The 11 Best Bundesliga Players of All-Time

One of the top five leagues in world football, the Bundesliga has played host to many of the world’s most talented players.

From modern-day greats like Robert Lewandowski to defensive geniuses like Franz Beckenbauer of the past, here are the best Bundesliga players of all-time. 

11. Sepp Maier

A goalie with cat-like reflexes, Sepp Maier played his defending the sticks for Bayern Munich. He won four Bundesliga titles, three European Cups with Bayern Munich and was crowned World and European Champion with West Germany. 

10. Arjen Robben

The attacking midfielder Arjen Robben scored over 100 goals in his nine-season stint for Bayern, powering Bayern to six Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups and the Champions League treble. The Dutchman capped off an unforgettable 89-minute goal against Borussia Dortmund to win the Champions League in 2012. 

Best midfielders of the 2010s
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9. Frank Ribery

The Frenchman won the 2007-2008 German footballer of the Year in his first year with the club. He has since made over 250 appearances and scored 80 domestic league goals along with over 180 assists. The left-winger has won the Champions League along with 8 League titles and 5 German Cups.

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8. Bastian Schweinsteiger

A complete midfielder, Bastian Schweinsteiger orchestrated the Munich midfield for 17 years. He won eight German league titles, seven German Cups, and completed the treble with a 2013 Champions League trophy. Known as the ‘Fußballgott,’ he scored 45 goals in 342 domestic appearances with the Bavarian side.

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7. Manuel Neuer

Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers ever, the physical and commanding Manuel Neuer rules the posts with imperious superiority. The German big man appears to be a new breed of goalkeeper that is not only a huge physical presence but can rush his lines and thwart offense attacks in a“sweeper-keeper” role.

With five Bundesliga titles, a Champions League, a World Cup under his belt, not to mention a third-place finish in the Ballon d’Or in 2014, Neuer’s future still looks like a promising one.

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6. Philipp Lahm

The right-back played 17 seasons for the Bavaria side, captaining the side to its first Treble in 2012 with the Champions League, German League title, and DFB Cup under his belt.

In total, he won the league 8 times and the DFB Pokal 6 times. 

Known as a talented and judicious fullback — Pep Guardiola called him “perhaps the most intelligent player I have ever trained in my career.”

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5. Oliver Kahn 

An 8-time German Champion along with six DFB Cups, a UEFA Cup, and Champions League trophy to his name, 6’2 Oliver Kahn aka ‘Der Titan’ holds the record for Bayern Munich club appearances at 632. He’s also the only goalkeeper to ever win the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup where he led his team to second and third place finishes.

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4. Robert Lewandowski

The 31-year-old Polish striker poses just as much danger now to defenses as he did when he first signed for Bayern Munich from Dortmund in 2014. Lewandowski is Bundesliga’s all-time leading foreign scorer with 207 goals and remains third on Bayern’s all-time scoring list behind club icons Gerd Muller (398) and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (217).

At the beginning of the 2019/20 season, Lewandowski signed a four-year contract extension with the Bavarian giants that sees him with the club until 2023. Expect a lot more goals and league titles (currently 7 with Bayern, 2 with Dortmund)  to come. 

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3. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

With over 200 goals, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is the second-leading Bayern Munich goal-scorer of all time. A well-rounded striker, his decade-long tenure with the club witnessed a spell of trophies including two league titles, two German Cups, two European Cups, and one Intercontinental Cup.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

2. Gerd Muller

The German striker Gerd Muller was a finishing machine. He scored a whopping 711 goals for club and country. 365 of those strikes came from 427 Bundesliga matches, where he led the Bavarian giants to four league titles.

Müller also scored 68 goals in 62 games on the international stage, leading West Germany to lift the World Cup trophy in 1974.

Müller won the Ballon D’Or in 1970.

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1. Franz Beckenbauer

Nicknamed ‘Der Kaiser,’ Franz Beckenbauer played the vital role of Sweeper at Bayern Munich where he twice earned European Player of the Year. He also captained the side to its first league victory in the 1968-69 season, finishing his career a four-time German Cup Winner and three-time Champions Club’s Winner. As coach of the Bavarians’, he won one more league title and the UEFA Cup.

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