Founding members of the league in 1963 and one of only three Bundesliga teams to have got their hands on the European Cup, Hamburg’s status as one of German football’s traditional powerhouses is beyond reproach.
The Volksparkstadion has been home to some of the biggest names ever to have graced Germany’s top flight, but which of them would make it into the Bundesliga ever-presents’ all-time XI? We at bundesliga.com have racked our brains and come up with the following all-star cast…
It was a tight call, but scoring 21 times as a goalkeeper is an extraordinary achievement, even if all Butt’s goals for Hamburg came from the penalty spot! After making his debut for the club in August 1997, Butt netted his first top-flight goal on Matchday 4 of the following campaign, scoring from the spot in a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. He would go on to register a further six times in 1998/99, before finishing as the club’s joint top scorer - yes, you read that correctly! - with nine goals in 1999/2000. Butt’s goalscoring heroics shouldn’t detract from his abilities as a shot-stopper, of course: In 160 appearances for the Red Shorts, he registered an impressive 44 clean sheets.
Watch: The Bundesliga's highest-scoring goalkeeper Hans-Jörg Butt
After coming through the youth ranks at Hertha Berlin, Boateng joined HSV as an 18-year-old in 2007, signing a four-year contract with the northern giants. Wasting little time in establishing himself as an integral cog in a side featuring the likes of Vincent Kompany, Nigel de Jong and Ivica Olic, he helped the Red Shorts to successive top-five finishes in 2007/08 and 2008/09, not to mention consecutive UEFA Europa League semi-finals in 2008/09 and 2009/10. After a one-year stint at Manchester City Boateng was snapped up by Bayern Munich, where he has blossomed into one of the world’s most gifted central defenders.
Barbarez got his first taste of German football with Hannover - then in the second tier - in the early 1990s, but it wasn’t until he joined Hamburg after short spells with Hansa Rostock and Borussia Dortmund that Barbarez’s career really caught fire. He finished top scorer with 22 goals in his first season at the Volksparkstadion, before helping HSV win the League Cup in 2003. The versatile attacker netted 66 Bundesliga goals for the Red Shorts in total, while his overall tally of 96 top-flight strikes make him the tenth highest foreign goalscorer in Bundesliga history. The former Bosnia-Herzegovina captain finished his playing career with Bayer Leverkusen before spending a season on the Hamburg board between 2009 and 2010.
Irish television commentator Jimmy Magee once described Hrubesch as “the man they call ‘The Monster’” during Germany’s 1982 FIFA World Cup semi-final against France, and it doesn’t take a genius to work out why the Hamm-born striker enjoyed such a fearsome reputation as a player. Regarded as one of the most lethal headers of the ball in Bundesliga history, the 6 ft 2 in centre-forward joined Die Rothosen on the back of a prolific three-year spell at Rot-Weiß Essen, going on to plunder 117 goals in 194 appearances for HSV during their most successful era. Hrubesch, who ended his playing career with Dortmund, netted 136 goals in 224 Bundesliga appearances overall - only Gerd Müller, Robert Lewandowski and Lothar Emmerich have recorded better goals-to-game ratios in Germany’s top flight.