the third highest goal to game ratio.

 Four Bundesliga titles and four DFB-Pokals are some of his club honors. In 1972, he was the UEFA European Championship Top Scorer and got into the UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament. Also, in four years he won four European Cup Top Scorer awards, which in three of them Bayern won the European cup. He is now on the IFFHS Legends list and the Bayern all-time greatest XI.

 

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