Players like Bixente Lizarazu, Willy Sagnol, Arjen Robben, Dayot Upamecano, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Klaus Augenthaler (l-r.) have created a proud tradition for Bayern Munich in World Cup finals. - © DFL
Players like Bixente Lizarazu, Willy Sagnol, Arjen Robben, Dayot Upamecano, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Klaus Augenthaler (l-r.) have created a proud tradition for Bayern Munich in World Cup finals. - © DFL

From Dayot Upemecano, through Manuel Neuer, to Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: Bayern Munich's World Cup final tradition


Since 1982 and West Germany’s loss to Italy in Spain, there has been at least one Bayern Munich player in every World Cup final - a joint record 11 straight tournaments (shared with Inter Milan). takes a trip down World Cup memory lane to find out who...

2022: France vs. Argentina

Four members of France's 2022 runners-up play their club football for Bayern. Defender Dayot Upamecano started the final against Lionel Messi's Argentina, while Kingsley Coman helped force extra time, and penalties, after coming off the bench in the second half. He missed his spot-kick, though, as the defending champions were dethroned. Benjamin Pavard was an unused substitute; Lucas Hernandez suffered a serious injury in the group stage.

Lionel Messi (l.) and Argentina had to be at their best to overcome a France defence marshaled by Dayot Upamecano (r.). - Imago

2018: France vs. Croatia

Well done to you if you got this one right. Yes, Pavard and Hernandez were the starting full-backs for France in Moscow four years ago, but that was a summer before they moved to Munich from VfB Stuttgart and Atletico Madrid respectively. The same goes for Ivan Perisic in the Croatian side.

The man who continued Bayern’s streak is in fact Corentin Tolisso. The midfielder was a 73rd-minute substitute for Blaise Matuidi as Les Bleus won their second world title thanks to a 4-1 win.

Corentin Tolisso made 72 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern, either side of lifting the 2018 World Cup with France. - Imago

2014: Germany vs. Argentina

The fact Germany have reached the final in five of the last 10 tournaments goes a long way to explaining Bayern’s perpetual presence in the showpiece. But the most players they’ve had in the final came as the country won it’s fourth crown by beating Argentina 1-0 in Brazil in 2014.

There were six Bayern representatives in Joachim Löw’s starting XI at the Maracana, with Neuer, captain Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Müller and Toni Kroos (who joined Real Madrid that summer). Munich-based matchwinner Mario Götze came on in the 88th minute for ex-Bayern man Miroslav Klose. Mats Hummels was between stints at the record champions, while former defender and future youth coach Martin Demichelis was in the Argentina team.

Mario Götze was playing under Pep Guardiola at Bayern when he scored Germany's 2014 World Cup-clinching goal. - Imago

2010: Netherlands vs. Spain

Not every Bayern player in a World Cup final gets to lift the trophy, though. A Netherlands side containing Arjen Robben – who had just been named Footballer of the Year in Germany on the back of leading new club Bayern to a domestic double – and FCB captain Mark van Bommel were beaten by a single Andres Iniesta goal in extra-time in South Africa.

The Spain side that day also featured Xabi Alonso – best remembered on that occasion for taking a Nigel de Jong boot to the chest – who would become Robben’s teammate in Munich in 2014 and is now coach of Bayer Leverkusen.

Arjen Robben enjoyed a decorated career with Bayern, but experienced 2010 World Cup heartache with the Netherlands. - Imago

2006: France vs. Italy

The 2006 World Cup was held in Germany and kicked off in Munich, but the final was played at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. The only person on the field who played for Bayern at the time was France right-back Willy Sagnol. The five-time Bundesliga champion spent nine years as a player in Munich and would go on to be assistant and interim coach for the first team.

Italy won the title on penalties after a 1-1 draw that famously saw Zinedine Zidane sent off in his final game as a player. Sangol was one of the French players who scored his spot-kick. There were also two future Bayern players involved that day, one for either side: Italian striker Luca Toni and a certain Franck Ribery would both join forces at the newly opened Allianz Arena a year later.

