2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year
Now that the dust has settled and we are well into 2022, let’s take a look at the year that is behind us and find out who are on our 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year:
The 2021 was a year that football saw some of its old glory restored with fans back at the stadium, although in reduced capacity. While Germany was less lenient towards having fans back at the stadium especially in recent months due to increase in the COVID cases in the country, the doom and gloom of 2020 had gave its way to hope in 2021 and both players, fans and football in general was exciting again.
Like always though Bayern Munich reigned supreme in the Bundesliga but the recent pattern of the competition being the best place for developing young talent among Europe’s top 5 leagues continued and therefore we saw a lot of talented player emerge from almost every team in the league. we thought it would be proper to see which of these players prospered and performed consistently well during 2021 rather than any particular season and make a combined 11 out of those players. So let’s see which players combine to make our
2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year
Bundesliga Best Players of 2021
One thing to note here is that we are not picking a team from any specific season but rather the entirety of 2021 which falls into two seasons. The formation that we are going for here is 3-4-3. So let’s find out who were the Bundesliga best players of 2021:
Goalkeeper: Peter Gulacsi (RB Leipzig)
We start off our 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year with RB Leipzig’s outstanding goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi, who has been outstanding all throughout the last season and to a lesser extend this season as well. The Hungarian has had a strange career with him being a Liverpool player for 5 seasons without ever making a single appearance for the Reds but now it is safe to say that Gulacsi has reached his peak and as he himself believes, he is one of the best goalkeepers working in Europe right now, if a bit underrated.
In terms of his performances in the 2020-21 season of Bundesliga goes, Gulacsi only missed one match throughout the season and only conceded 30 goals in all those matches which makes him the 2ndbest goalkeeper
behind Leverkusen’s Hradecky in terms of the goals conceded amongst the goalkeepers that had 25+ games during the season. in terms of his feet work and attempted passes goes, Gulacsi leaves a lot to be desired but he makes it up with being a damn good sweeper keeper who had 53 sweeping actions last season, even more than the mighty Manuel Neuer!
had the best defense in the Bundesliga as they only conceded 32 goals last season, 30 of which Gulacsi conceded himself. He has the best clean sheet record in the league if we combine the two numbers from the last season and this one (19 clean sheets). Also last season he had the lowest amount of goals conceded per 90 minutes with 0.91 goals conceded per game. The 31-year-old has been a huge part of RB Leipzig’s emergence as a top club in Germany and was undoubtedly one of
Bundesliga best players of 2021
despite RB Leipzig’s rocky start to this season.
Center Back: Nico Schlotterbeck (SC Freiburg)
Next up as one of our 3 center backs among the
Bundesliga Team of the Season of 2021
, we haveFreiburg
’s Nico Schlotterbeck. The 22 year old defender was even called up to Germany’s senior side for the first time in the past couple of months, having previously represented the country from the U18 to U21 level. Despite him not actually making his debut for Germany, the call up showed how strong his performances were for Flick to include him and looking at his numbers and stats, this fact is only emphasized.
A product of Karlsruher and Freiburg’s youth academy, Schlotterbeck made his senior debut for Freiburg during the 2018-19 season but it was during the 2019-20 season and on his time on loan to Union Berlin, that he actually broke into the first team by appearing in 16 matches. the loan move proved to be excellent for him since he has become one of Bundesliga’s best players, having already surpassed the amount of game time he had in the entirety of last season
A modern center back who can carry the ball into the attack and is quite commanding on the pitch due to his physical stature, Schlotterbeck is adept at stopping the ball either with his tackles or interceptions. He has already won 29 tackles so far this season which ranks him as eighth in the league. his 82.4% passing success rate is something that should not be forgotten about either since it showcases how much of a successful distributer he is.
With 2.2 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game this season which is similar numbers to that of his last season, Nico Schlotterbeck has definitely been among the Bundesliga best players of 2021 not to mention thebest defenders in Europe
. If he continues at this rate, he might even end up as a regular for Germany in the 2022 World Cup and he will definitely generate a lot of interest in him from Europe’s biggest clubs, as he already has!
