They may have hung up their boots long ago, but the spirit of several bona-fide Bundesliga legends lives on in EA Sports' FIFA 19 video game, with Jens Lehmann, Miroslav Klose and Michael Ballack joining Lothar Matthäus among the icons in the game.
bundesliga.com outlines why they would make a worthy edition to your virtual team...
Watch: Some current Bundesliga stars aren't too happy with their ratings!
Clubs played for: Schalke, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, VfB Stuttgart
Selected major honours: UEFA Cup winner (Schalke, 1997), Bundesliga champion (Dortmund, 2002), UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year (1997, 2006)
Born in Essen in Germany's industrial heartland, Lehmann started out at Schalke, where he played for a decade after breaking into the side in 1988. Famed for his unbending will to win and often confrontational style, the goalkeeper earned his place in Royal Blue folklore by scoring a last-minute header to snatch a 2-2 draw away to arch-rivals Dortmund.
Watch: Lehmann, a goal-scoring and -stopping goalkeeper!
The custodian even joined BVB a couple of years later following a brief spell at AC Milan, and helped Die Schwarzgelben win their third Bundesliga crown in 2002, as well as reach that year's UEFA Cup final. Authoritative and dominant in his penalty area, Lehmann earned 61 caps for Germany – a hugely respectable tally given that he vied with the legendary Oliver Kahn for game time.
Regarded as one of the finest central midfielders of his generation, Ballack rose to fame as part of the Kaiserslautern side that become the first and only promoted team to win the Bundesliga title in 1998. He soon earned a move to Leverkusen, where he won runners-up medals in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League. He would eventually go on to win the former two titles several times following his move to Bayern in 2002.
Watch: Michael Ballack, the midfield maestro
Tall, powerful, with a fearsome shot and a knack of arriving in the box at the right time, Ballack was respected the world over. It was no surprise that he soon became the undisputed leader of the German national team, although he fell just short of winning international honours with Die Mannschaft, earning runners-up medals at the 2002 World Cup and the 2008 European Championship.
Clubs played for: Kaiserslautern, Werder Bremen, Bayern, Lazio
Selected major honours: 2x Bundesliga winner, 2x DFB Cup winner, FIFA World Cup winner (2014)
By today's standards, Klose was a relative late arrival to the professional game when he made his Bundesliga debut for Kaiserslautern at the age of 21 in April 2000. He soon made up for lost time, however, smashing in 44 goals over the next four seasons to earn a move to Bremen. He averaged 1.7 goals a game for the Green-Whites – finishing as Bundesliga top scorer with 25 in 2005/06 - showing a clinical edge that Bayern decided they simply could not do without.
Watch: Goals were the game, Miroslav Klose the name!
The Poland-born forward won multiple titles in Munich, by which time he was already the spearhead of the Germany national team. The crowning glory of his career arrived in 2014 when he helped Joachim Löw's side win the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, scoring his 16th tournament goal to become the competition's all-time top scorer.
Position: Central midfielder
Clubs played for: Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern, Inter Milan, New York/New Jersey MetroStars
Selected major honours: 7x Bundesliga champion, 3x DFB Cup winner, UEFA Cup winner (1997), FIFA World Cup winner (1990), UEFA EURO 1980 winner
Matthäus began his Bundesliga career at Gladbach and spent five years at the Foals before pledging his allegiance to the Bundesliga's record champions, Bayern, in 1984.
His stock as the archetypal all-singing, all-dancing midfield general soared as Bayern scooped three successive Bundesliga titles and the 1985/86 DFB Cup during his first stint at the club. He moved to Italy in 1988, winning the Serie A title and the Italian Supercup in his debut season at Inter, followed by the 1990/91 UEFA Cup.
Matthäus - the 1990 UEFA Best Player in Europe - was an easy pick for the inaugural FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1991, not least after captaining Germany to their third World Cup triumph at Italia '90. "He's the best rival I ever had," Argentina's Diego Maradona famously said, having been marked out of the game by Matthäus at Rome's Stadio Olimpico in the final. "I guess that’s enough to define him."
So much more than just a Maradona contemporary, Matthäus would ultimately represent Germany in a record five World Cups, and remains his country’s most capped player - with 150 appearances - made between 1980 and 2000.