FC Bayern Munich are undoubtedly the most successful German soccer club in the nation's history. Bayern Munich has achieved so much throughout its storied history and never fail to compete at the highest level.
With great success come great players, such as the recent Bayern Munich generation has shown. Thomas Muller, a young, talented youth academy product scored 5 goals in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on his way to being awarded the Golden Boot for the tournament. Mario Gomez, a German national teammate of Muller's had an outstanding season for FC Bayern Munich in 2010-2011 scoring 28 times in 32 league appearances that season. Arjen Robben, a Dutch international who FC Bayern signed in August 2009, has electric speed on the right wing and scored a spectacular goal against Manchester United in the 2010 Champions League quarterfinal second leg to help Bayern go through on away goals, and eventually reaching the final.
With all this talent currently playing for FC Bayern Munich, one should wonder, who are the best players that have played for FC Bayern? These next five slides will show you who those players are and the impact they made on the club.
Oliver Rolf Kahn was a goalkeeping force to be reckoned with during his time with FC Bayern Munich. He transferred from Karlsruher SC for a 4.600.000 DM fee in 1994, playing at FC Bayern until 2008.
Oliver Kahn won 8 German Bundesliga titles with the Bavarians, 6 German Cups, the UEFA Cup in 1996, and the Champions League in 2001. Individual accolades include 4 consecutive UEFA Best European Goalkeeper awards, two German Footballer of the Year awards, and a special Golden Ball award at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, the only goalkeeper to ever receive the award.
He had a reputation of being highly influential on his teammates on the pitch, earning him the nickname "King Kahn."
Sepp Maier was one of the best, if not the best goalkeeper in this time. He played his whole professional club career at FC Bayern from 1962-1979. He was a piece of the puzzle in the great 1970s FC Bayern squad that won 3 straight European Cups from 1974-1976. He was nicknamed "Die Katze von Anzing" translated The Cat from Anzing for his cat-like reflexes in goal.
Sepp Maier played alongside two other FC Bayern greats, whom you'll read more of in the upcoming slides. Sepp Maier played in 442 consecutive Bundesliga matches, a record that stands to this day in Germany.
Serious injuries in a car accident caused by DWI in 1979 forced Sepp Maier to abruptly retire from the sport.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was one of the most successful forwards FC Bayern has ever had. Karl-Heinz was named top goalscorer in the German Bundesliga numerous times and was part of the three European Cup winners in the mid-1970s. Individually he was honored by being named European Footballer of the Year twice in his career.
He is currently the Chairman of FC Bayern Munich, as well as acting chairman of the European Club Association.
Gerhard "Gerd" Müller is one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time.
National records of 68 goals in 62 international appearances, 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and the international record of 66 goals in 74 European Club games have given him top honor in being called the greatest goalscorer of his time, if not all time.
He played with the 3-time European Cup winning squad alongside Maier and Rummenigge, and had a great captain to help him lead the Bavarians, who you'll read about in the next slide.
In my eyes—and in the eyes of many FC Bayern fans out there—Franz Beckenbauer is the greatest FC Bayern player of all time.
He was very dominate on the football pitch, being captain of FC Bayern and the German National Team in his time. He started out as a midfielder, turned into a defender and has been credited for creating the modern sweeper role.
Beckenbauer captained the FC Bayern side to three European Cup titles, the only player to ever do that. He was twice named European Footballer of the Year. He was voted second place in the European player of the Century voting by the IFFHS, behind Johan Cruyff.
Beckenbauer coached the 1990 Germany side, before unification, to a World Cup victory. He is one of two men in football history to win the World Cup as player and coach, having won as a player in 1974.
He has done it all—from leading his side on the field to victory to coaching from the sideline to success. That's why he's my pick as the No. 1 player in FC Bayern Munich history.