This post provides the top 10 greatest Bayern Munich players of all time. Bayern Munich is an undisputed champion in German football history.
They’ve clinched 33 national titles, with 11 consecutive wins since 2013. When it comes to national cups, they’ve won 20.
During the mid-1970s, Bayern experienced a golden era under the leadership of the legendary Franz Beckenbauer, winning the European Cup three consecutive times from 1974 to 1976. Till today, they’ve won six European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles, which is a record for a German club.
In 2020, they made history again, winning their sixth title as part of a Treble, becoming the second European club to pull off this feat twice.
Their players have also claimed individual awards like the Ballon d’Or, FIFA Men’s Player, European Golden Shoe, and UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. However, these are the top 10 greatest players In Bayern Munich football history:
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- Sepp Maier
- Gerd Müller
- Thomas Müller
- Oliver Kahn
- Franz Beckenbauer
- Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck
- Robert Lewandowski
- Philipp Lahm
- Klaus Augenthaler
- Bastian Schweinsteiger
Let’s meet them.
1. Sepp Maier
Sepp Maier, known as “Die Katze von Anzing” was a maestro in the penalty area. His charisma, sense of humor, and personality endeared him to fans, making him a true favorite.
In his own words, “A keeper should give off a sense of calm, and not fall asleep while doing so.” Maier’s entire professional career unfolded at Bayern Munich, starting from his youth days in 1958.
During the iconic 1970s era, Maier was a pillar of the legendary Bayern squad, alongside stars like Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller.
They won four West German league titles, three German cups, and three consecutive European Cups in 1974, 1975, and 1976.
Adding to his impressive list of achievements, Maier’s trophy collection also includes the 1967 European Cup Winners’ Cup, a hard-fought victory secured in extra time against Rangers F.C.
He had an extraordinary performance in the European finals, where he allowed just a solitary goal across five memorable encounters
His brilliance didn’t go unnoticed as he was crowned German Footballer of the Year in 1975, 1977, and 1978. Serp has 442 consecutive Bundesliga matches, still an unbeaten record in German football.
2. Gerd Müller
Gerd Müller, known as “Der Bomber” or “Bomber der Nation,” was a goal-scoring phenomenon that had a great impact on Bayern Munich’s football history.
His unique prowess as a striker, particularly his clinical finishing, especially around the six-yard box, made him one of the greatest goal-scorers in soccer history.
Over 15 remarkable years with Bayern Munich, Müller netted 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches, a record that still stands today. In European club competitions, he scored 65 goals in 74 games.
But Müller became one of just nine players to achieve the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League, and Ballon d’Or trifecta. Despite playing fewer matches than his peers, he ranked 21st in the all-time international goalscorers list.
In 1970, Müller won the European Footballer of the Year and Golden Boot winner at the FIFA World Cup, and In 1972, he clinched the UEFA European Championship, emerging as the top scorer.
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3. Thomas Müller
Thomas Müller is a homegrown talent nurtured by Bayern Munich’s youth system and he has contributed significantly to the club’s outstanding success.
Müller’s trophy cabinet is impressive, winning twelve Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, eight DFL-Supercups, two UEFA Champions League titles, two UEFA Super Cups, and two FIFA Club World Cups.
His career to fame started during the 2009–10 season when Louis van Gaal took the helm as the coach. And Müller was instrumental, playing an important role in securing the league and cup double while reaching the Champions League final.
One of Müller’s most remarkable seasons came in 2012–13 when he netted 23 goals, driving Bayern to a historic treble, league title, cup, and Champions League victory.
He also provided 21 assists in a single season, a feat shared with Lionel Messi. In the 2019–20 season, Müller scored 14 goals as Bayern clinched their second treble.
4. Oliver Kahn
Oliver Kahn, renowned as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time is Bayern’s all-time clean sheet leader alongside Manuel Neuer.
Kahn’s journey to Bayern Munich began with a record transfer fee in 1994, and his influence was crucial in Bayern’s triumph in the 1996 UEFA Cup Final.
Also, he saved three penalties in the 2000–01 UEFA Champions League final win. And his trophy collection speaks volumes about his success.
He secured eight Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, the UEFA Cup in 1996, the UEFA Champions League, and the Intercontinental Cup in 2001.
Plus four consecutive UEFA Best European Goalkeepers, three IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeepers, and two German Footballer of the Year awards.
