Thomas Schaaf led Werder Bremen to a Bundesliga-DFB Cup double in 2003/04. - © DFL
Thomas Schaaf led Werder Bremen to a Bundesliga-DFB Cup double in 2003/04. - © DFL
60 years of Bundesliga

Iconic Bundesliga teams: Werder Bremen's double 2003/04 double winners


The stars aligned for Werder Bremen in 2003/04, when a super side led by coach Thomas Schaaf won all before them in a campaign that few connected with the club will ever forget. remembers the double-winning first XI...

Celebrating 60 years of Bundesliga!

Andreas Reinke (goalkeeper)

After spells in Greece with Iraklis and Spain with Real Murcia, Reinke returned to Germany as a 34-year-old to sign for Werder. The 6'4" shot stopper was already a Bundesliga winner with Kaiserslautern back in 1998 and would go on to become the first goalkeeper to win German top-flight titles with different clubs.

Reinke didn't miss a single minute of either the Bundesliga or DFB Cup runs, featuring in all 40 games in both competitions and emerging as a hero at the end of an unforgettable season for the Green-Whites in which he was a commanding presence throughout. 

Ümit Davala (full-back)

A Turkish icon at Galatasaray where, along with winning four Turkish first division titles, Davala was a UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup winner. He had also helped Turkey to a third-placed finish at the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals ahead of his loan move to Werder as a right-sided full back. Indeed, the Germany-born player featured 22 times in that position as Werder stormed to Bundesliga glory in the 2003/04 campaign.

Suspension and several injuries saw the player sit out several games in the title run-in, but his commitment to the cause could not be understated and led to coach Schaaf commenting, "Ümit played his part in our success with his performances and his will to win." 

Bremen celebrate their fourth Bundesliga title triumph. - imago/nph

Mladen Krstajić (centre-back)

Originally a right-back, Krstajić moved into the centre prior to arriving to Germany as a three-time national champion with Partizan Belgrade. The former Serbia and Serbia and Montenegro international - who appeared at the 2006 FIFA World Cup - made over 80 Bundesliga appearances for Bremen in the lead up the famous 2003/04 campaign and, by then, was considered one of the best defenders in the division.

A rock at the back during his time at the Weserstadion, Krstajić went on to become captain of Schalke following his highly successful spell with Werder. He is currently the coach of Bulgaria. 

Valérien Ismaël (centre-back)

Ismaël was captain at his hometown club Strasbourg when Werder arrived to ask after his services in 2003. A loan deal was agreed between the clubs and the ex-France U21 defender took little time to settle in to his new surroundings down by the River Weser.

Playing alongside Krstajić for the majority of Werder's title-winning run, the pair formed a formidable partnership, with Ismaël even weighing in with four goals and three assists as Bremen hoisted the Meisterschale. After his loan move was made permanent, another Bundesliga and DFB Cup double would follow at Bayern Munich for the 6'3" defender in 2005/06. He would end his playing days at Hannover before entering the world of coaching at - among other teams - Nuremberg, Wolfsburg and currently Watford.     

Valérien Ismaël enjoyed a triumphant spell at Bremen. - Getty Images

Paul Stalteri (full-back)

A Canadian Soccer Hall of Famer, Stalteri was on the books at Werder for five seasons between 2000 and 2005, memorably scoring a goal on his Bundesliga debut for the club against Energie Cottbus. A versatile full-back adept at playing either side of defence, Stalteri netted goals in consecutive games against Cologne and Wolfsburg during Die Grün-Weißen's title-winning run.

His 33 top-flight appearances that season meant he was an integral part of Thomas Schaaf's side and with his assured performances it was no surprise that the Ontario native was, for a time, Canada's leading senior appearance holder.     

Frank Baumann (defensive midfielder)

Baumann played in all but two of Werder's 2003/04 Bundesliga games, the Würzburg-born player featuring 27 times in a deep-lying midfield role during that campaign. A two-club career man, Baumann's only other team was Nuremberg. He enjoyed considerable success at Bremen, where he racked up some 360 appearances in a ten-year span.

As well as collecting Bundesliga and DFB Cup winners' medals in 03/04, the 2002 World Cup finalist with Germany enjoyed one more DFB Cup victory in 2009 when Bremen beat Bayer Leverkusen in the final. That same season, Baumann's last as a pro - he captained the Green-Whites as they lost out in the UEFA Cup showpiece against Shakhtar Donetsk.  

Frank Baumann has been on the Bremen board since 2010. - 2018 Getty Images

Krisztián Lisztes (midfielder)

A Hungarian Footballer of the Year in 2002, Lisztes had developed plenty of Bundesliga know-how with VfB Stuttgart - where he had played over 100 games in the top-flight - ahead of sealing a switch to Werder in 2001. Lisztes was a versatile central midfielder of some repute and he was a mainstay in Schaaf's team as they stormed to Bundesliga glory. The first-ever Hungarian to score in the UEFA Champions League group stages while at Ferencváros, Lisztes was a fearless operator in the engine room and he supplied three goals and seven assists from the position in that famous 2003/04 season for Werder. 

Johan Micoud (midfielder)

The France international added an immense 10 goals and eight assists to Werder's glorious title-winning team and was one of the standout players in an unforgettable double-winning season.

Micoud may have played in Zinedine Zidane's shadow with the French national team - indeed he followed in the superstar's footsteps at Cannes and Bordeaux - but he was very much to the fore for Werder, where he enjoyed celebrity status during four successful years in Germany. In 169 games for Bremen, Micoud enjoyed an incredible 104 goal involvements. His departure from the club in 2006 was only tempered by the arrival of future Bremen idol Diego. 

Fabian Ernst (midfielder)

Another key presence in midfield, Ernst provided the guile and bite for players like Micoud to create. The six footer lined out for local side Hannover and then moved to Hamburg, before upping sticks to Bremen in 2000. His performances at the Weserstadion saw him earn a first call-up to the senior Germany side, for whom he made his debut in 2002. A league and cup double triumph followed for Bremen, and the future Schalke and Beşiktaş Player of the Season would end up making just shy of 200 appearances for Werder in his five seasons at the club. 

Ivan Klasnić (forward)

Not only did the Croatia international Klasnić score an impressive 13 Bundesliga goals as Bremen became champions, he also provided 11 assists for strike partner and eventual division top scorer Ailton in 03/04. Born in Hamburg, Klasnić was part of the St Pauli side that achieved promotion to Germany's top tier in 2001.

That preceded a move to Werder and despite his start to life at his new club being hampered by knee injuries, the future Croatia international would soon hit lift off. Despite going on to star in several Champions League games for the River Islanders, Klasnić would later suffer kidney failure and required 10 months on the sidelines following a series of surgeries. He scored 12 goals in 41 caps during an admirable international career with Croatia. 

The Bremen players mob Ivan Klasnić (2nd.r) after the Croatian scored the second goal in their 3-2 win over Alemannia Aachen in the DFB Cup final. - Imago

Aílton (forward)

The Brazilian who won the Torjägerkanone for his 28 goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances in Werder's title win, Aílton set the league alight with his net-busting exploits. The Brazilian was on loan at Mexican outfit Tigres UANL before making his way to Werder, where he would gain hero status in his six years at the club. Not only did he top score in the 2003/04 Bundesliga season, Aílton was also the joint-top marksman with Klasnić - both finishing on six strikes - as Bremen added DFB Cup honours in the same campaign.

Watch: Ailton's season to savour

As one of only a handful of non-German players to net over 100 goals in the Bundesliga, Aílton also represented Schalke, Hamburg and Duisburg in Germany's top division.