Bundesliga 2010-11 Team of the Season: Borusia Dortmund & Bayern Munich Dominate
Borussia Dortmund finished the 2010-11 Bundesliga season as the runaway winners with Bayern Leverkusen finishing second.
At the start of the season, nobody would have predicted Dortmund to win the league so comfortably.
Bayern Munich surprisingly struggled for most of the season but eventually finished third, albeit scoring the most goals in the League.
While the Bavarian giants scored for fun, they couldn't plug holes in their defence and conceded an awful lot of goals.
On the other hand, Dortmund was one of the toughest teams to break down, and in the final analysis, conceded the least of all the 18 teams.
Dortmund ceded only 22 goals courtesy of their formidable centre-half pairing of Neven Subotic and Mats Hummels.
Surprises don't end there. It was a topsy-turvy season with even the giants struggling to get a foothold.
Coming to standout players of the season, as you would except, the champions and Bayern Munich dominate.
Borussia Dortmund, in particular, had some of the finest performers of the League.
Bayern Munich, though underperformed, had a few standout players, especially in attack.
Mainz 05 was the surprise package and gave a few selection headache as well.
Feel free to express your displeasure at any of the selection. Without further ado, here is the team of the season:
GK: Manuel Neuer
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Although I personally like Rene Adler, objectivity must prevail here.
Neuer almost single-handedly saved Schalke 04 from the ignominy of relegation.
Neuer is a top keeper and played in all the league games for Schalke 04 in the 2010-11 season.
Seemingly an unerring custodian, Neuer has good reflxes and is a tidy distributor of the ball. He's also good at saving penalties and is tough to beat on one-on-one situations.
He attacks the ball and likes to come out of the line.
Arguably one of the best goalkeepers in world football, Neuer will play for the best German club—Bayern Munich—from next season.
Statistics don't tell the whole story in the case of Neuer. His massive frame of 6'4" in goal is intimidating for strikers. He commands the 16-yard box as good as any keeper.
His brave performance against Borussia Dortmund where he strung together a couple of fine saves to deny the eventual champions, was one of the best individual performances by a goalkeeper in 2010-11, which alone justifies his inclusion in the team of the season.
Six accurate long balls per game.
As I said, here stats don't do justice to Neuer.
LB: Marcel Schmelzer
Since there is a dearth of quality fullbacks in Bundesliga, this position is somewhat hard to fill.
Borussia Dortmund left back Marcel Schmelzer gets the nod for his defensive abilities.
He's not the best offensively. Neither is he technically superior. But he contributed immensely to the defensive stability of Dortmund.
His positioning and awareness is brilliant. Hard-working player and a tireless, tencious fullback, Schmelzer is already on the good books of German national team coach Joachim Loew and will be a part of the German national team under Loew.
The 23-year-old is a good tackler and does provide good crosses. But he only had two assists in 2010-11.
Had 3.4 tackles and two interceptions per game, outstanding numbers even better than Philipp Lahm's.
Schmelzer was one of the most fouled Dortmund player, 1.8 times per game, only second to Sahin.
He registered one accurate cross and two successful long balls per game.
CB: Mats Hummels
Hummels was the best centre back in the 2010-11 Bundesliga season.
At only 22, Hummels has established himself as one of the best centre backs in world football, probably second only to Nemanja Vidic.
He's also a threat in attack with his towering headers.
Hummels scored five goals—four of them through headers—and made one assist in the just concluded season, quite an impressive return from a centre back.
The young German is a tidy passer of the ball with good completion rate.
He's very strong, quick and isn't the one to throw himself into tackles. His positioning is excellent and has quick turn of pace which makes it difficult for swift strikers to beat him.
Hummels commits very few fouls and seldom embarrasses himself with lapse in concentration, which is what makes him better than Subotic.
Hummels is on his way to superstardom and soon a top European club will hunt Dortmund for his signature.
Had 2.1 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game which is excellent for a centre back.
commits very few fouls, only 0.8 per game.
Had 78 percent pass success rate, even more than Sahin's.
Five accurate long balls per game.
Bortmund conceded only one own goal last season and Hummels takes that honour.
CB: Benedikt Howedes
This is a slightly contentious pick.
But you can't say that Benedikt Howedes doesn't deserve it. He was the shining light in an otherwise awful League campaign for FC Schalke 04.
He played a key role alongside Nueuer in keeping Schalke 04 alive in the Bundesliga.
A very strong defender, Howedes played in midfield at youth levels. So he's more than a defender.
He's a tidy short-range passer of the ball with excellent completion rate.
It's also tough to beat him in the air. He's aggressive and possesses great speed. He has progressed steadily over the years and now, at 23, looks set to step up to the national set-up.
Pass success rate is 81 percent which is excellent for a defender.
Howedes is very strong aerially and won 62 percent aerial challenges.
Had 2.2 tackles and 3.5 interceptions per game which is very good.
He's also tactically aware proven by offsides won at the rate of 1.4 per game.
His clearance rate is also very high, 3.7 per game.
RB: Philipp Lahm
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Lahm is one of the best fullbacks in world football and the best in Bundesliga.
He started all 34 games for Bayern Munich and scored three goals and assisted two.
A speedy fullback, Lahm is known for his dribbling and tackling abilities. He's a very good passer and likes to play long balls.
Lahm has been very consistent and and is extremely reliable.
He's also the current captain of German national team. A well-known figure so no need to give any description.
Amazing pass completion rate of 88 percent.
Seven accuarte long balls per game.
Very tough to dispossess him, Lahm lost possession only at the rate of 0.6 times per game.
DM: Arturo Vidal
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One of the easiest picks for me.
Vidal is one of the most versatile players you would ever see.
He can play anywhere in defence and midfield.
