Bayern Munich's 15 Best Midfielders of All Time

Who is the best Bayern Munich midfielder ever?

As one of the strongest clubs in Europe, it is not surprising to know that Bayern Munich possesses a strong midfield line. From time to time, Bayern always exhibits a beautiful, enjoyable attacking playing style. Of course, the beauty of their playing style cannot be separated from the role of the midfielders. In this article, I want to discuss fifteen Bayern Munich's top midfielders in the history of the club.

In addition to some recent famous names such as Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben, Bayern midfield-line once also consisted of other world-class players such Lothar Matthaus, Stefan Effenberg, Mark van Bommel, Ze Roberto, and many other quality players. Which one of them deserves the title as the best Bayern midfielder of all time?

15. Christian Ziege

Christian Ziege is a retired left-winger who became the mainstay of Germany national team and Bayern Munich in the late 1990s. He is known as a player who has accurate crossing ability and very determined in helping the team's defense. In addition to playing in the German League, Ziege also competed in the Premier League at Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. At Bayern Munich, Ziege won two Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Cup trophy.

14. Bernd Dürnberger

Bernd Durnberger was a talented player who had never played for Germany national team. He even holds the record as the player with the highest number of trophies that has never been called-up by his national team. In total, the central midfielder joined Bayern Munich for thirteen seasons in the period 1972-1985. During this period, he won five Bundesliga titles and three Champions League trophies.

13. Jens Jeremies

Jens Jeremies was a midfielder with a very high defensive instinct. Therefore, apart from being played as a defensive midfielder, he was also often positioned as a libero. Throughout his career, he was known as a player with high stamina, hardworker, and possessed main role as a destroyer of the opponent's attack. He played for Bayern Munich in the period 1998-2006, won six Bundesliga titles and one Champions League trophy.

12. Mark van Bommel

Van Bommel is an example of perfect central midfielder. The Dutchman is not only an expert in constructing the team's attack, but also can act as an anchor midfielder whose main duty is stopping the opponent's playmaker. Not only that, he also often scored goals from long-range shot from outside the penalty box. For five years playing for Bayern, van Bommel won two Bundesliga titles and two DFB Pokal trophies. He also underwent a period of career with some other European major clubs such as PSV Eindhoven and AC Milan.

11. Hasan Salihamidzic

At first, Salihamidzic's original position was a striker. This player switched to be central midfielder because the coach thought that he possesses great vision, passing skills, and creativity. The Bosnian player joined Munich for nine years before moving to Juventus in 2007. Though he was injury prone, Salihamidzic showed consistent forms and often became a super-sub who saved Bayern from defeats. At Bayern, he won six Bundesliga titles and one Champions League trophy.

10. Zé Roberto

Fast, possessing great techniques as well as prolific in scoring goals. Ze Roberto is a Brazilian winger who played for Bayern Munich in the period 2002-2009. He became a mainstay of the Bayern midfield along with great players such as Michael Ballack and Sebastian Deisler. Although he performed well, his playing style was often criticized as ineffective and not in accordance with German football's style. He moved from Bayern to Hamburger SV in 2009 as a free-agent.

9. Arjen Robben

Having failed to demonstrate optimal performance at Real Madrid, Arjen Robben found his best forms when he joined Bayern Munich in 2009. The Dutch winger can freely utilize his prowess dribbling skills at Munich. His debut at the club also went well, where Robben won the Bundesliga and was awarded the Footballer of the Year in Germany. Robben made more remarkable achievement when he helped Bayern win five titles in the 2012-13 season.

8. Michael Ballack

Although his career at Bayern Munich didn't end as good as many people expected, Michael Ballack still deserves to be regarded as one of the best midfielders of the club. Ballack was signed from Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 for a fairly high transfer fee. His performances at Bayern were truly remarkable, where he acted as not only as a good midfielder, but also a productive goal machine. For four seasons joining Bayern, Ballack won three Bundesliga titles and three DFB Pokal trophies.

7. Stefan Effenberg

Although he possessed high temper and often created problems, Effenberg also has good leadership skills that so that he was trusted to be the team captain after Lothar Matthaus' retirement. Playing as a central midfielder, Effenberg was one of the key strengths of Bayern in the late 1990s with Oliver Kahn and Giovanni Elber. His best performance occurred in the 2000-01 season, where he led Bayern win the Champions League and he was also voted as the best player of the tournament.

6. Franz Roth

Franz Roth is a former midfielder who was nicknamed "The Bull" because of his strong physical abilities. This player scored a victory-goal for Bayern Munich in the Winners' Cup final match in 1967. He was also included in the golden generation of Bayern Munich who won three consecutive European Cup in the 1970s. At Bayern, Roth played alongside the best German players of all time such as Franz Beckenbauer, Uli Hoeness and Gerd Muller.

5. Mehmet Scholl

Mehmet Scholl was the number-one playmaker of Bayern Munich in the 1990s. The German midfielder played for FC Hollywood for 15 years before retiring in 2007. In total, he won eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB-Pokal trophies, a Champions League trophy, a UEFA Cup. He was also part of the German national team that won Euro 1996. Upon his retirement, Scholl coached Bayern Munich II (Bayern Munich reserve team) for several years.

4. Franck Ribery

Franck Ribery is regarded by football pundits as the best player of Bayern Munich in the last three seasons. The French midfielder is even considered better than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, especially in the 2012-13 season when he won five titles at Bayern Munich. Ribery is praised as a player who possesses amazing techniques, good dribbling skills, high creativity, and superb playmaking ability.

3. Paul Breitner

Paul Breitner is often regarded as a German player with the best dribbling skills of all time. Playing as a left midfielder, Breitner could easily dribble from the outer side of the field to the opponent penalty box, then he would shoot the ball and scored a beautiful goal. Not only had successful career at Bayern, Breitner also won the Euro 1972 and 1974 World Cup with Germany national team, as well as claimed two La Liga titles at Real Madrid. At Bayern, he won five Bundesliga titles, one Champions League trophy, and named as German Player of the Year in 1981.

2. Bastian Schweinsteiger

Schweinsteiger is an example of a versatile midfielder who possesses complete abilities. He can play in various positions, ranging from a winger, attacking midfielder, defensive midfielder, and could even be positioned as a second striker. Not only that, Schweinsteiger also has great passing, tackling, and long-range shooting skills. He possesses high stamina and often scores important goals for his team. So far, Scheweinsteiger has already won seven Bundesliga titles, six German Cups and one Champions League trophy.

1. Lothar Matthäus

Lothar Matthaus is one of the greatest football legends in Germany. This player helped his country win the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1980. Not only that, Matthaus' career at club level is also quite successful. In total, he played for 12 years for Munich, won seven Bundesliga titles, three DFB Pokal and the UEFA Cup trophies. At the end of his career at Bayern Munich, Matthaus changed his position from a central midfielder into a libero. He retired ended his career as a professional footballer in an MLS club, Metro Stars, in 2000.

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