The Bundesliga Team of the Season
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)
The Bundesliga is one of the best leagues in the world.
League champions Borussia Dortmund are the real deal after claiming their fifth successive win over UEFA Champions League finalist Bayern Munich—on this occasion, a 5-2 win in the DFB Pokal final.
Here's my 2011-12 Bundesliga team of the season—how many Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich players make the cut?
Goalkeeper: Marc-André Ter Stegen (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Easily the Bundesliga's best goalkeeper this season.
|League Only||Marc-André ter Stegen||Manuel Neuer|
|Saves to Goal Conceded Average||4.3||2.6|
|Save Percentage ||80.3%||73.1%|
In March, ter Stegen's saves to goals conceded average was a ridiculous 5.1—an acceptable average is 2.2.
Was world-class as he made seven saves in a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich—mind you, he did have help from the post.
Uncharacteristically made an error in judgement which allowed Stefan Kießling to score. However Borussia Mönchengladbach still beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1.
Right-Back: Łukasz Piszczek (Borussia Dortmund)
The question isn't if Łukasz Piszczek is the best right-back in the Bundesliga, more so, is he the best right-back in the world this season?
|League Only||Piszczek||Philipp Lahm||Dani Alves|
|Shots Per Goal||7.3||N/A||18|
Piszczek is a much better defender than Dani Alves and is just as efficient in the final third.
Scored once and provided twice whilst shutting down compatriot Sławomir Peszko in a 6-1 thrashing of Köln.
Underestimated Julian Schieber, who took advantage of Piszczek's lax defending in a 4-4 draw against Stuttgart. It wasn't just Piszczek because the back four were terrible that day.
If not for the post, the game could have ended 6-5 in favour of Borussia Dortmund.
Centre-Back: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
Here are my top three centre-backs this season: 1. Andrea Barzagli 2. Vincent Kompany 3. Mats Hummels.
Third best centre-back in Europe, eh? Not bad for a Bayern Munich reject.
Dominant in both 1-0 wins over Bayern Munich. Last night, he stepped up and converted a priceless penalty (Manuel Neuer should have saved it).
Lack of communication with Marcel Schmelzer led to Stuttgart's Christian Gentner scoring a 92nd minute equaliser in a 4-4 draw.
Centre-Back: Dante (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Played his best season of his career, which is why he will be a Bayern Munich player next season.
My first impressions of Dante was a reckless buffoon because I watched him have a torrid game in a 5-0 loss to Bayer Leverkusen—it could have been worse.
That was three years ago and I've done a 180 on my original opinion.
Stood tall with Roel Brouwers and Marc-André ter Stegen as Borussia Mönchengladbach held onto a 1-0 win over Bayern Munich.
It looked as if he had intercepted Claudio Pizarro's pass, but he failed to control it, which allowed Markus Rosenberg to score—it ended 2-2 against Werder Bremen.
Left-Back: Christian Fuchs (Schalke)
Christian Fuchs is a hyperactive Energizer bunny down that left flank.
When Schalke beat Wolfsburg 4-0, he took Christian Träsch to the cleaners, sending in six crosses, two of which led to goals.
Did not perform like his usual self in a 3-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Defensive Midfielder: Philipp Bargfrede (Werder Bremen)
(Image via www.planetfootball360.com)
Philipp Bargfrede has torn his ligament, suffered knee problems, a heel-bone injury and various contusions.
Yet, he still throws his body around like there is no tomorrow.
He is an unsung hero and is the only player in the Bundesliga to average four tackles and interceptions per game.
He has a century of completed tackles and interceptions this season.
If he was playing for Bayern Munich, he'd be proclaimed as a world-class defensive midfielder.
Completed 14 tackles including one to stop a near-certain goal and intercepted the ball seven times in a 1-1 draw against Hoffenheim.
He completely nullified the talented Roberto Firmino.
Failed to shut down Marco Reus, who was rampant as Borussia Mönchengladbach won 5-0.
Right Attacking Midfielder: Martin Harnik (Stuttgart)
With Arjen Robben and Mario Götze failing to play out the entire season, selecting Martin Harnik was a no-brainer.
He had several look-at-me games where you couldn't help but remember his name.
Scored a hat trick in a 5-0 win over Hertha Berlin.
Failed to score against Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Centre Attacking Midfielder: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund)
Borussia Dortmund only spent €350,000 on Shinji Kagawa. He had another good season and is likely to leave Dortmund for bigger and better things.
Though the grass isn't always greener on the other side.
Sir Alex Ferguson would have been pleased with Kagawa's wonderful performance in the DFB Pokal final.
Secured the Bundesliga title by scoring Dortmund's second goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which killed off any chance of Bayern Munich winning the title.
Marked out of the game by compatriot Hajime Hosogai, as Augsburg claimed a 0-0 draw.
Left Attacking Midfielder: Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)
It's another consistent season from Franck Ribéry, even though he has struggled against Borussia Dortmund.
Toyed with Daniel Williams, by scoring once and providing a hat trick of assists, during the 7-1 demolition of Hoffenheim.
Punching Arjen Robben in the dressing room.
Deep Lying Forward: Marco Reus (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
Marco Reus is the best player in the Bundesliga, according to kicker's match ratings.
Reus has been electric this season and the primary reason why Borussia Mönchengladbach play such nice football.
His form secured a move back to Borussia Dortmund, where he played during his youth days.
He could easily make Dortmund supporters forget about Shinji Kagawa, just like the German made Die Fohlen forget about Marko Marin.
Combined with Patrick Herrmann to rip Bayern Munich apart in a 3-1 win.
Was unproductive against future club Borussia Dortmund.
Centre Forward: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke)
Michael Steele/Getty Images
48 goals in 47 games, 29 of which were in the Bundesliga speaks volumes.
Was Schalke's top scorer whilst also providing the same amount of assists as Jefferson Farfán.
Didn't score against Borussia Dortmund or Bayern Munich.
Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com.