18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
18/05 1:30 PM
60 years of Bundesliga

The top XI from 60 years of Bundesliga, as voted by fans

xwhatsappmailcopy-link

The Bundesliga celebrated its 60th birthday on 24 August 2023. To mark the occasion, we present an outstanding XI from over the years voted for by you, the fans.

We gave you the names of several players per position (goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, forward) who have made their mark on the Bundesliga over the last 60 years. It was up to you to decide who made it into the all-time Bundesliga XI. Here are the best 11 players to have graced the German game since 1963, according to you*.

Goalkeeper:

Manuel Neuer (803 points*)

Simply put, Neuer is an icon of the game. His achievements with Bayern Munich following a rapid rise to fame with Schalke have been phenomenal. Still at the top of his class after an incredible 18 seasons in the Bundesliga, the Gelsenkirchen native is famed for revolutionising his on-field position. The term sweeper-keeper was coined to describe Neuer’s ball-playing style that is now used by shot stoppers the world over and it is a facet of play that has changed the face of modern footballing tactics.

Find out more about Neuer the goalkeeper revolutionary

Heading towards 500 Bundesliga appearances, the 37-year-old Bayern captain has lifted an astonishing 11 consecutive German top-flight titles and kept well in excess of 200 clean sheets in the division while racking up over 330 wins. A two-time European champion at club level and World Cup winner with Germany, Neuer has often been labelled the complete goalkeeper. A towering 6’4” presence who excels in every aspect of his trade, Bayern’s No.1 is quite simply the finest the Bundesliga has ever seen.

Watch: The best of sweeper-keeper Manuel Neuer

Defenders:

Philipp Lahm (844 points)

There can have been very few in the game who could boast a footballing brain quite like that of Bayern’s Mr. Versatile, Philipp Lahm. An astute reader of games from either flank or in midfield, the Munich native was consistency personified in his 517 senior competitive games for the record champions. Once a ball boy for the club with whom he achieved all of his footballing dreams, Lahm rose through the youth ranks at Bayern before making his Bundesliga debut on loan at VfB Stuttgart in a superb maiden 2003/04 season with the Swabians.

Find out more about Bayern and Germany legend Lahm

In all, he would play 53 times in the Bundesliga for VfB, before returning to Bayern, where he became a world beater. Lahm won 21 titles with the Bavarian giants, taking home the top-flight crown eight times. "He's the most intelligent player I've ever coached," said former Bayern boss Pep Guardiola of the player who famously also raised the Champions League trophy with his boyhood club and captained Germany to World Cup success in 2014. 

Franz Beckenbauer (783 points)

The man referred to as Der Kaiser arguably stands head and shoulders above all the rest who played the game in and for Germany. Elegance personified on the playing field, Beckenbauer began his Bayern career in 1958 and went on to lead the Bavarians through their most dominant spell on the European stage. He may have started out as a forward, but Beckenbauer gained his notoriety as a formidable defender who appeared to make time stand still and who often looked untouchable as he glided out of defence.

Find out more about Der Kaiser

A two-time Ballon d’Or winner, the Munich-born player captained the Bavarians to four Bundesliga titles and as many DFB Cup wins. He was the fulcrum and captain of the team’s three consecutive European Cup wins in the 1970s, the decade in which he was also crowned and world and European champion with Germany. Added to his 396 Bundesliga games and 44 goals for Bayern were 28 appearances for Hamburg, where Der Kaiser won a fifth top-flight title in 1982.

Mats Hummels (744 points)

A Bundesliga title winner with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund, Hummels has drawn comparisons with the aforementioned Beckenbauer for his composed playing style during a hugely successful career. A winner of five Bundesligas with two of Germany’s most high-profile teams, Hummels continues to add to his collection of top-flight games, which has surpassed 430, during a second spell in Black and Yellow.

Learn more about Hummels the quarter-back centre-back

The 35-year-old made his Bundesliga debut for Bayern in 2007 before moving to BVB a year later. Part of the famous Jürgen Klopp side that entertained their way towards two top-tier titles and a league and DFB Cup double in 2012, Hummels returned to Bayern in 2016. He played 74 times over the next three seasons with the Bavarians, winning the Bundesliga in each of his campaigns, which included one more double.

