Friday, October 31, 2014

Italy All-time 23 member team

This is my all-time team for Italy. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

 Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.


Italy 1934

Italy won back-to-back World Cups in 1934 and 1938.   From the post-War period until 1968, the Azzurri failed to produce a national team that were as good as the pre-War generation.  However, AC Milan and Inter Milan did well in club competitions, winning 4 European Cups in the 1960's. Then, in 1968, Italy won the European Champion and reached the Final of the 1970 WC Finals.  The team consisted of Giacinto Facchetti, Sandro Mazzola, Gianni Rivera, Luigi Riva and Roberto Boninsegna.  

From then on, they produced great team after great team.  In 1982, Paulo Rossi's goals helped Italy to win their first WC since 1938. In the 1990's, Italy had Roberto Baggio as the trequartistas with Paulo Maldini and Franco Baresi maintaining the backline.  They reached the semifinal of the WC in 1990 and then, the Final in 1994.  In 2006, while the Italian clubs were under investigation at home, the Azzurri rallied and won the WC in Germany.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

Team
GK: Gianluigi Buffon
Considered to be one of the greatest keeper ever.  He made his Serie A debut at the age of 17.  He earned his first cap when he was 19.  His biggest achievement must be winning the WC in 2006.  He has been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record eight time. He became the most expensive goalkeeper of all time following his  transfer from Parma to Juventus in 2001.

GK: Dino Zoff
He captained the WC winning side in 1982 at the age of 40.  He held the Serie A appearance record until 2006. He was also a part of the team that won the Euro 1968. He achieved great club success with Juventus, winning 6 Serie A titles, 2 Coppa Italias, and an UEFA Cup, also reaching two European Champions' Cup finals in 1972-73 and 1982-83 seasons.

Zoff in 1982


GK: Giampiero Combi
He was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world during the pre-War era.  He won the WC in 1934 for Italy.  He  kept a clean sheet for 934 consecutive minutes in 1925-26 season, a record in Italian Football.

CB/RB: Claudio Gentile
He was considered one of the Azzurri's greatest defender.  He was best remembered for stopping Diego Maradona and Zico at the WC Finals in 1982.  He was capped 71 times.  Gentile played over a decade with Juventus.

Claudio Gentile vs Zico

CB/RB:  Giuseppe Bergomi
Bergomi played his entire career with Inter Milan.  He was one of Inter Milan's greatest defender.  He won the WC in 1982 and appeared in the 1986 and 1990 WC Finals. He was capped 81 times.

CB: Fabio Cannavaro
He was the captain and perhaps, the best player of the 2006 World Cup team.  He was one of the few defensive players to have won the Ballon Dd'or.  He started his career with Napoli and had spells with Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus and Real Madrid.
Fabio Cannavaro
SW:  Franco Baresi
Baresi was considered Italy's greatest libero.  He was capped 82 times.  He led the Azzurri to the semifinal of the WC in 1990 and then, the Final in 1994.  However, he missed most of the tournament in 1994.  He was the captain of AC Milan for 15 years, where he won three European Cups and 6 Serie A titles. 

Franco Baresi
SW: Gaetano Scirea
Scirea was the starting libero for Italy in Spain 1982 and Juventus throughout the 1980's.  He is one of only five players in history to have won all international trophies for football clubs recognized by UEFA and FIFA.

CB/SW: Alessandro Nesta
He is considered the best defender of his generation.  He was the Serie A defender of the Year for 4 times.  He played in the 2006 WC winning team, but injured in the third game of the tournament.  He won two Champions' league with AC Milan.  He also played with Lazio.

LB: Paolo Maldini
He was considered the greatest leftback of all-time.  He won 26 trophies in his 25 year career with AC Milan, including 5 Champions' league trophies. With the Azzurri, Maldini took part in three European Championships, and four World Cups. Although he did not win a tournament with the Italian National team, he reached the finals of the 1994 World Cup in the US and Euro 2000, and the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup in Italy and Euro 1988 in West Germany, and was elected into the all-star teams for each of these tournaments, in addition to the Euro 96 all-star team.  He was capped 126 times for Italy. 

