After creating a Bayern XI filled with former cult players, I thought it’d be a fun idea to flip the coin an create a Forgotten Bayern XI. This starting eleven will be occupied by players who have escaped the memory of even the most dedicated supporter. Just like the Cult XI, this starting eleven will line up in a 4-4-2 formation.
When deciding this XI, I followed these rules:
- Must have played at least one game for Bayern in the league
- Must have played for Bayern in the 21st century
Goalkeeper: Stefan Wessels (1999-2003)
Unfortunately, most goalkeepers who are not the first choice tend to remain in the shadows of Bayern’s bright history. Instead of choosing Tom Starke and Bernd Dreher, who were both praised for coming out of retirement in order to sit on the bench for Bayern, I opted for Stefan Wessels.
Wessels, who has a Champions League medal, was part of Bayern when Oliver Kahn was at his very best. The only time Wessels got playing time was when Kahn was injured, yet he was still viewed as a promising goalkeeper during his time in Munich.
Fullbacks: Massimo Oddo (2008-09) and Tobias Rau (2003-05)
Oddo was on loan to Bayern the 2008-09 season. His transfer to Bayern can be seen as one of the more bizarre in the club’s history. Bayern’s only fullbacks before signing Oddo close to deadline day were Christian Lell and Philipp Lahm. Marcell Jansen had left for Hamburg, so it made sense for Klinsmann to want another. However, the Italian’s time at Munich was forgettable, since it was clear he lacked the quality Bayern demanded.
On the left side, I choose poor Tobias Rau. Rau’s solid performances at Wolfsburg were enough to persuade Bayern to buy him. Rau was seen as a talent, as he had made his debut with the German national team before joining, but his time in Munich was plagued by injuries. He left for Arminia Bielefeld and was forced to retire from professional play at the young age of 27.
Centre-backs: Serdar Tasci (2016) and Valerien Ismael (2005-07)
Pep’s emergency loan-signing Tasci is the individual who has played for Bayern most recently on this list. Following the injury crisis in 2016, Tasci was loaned to Bayern for the remainder of the season and only played three league games. Tasci did not raise any eyebrows in Munich and later stated he regretted joining the Bavarians.
Some might think it is harsh to include Ismael. He won the league and cup double in his first season with Bayern, but injuries stopped his progression in the red-white shirt in his second and last season. I included him because, at the time, he was considered to be a big signing, as he was a crucial component to Werder Bremen’s Bundesliga title in 2004. Sadly, his time in Munich was not as prosperous.
Central-midfielders: Pablo Thiam (2001-03) and Julio dos Santos (2006-08)
The hardest position to choose as it has a lot of candidates. Stephan Furstner, Slawomir Wojciechowski (who??), Steffen Hofman and Zviezdan Misimovic all deserve an honorable mention.
I decided to pick Pablo Thiam and Julio dos Santos, mostly because of the hype surrounding the two. The honorable mentions, except for the Polack Wojciechowski, were part of the youth team before playing a few minutes for the first team. Thiam and dos Santos were two signings that were meant for the first team.
Dos Santos was elected Paraguayan Footballer of the Year in 2005 before Bayern snapped him up. The expectations for the tall offensive midfielder were huge, yet his progression under Felix Magath stagnated and he left the club after playing only five league games. Guinean international Thiam came to Bayern after a successful period in Stuttgart, yet he also left the club after two years after only sixteen league games.
- Massimo Oddo Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images
- Tobias Rau Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images
- Serdar Tasci Photo by Pressefoto Ulmer\ullstein bild via Getty Images
- Valerien Ismael (and Oliver Kahn) Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images
- Pablo Thiam Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
- Julio dos Santos Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images
- Piotr Trochowski Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty images
- Takashi Usami Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images
- Vahid Hashemian Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images
- Jan Schlaudraff Photo by Christof Koepsel/Bongarts/Getty Images
Wingers: Piotr Trochowski (2003-05) and Takashi Usami (2011-12)
Trochowski might be the player on this list who had the most successful careers. A known Hamburg legend, Trochowski actually started his Bundesliga career at Bayern, where he failed to become a regular. His success in Hamburg was rewarded by being picked regularly for four years for the German national team. It is easy to forget that he ever played for Bayern.
Usami is another player on this list who came to Bayern on loan with the option to buy, but left Munich with no contract and limited game-time. The Japan international, who currently is an Augsburg player on loan to Dusseldorf, managed to get only three league games under his belt for Bayern. Usami is a signing that will be forgotten to history.
Strikers: Vahid Hashemian (2004-05) and Jan Schlaudraff (2007-08)
After the central positions, the two strikers were the hardest to pick. Landon Donavan, Antonio di Salvo and Louis Ngwat-Mahop (who???) are all honorable mentions as they, like Schlaudraff and Hashemian, are also three strikers who failed to score a league goal for Bayern.
I picked Hashemian and Schlaudraff because I generally can’t remember two strikers who were worse in the red and white jersey. Both Hashemian and Schlaudraff came to Bayern after two respective fantastic seasons. Schlaudraff was the main attacking threat for Alemannia Aachen during their 2006-07 Bundesliga season. Even though Aachen got relegated, Schlaudraff went to Bayern for 1.2 million euros which at the time was quite a lot for a player who only had one good Bundesliga season under his belt.
The situation was similar with Hashemian. Bayern bought him from Bochum for 2 million euros, hoping he could score yet another 16 goals a season. Both Schlaudraff and Hashemian transfers could be seen as a waste of money for Bayern and time for the respective strikers.