FC Bayern Munich has dominated the Bundesliga over the last 20 years, winning the league title the previous eight years in a row and 30 times within the leagues’ 117-year history. Which, if you do the math, it means they won 25 per cent of the total Bundesliga titles. It is crazy to think that one team can dominate a league, but Bayern Munich made it happen.
The club has had numerous legends play under them, making it difficult to choose the all-time starting XI. As there are several greats to choose from Manuel Neuer to Franz Beckenbauer, here is my FC Bayern Munich all-time starting XI.
GK: Manuel Neuer
This one is a no-brainer, no one can deny Manuel Neuer’s greatness. Other keepers such as Oliver Kahn and Sepp Maier were close. However, Manuel Neuer deserves to be included as through 407 matches played with Bayern Munich, Neuer has recorded 202 clean sheets, which is a 49 per cent clean sheet percentage. From his early days at Bayern Munich to now, Manuel Neuer has won eight Bundesliga titles, two UEFA champions league titles, five German super cup titles, and five DFB-Pokal titles. His status as one of the best keepers in Germany and across Europe remains untouched. Plus, at only 34 years of age, he still has a lot left in him and will continue his dominance for many years to come.
RB: Phillip Lahm
Phillip Lahm was one of the most impactful players at the right-back position for Bayern Munich. Lahm, who appeared in 517 matches for Bayern Munich, potted 16 goals and 70 assists in going alongside. However, his defensive ability is what’s important here. Lahm has a remarkable ability to adapt to different situations and rarely turns over the ball when in possession. Lahm helped Bayern Munich win multiple Bundesliga titles, DFP-Pokal and a UEFA Champions League title in 2013. Lahm, who won footballer of the year in 2017, will go down as one of the all-time greats to play at right-back for Bayern Munich.
CB: Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer is the most influential player to suit up for Bayern Munich, in my personal opinion, as he changed the game of football by pretty much creating a new position called the sweeper. Which was the last line of defence, after the ball had gotten past the defensive backs, heading towards the net. Due to Beckenbauer’s elegant style of play, leadership and dominance on the pitch, many called Beckenbauer “Der Kaiser” (The Emperor). Others have dubbed him the greatest defender of all-time. Beckenbauer was able to be a strong leader on the pitch for Bayern Munich and help keep balls away from the keeper, aka the sweeper’s primary job. During his time at Bayern Munich, Beckenbauer netted 58 goals and 73 assists in 546 appearances. Over his career, he racked up quite the accolades. Winning footballer of the year four times, the Ballon D’or twice, and winning four Bundesliga titles and many other titles as well. Beckenbauer is the best defender ever to put on a Bayern Munich jersey, no doubt about it.
CB: Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck
Scharzenback spent all 16 years of his football career at Bayern Munich and few athletes spend that much time with one club. During his time at Bayern Munich, Scharzenbeck was a key component alongside Franz Beckenbauer as the one-two duo that helped Bayern win multiple titles. A nickname that was popular with Schwarzenbeck was “The Kaiser’s Bodyguard.” A title that he wore proudly during his illustrious time at Bayern Munich. A career that saw him make 549 appearances, netting 30 goals and 10 assists to go alongside. As well as winning five Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and three European champion clubs’ trophies. He will be remembered forever in the history books with both Bayern Munich and as a German national team player.
LB: David Alaba
Now I know what you will say, why isn’t Paul Breitner in this spot over David Alaba. Well, I will tell you why for one, Alaba has played more games at the left-back position as Breitner liked to play in the mid-field for the majority of his career. Secondly, Alaba is a vital part of Bayern’s decade long success in the Bundesliga, equal to Breitner. Alaba has made 349 appearances, netting 30 goals and 46 assists to go alongside. A critical reason why Alaba has been so crucial with Bayern winning matches is that his ability to create set pieces off free kicks has helped the team win several games. Alaba has averaged less than one foul per 90 minutes over his career in the Bundesliga and has been a part of at least one Bayern goal every four matches that are played. Alaba has won footballer of the year seven times. He is a nine-time Bundesliga Champion; the list could go on. Regardless, Alaba is the best there is at the left-back position for Bayern Munich.