Paolo Maldini
LB: Giacinto Facchetti
He spent his entire career with Inter Milan.  He was the star wingback of La Grande Inter where they won back-to-back European Cups.  He was capped 94 times and also won the Euro 1968 with Italy.
 
DM/CM: Marco Tardelli
He played at the 1978 World Cup Finals in Argentina and the 1980 European Football Championship at home.  He was the unsung hero of Italy's 1982 WC winning team.  He was capped 81 times.  He also won all the three major European competitions with Juventus. 

DM:  Romeo Benetti
Benetti was a rock hard defensive midfielder at the World Cup in 1974 and 1978. He is best remembered for his 5 seasons with AC Milan, winning a Cup Winners' Cup.

CM:  Andrea Pirlo
Pirlo started as an attack midfielder with Inter Milan without success before becoming a regista.  He redefined the regista role in recent years.  He won the WC in 2006 and took Italy to the Final of Euro 2012.  He played over 280 matches for AC Milan, winning two Champions' League titles.  He switched to Juventus late in his career. 
Andrea Pirlo
CM/AM:  Giancarlo Antognoni
He was Fiorentina's greatest ever player .  He was a key player for Italy's WC winning team in 1982, but he missed the Final because of an injury.  He was capped 73 times for the AzzurriBecause of his loyalty with his club, he never won anything at the club level. 

CM/AM: Gianni Rivera
Italy's "Golden Boy" of the 1960's.  He won the Ballon d'Or in 1969.  He led AC Milan to win two European Cups in 1963 and 1969. He was capped 63 times scoring 15 goals, at four World Cups (1962, 1966, 1970, and 1974). Rivera is remembered for scoring the decisive goal in Italy's extra-time win over West Germany in the semi-final of Mexico 1970.

Gianni Rivera

CM/AM: Sandro Mazzola
He was a part of Inter Milan's "La Grande Inter".  He won four Serie A titles (1963, 1965, 1966 and 1971), two European Cups (1964 and 1965) and two Intercontinental Cups (1964 and 1965).  He won the Euro 1968 with the Azzurri and led them to the WC Finals in 1970.  During his career, he was known for sharing the starting position with AC Milan's Gianni Rivera on the national team. His father was Valentino Mazzola who died when Sandro was 7 years old.

AM: Valentino Mazzola
He was the best player in the world during the 1940's.  His club team Torino was considered one of the best ever in Italy.  His career, however, was limited by the War.  He never played in the World Cup.  His life was cut short by the Superga Air Disaster in 1949.  He was Sandro's father.

AM/FW: Roberto Baggio
He was the icon of the 1990's.  He was the World Player of the Year, the Ballon d'Or winner and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1993.  He led Italy to reach the semifinal at Italia 1990 and then, to a second place four years later.  For club football, he started his career with Fiorentina.  He became the most expensive player in the world when he joined Juventus.  He also played for AC Milan, Bologna, Inter Milan and Brescia.

Roberto Baggio
RW/LW: Bruno Conti
Conti was the greatest winger in Italy's history.  He won the World Cup in 1982.  The following season, he helped Roma to win the league title.  He also led them to the 1984 European Cup Final but were defeated on penalties by Liverpool.

FW: Giuseppe Meazza
Meazza is one of Italy's greatest players. He led Italy winning two World Cups in 1934 and 1938.  He was probably the best player in the 1930's.  He played mainly for Inter Milan in the 1930s, scoring 242 goals in 365 games for the club.

ST: Luigi Riva
He was the all-time leading scorer for the Italy.  He won the European Championship in 1968.  He was Serie A top scorer for three seasons. He was probably the best ever player at Cagliari, leading them to win their only scudetti in 1969-1970.

ST:  Silvio Piola
He was the all-time leading scorer in the Italian league.  He was third all-time leading scorer for the Azzurri even through his career was cut short by the World War II.  He won the World Cup in 1938.

