No club in the world has as many players competing at the 2022 World Cup as Bayern Munich, with 16. So, which of them – representing seven different nations – will continue the record Bundesliga champions’ historic run of seeing one of their own reach the World Cup final?
Since 1982 and West Germany’s loss to Italy in Spain, there has been at least one Bayern player in every World Cup final. That’s 10 straight tournaments and is a feat equalled only by Inter Milan.
The chances of extending that run in Qatar are good given Bayern have provided the most players.
Watch: The Bundesliga’s international brigade at the World Cup
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon) and Noussair Mazraoui (Morocco) are going in the hope of crowning Africa’s first world champions, while Alphonso Davies (Canada), Matthijs de Ligt (Netherlands) and Josip Stanisic (Croatia) are among those making their finals debut.
So, which former Bayern players are they looking to emulate by going all the way in Qatar? Let’s take a trip down World Cup memory lane…
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 – the highest-scoring final since 1966.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 to 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.
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