A historic moment came in the 2002 FIFA World Cup when Kahn became the only goalkeeper to win the Golden Ball in the tournament’s history. He also held his own in the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper rankings for the 21st century and the past 25 years.
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5. Franz Beckenbauer
Franz Beckenbauer’s career started in 1964 when he made his debut for Bayern in a Bundesliga promotion play-off match. In his first full season, the team clinched the Regionalliga Süd title, earning promotion to the Bundesliga.
Under Beckenbauer’s leadership, Bayern rose to prominence, securing the German Cup in 1966–67 and conquering Europe in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1967. As captain in 1968–69, he guided the club to their first league championship.
It was during this time that Beckenbauer revolutionized football with his innovative sweeper (libero) role, becoming a pioneer of the attacking sweeper game.
Beckenbauer’s era at Bayern Munich was extraordinary, winning three consecutive league titles from 1972 to 1974 and an outstanding hat-trick of European Cup victories from 1974 to 1976, allowing the club to retain the trophy permanently.
His nickname, “Der Kaiser,” is the stuff of legend. Some say it originated during a photo session next to a bust of Emperor Franz Joseph I in Vienna, while others believe it arose from his audacious on-field antics. Regardless, it symbolizes his influence on the game.
6. Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck
Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck was a heroic defender who rose to the occasion when it mattered most, amassing an impressive 416 appearances in Bayern’s colors.
Schwarzenbeck’s trophy cabinet tells a story of success, winning six German league championships, three German Cups, and European glory, including a European Cup Winners’ Cup victory against Rangers F.C. and three consecutive European Cups from 1974 to 1976.
One moment that defines Schwarzenbeck’s legacy is his last-minute equalizing goal in the 1974 European Cup final against Atlético Madrid, a remarkable long-range effort. Bayern went on to triumph in the replay with a 4-0 victory two days later.
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7. Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski’s time In the Bundesliga was sensational, regarded as one of the greatest strikers in football history. His goal-scoring prowess is exceptional, making him one of the most successful players in the game.
Lewandowski’s journey to stardom took a significant turn in 2014 when he made a high-profile move to Bayern Munich on a free transfer from Dortmund. He clinched the Bundesliga title every year during his eight seasons with the Bavarian giants.
A crowning achievement came in the 2019–20 season when Lewandowski played a huge role in Bayern’s UEFA Champions League triumph as part of an extraordinary treble.
He became one of only two players, alongside Johan Cruyff, to claim the European treble while being the top scorer in all three competitions.
8. Philipp Lahm
Philipp Lahm is Bayern Munich’s long-serving captain, and by many, he is one the greatest full-backs ever. His leadership and versatility were key to Bayern’s success.
Lahm returned to Bayern in 2005, overcoming a torn cruciate ligament to start his professional career at the club. In the 2012-13 season, Bayern achieved a treble, conquering the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and the UEFA Champions League.
Under Pep Guardiola’s management, Lahm transitioned into a defensive midfielder, earning praise as one of the most intelligent players in the game.
Bayern continued their dominance in the Bundesliga, setting records for early title wins. Lahm made his 500th appearance for Bayern in 2017 before retiring at the end of the season.
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9. Klaus Augenthaler
Klaus Augenthaler was a tough defender during his illustrious spell with Bayern Munich. His formidable presence in the backline helped the club achieve remarkable success.
Augenthaler’s time at Bayern Munich was a success, winning seven Bundesliga titles and three DFB-Pokal triumphs. In 1982, Bayern was the runner-up in the European Cup, falling to Aston Villa with a 0-1 score.
Augenthaler captained Bayern Munich from 1984 until his retirement in 1991, recording 404 appearances in the Bundesliga and 89 in European Cup competitions.
10. Bastian Schweinsteiger
Bastian Schweinsteiger is one of the best midfielders in football history and was a key figure in Bayern Munich’s success.
His remarkable attributes, including tactical intelligence, accurate passing, and game-controlling prowess, made him a true midfield maestro.
Schweinsteiger’s time at Bayern Munich spanned an impressive 17 seasons, during which he graced the pitch in 500 matches across all competitions, netting 68 goals.
Boasting an impressive haul of eight Bundesliga titles, seven DFB-Pokal titles, a UEFA Champions League triumph, a FIFA Club World Cup victory, and a UEFA Super Cup win.
In 2015, Schweinsteiger embarked on a new journey with Manchester United, although his playing time was limited during his 18-month spell. He later moved to Chicago Fire before announcing his retirement from professional football in October 2019.
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