ST: Paolo Rossi
He was the hero of Italy's WC winning team in 1982.  Notable for scoring a hattrick against Brazil in Spain, and went on to win the Golden boot. He was also the European player of the Year in 1982. He was a part of the great Juventus team of the 1980's.
Paolo Rossi

Honorble Mention
Walter Zenga, Gianluca Pagliuca, Enrico Albertosi, Lorenzo Buffon, Francesco Toldo, Antonio Cabrini, Renzo De Vecch,
Gianluca Zambrotta, Ciro Ferrara, Armando Picchi, Riccardo Ferri, Alessandro Costacurta, Pietro Vierchowood, Pietro Rava, Gennaro Gattuso, Gabriel Oriali, Giampiero Boniperti, Alessandro Del Piero, FranciscoTotti, Roberto Donadoni, Christian Vieri, Alessandro Altobelli.

Squad Explanation
  • Both Giuseppe Bergomi and Claudio Gentile can play as rightback or a centre-back.  So I took them ahead of other great Italian stoppers and did not bring a pure rightback to the team.   
  • I could not find room for Antonio Cabrini and Renzo De Vecch.  
  • The third goalkeeper is also a tough decision.  Giampiero Combi, Walter Zenga, Gianluca Pagliuca, Enrico Albertosi and Lorenzo Buffon all deserved the final spot.  In the end, I chose Combi because he seemed the be the most famous among the choices. 
  • Italy has too many great trequartistas.  I already have Baggio, Rivera and the Mazzolas on the team.  So I do not have space for Alessandro Del Piero and FranciscoTotti.
  • There are better players than Paolo Rossi, but his performance in Spain 1982 alone got him onto the team ahead Giampiero Boniperti.  I was debating between Boniperti and Rossi.  I might need Boniperti's wide game on the right, but Conti can take care of that.

World Cup 2006
Starting lineup 
Formation 3-4-1-2 
From the La Grande Inter to Antonio Conte's Italy, the libero position is one of the strongest aspect of the Italian game. This formation is built around the position. I believe Gentile would be a better partner than Scirea for Barsei in the back-three.  My lineup also lacks a good right wingback.  So I start Conte there.



Formation 4-4-2 (Diamond)
  • This formation is based on the 4-4-2 used by Arrigo Saachi, Fabio Capello and Carlo Ancelotti. 
  • I started Valentino Mazzola because he was more versatile than the other options.  He could defend, playmake and attack. He also could ply deeper than Rivera.







Arrigo Saachi
 
Formation III 3-5-2
This formation is based upon Antonio Conte's 3-5-2 used in recent years.  The back three looked great.  Gentile could operate as a rightback, which was a perfect replacement for Andrea Barzagli.  The midfield is tricky.  Claudio Marchisio was a key player for Conte.  I do not have a player liked him.  I do not think Baggio suited to play deep.  So I used Riveria who had played a deeper position before.  Italy almost never used Riveria and Mazzola together on the same field. So I was not sure if the pair would work here.  I do not want to drop Roberto Baggio.  I can easily replace Meazza with him.






Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Holland All-team 23 member team


World Cup 1974
This is my all-time team for Holland. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index

Holland first became prominence when they reached the Final of the 1974 Finals, where they lost to the host.  The team led by Johan Cruyff charmed the world with their "Total Football".   Four years later, they reached the Final again, but they again lost to the host.  Finally, Oranje won their first major international tournament in 1988 ar the European Championship.   Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard also contributed the successes of AC Milan in the late 1980's.  Then, in the mid-1990's, a new Golden Generation helped Ajax to win the Champions' league in 1995.  With the national team, they reached the semifinal of the WC in 1998. 

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

Euro 1988
Team 
GK: Edwin Van Der Sar 
The most capped player in Holland's history.  He was best remembered for being the Ajax keeper in 1995 that won the Champions' League and then, later for Manchester United for 6 seasons.  He won the Champions' League in 2007-2008. In between, he also played with Fulham and Juventus.
GK:  Jan Van Beveren
Considered one of the best keepers in the 1970's.  In 1970, Van Beveren joined PSV Eindhoven, where he won three Eredivisie titles, two domestic cups and the UEFA Cup in 1978. His career with the national team was cut short because of a feud with Johan Cruyff. He missed the WC Finals in 1974.

