A number of players have made dramatic Klassiker debuts in years gone by. - © DFL
A number of players have made dramatic Klassiker debuts in years gone by. - © DFL

Thomas Müller, Paco Alcácer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: the very best Klassiker debuts


As Harry Kane and Niclas Füllkrug prepare to face Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich respectively for the first time with their new clubs, bundesliga.com looks back on the players to have made a real impact on their Klassiker debuts...

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Reinhold Wosab, Borussia Dortmund (1965/66)

Bayern did not earn promotion to the Bundesliga until 1965, meaning the first fixture between the Bavarians and Die Schwarzgelben came in the competition’s third campaign. By that point, Dortmund were already one of Germany’s top clubs, having won the DFB Cup the previous season, and were heavy favourites as they travelled to the Grünwalder Stadium. 

It proved to be a comfortable victory for the visitors, with Wosab scoring once in each half to secure a 2-0 victory. The forward played just four times against Die Roten but, while he found the back of the net on three further occasions, his maiden brace remains the most historic.

Bildnummer: 01032666 Datum: 15.07.1969 Copyright: imago/Sven Simon Reinhold Wosab (Borussia Dortmund); Vneg, quer, Saison 1969/1970, BVB, Vorstellung, Präsentation, Pressetermin, Porträttermin, Dortmund Aufnahmedatum geschätzt Fußball 1. BL Herren Mannschaft Deutschland Porträt Randmotiv Personen - Reinhold Wosab was the first goalscorer in Klassiker history.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern Munich (1976/77)

From 1972 to 1976, Dortmund played in the second tier following their relegation in 1971/72. Upon their return, the tables had turned – now, after three successive European Cup wins, Bayern were the country’s top dogs. Still, in the first meeting of that campaign, the newly promoted outfit produced a spirited performance at the Westfalenstadion as they held their more illustrious opponents to a 3-3 draw.

Making his first Klassiker appearance that day was a certain Rummenigge, who was still towards the start of what would prove to be a fantastic career. Playing alongside the legendary Gerd Müller – who also found the back of the net in this match – the 21-year-old scored twice, including the opener just before half-time. The 95-time West Germany international would often prove to be a thorn in Dortmund’s side, with only Müller (14) netting more than his nine Bundesliga strikes in this match-up.

Borussia Dortmund - FC Bayern München: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (mi., Bayern) trifft gegen Lothar Huber (li.) und Torwart Horst Bertram (beide BVB) zum 1:0 Borussia Dortmund FC Bavaria Munich Karl Heinz Rummenigge Wed Bavaria fault against Lothar Huber left and Goalkeeper Horst Bertram both Borussia to 1 0 - Karl-Heinz Rummenigge scored the opener for Bayern Munich against Dortmund in 1976.

Lothar Matthäus, Bayern Munich (1984/85)

As one of Germany’s greatest-ever players and with a career spanning over two decades, Matthäus impacting one of the Bundesliga’s biggest rivalries will come as no surprise. The 1990 Ballon d’Or winner was a recent arrival in Bavaria in 1984, having made the switch from Borussia Mönchengladbach – another team Bayern share a long and intense history with.

Only one goal separated the two sides in September of that year, and Matthäus was the hero, dispatching the solitary strike shortly after the hour mark. He also netted in the return encounter later in the season, and managed four goals against the Ruhr-based outfit overall. The three-time FIFA World Cup finalist is also the oldest outfield player in Klassiker history, featuring in the fixture for the final time at the age of 37 years and 197 days.

Bildnummer: 00974455 Datum: 15.09.1984 Copyright: imago/Kicker/Liedel Lothar Matthäus (li., Bayern) gegen Meinolf Koch (BVB); FC Bayern München - Borussia Dortmund 1:0, Vdia, quer, Zweikampf, Duell, Ball, Bodenkampf DEUTSCHSPRACHIGE SPORTZEITSCHRIFTEN UND -ZEITUNGEN NUR NACH RÜCKSPRACHE, Saison 1984/1985 München Dynamik, Kampf, Fußball 1. BL Herren Mannschaft Deutschland Gruppenbild Aktion Personen - Lothar Matthäus was the match-winner for Bayern in 1984.

