What do Robert Lewandowski, Mario Götze and Mats Hummels have in common, apart from being world-class footballers? They have all played for Borussia Dortmund - and Bayern Munich. Ahead of Saturday's heavyweight meeting at the Signal Iduna Park, bundesliga.com looks back at five of the biggest names to have crossed the Klassiker divide...
So entwined with Bayern’s recent success is Lewandowski that his efforts at Dortmund are sometimes overlooked. Not by the Black and Yellow faithful, however, who were left heartbroken when the Pole moved to Bavaria on a free transfer in 2014 after four years in a Dortmund shirt. Lewandowski won back-to-back Bundesliga titles with the Black-Yellows between 2010 and 2012, made it a domestic double with the DFB Cup in 2011/12 and was part of the BVB outfit that lost 2-1 to Bayern in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final - the first all-German European showpiece to date.
Lewandowski ended his spell at Dortmund with a record of 103 goals in 187 appearances; a fine return that now looks ordinary considering his Bayern exploits. The 32-year-old has since bagged 256 goals in 298 games in all competitions for Bayern, has become the Bundesliga’s greatest foreign-born goalscorer and has more goals than any other player at his home for the past six-plus seasons, the Allianz Arena. Four Bundesliga top scorer cannons have followed, as have a further six league crowns, the Champions League and a UEFA Best Player gong. And Lewy is clearly not one for sentiment, scoring 16 times in 12 Bundesliga matches for Bayern against his old employers.
Watch: Robert Lewandowski - Bayern's world-beating striker
Another member of that famed Jürgen Klopp side that last paraded Bundesliga glory in front of the Yellow Wall, Götze became - at the time - the most expensive German footballer in history when he switched Dortmund for Bayern just months after featuring alongside Lewandowski in the Champions League defeat at Wembley Stadium. Having come through the Dortmund youth set-up, Götze moved to a Bayern side that had just recruited Pep Guardiola as head coach and was going through one of its most successful periods in its rich history.
Three more Bundesliga titles followed at Bayern - taking his tally to five - before, in the summer of 2014, Götze brought delight to Germany fans irrespective of club allegiances by scoring the winning goal in the FIFA World Cup final. By the start of the 2016/17 season, Götze was back at Dortmund and hoping to wrestle domestic glory back to the club that handed him his professional debut. "I want to try to win everyone over – especially those who do not welcome me back with open arms – with my performances," said Götze on his return to Dortmund. Despite various health complications, a fourth DFB Cup trophy and maiden Supercup followed, before he left Germany for PSV Eindhoven in summer 2020.
The most recent man to hop the fence is Hummels, the centre-back having spent the entirety of both his youth and professional career either at Bayern or Dortmund. Having come through the Bayern ranks as a youngster, Hummels made just one senior appearance for the club before being initially loaned to Dortmund in January 2008. He clearly impressed and Dortmund made the deal permanent 18 months later. Hummels would go on to form the backbone of the same Klopp side that Lewandowski and Götze were propelling at the other end before following in their footsteps and heading to Munich at the end of his Dortmund deal in July 2016.
Hummels claimed three successive Bundesliga titles, the DFB Cup and three Supercups on his return to his boyhood club, swelling his appearance count in the red of Bayern to 118. Not content with being rotated in and out following the emergence of Niklas Süle, however, he took his search for regular first-team football back to Dortmund, rejoining the Ruhr district giants in summer 2019. Now 32, he goes into his 32nd Klassiker - his 24th against Bayern - having scored in successive Bundesliga matches for the first time since 2011, and could even step out as captain.
A veritable, full-blown Dortmund legend, Sammer has Hall of Fame status at the Signal Iduna Park. The 51-year-old unlocked the legendary achievement at the club as both player and manager; winning back-to-back Bundesliga medals in the 1994/95 and 1995/96 seasons, as well as captaining Dortmund to their historic Champions League victory in 1996/97. It was a remarkable period for the libero, Dortmund and German football as Sammer was also named both Player of the Tournament and the 1996 Ballon d’Or winner as Germany went on to win UEFA Euro 96.
After retiring in 1998, Sammer was back at Dortmund - but this time in the dugout - just two years later and success was almost immediate. Sammer led his beloved Dortmund to Bundesliga glory in 2001/02 and the same year were narrowly beaten finalists in the UEFA Cup. To the surprise of many, Sammer wound up at Bayern ten years later as their Sporting Director, charged with bringing an end to the Dortmund dominance that the three players above had instigated. And, boy, did Sammer do just that, leading Bayern to the first treble in their history one year into the job and instigating the raid on Dortmund that saw Lewandowski and Götze join the Sammer revolution. A total of five Bundesliga titles followed, before Sammer brought an end to his Bayern days. He is now back at Dortmund as an external advisor to the club.
Hitzfeld made no mark on either club as a player but has most certainly left an enormous stamp in his image on both illustrious histories from the dugout. Hitzfeld first arrived back in German as a coach back in 1991 at Dortmund and it was under Hitzfeld that the likes of Sammer, Michael Zorc, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Lars Ricken inspired Dortmund’s dominance of the mid-90s. Hitzfeld would take charge of Dortmund for 273 matches over the course of six seasons at the club, winning 149 of those games in the process.
His spell at Dortmund came to an end in 1998 after spending his final year as Director of Football before taking the reins at Bayern. In what would become the first of two stints in Munich, Hitzfeld inspired Der FCB to four league titles, two DFB-Pokals and one Champions League triumph across six seasons in charge. In February, 2007 - three years after leaving Bayern - Hitzfeld was back in the Bayern dugout, this time at the new surrounds of the Allianz Arena. By the time he left 18 months later, Hitzfeld had added one more Bundesliga and DFB-Cup apiece to the newly minted trophy cabinet before waving goodbye to Bayern after 395 matches as boss and a whopping 244 wins to boot.