GK:  Just Göbel
Known for being the first Dutch keeper trying to catch the ball rather than stomp it away.  He won a bronze at the 1912 Olympics.

RB: Wim Suurbier 
Suurbier is considered among the best ever rightback in history.  He was the starting rightback for Oranje at the 1974 World Cup in Germany as well as the great Ajax team of the early 1970's. He won three European Cups with Ajax in the 1970's. He also played club football in France, the USA and Hong Kong.

RB: Harry Dénis 
He participated in three consecutive Summer Olympics, starting in 1920.  He actually delivered the Olympic Oath during the opening ceremony of the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam

CB:  Ronald Koeman 
Koeman was the rock solid sweeper of Holland 1988.  He was capped 78 times. He also won two European Cups, one each for PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.  He scored the winning goal for Barcelona's victory in 1992. The Cup was Barcelona's first ever European Cup.  In Holland, he played for the big three, namely Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.

Ronald Koeman 
CB:  Jaap Stam 
He was at one point the most expensive Dutch player and the most expensive defender in the world when Manchester United bought him for 10.6 million pounds.  He played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, A.C. Milan and Ajax. 

CB:  Rinus Israel
Nicknamed "IJzeren Rinus (Iron Rinus)".  He was a part of Holland 1974 that finished second at the WC Finals in West Germany.  He won an European Cup with Feyenoord.

CB/LB: Frank De Boer 
At one point, Frank De Boer was Holland's most capped player. He was a part of Ajax's Champions' League winning team in 1995.  He was an important player in the late 1990's. He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000.  He also played with Barcelona for 6 years. His twin brother Ronald also played with him for Oranje.

LB/SW:  Ruud Krol 
One of the most important defender in Holland's history.  He helped Oranje to reach the WC Final in both 1974 and 1978.  He was a leftback at the World Cup in 1974 and switched to sweeper later in his career.  He won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He also played in Italy and the USA.

Ruud Krol 


LB/DM:  Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
He was the captain of Holland at World Cup 2010, where Holland finished second.  He played 106 times for Holland.  He won the Champions' League for Barcelona in 2005-2006. He also played wirh Feyenoord, Arsenal and Rangers.

CM: Frank Rijkaard
Frank Rijkaard was one of Holland's most important player.  He won the 1988 European Championship in West Germany, and then, played 5 seasons with AC Milan when Milan was considered the greatest club team in the world.  In 1995, he led a young Ajax team to their famous Champions' League victory. 

CM: Willem Van Hanegem
In Holland, he was widely considered the second best Dutch player in the 1970's.  He won the European Cup with Feyenoord in 1970.  He was capped 52 times between 1968 and 1979, but he missed the WC Finals in 1978.

CM: Johan Neeskens

He was considered to be one of the greatest Dutch midfielders. He led Holland to two second place finish at the WC Finals in 1974 and 1978.  He was Holland's top scorer at the 1974 World Cup.  He also won three straight European Cups with Ajax. He also played with NY Cosmos.

Johan Neeskens

CM: Edgar Davids
Nicknamed "the Pitbull", he was one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the world.  He won the European Champions' League with Ajax in 1995.  He was an important player at the WC Finals in 1998 when Holland reached the semi-final. He also spent 7 seasons with Juventus at the height of his career.

RW/LW/FW: Arjen Robben
He was an important player for Bayern Munich's dominance in Europe as they reached three Champions' League Finals in 4 years, winning one.  For the national team, he helped Holland to reach the WC Final in 2010 and then the semi-final in 2014. He also played with Real Madrid.

Arjen Robben
LW: Coen Moulijn
He was considered the best left winger in Dutch football.  He started his career in the 1950's.  He won the European Cup with Feyenoord in 1970.