Another member of Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup winning side, the North Rhine-Westphalia born defender was back at BVB for the 2019/20 season and he is quickly gaining on 500 total appearances for Die Schwarzgelben. A player that combines incredible tackling ability and accurate, long-range passing, Hummels has now scored at least once in 16 consecutive Bundesliga seasons.

Midfielders: 

Arjen Robben (871 points)

After winning titles at PSV, Chelsea and Real Madrid, Robben signed for Bayern in August 2009 and the move would signal the start of 10 memorable campaigns in the Bundesliga for the Dutch attacker. Scoring 99 goals and providing 62 assists in 201 games in Germany’s top division tells only half the story of Robben’s hugely successful time in Germany.

Robben's 10 best moments from 10 years at Bayern

His eight Bundesliga titles were delivered with him consistently providing the excitement down the team’s right flank, where his eye-catching sprints, superb ball control and stunning finishing, often on his left foot, almost always had fans on their feet. A Netherlands international on 96 occasions, Robben supplied an assist and scored the winning goal in Bayern’s 2013 Champions League final victory against Dortmund at Wembley and he would eventually leave the club in 2019 with over 300 games across all competitions under his belt for a hugely appreciative Bayern.   

Bastian Schweinsteiger (872 points)

Given his senior debut at Bayern – the club he joined as a 13-year-old – by Ottmar Hitzfeld at 18, Schweinsteiger’s staggering advances and reputation in the game would later have another legendary coach, Jupp Heynckes, refer to him as the best midfielder in the world. Basti, as he was sometimes known, spent 17 years at the Rekordmeister, making exactly 500 appearances in all competitions.

The story of Bayern legend Schweinsteiger

Of the Bavarian’s 20 club titles, eight were Bundesligas, while he also played a crucial role in Bayern’s 2013 treble winners of league, DFB Cup and Champions League. A Germany international on 121 occasions, Schweinsteiger was part of the 2014 vintage that enjoyed World Cup success in Brazil.    

Thomas Müller (831 points)

The face and spirit of Bayern for 16 Bundesliga seasons and counting, there is little Müller hasn’t seen on a football pitch in over 450 games in Germany’s top flight. The records continue to flow for the player known as the Space Invader, with his latest accomplishment seeing the 34-year-old become the player with the highest-ever total of Bundesliga wins for his club. It all began for Müller under coach Jürgen Klinsmann in 2008, when the attacker was brought on for Miroslav Klose to make his Bundesliga debut.

Learn more about the Raumdeuter, Mr Bayern Munich

A record 12 Bundesliga titles later, the Raumdeuter is still smiling and bringing every inch of his beaming personality to the cause for club and country. A scorer of 145 Bundesliga goals and provider of some 200 assists, Müller adds two Champions League titles, six DFB Cups and two FIFA Club World Cups to his Bundesliga winners’ medals haul. A World Cup winner with Germany, Müller is very much still part of the national team and continues to add to his 45 goals and 126 caps.

Franck Ribéry (846 points)

A winner of the UEFA Best Player in Europe while at Bayern, Ribéry was a joy to behold down the left-hand side in a Bayern team that dominated domestically while also enjoying continental success. Signed from Marseille in the summer of 2007, the French winger signalled his intent quickly in Bavaria by winning a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double in his first season in Germany.

Learn more about the Bundesliga's most famous Frenchman

Injuries kept the Boulogne-sur-Mer born star from hitting his full flow in his first few seasons at Bayern, but things would improve, and when Robben arrived at the club in 2009 the pair would form a fearsome double act down either flank that proved hell for opponents to deal with. In all, Ribéry would net 86 goals and provide 120 assists in the Bundesliga alone for Bayern between 2007 and 2019, and he would win the German top-flight title an astounding nine times to add to his Champions League win in 2013.

