With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund sharing each of the last 10 Bundesliga titles, it's no surprise that the Klassiker rivals dominate our Team of the Decade…
With the New Year less than a week old, bundesliga.com looks back over the last 10 years, picking out an XI with no equal...
Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
Not only would Neuer be the number one choice for the past decade, but the innovative sweeper-keeper would arguably figure in any decade in footballing history, and in any country. Such has been Germany's undisputed No.1's impact on the game, first at Schalke and then with Bayern and Germany, he continues to be regarded as one of the best goalkeepers the game has ever produced, and justifiably so. His safe hands not only keep out shots week in, week out, they have also lifted seven Bundesliga titles, five DFB Cups and the UEFA Champions League. With his feet, positioning and mind, Neuer has transformed the role of the goalkeeper and inspired a new generation.
Watch: The home of the world's best goalkeepers!
Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich)
The first man to lift the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League all in the same season, Lahm then became only the fourth German to raise the FIFA World Cup into the air. Germany's Footballer of the Year in 2017 – the year he retired – Lahm was named in UEFA's Team of the Year five times and boasted a haul of eight Bundesliga titles. Going down as one of the best full-backs ever, his versatility saw him switch from the right to the left of defence and later into a holding midfield role during the 2010s. Lahm impressed so much there that the praise he received for his expert full-back performances was soon replicated, with questions asked as to whether he may also be one of the best midfielders the world has ever seen.
Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)
Another FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner, Boateng has been the rock at the heart of the Bayern defence for the best part of the past decade. Like Neuer, the Berlin-born defender redefined his role. Not only does Boateng excel at his defensive duties, he also has an eye for a game-opening pass – and both the skill and composure to execute it. Deadly in the opponents' penalty area too, the former Hertha Berlin and Hamburg centre-back is a feared player at both ends of the field, equally adept in stopping and scoring goals. There are not many defenders who can boast being named Germany's Player of the Year, as Boateng was in 2016.
Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund/Bayern Munich)
One of Boateng's best central defensive partners was Hummels, who returned to Dortmund last summer after winning three more Bundesliga titles with Bayern. Hummels got the first two of his five league medals with Dortmund, where he was the bedrock upon which Jürgen Klopp built his back-to-back title-winning team. The man who earned 70 caps for Germany shares Boateng's excellent game awareness, which is why they both combined to such deadly effect for Bayern. His reading of the game often ensures he is in the right place at the right time to make that telling tackle, ending an opponents' attack before launching one for his own team with his outstanding passing ability, even with the outside of his foot as he so often demonstrates.
David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
When you are billed as "one of the best players on his side of the field" by Franck Ribery, you must be doing something right. Thanks to Ribery's mentoring in Munich, Austrian full-back Alaba could still become the most successful player in Bundesliga history. He already has eight Bundesliga titles in the cabinet, along with five DFB Cups and the UEFA Champions League. They sit proudly next to the two trophies he earned as Austria's Sportsman of the Year – an individual accolade that had been last won by a footballer, Toni Polster, in 1997. Rarely has a defender looked as comfortable on the ball as Alaba does, with his bursts of pace and close control making him a threat going forward and more than just an annoyance for opposition wingers. His set-pieces are second to none, and he is a regular goalscorer from direct free-kicks.
Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich)
One of the reasons Bayern won seven straight Bundesliga titles was because they had Javi Martinez in their team. Don't believe us? Well, when he reached 100 Bundesliga appearances in 2018, the Spaniard had a remarkable ratio of 85 wins. That's right – he was not part of a winning side only 15 times in his first century of games in Germany's top flight. That record only slightly substantiates why the versatile defensive midfielder features as the best in his role over the past decade. Last season, when Bayern faced their fiercest challenge yet for the title, the record champions struggled so much when Martinez was sidelined. They lost three and drew two of the 10 games he sat out, averaging just 1.7 points per match. When the former Athletic Bilbao stalwart did play, that average rocketed to 2.7 points. "The way he goes into tackles and wins aerial battles - he's a real weapon," said former Bayern president Uli Hoeneß. Indeed, Martinez is a destructive defensive midfielder...
Watch: Javi Martinez: The midfield destroyer!
Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
Fans of Bayern and the Bundesliga alike were sad to see Robben bring the curtain down on his playing career in the summer of 2019. Only opposition full-backs will have breathed a sigh of relief to see one of their greatest tormentors hang up his boots, including that enigmatic left one which almost defied logic in its habitual ability to curl goals into the far corner. Robben ended his career just one goal shy of a century for Bayern, having spent a decade terrorising defenders and picking up trophy after trophy. It was the Dutchman's goal which earned Bayern victory in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final against Dortmund, and many of his others contributed to him winning a total of eight Bundesliga titles. That added to two domestic league titles in England, one in the Netherlands and one in Spain.
Watch: Arjen Robben's top 5 goals!
Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)
Since he took his professional bow for Bayern in 2009, little has gotten in the way of Müller's inexorable rise to the top of the world game. A World Cup winner with Germany – and with more World Cup goals than Diego Maradona – the 30-year-old is also the most prolific German goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League. An integral part of Bayern's treble-winning side in 2012/13, Müller is another of those players to have redefined his role. Nobody, however, has yet been able to copy his unorthodox 'Raumdeuter' or 'space invader' style. Lurking behind the forwards but always finding the gaps at the right time to score, he has netted almost 200 times for Bayern.
Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
When Mario Götze struck the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, his thought went to one man – Reus. An ankle injury had cruelly denied the Dortmund attacker his place on that World Cup-winning squad on the eve of their departure for Brazil, but there is no doubt he would also have been a worthy champion. Indeed, recurrent injuries have denied fans the chance to see more of one of the most naturally talented players Germany has ever produced. With sublime skills, control and the sweetest of strikes of the ball, you just have to look at the seasons when injury did not get in the way to discover Reus's full potential: 16 goals and 14 assists in 2013/14, 17 and 11 last season and 18 goals plus 12 assists in his final season with Gladbach before moving to Dortmund in 2012.
Watch: Marco Reus' Bundesliga Mixtape!
Franck Ribery (Bayern Munich)
When Ribery arrived in Munich from Marseille in 2007, he had some mighty large boots to fill. Mehmet Scholl was bringing his career to a close and the Frenchman was his designated successor. What Ribery did was take Scholl's eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB Cups and one Champions League and raised him one league and one cup title, becoming the Bundesliga's most successful player in history. In 273 German top-flight outings, Ribery scored 86 goals and set up a further 120, making him one of the best Bundesliga players of the second decade of the new millennium. The former France international had full-backs writhing in agony as he twisted and turned them in all directions, galloping forth on his way to goals and assists aplenty.
Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund/Bayern Munich)
What is there still to be said about a man who – in the absence of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – would worthily be rejoiced as the world's best player of the past decade? Lewandowski is not just the man who scored the quickest five goals in a single Bundesliga game, the fastest four in a Champions League fixture, and the Bundesliga's most prolific foreign goalscorer. No, that is not even the half of it. The Pole has sent records tumbling on his way to seven Bundesliga titles, four top-scorer gongs and seven Bundesliga Player of the Year awards out of a possible nine since 2011. Now up to third in the Bundesliga's all-time top-scorer chart, the 47 goals distancing him from second placed Klaus Fischer are likely to be gobbled up in record time.
Watch: All of Lewandowski's goals so far in 2019/20!