Willy Sagnol fell agonisingly short of World Cup gold at Germany 2006. - Imago

2002: Germany vs. Brazil

Bayern weren’t quite the force back in 2002 that they are today. In fact, there were more Leverkusen players in the squad that went to Japan and South Korea. However, three Munich-based players did start the final in Yokohama, in captain Oliver Kahn, defender Thomas Linke and midfielder Jens Jeremies.

Carsten Jancker didn’t get on as Ronaldo’s two goals earned Brazil their fifth and most recent crown. There were other Bayern players past and future in Dietmar Hamann, Torsten Frings, Christian Ziege and Klose for Germany, while Leverkusen centre-back Lucio played the full 90 for Brazil, two years before following Michael Ballack (suspended for the final) from the BayArena to Bavaria.

Not even the great Oliver Kahn could stop Ronaldo on the road to World Cup redemption. - Imago

1998: Brazil vs. France

Bixente Lizarazu was regarded as one of the finest left-backs of his generation and won a World Cup to back that up as France lifted the trophy on home soil in 1998 – a year after he’d joined Bayern from Athletic Bilbao. He and a defence that included Lilian Thuram - father of Borussia Mönchengladbach's Marcus - Frank Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly kept Ronaldo, Rivaldo et al. quiet at the Stade de France while Zidane did the business for Les Bleus.

Pint-sized left-back Bizente Lizarazu (l.) rose above the competition at France 1998. - Imago

1994: Brazil vs. Italy

The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California played host to a repeat of the 1970 final as Brazil and Italy met once again. The Bayern representative that day – fresh from lifting the Meisterschale a few weeks earlier – was defender Jorginho, but this was one of the briefest of his 64 caps as injury forced him off after just 21 minutes to be replaced by Cafu.

Little did we know that day in 1994, but there was another future Bayern link in action that day. Mazinho played the whole game as Brazil won on penalties after a goalless 120 minutes. For those of you who don’t know, his son is Thiago Alcantara, born three years previously and a member of Bayern’s 2020 treble-winning squad.

Mazinho (No.17) had become a father to Thiago Alcantara three years before winning the 1994 World Cup with Brazil. - Imago

1990: West Germany vs. Argentina

Andreas Brehme's 85th-minute penalty gave West Germany victory in Rome, less than a year after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The left-back had honed his craft at Saarbrücken, Kaiserslautern and Bayern, before moving to Inter Milan in 1988. Bundesliga legends in the making Lothar Matthäus, who would win the 1990 Ballon d'Or, and Jürgen Klinsmann had also joined him in the Italian capital. All three started the final, alongside Bayern duo Klaus Augenthaler and Jürgen Kohler. Stefan Reuter was a second-half substitute and goalkeeper Raimond Aumann an unused sub.

As well as the 1990 World Cup, Andreas Brehme (l.) won two Bundesliga titles, including one with Bayern. - Imago

1986: Argentina vs. West Germany

Matthäus lost his first World Cup final at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca, but made life so difficult for Diego Maradona that the Argentine icon would later name the Bayern great as his "toughest opponent". Norbert Eder played the full 90 minutes, while Dieter Hoeneß - another Bayern representative - was thrown on in a bid to recover a 2-0 deficit. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Völler did pull it back 2-2, only for Jorge Burruchaga to stick away the decisive goal six minutes from normal time.

Lothar Matthäus (front) cemented his position as one of the world's finest footballers at the 1986 World Cup. - Imago

1982: Italy vs. West Germany

Paul Breitner was in his second Bayern spell when he struck a late consolation goal in West Germany's 3-1 defeat by Italy. Rummenigge, who played for Bayern between 1974 and 1984 and would later return as the club's CEO, was also in the starting line-up at Real Madrid's Estadio Bernabeu, alongside midfielder Wolfgang Dremmler.

Paul Breitner (No.3) won a World Cup runners-up medal, a year after getting his hands on the Bundesliga title for the fifth time. - Imago