Forwards: 

Robert Lewandowski (845 points)

As one of the greatest strikers the world has ever seen, the prolific Pole Lewandowski will live long in the memory for those who saw him, and supported him at Bayern and Dortmund. A record of 312 goals in 384 Bundesliga games across 12 years in Germany almost beggars belief, but for the insanely-talented Lewy nothing was ever impossible. A winner of back-to-back titles with BVB under Klopp, the Warsaw native – who is currently starring for Barcelona – hit the afterburners after signing for Bayern in 2014.

Learn more about the greatest non-German goalscorer ever in the Bundesliga

Top-flight goal tallies of 17, 30, 30, 29, 22, 34, 41 and 35 in his eight campaigns in Bavaria left him second in the division’s all-time scoring list, behind Gerd Müller. He won the Torjägerkanone for the Bundesliga’s leading marksman seven times while his 2020/21 haul of 41 goals is a Bundesliga best. Lewandowski also won 10 top-flight titles and boasts the most Bundesliga goals by a non-German.

Gerd Müller (844 points)

Another of world football’s all-time greats, Müller’s goalscoring feats have stood the test of time, with Der Bomber the Bundesliga’s all-time leading goalscorer to this day. His 365 top-flight strikes is unequalled in the Bundesliga, while Müller’s name is still synonymous with success, the one-time World Cup winner joining his former teammate Beckenbauer in enjoying four top-tier title wins to add to an equal number of DFB Cup triumphs and three European Cup successes.

Learn more about Der Bomber, one of the greatest of all time

A nightmare to defend inside the box, Müller’s slippery style and tremendous eye for goal helped him to be named Ballon d'Or winner in 1970 and Germany’s Footballer of the Year twice. Like Lewandowski after him, he was the Bundesliga’s leading scorer seven times. He finally left Bayern in 1979 having scored 566 times in 607 competitive games in all competitions for the club. 

Miroslav Klose (806 points)

Still Germany’s all-time top marksman, Klose can also lay claim to being the player with most goals at FIFA World Cup finals. At Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen and Bayern, the celebrated striker was also a phenomenon in front of the target. The 45-year-old’s haul of 121 goals in 307 Bundesliga games made him a stand-out player in Germany’s top division, which he won twice with Bayern. A late developer in the game, Klose didn’t make his top-flight debut until he was 21, while he scored the first of his Bundesliga goals against Werder in the 2000/01 campaign.

Learn more about Germany's record goalscorer

Just three years later, he would collect the division’s top scorer’s trophy for the first and only time, registering 25 goals for Bremen. Klose was also a keen assist provider and finished as the Bundesliga’s leading man in the category in 2006 and 2007. His move to Bayern may not have produced the same numbers in front of goal, but it was at the Bavarian side where Klose won two league and cup doubles.

The next five players per position:

Goalkeeper:
Oliver Kahn (749 points)
Marc-André ter Stegen (747 points)
Sepp Maier (741 points)
Kevin Trapp (688 points)
Jens Lehmann (678 points) 

Defenders:
Lucio (737 points)
Matthias Sammer (726 points)
Jürgen Kohler (709 points)
David Alaba (704 points)
Per Mertesacker (703 points)

Midfielders:
Toni Kroos (829 points)
Lothar Matthäus (801 points)
Marco Reus (769 points)
Kevin de Bruyne (743 points)
Mehmet Scholl (718 points)

Forwards:
Rudi Völler (797 points)
Uwe Seeler (770 points)
Lukas Podolski (761 points)
Erling Haaland (759 points)
Claudio Pizarro (747 points)

*How the voting worked

Every person who voted was asked to rank each chosen player from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. The percentage share was multiplied by the respective number of points, with all five values then added together. That process was carried out for both the German and international votes on bundesliga.com, which were then both also added together.

For example, Thomas Müller: 

54% x 5 points + 20% x 4 points + 10% x 3 points + 6% x 2 points + 10% x 1 point = 402 points

Müller therefore received 402 points in the German vote. With 429 points also received in the international vote, he earned a total of 831 points.

Related news

arrow-simple-left
arrow-simple-right