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Lothar Matthäus and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (l-r.) are not the only players to have represented Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. - © Imago
Lothar Matthäus and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (l-r.) are not the only players to have represented Bayern Munich and Inter Milan. - © Imago
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5 players who represented Bayern Munich and Inter Milan

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European giants Bayern Munich and Inter Milan meet in Group C of the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League on Wednesday - a good excuse to shed light on some top players who have lined out for both clubs.

Click here for Inter vs. Bayern team news and LIVE blog!

Bayern have 31 Bundesliga titles, were crowned the best in Europe six times and won multiple other titles including the FIFA Club World Cup, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. Inter have lifted the Serie A title 19 times, been European champions on three occasions and won the old UEFA Cup three times.

It's fair to say, then, that Bayern and Inter are European royalty. But that's not all they have in common. Here are five of the best players to have featured for both clubs…

1) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

A success on and off the pitch in Munich, former Bayern CEO Rummenigge also played for Inter between 1984 and 1987. One of the best players of his generation, the quick and versatile attacker twice won the European Cup, the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup during his decade at Bayern. He also finished as the top scorer in Germany three times, was named European Footballer of the Year in 1980 and 1981 and won UEFA Euro 1980 with West Germany.

After scoring 162 goals in 310 league games for Bayern, Rummenigge made a big-money move to Italy shortly before his 29th birthday. He managed 42 goals in 107 games with Inter but his time in Milan - during which he became a runner-up at the 1986 FIFA World Cup - was hindered by injury. He didn't win a trophy in Italy and finished his playing career with Swiss side Servette.

The former West Germany captain then returned to Bayern as vice-president in 1991, and the club won 14 Bundesliga titles - among a host of other trophies - after he was made CEO in 2002.

2) Lothar Matthäus

Matthäus is another German icon who enjoyed two successful spells at Bayern - although in his case both were as a player. The dynamic central midfielder joined from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1984, winning three league titles and one DFB Cup before Inter bought both him and Bayern teammate Andreas Brehme in July 1988.

Working under future Bayern boss Giovanni Trapattoni, they become Italian champions in 1989. A year later they were crowned world champions in Italy too - with Matthäus scoring four goals along the way and captaining the side to glory a few months before Germany's reunification.

Matthäus took the inaugural FIFA World Player of the Year Prize in 1991, scoring 23 goals in all competitions for Inter in 1990/91. One of them came from the penalty spot in the first leg of the Nerrazurri's UEFA Cup final triumph over Roma.

The man who would finish with 150 caps for his country returned to Bayern in 1992. He showed impressive determination and staying power thereafter by battling back from serious injuries and reinventing himself as a sweeper. In 1999 - at the age of 38 - Matthäus was named German Footballer of the Year for a second time.

His second stint at Bayern - which ended in 2000 - yielded four more Bundesliga titles, two DFB Cups and the 1995/96 UEFA Cup. In total he got 100 goals in 410 appearances for Bayern, as well as 53 in 154 games for Inter.

3) Jürgen Klinsmann

Klinsmann first made his name at VfB Stuttgart - a brilliant overhead kick against Bayern helping him to become Bundesliga top scorer in 1987/88 - before joining Matthäus and left-back Brehme at Inter in 1989. He hit 13 league goals in his first season in Italy before scoring three times on the way to winning the 1990 World Cup. Along with his two Germany teammates, Klinsmann started both legs of the 1991 UEFA Cup decider as Inter edged Roma 2-1 on aggregate. The striker finished with 40 goals in 123 games for Inter.

Watch: Look back at Klinsmann's playing career

The future Germany head coach then spent time with Monaco and Tottenham Hotspur before returning to Germany with Bayern in 1995. He topped the club's scoring charts in each of his two seasons in Munich, getting 31 top-flight goals in 65 appearances. In 1995/96 Klinsmann had a then-record 15 goals in 12 games in the UEFA Cup, including one in the final as Bayern comfortably beat Zinedine Zidane's Bordeaux over two legs. He then captained Germany to UEFA Euro 1996 success, and the following campaign he recorded 15 league goals and 10 assists to win his only Bundesliga title.

Klinsmann left Bayern in 1997 and retired soon after, but he returned as coach two years after guiding Germany to the 2006 World Cup semi-finals on home soil. He left shortly before the end of the 2008/09 campaign.

4) Lucio

Classy centre-back Lucio came to prominence as part of a brilliant Bayer Leverkusen side that came so close and yet so far. The Brazilian joined the club in January 2001, and the following season they came up just short in the Bundesliga, the DFB Cup and the Champions League. Lucio got Leverkusen level against Real Madrid in the European decider only for a wonder goal from Zidane to deny the German side in Glasgow. It wouldn't take long for his luck to improve, though, as he started in Brazil's 2-0 win over Germany in the 2002 World Cup final in Japan.

Bayern prised Lucio away from Leverkusen in 2004 for what turned out to be a hugely successful five-year period. Among the highlights were goals in both legs of a Champions League last-16 tie against Real in 2006/07 - when this time his team came out on top.

Lucio (r.) and his Inter Milan team got the better of Thomas Müller (l.) and Bayern in the 2010 Champions League final. - Imago

He served as vice-captain during his time at Munich and got 12 goals in 218 appearances overall. The defender - who wouldn't retire until he was 41 in 2020 - also won three Bundesliga titles and three DFB Cup titles before leaving for Inter in July 2009.

The first of Lucio's three years in Milan was by far his most successful, as Jose Mourinho's team won a remarkable treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League titles. He shut out his old team Bayern in a 2-0 win in the 2010 Champions League final.

5) Ivan Perisic

Tigerish midfielder Arturo Vidal was another South American to feature for both clubs. The Chilean won three league titles and one DFB Cup with Bayern between 2016 and 2018 and later linked up with Inter in September 2020. Vidal departed in summer 2022 after four goals in 71 appearances for the Italians, but it is one of his teammates from that time who rounds out this top five.

Tottenham winger Perisic spent more time at Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg than he did at Bayern, but he played a crucial part in their incredible sextuple of trophies.

Former Inter Milan attacker helped Bayern win the Champions League in 2019/20. - Imago

He had first become a regular starter after joining Inter in August 2015, helping them back into Europe during his first year there. The tricky left-sider scored 30 league goals over the next three campaigns - as well as getting 24 Serie A assists - but he sought a change of scene for 2019/20.

A year after starring for Croatia on their run to the 2018 World Cup final, Perisic arrived in Munich on loan for the season. He ended it with four goals and six assists in 22 Bundesliga games and made it a league and cup double with victory over Leverkusen. In a season interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Perisic was also vital to Bayern's Champions League triumph. He got the second goal in Bayern's sensational 8-2 quarter-final victory over Barcelona, finishing with three goals and three assists in the competition as well as a cameo in the final win over Paris Saint-Germain.

Perisic then returned to Inter and they won Serie A for the first time in 11 years at the end of 2020/21. The Croatian added to his trophy collection in 2021/22 as well. He got eight goals and seven assists as Inter were pipped to the league title by AC Milan, but his two-extra time strikes saw them to a 4-2 victory over Juventus in the Coppa Italia decider. The veteran had 55 goals and 49 assists in 254 games across his seven years with the Italian club.