Bayern Munich have created a monopoly in the Bundesliga these days, but all their recent success has only been thanks to the incredible talent which has passed through their doors over the last 120 years.
They weren’t one of the founding members of the league in the early 1960s, but Bayern Munich were one of Germany’s biggest clubs well before then and they’ve only gone from strength to strength.
To achieve their level of dominance, Bayern Munich have had some of the best players on the planet in their squad throughout history, but it’s in defence where some of their all-time greats have really made a name for themselves.
Here, 90min runs down the top ten…
10. David Alaba
As Bayern Munich’s second most capped foreign player in history, Austria international David Alaba will always be deserving of a mention when it comes to the club’s all-time greats.
At the peak of his powers, Alaba was comfortably the best left back in world football and his standards haven’t really dropped, putting in world class performances in a variety of positions during Bayern Munich’s most successful period in their history.
9. Jupp Kapellmann
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Hans-Josef Kapellmann, Alemannia Aachen (1968–1970), 1. FC Köln (1970–1973), FC Bayern München (1973–1979), TSV 1860 München (1979–1981). Herbert Meyer, Werder Bremen (1967–1971), Kickers Offenbach (1971–1974), Hannover 96 (1974–1976), Borussia Dortmund (1976–1980), SV Atlas Delmenhorst (1980–1983). #altereckenfcb #alterrecke #juppkapellmann #alemanniaaachen #1fcköln #fcbayernmünchen #1860münchen #altereckenbvb #alterrecke #herbertmeyer #werderbremen #kickersoffenbach #hannover96 #borussiadortmund #svatlasdelmenhorst #fussballnostalgie
Hans-Josef Kapellmann already had quite an impressive individual career as a midfielder behind him when he joined Bayern Munich in 1973, but it was in Bavaria, in one of the most talented teams there has ever been, where the club legend was best.
8. Bixente Lizarazu
Bixente Lizarazu was one of the most popular players to ever step foot on the pitch for Bayern Munich.
The Frenchman had a serial talent when it came to winning trophies, and while his ability on the pitch is certainly something which can’t be understated, it was Lizarazu’s ever-thoughtful personality off it which made him one of the club’s most likeable players.
7. Joshua Kimmich
Even though he’s been playing as a midfielder this season, Joshua Kimmich might still be the best right back on the planet.
The 25-year-old is as close as many will ever get to being the perfect Bayern Munich player, boasting an incredible technical ability along with a cockiness which has become synonymous with players at the Allianz Arena.
Kimmich is a fully-fledged, adopted Bavarian.
6. Klaus Augenthaler
There’s one defender who stands out more than anyone else for dominating the 1970s. But the 1980s? That was Klaus Augenthaler’s decade.
Auge became the first player to ever win seven Bundesliga titles, commanding the heart of Bayern Munich’s defence both as a classic centre half and later as a Libero, or sweeper.
5. Philipp Lahm
Bayern Munich have plenty of legends in the modern day, but Philipp Lahm is far and away of anyone else as the club’s most important, influential defender of this century.
With more than 500 appearances to his name, Lahm won everything that was on offer at club level, playing the role as Bayern Munich’s captain better than most who’ve come before him, and almost certainly better than anyone who’s come after.
4. Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck
Every team needs a Georg Schwarzenbeck.
He wasn’t the star of Bayern Munich’s defence, but he was their irreplaceable, unsung hero who helped to create the best defender in history and one of the beautiful game’s most talented players.
Unsurprisingly being dubbed ‘the Kaiser’s Bodyguard’, Schwarzenbeck helped to bring in Bayern Munich’s first era of dominance in the Bundesliga era.
3. Paul Breitner
Bayern Munich have had an immeasurable list of world class, humble defenders who’ve helped to define a generation in one way or another.
Bayern Munich have also had Paul Breitner.
As a player, Der Afro was irreplaceable for Bayern Munich and Germany as a left back, while he even formed a partnership with Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – finishing second only to Kalle in the 1981 Ballon d’Or – further up the pitch later in his career.
2. Konrad Heidkamp
Even as a Düsseldorf native, ‘Conny’ Heidkamp knew exactly what it mean to be Bayern Munich’s captain.
He was part of the team that won Bayern Munich’s first league title in 1932 and went on to do even more extraordinary things to preserve the club’s history.
When Bayern Munich’s trophy collection came under threat by allied bombers in Munich in 1942, Heidkamp and his wife stashed the club’s medals at a farm, even going on to bury the silverware underground at times before it was safe to return them.
1. Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer isn’t just Bayern Munich’s greatest defender of all time, or even their best player, but Der Kaiser is well worth a place alongside Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo as the best footballer ever.
He’s one of the few defensive players to ever win the Ballon d’Or and certainly the only defensive player to win the award twice, but no amount of accolades or trophies will ever do Beckenbauer’s impact on Bayern Munich, and on football in general, justice.