AM: Ruud Gullit
He was the iconic captain of Holland 1988.  In 1987,  he moved from PSV Eindhoven to A.C. Milan for a world record transfer fee.  He was an important player for AC Milan during the 1980's where they won two straight European Cups. He was the European Footballer of the Year in 1987 and the World Soccer Player of the Year in 1987 and 1989.  He spent one season with Sampdoria winning the Italian Cup in 1994.

Gullit with Van Basten

FW:  Faas Wilkes
He was one of the first Dutch player to play aboard.  His best stints were with Inter Milan and Valencia.  He was considered to Holland's best player until the emerge of the Golden Generation of the 1970's. He was capped 38 times scoring 35 goals.  He was Holland's all-time leading scorer until 1998.

FW: Johan Cruyff
He won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1971, 1973 and 1974.  He was considered one of the best players in history.  He was noted for his brilliant performance at the World Cup in 1974 and winning three straight European Cups with Ajax.  He moved to Barcelona in 1973 for a world record transfer fees. 

#14 Cruyff
 FW: Dennis Bergkamp
Bergkamp was the best-known Dutch player of the mid-1990's.  He helped Holland to reach the semi-final of the 1998 WC Finals in France.  His goal vs Argentina at was considered among the best ever scored in WC history.  He started with Ajax and played for Inter Milan.  He also had a successful career with Arsenal.

ST:  Marco Van Basten
He was probably the second best Dutch player and among the best striker in football's history.  He won the Ballon d'Or three times.  He led Oranje to the victory at Euro 1988 scoring 5 goals at the tournament.  He started his career with Ajax.  He also won two European Cups with AC Milan.  

Marco Van Basten

ST: Ruud Van Nistelrooy

He was a prolific goal scorer. He won the top scorer award in three different European domestic leagues. He started with PSV Eindhoven.  He spent 5 seasons with Manchester United where he was voted as their best player twice.  With Real Madrid, he finished second as the European Golden Boot.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy
Honorable Mention
Piet Keizer, Berry van Aerle, Wesley Sneijder, Johnny Rep, Barry Hulshoff, Jan Wouters, Arie Haan, Wim Jensen, Rob Rensenbrink, Clarence Seedorf, Kees Rijvers, Willy Van De Kerkhof, Marc Overmars.

Squad Explanation
  • Rob Rensenbrink and Piet Keizer were the biggest names missing from this team. I decided to select two old-timers(Wilkes and Moulijin) and two younger players (Bergkamp and Robben).   
  • Wesley Sneijder, I felt, had one good season in 2009-2010 where he won the Champions' League with Inter Milan and the Golden Silver Ball at the WC Finals.  His club career in other seasons, however, were marked with a lot of inconsistency.
  • Johnny Rep was left off since a handful of younger players emerged after the 1970's.
Starting lineup
I am using the classic 4-3-3 formation from Holland 1974.  However, tactics would be very different.  On paper, Cruyff was moved to the wing, but he would move around the field so it did not matter where he lined up.  Holland 1974 did not have a classic striker in Van Basten.  So I am playing with a target man.  In 1974, Wim Jensen played in the midfield.  I replaced him with Ruud Gullit, a more offensive player than Jensen. This formation would probably reduce Neeskens' movement. He would drop back more often.












Germany All-time 23-member team



This is my all-time team for Germany. If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament. 

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index


WC 2014


Germany is the most successful European footballing country.  They won the WC in 1954, 1974, 1990 and 2014.  They finished second in 1966, 1982 and 1986.  They also have the best record at the European Championship.  They won the tournament a record 3 times in 1972, 1980 and 1996, and finished second in 1976 and 2008.  

While West Germany won their first WC in 1954, football in Germany did not become a force until the later 1960's with the emerge of Franz Beckenbauer.  Their moment came when they beat England in the quarterfinal of the 1972 European Championship and went on to win the tournament.  Many historians marked the game as the turning point in football history.  Germany produced great team after great team from 1972 to 1996.  After the Euro 2000, Germany had a brief dark age, but they reemerged as a world power around the WC Finals in 2006.  In 2014, they won their 4th World Cup, beating host Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal.