Center Back: Dayot Upamecano (Bayern Munich/RB Leipzig)
Pairing up with Schlotterbeck is Dayot Upamecano who has been excellent in the past couple of seasons. The Frenchman established himself in RB Leipzig as one of the best young defensive talents in Europe and has now made the switch to Bayern Munich in a €42.5 million that happened last summer. In addition to his great form at Bayern so far, Upamecano was excellent last season at Leipzig as they had the best defensive record in the league, mainly due to Upamecano’s contributions.
A modern center back in every sense of the word, Upamecano excels at distributing the ball as well as stopping the oppositions attacks with tackles and interceptions. He is particularly great in the air as well, both in defense and in attack. Although he is known to foul often he doesn’t usually get sent off which is always a plus for a defender.
As well as being part of Bundesliga’s best defense last season alongside players like Peter Gulacsi and Willie Orban, Dayot Upamecano has been excellent since his arrival at Bayern, making his transition to the country’s best team seamless. His 2.3 tackles and 2.5 interceptions per game this season is a testament to that and exactly why he is on our 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year.
Center Back: Konstantinos Mavropanos (Stuttgart on loan from Arsenal)
The last defender on our
2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year
is the Greek center back, Konstantinos Mavropanos who has been playing in Bundesliga for a couple of seasons now on loan from the Premier League side,Arsenal
. While Mavropanos joined the Gunners whenArsene Wenger
was still in charge, he wasn’t trusted by the managers that followed Wenger but he has now finally developed into a fine center back who will undoubtedly attract bigger clubs’ attention.
A ball carrying center back, Mavropanos seems to excel in instigating attacks by bringing the ball out of defense. either with his dribbling ability or his ability to pass between the lines. He is also a great tackler and an interceptor of the ball as well as being exceptionally good in the air due to his height (1.94m). due to him playing for a mid to lower table team, Mavropanos ends up doing a lot of defensive actions including clearances.
This season so far, Mavropanos has had an average of 2.4 interceptions (3rd in the league), 5.5 clearances (4th in the league) and 1.9 tackles per game which shows the top defender he is. And with only €3.5 millionStuttgart
will be able to make his deal permanent and will no doubt make a profit by selling him to a bigger club in the future!
Defensive Midfielder: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)
The first Bayern Munich player on our list who could already be a genuine contender for the 2021-22 Bundesliga Player of the Season is the exceptionally talented Joshua Kimmich. The right back turned defensive midfielder has been brilliant ever since he joined FC Hollywood in 2015 and has already become one of the most decorated German and Bayern Munich players of all time.
Ever since Thiago’s departure from Bayern at the start of last season, Kimmich has replaced him as the team’s main ball distributor and his unbelievable performances at this role, was one of the main reasons Bayern Munich won their 9th consecutive Bundesliga title and are on their way to win the 10th. As a player, Joshua Kimmich is perhaps the embodiment of German work ethic since the 26-year-old has not only been able to replace Bayern’s legendary former captain, Philip Lahm, but also has adjusted his game and brought a lot more creativity to his playing style to replace Tiago Alcantara as well.
Kimmich is a dead ball specialist, delivering most of Bayern’s corners and indirect free kicks himself. This season, Kimmich has the most completed passes (952) amongst Bundesliga midfielders as well as most progressive passes in the league overall (118) and 2nd most crosses (67) in the league so far that emphasizes how important of a player he is for Bayern in their attacking endeavors.
With 2.4 key passes per game, Kimmich was able to assist 10 times and score 4 goals for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga last season. this season while not injured, he has scored 3 goals and assisted another 3. Although there are players who score or assist more than him, Kimmich is arguablyBayern Munich
’s most important player because without him their overall shape would just fall apart, which is why he is our pick to sit in front of Bundesliga Team of the Season of 2021 3-man defense.
Defensive Midfielder: Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund)
Alongside Joshua Kimmich we have an Englishman, Jude Bellingham, who has been excellent in the past year and was undoubtedly one of Bundesliga best players of 2021. The 18 year old midfielder has been part of an impressive generation of young English players and has shown his mettle even in the toughest of games with his calm and collective performances for both England and Borussia Dortmund. In 2021 alone, Bellingham was able to win the German cup as well as be included and make his debut for England in Euro 2020 in the year that passed.