Giovane Élber, Bayern Munich (1997/98)

Brazilian Élber made his Bundesliga name at VfB Stuttgart, but it was in Munich where he would cement his status as one of the league's and the continent's best strikers. His time at the club was full of silverware – he got his hands on four Meisterschale and the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League – and he was often a nuisance for Dortmund while wearing the famous red shirt.

In fact, Élber’s Bayern debut came against Dortmund, in the 1997 Liga-Pokal, a now defunct tournament that involved the top four sides from the previous campaign, the DFB Cup winners and the Bundesliga 2 champions. In the semi-final, Élber scored the opener in a 2-0 triumph, the first of many goals across six years at the club.

Giovane Élber set Bayern on their way in their 1997 Liga-Pokal semi-final triumph. - imago images/Sportfoto Rudel

Thomas Müller, Bayern Munich (2009/ 10)

Seven players have scored twice as a substitute in Der Klassiker - Marcio Amoroso, Erdal Keser, Alexander Zickler, Élber, Dieter Hoeneß, Claudio Pizarro and, of course, Bayern’s very own 'Space Invader' Müller. The attacking midfielder was in his first full Bundesliga season when he was introduced as a half-time substitute by Louis van Gaal at Signal Iduna Park.

Bayern would end up scoring four times after the break without reply as they cantered to a 5-1 victory, and Müller provided the gloss to the result with two late efforts, the second of which was a stunning thunderbolt from outside the area. Both the future Germany international and Bayern made a statement that day, as Müller started all but one of the remaining league games on the way to a first Bundesliga medal. Those goals were the 34-year-old's first in the German top flight. They would not be his last.

Bildnummer: 04846756 Datum: 12.09.2009 Copyright: imago/MIS FC Bayern München, Thomas Müller (re, Bayern) Torjubel; Fußball Herren Deutschland 1. BL 2009 2010 Dortmund Einzelbild Freude Jubel Torjubel vdig xng 2009 quer Image number 04846756 date 12 09 2009 Copyright imago MIS FC Bavaria Munich Thomas Mueller right Bavaria goal celebration Football men Germany 1 BL 2009 2010 Dortmund Single happiness cheering goal celebration Vdig 2009 horizontal - Thomas Müller's goals against Dortmund in 2009 where the first of many.

Paco Alcácer, Borussia Dortmund (2018/19)

Before Erling Haaland, there was Alcácer. The Spaniard was signed by Dortmund to replace the prolific Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and he was making just his sixth Bundesliga appearance as BVB hosted their title rivals in November. He already had seven goals to his name by that point, but Mario Götze was preferred in a false nine position by head coach Lucien Favre.

Alcácer, therefore, had to wait patiently for his opportunity, which eventually came with Dortmund 2-1 down shortly before the hour mark. His introduction provided the impetus his side needed, and the centre-forward showed his boss why he should have played from the start, keeping his cool to chip Manuel Neuer and clinch the three points. A certain Norwegian would eventually make the ex-Valencia youngster surplus to requirements in January 2019, but even Haaland failed to emulate his predecessor’s immediate Klassiker contribution.

Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's last Klassiker win over Bayern

Anthony Modeste, Borussia Dortmund (2022/23)

Modeste’s time in Dortmund was short and, in all honesty, not too sweet. However, his header against Bayern in October 2022 is one of the most memorable Klassiker moments in recent years. Die Schwarzgelben were on a run of eight consecutive head-to-head defeats and, having fell two goals behind with 53 minutes on the clock, another loss seemed inevitable.

With 20 minutes remaining, Edin Terzić rolled the dice one last time as he replaced Donyell Malen with Modeste. The Frenchman’s physical presence immediately had Bayern on the ropes, and his assist for Youssoufa Moukoko four minutes later reduced the arrears. Dortmund pushed forward in search of an equaliser that looked like it would evade them until Modeste nodded home Nico Schlotterbeck’s cross at the back post in the fifth minute of added time. Cue pandemonium and, although Dortmund eventually fell short in their quest for the title, missing out on the season’s final day, that autumn evening will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Watch: Anthony Modeste, Dortmund's last-gasp hero

As they prepare for their respective Klassiker bows, both Kane and Füllkrug will be hoping they can follow in these footsteps.

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