If there were an All-Time World Cup, this would be the 23 players I would bring to the tournament.  The team is not an All-Star team. I tried to be as realistic as possible.   A few of the players are selected for tactical reasons at the expense of more famous players.

West Germany 1990


GK: Sepp Maier
"The cat from Anzing" won the European Championship in 1972 and the WC at home in 1974. He also won three straight European Cups for Bayern Munich.  He was one of the best keepers in the 1970's.

GK: Oliver Kahn
His heroic performance helped Germany to finish 2nd at Korea/Japan 2002.  He was the Gold Ball winner in that WC.  He played for Bayern Munich between 1994 and 2008.  He won the Champions' league in 2001.  He was the hero in a penalty shootout at the Final.

GK: Toni Schumacher
Schumacher won the 1980 European Championship in Italy and came second at the World Cup finals, in 1982 and 1986.  He was best remembered for a highly controversial incident in the 1982 World Cup semifinal against France when he collided with and seriously injured French defender Patrick Battiston.  He spent the prime of his career with Koln.

RB: Berti Vogts
Nicknamed “Der Terrier”.  He won 5 Bundesliga titles with the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He famously marked Johan Cruyff out of the WC Final in 1974. He also won a European Champions in 1972.

RB/LB/DM: Philipp Lahm
The captain of the 2014 WC winning team.  He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga.  He earned 113 caps for germany at the end of the WC Finals in 2014 where he retired from the national team.

Philipp Lahm

CB: Jurgen Kohler
Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's.    He won the WC in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  He played with Koln, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.  

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster

With West Germany, he won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the WC in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.

SW/CM: Franz Beckenbauer
He was one of the best ever player in history.  Known as Der Kaiser, he was credited with revolutionizing the sweeper position.  Twice selected European Footballer of the Year, Beckenbauer appeared 103 times for West Germany and played in three FIFA World Cups, winning the WC in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976.


Franz Beckenbauer

SW: Matthias Sammer
He was capped by East Germany before the unification.  He won the Euro 1996 with Germany and a Champions' League in 1997.  He won the Ballon D'Or in 1996 after winning the Euro 1996 with the unified Germany.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.

LB: Andreas Brehme
He is best remembered for his career with Kaiserslautern and Inter Milan.  He was the Serie A Foreign Player of the Year in 1989, in an era where the best players played in Italy.  He was an important player for West Germany in the 1990 WC Finals, where he scored the winning goal in the Final.

LB/CM: Paul Breitner

He was the first player to score a goal at two different WC Final match.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, a the World Cup in 1974. He spent most of his career with Bayern Muinch and went to play for Real Madrid in Spain.

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
He was an important player for both club and country.  He went to three European Championships and as many World Cups, including their victory at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Schweinsteiger is the youth product of Bayern Munich.  He won the 2013 Champions' league title with Bayern Munich.

CM: Lothar Matthaus
Captaining the West German team in winning the WC in 1990.  He was the European Player of the Year and the first ever World Player of the year in 1990. He played in five FIFA World Cups (1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998), a record for an outfield player, and holds the record for the most World Cup matches played by a single player (25 games). He also won the Euro 1980 in Italy, and played in the 1984, 1988, and 2000 European Championships.

Lothar Matthaus

RW:  Helmut Rahn
Rahn was a star of the 1954 WC team.  He scored the winning goal at the final vs Hungary. He is considered one of the best ever German winger.  He played with Rot-Weiss Essen.

RW/AM: Pierre Littbarski  
A major star in the 1980's.  He played in three WC Finals with Germany reaching the Final all 3 times. He won his final cup in 1990.  He spent most of his career with Koln.

LW:  Hans Schafer  
The left wing on the 1954 WC winning team. He played in three World Cup Finals.  He was German Player of the Year in 1963. 
He spent all of his career with Koln.

LM/CM: Wolfgang Overath
One of the best left midfielder in history,  He won the 1974  WC, where he kept Netzer from the starting lineup. In total he won 81 caps for the national side between 1963 and 1974, scoring 17 goals.  He spent all of his career with Koln.