A product ofBirmingham City
’s youth system, Bellingham managed to fight his way to the top of the system swiftly and was already making an appearance for Birmingham’s U23 when he was only 15. Then at the start of the 2019-20 season, Bellingham found his way to the first team and pretty soon scored to become Birmingham’s youngest ever goal scorer, by being 16 years and 63 days old.
His subsequent transfer toDortmund
saw the Englishman being utilized as a midfielder, despite his early days of being a winger at Birmingham. his dribbling skills alongside his incredible stamina and defensive prowess are the ingredients of a really good central midfielder that can act as either a box to box midfielder or maybe even a deep lying playmaker. He is also good at joining the attack and scoring an odd goal here or there making him a potent threat, especially on second balls.
Since his transfer to Dortmund at the start of the 2020-21 season for a fee £25 million, Bellingham has become a regular starter for Die Schwarzengelben and has already broken the record for being Dortmund’s youngest ever goal scorer as well as being the youngest ever Englishman to start a Champions League match. Having won the Bundesliga Rookie of the Month award in September as well as VDV’s Newcomer of the Season, his 7 goals and 13 assists in the 60+ matches for Dortmund shows why he is considered to be included in 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year.
Right Winger: Andre Silva (Eintracht Frankfurt/ RB Leipzig)
On the wings we have Andre Silva who has played for Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig in 2021 as he joined the Roten Bullen in the summer and has been one of. The 26-year-old striker has had a strange career so far, first rising to prominence with Porto and being touted as the ‘Next Ronaldo’ he then failed to meet the high expectations put on him by fans as he moved to AC Milan and now 4 seasons after leaving Porto and after playing for clubs like the Rossonerri and Sevilla, Silva was finally able to deliver on his potential of becoming a top striker as he became one of Bundesliga best players of 2021.
As mentioned above, Silva’s move toAC Milan
in 2017 didn’t exactly pan out as the Italian giants tried to move him on after his unimpressive first season at the club. Sillva enjoyed relative success at Sevilla and Eintracht Frankfurt on loan until Frankfurt decided to make his deal permanent for a meager 9 million Euros fee, after the striker scored 12 goals in his first season at the club. On his second season at Frankfurt and after penning his permanent deal Silva took his game to a whole other level.
He managed to score a whopping 28 goals and register 5 assists for Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2020-21 season topping the likes of Erling Haaland in the Golden boot race and finishing only behind Robert Lewandowski. Silva then moved to RB Leipzig for 23 million Euros at the start of this season and has scored 11 goals and produced 3 assists so far this season.
Despite Andre Silva disappointing a lot of people early on his career by not performing up to the ridiculously high standards set for him, he has become a top striker in his own right and is now kind of an underrated figure and unsung hero. He totally deserves to be a part of 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year.
Attacking Midfielder: Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich)
There are perhaps a handful of players that have been as consistently brilliant in the past several years all across Europe as Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. One of Bayern Munich’s best ever players, Muller has won 10 Bundesliga title as well as 2 amazing Trebles with the club. he has now settled in the role of being more of a provider rather than goal scorer which has led to him register unbelievable amounts of assists every year and last year was no different. In fact, he could be among the Bundesliga Player of the Season of 2021 candidates if there was such an award!
a ‘Raumdeuter’ which he himself translates to ‘Space Interpreter’, Muller is a player that invades spaces, especially in the final third, and deliver either an assist or the final shot. It has allowed Muller to become Bundesliga’s all-time assist provider with 151 as well as scoring 134 goals in the competition since his debut in 2008.
Muller has experienced a resurgence under Hansi Flick. While his game was predominantly on the right hand side of the attack, after the appointment of Flick, Muller has been active all over the pitch and has even improved significantly in defensive efforts, having the 2nd most number of successful pressures in the league last season. he has also had the most shot creating actions in the league with 29 shot creating actions in total.
was able to assist 18 goals in Bundesliga last season and this season he has already 16 assists to his name. he is one of the best assist providers in Europe if not the best despite him not being a traditional playmaker and he is undoubtedly one of the best German players of all time and the most decorated German player ever. So it’s only natural that we include him in the Bundesliga Team of the Season of 2021.