In 2010-11, Vidal featured at central midfield, right back, defensive midfield, left midfield and attacking midfield.
However, he played as a defensive midfielder in more than 50 percent of the games he started.
One of the most creative defensive midfielders, Vidal came second in the Bundesliga assist charts with 11 assists for the season.
He's also a very able goalscorer and scored 10 goals for his team in the just concluded season. Ten goals and 11 assists from your holding midfielder? That's outstanding to say the least.
Obviously, Bayern Munich are after him, and Leverkusen have already turned down a derisory bid for the 24-year-old.
Vidal is an excellent tackler and a superb passer of the ball. He's also a good finisher. Vidal is the type of defensive midfielder a possession-oriented team should have in their roster.
This Chilean will go a long way in his career.
Dortmund's 22-year-old up-and-coming holding midfielder Sven Bender was also considered for the position, who made 4.8 tackles and 3.1 interceptions per game.
Vidal won 13 man-of-the-match awards in 2010-11 Bundesliga season. Incredible!
Had 4.7 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game which is more than any other player in his team and very few players in the Bundesliga surpassed that.
Had 1.94 key passes per game which is again more than any other player in his team.
LCM: Nuri Sahin
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One of the first names on this team, Sahin was the best midfielder in 2010-11 Bundesliga.
Brilliant player both offensively and defensively, Sahin orchestrated the play as a deep-lying playmaker without failing to do his defensive duties.
The Turkish international played a pivotal role in Borussia Dortmund's surge to the title.
Sahin scored six goals and teed up eight assists in 2010-11.
It's a shame that after such an impressive season, Dortmund lost sahin to Real Madrid. However, that was a beneficial move for Sahin's career.
Sahin's strength lies in play making from deep positions and being strong defensively at the same time.
A potent long-lange shooter as well as extremely accurate from set-pieces. A good passer and likes to play long passes, which he does with commendable accuracy. And a good tackler too.
He would also feature in European team of the season 2010-11 easily.
Sahin won seven man-of-the-match awards in 2010-11.
Had 3.8 tackles and 2.2 interceptions per game which is incredible considering his natural attacking instincts.
Had 3.47 key passes per game which is the most in his team and amongst the highest in Bundesliga.
Three accurate crosses and six accurate long balls per game which is sheer accuracy.
Most fouled player in the Dortmund side—that was the only way opponents could stop Sahin.
RCM: Mario Goetze
An excellent young player who had a dream start to his career, Mario Goetze couldn't have hoped for a better breakthrough season.
He's already hailed as one of the most talented footballers Germany has ever produced and with good reason too.
Goetze is a technically superb versatile attacking midfielder and has taken the Bundesliga by storm at such a tender age.
Goetze is mature beyond his age, and his tactical awareness is unbelievable for a 19-year-old.
An excellent passer of the ball with a diverse passing range. His speed, playmaking skills coupled with his footballing brain make him one of the most dangerous players to take head-on.
He's also very consistent and is excellent at linking midfield with attack.
A product of Dortmund youth academy, Goetze scored six goals and 11 assists in 2010-11 and played a key role in Dortmund's surge to the title.
He's not all about flair and excellent ball control, Goetze contributes defensively as well. But his strength is his attacking qualities.
A sharp shooter with good finishing abilities, Goetze is an accurate crosser of football as well.
Sometimes words are not enough to describe a player, this is one such player.
The best 19-year-old player in world football.
Had a 80 percent pass completion rate
Had 1.8 tackles per game and 1.3 interceptions per game, amazing numbers for a playmaker.
Had 2.52 key passes per game, only second to Sahin.
Had 1.5 successful dribbles per game.
CF: Thomas Mueller
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Thomas Mueller is already a household name at just 21, given his footballing abilities that's not much of a surprise.
He was once again at it with another brilliant season under his belt.
Although Bayern Munich had to do with injuries to Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, Mueller was always there to steady the ship.
He scored 12 goals and 11 assists.
He's renowned for his dribbling skills and finishing which was on show throughout the 2010-11 campaign.
He has also been at the head of counter attacks, like we saw in the FIFA World Cup 2010.
A very well-known player so nothing much to describe. Except Maradona, everyone seems to know this player!
Had 1.9 successful dribbles per game, only Ribery and Robben had more in his team.
LS: Papiss Demba Cisse
The most efficient player in 2010-11 Bundesliga season.
Papiss Demba Cisse was at his prolific best in the just concluded season scoring goals for fun.
He accounted for Freiburg's 54 percent of League goals. He's a clinical finisher.
Though weak in air, his efficiency alone makes him a great striker.
Although Freiburg were expected to be in the relegation battle, Cisse carried them on his shoulders, and his prolific goal scoring kept them in the top half of the table.
Premier League club Blackburn is thought to be interested in his signature.
Freiburg scored 41 goals in 2010-11 season and of that 22 were scored by Cisse.
Had 2.3 shots per game.
RS: Mario Gomez
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The team is incomplete without Bundesliga's best striker.
So, here's Mario Gomez who had a revival of sorts over the last year or so.
After his initial struggles at the Bavarian giants since moving from Stuttgart, Gomez has been making a statement with his fine goal scoring form.
The hat-trick man, Gomez topped the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with 28 goals from just 27 starts.
He also assisted two goals.
Excellent numbers there for a striker. Gomez's strength is not pace. He's extremely powerful, agile and quick to react.
His positioning is excellent and beats defenders with quick burst of acceleration.
His major strength is his clinical finishing. Gomez's also good in the air.
Bayern's change of formation helped him as well. He's more suited to the lone-striker formation which Bayern deployed in the just concluded season allowing Gomez to rule the game.
Had 2.5 shots per game.
Contributed 35 percent of his team's goal.