RM: Arjen Robben
This selection was tough, but I felt that Robben was the most deserving of the spot. Over Robben’s career at Bayern Munich, he made 309 appearances, netting 144 goals and 101 assists. Robben made his impact felt. He was a player that played a key role in helping the team’s success over the past 10 years. Robben’s ability to perfectly create significant opportunities for his teammates through his passing skills is another reason why he is here in this spot. To go along with being a great team player, he has collected some serious hardware over his time at Bayern Munich. With him winning eight Bundesliga titles, five German cups, and a UEFA Champions League title in 2013. It was sad to see him leave as a fan of Bayern Munich. Robben will not be forgotten soon.
CM: Lothar Matthäus
This one’s a no brainer, Lothar Matthäus is a clear and obvious choice for this spot. Matthäus is one of the greatest midfielders to play the game of football. He was a natural goal scorer and had an excellent set of skills. During his legendary career at Bayern Munich, Matthäus potted 100 goals, 51 assists in 410 appearances for the club. An important thing to note about Matthäus was his resilience when facing adversity, as he recovered from two significant injuries in 1992 and 1995. This then led to Matthäus winning six more Bundesliga titles and winning the 1996 UEFA Cup. Matthäus ended his career with a decent amount of hardware for himself. He won the Ballon D’or and Best Fifa’s Men’s player of the year once each, footballer of the year twice and won seven Bundesliga titles along with many other pieces of hardware. Matthäus will go down as one of the greatest midfielders to ever play the game.
CM: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is one of the best scorers in Bayern history as he is ranked third all-time in Bayern Munich goals at 217, only behind Robert Lewandowski and Gerd Müller. Rummenigge, similar to Müller, is an excellent finisher when it comes to scoring goals. Like any top midfielder, he has tremendous anticipation and speed. During his legendary career at Bayern Munich, Rummenigge had 69 assists in addition to his 217 goals in 422 appearances. He picked up some personal hardware over his lengthy career, winning Ballon D’or twice, football of the year once, and was awarded the top scorer five times. Rummenigge is easily deserving to be included in this list, no question about it.
LM: Thomas Müller
Thomas Müller is another clear choice, as he has made a lasting impact on Bayern Munich over the past decade. Müller has a remarkable ability to drift between spaces and make consistent runs. By doing these runs, he is creating a large amount of space for his teammates. Müller is an excellent goal scorer. Over his career at Bayern Munich, Müller has potted 208 goals while adding 203 assists in 557 appearances. He has been a dominant force at his position leading to Bayern winning multiple Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Champions League finals. Although Müller doesn’t have the amount of hardware, some of the other players on this list have. Müller has led Bayern Munich in the assist category the past four out of the last six seasons and won top scorer three times. Müller has made a case for a spot in Bayern Munich’s hall of fame, as he has been a large part of Bayern Munich’s success.
ST: Robert Lewandowski
If you haven’t heard of Robert Lewandowski, then you are living under a rock. Lewandowski will go down as one of the world’s most prolific strikers. His ability to score goals comes at ease, with no trouble at all. Lewandowski has a way of making defenders and keepers look silly. His greatest strength is his ability to score quickly and effectively. He has dominated the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, potting 268 goals throughout his career, 62 assists in 307 appearances. Lewandowski’s impact on Bayern Munich is a close second to the one of Gerd Müller. He has helped Bayern succeed significantly in the Bundesliga and other competitions, like the UEFA Champions League. Lewandowski has earned himself a lot of personal hardware himself on top of helping Bayern continue to win, collecting 16 scoring titles, footballer of the year nine times, and Best Fifa Men’s player in 2020. He will easily be given a spot in the Bayern Munich hall of fame, no question about it.
CF: Gerd Müller
Gerd Müller was and is still is, in my mind, one of the best to play the centre forward position. Müller, similar to Lewandowski, was a natural goal scorer and made defenders look silly. His effect on Bayern Munich will be hard to match, as, during his illustrious career, he scored a record high 518 goals, 105 assists in 578 appearances. That equates to just under one goal a game, which is crazy but true. He also collected some personal hardware for himself, winning the Ballon D’or in 1970, footballer of the year twice and 17 scoring titles over his career. Müller’s efforts will be hard to be repeated, as he is a once in a generation talent, that’s records will be hard to be broken or matched.