There is no shortage of title winners in the Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München ranks these days.
There is no shortage of title winners in the Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München ranks these days.

Der Klassiker: The stage of champions


It is no secret that Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München boast some of the very best players and coaches in the business, but it is their collective medal haul that is deserving of particular attention ahead of Der Klassiker on Matchday 11.

Never before in the history of modern football will such a bumper crop of prizewinners go toe-to-toe under one roof as at the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK next weekend, in a bona fide clash of the Bundesliga titans.

Give your Official Fantasy Bundesliga team a Klassiker-themed makeover now!

Bayern's star-studded core

Silverware is in Bayern's DNA, and it hardly comes as a surprise to learn that 22 members of their current squad have each won at least three titles or individual accolades. Evergreen winger Arjen Robben is the most decorated member of the red ballet, having tasted glory on 22 occasions in a storied career across Germany, Spain, England and the Netherlands, while baby of the bunch Renato Sanches scooped his third major prize of the calendar year at UEFA EURO 2016 in the summer.

Perhaps surprisingly, Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and Javi Martinez are the only other players at Bayern to have won the UEFA European Championship. Alonso is nevertheless a FIFA World Cup winner - a title he shares with Martinez, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Müller - and also enjoyed one of his two UEFA Champions League triumphs under now Bayern head coach Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid CF in 2014.

Watch: Bayern's top 5 Official Fantasy Bundesliga scorers:

Master and apprentice

Ancelotti himself is one of just seven men to have won the European Cup as both player and coach, and one of only two tacticians to have lifted the Champions League on three separate occasions. The Italian picked up his first piece of silverware as a coach in the 1999 UEFA Intertoto Cup, and his most recent in the 2016 Supercup against Dortmund to take his career bounty to an eye-watering 33 winners' medals. Further successes at the Bayern helm are a given.

Watch: Match highlights of Bayern's 2-0 Supercup win over Dortmund:

If anyone can prevent Ancelotti from steering Bayern to a fifth successive Bundesliga title and 26th overall, however, it is Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel. Jürgen Klopp's most famous apprentice masterminded 1. FSV Mainz 05's 2009 youth league title win and, while he has yet to deliver at senior level, he did pick up runners-up medals in the Bundesliga and DFB Cup in his debut season at the BVB helm last term.

Dortmund's silver lining

In his renewed pursuit of champions Bayern, Tuchel can call on eight members of the last Dortmund side to win the Bundesliga - back in 2011/12. Among those is World Cup winner Mario Götze, who returned to his boyhood club three Bundesliga titles and two DFB Cups better off following three seasons at Bayern.

UEFA EURO 2016 winner Raphael Guerreiro, two-time Bundesliga champion Sebastian Rode and decorated FC Barcelona youth product Marc Bartra also bring ample title-winning pedigree to the table, alongside triumphant 2014 World Cup contingent Roman Weidenfeller, Matthias Ginter, Erik Durm and Andre Schürrle.

Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's Matchday 10 drubbing of Hamburger SV:

Individual honours

In addition to the notable team conquests, there have been a whole host of individual success stories. Bayern's Neuer is a three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year; David Alaba has been awarded the Austrian Player of the Year prize a record five times; Boateng is the current German Player of the Year; Müller fired his way to the 2010 World Cup Golden Boot; Franck Ribery was voted 2013 European Footballer of the Year; Robert Lewandowski won his second Bundesliga Torjägerkanone last season; Dortmund's Nuri Sahin and Marco Reus are former Bundesliga and German Players of the Year respectively; and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the reigning African Player of the Year.

The list of accolades is endless, and there simply are not enough superlatives to describe the achievements of both clubs, their players and coaches. Three points in Der Klassiker will only add further fuel to the winning party's title hopes and aspirations. The result may not define their season, but it could go a long way to determining the destination of the 2016/17 Bundesliga crown. The Meisterschale has a habit of ending up in either Dortmund or Bayern hands, after all.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge

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