CM: Gunther Netzer
The star of the great Borussia Mönchengladbach of the 1970's.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the WC in 1974.  His best performance, however, was in 1972, where he was the star at the quarterfinal against England.  He later joined Real Madrid and outperformed Johan Cruyff's Barcelona in the early 1970's.
Gunter Netzer
AM/FW: Fritz Walter
The captain of the 1954 WC team.  He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. He played with Kaiserslautern.

Fritz Walter in 1954

FW: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
He was one of the best players in the world during the 1980's.  He was the European Player of the Year in 1980 and 1981.  He won the European Championship in 1980 and was part of the squad that finished runner-up at the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain and at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. He was a young star in Argentina 1978.  He spent the best parts of his club career with Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge
ST: Uwe Seeler
He played in 4 WC Finals, but sandwiched between Germany's two World Cup winning years(1954 and 1974).  West Germany came second in 1966 and reached the semifinal in 1970. However, he is still regarded one of Germany's greatest players.  He spent his entire career with SV Hamburger.

ST: Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann won the WC in 1990 and then, captained the 1996 European Championship winning team.  He played in all major international tournaments from 1988 until his retirement in 1998.  He had successful club spells with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a popular player while in England, despite a lot of negative press at the time of his signing.  He won both the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in 1995.  

ST: Gerd Muller
"Der Bomber" was widely considered to be the best striker in history. He scored 68 goals in 62 matches for Germany.  He scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearance, mostly with Bayern Muinch.  He won the WC in 1974 and the European Championship in 1972.  He won three straight European Cup with Bayern Munich in 1974, 1975 and 1976. He was the European Player of the Year in 1970.
Gerd Muller
Honorable Mention
Manuel Neuer, Karl-Heinz Schnellinger, Toni Kroos, Willi Schulz, Manfred Kaltz, Hans Peter Briegel, Paul Janes, Bernd Schuster, Horst Szymaniak, Guido Buchwald, Fritz Szepan, Michael Ballack, Stefan Effenberg, Helmut Haller, Thomas Haessler, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Muller.

Squad Explanation
  • Goalkeepers: Bert Trautmann never played for Germany.
  • Fullbacks:  I dropped Karl-Heinz Schnellinger because I already have three leftbacks (Lahm, Brehme and Breitner) and he won't get ahead of Sammer and Beckenbauer on the sweeper position.  I have only two wingers(Rahn and Schafer) on my team so I have to select Lahm and Brehme who could provide width to the offense.  Besides, Lahm can play as a defensive midfielder and both sides of the fullback position. He is more versatile than Schnellinger.
  • Midfielders/Winger: I almost took Bernd Schuster, but this team has too many central midfielders. Netzer, Breitner, Overath, Beckenbauer, Sammer and even Lahm can play there.  I also feel the same way about Horst Szymaniak, Guido Buchwald, Fritz Szepan, Michael Ballack and Stefan Effenberg.  So the final spot went to Littbarski, a winger.  
  • Striker: I almost rewarded Miroslav Klose with a spot on the team for being the WC all-time leading scorer, but his career outside the World Cup Finals was only fair.  Jurgen Klinsmann did much better than him.
Breitner, Becknebauer, Muller and Overath
Starting up 
Formation I: 3-5-2
This formation is based upon the German team of the 1990's.  Lahm started on the team because I needed an offensive-minded wingback.  Matthaus is the box-to-box midfielder, Netzer the creator in the backfield and Walter the attack midfielder. 



 
Formation II: 4-3-3 
West Germany used a 4-3-3 formation in the 1970's and 1980's.  Beckenbauer was actually a box-to-box midfielder for two of his WC Finals he played in. Vogts started ahead of Lahm because the formation does not need a wingback. Rahn played the role of Littibarski at the World Cup in 1982.



Formation III: 4-3-3
For the formation, Overath could also start for Netzer.  And then, Matthaus would move to the right.