Left Winger: Leroy Sane (Bayern Munich)
On the left wing of our 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year we have Bayern Munich’s Leroy Sane who has come into his own as 2021 progressed and is now one of the most on form players in Europe. The formerSchalke 04
player joined Bayern Munich fromManchester City
in the summer of 2020 for a fee of an initial €45 million with add-ons rising to a potential €60 million. While he was heavily criticized for his lackluster performances last season, as the season progressed Sane got better and better and now in his second season it feels like he is at his best again.
A dynamic winger that has blistering pace, sensational dribbling and shooting abilities as well as an eye for goals in his locker, Leroy Sane was the perfect addition to Bayern Munich’s frighteningly good squad as they continued to add young talented players to their squad in an effort to rebuild. Although Sane is being overpaid a bit, the winger has had a great season so far and is already past his goals and assists tally from last season.
With 10 goals and 11 assists in all competitions so far, Leroy Sane is starting to hit his stride at Bayern and has been taking on
Bundesliga teams in 2021-22
season. if his persistent injuries were to go away, Sane has the potential to become one of Bayern’s greatest players in a few years’ time!
Striker: Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
When we think of Bundesliga these days, generally two names immediately come to our minds one of them being the incredibly talented Erling Haaland. Despite being only 21 years old, the Norwegian superstar is undoubtedly one of the best strikers in world football right now. Having previously made a name for himself playing for Norwegian sides, Bryne and Molde before transferring toRB Salzburg
in 2019, Halaand has lit Bundesliga on fire ever since he joined Borussia Dortmund in January of 2020.
A complete forward in every sense of the word, Haaland is capable of taking on defenders, creating chances for his teammates, scoring from long range efforts, leaving defenders in the dust with his ungodly speed and even doing some heavy defensive work by pressing high in opposition’s half. Basically anything that you could think of which makes a striker dangerous, Haaland does it and does it perfectly. He is unapologetically lethal in front of the goal and is usually in the right place at the right time.
After transferring to Borussia Dortmund for a fee of €20 million, Haaland has scored in almost every game. His goal-per-game ratio is insanely good with him having scored 74 goals in 73 appearances in all mataches for Dortmund since his arrival at Signal Iduna Park. Last season Haaland scored 41 goals in 41 appearances, winning the Champions League Golden Boot and Bundesliga’s Best Player of the season after scoring 27 and assisting 6 in the league.
Bundesliga Player of the Season of 2021
also finished 3rd in the top scorer race in Bundesliga but helped Borussia Dortmund win the DFB-Pokal in what was his first trophy with the Schwarzengelben. He has continued his excellent form throughout this season and has scored 22 goals in 19 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions this season including a couple of injury-time winners. It is undeniable that Erling Haaland has already left his mark onBundesliga
which is why he is amongst our 2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year but whether he stays at Dortmund beyond 2022 remains to be seen!
Striker: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
Joining with Haaland in the attack is Bayern Munich’s talisman and the man that made Bundesliga history last season, Robert Lewandowski. A consistent goal scorer who is amongst the most lethal strikers of all time, Lewa has managed to somehow top his incredible performance from the 2019-20 season, which seemed impossible, in 2021. This year, Lewandowski broke the legendary Gerd Muller’s record for most goals scored in a single Bundesliga season and has become a legend himself by doing so.
After playing the biggest role in Bayern achieving an unprecedented Treble, which during last season turned into a Sextuple, many thought that Lewa had the best season of his career in terms of scoring and would never top that. But the 33-year-old proved everyone wrong as he started obliterating Bundesliga defenses once again, this time setting a more personal goal of breakingGerd Muller
’s 40 goals in a single season record.
And he was able to achieve his goal in practically the last kick of last season as he managed to score a whopping 41 goals and registering 7 assists in only 29 matches. Lewa also finally won the European Golden Shoe after being snubbed from winning the Ballon d’Or last season. He didn’t also win the Ballon d’Or this season but has managed to win FIFA Player of the Year in 2020 and 2021, putting him in elite company.
Robert Lewandowski is perhaps the most on form player in the world in the last two seasons, even above Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, which is why many claim him to be the best in the world right now. So it is only natural that we finish our
2021 Bundesliga Team of the Year
with this legend.
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