With four Bundesliga titles to their name, Werder Bremen have built their reputation as one of Germany’s most respected clubs. As a result, the north-western German club has been home to some of the countries greatest ever players – the likes of Rudi Voller and Miroslav Klose.
Throughout the Green and White’s 118-year history, the club has won all of Germany’s domestic trophies, including six German cups.
One of the team’s most memorable seasons is from 2003/04, where Bremen broke Munich’s reign of dominance, securing the double by capturing the Bundesliga title and German cup. Of course, there will certainly be a few players from that period in the lineup.
Die Grün-Weißen’s all-time XI has been set up in a 4-3-3 formation.
GK) Dieter Burdenski
The legendary goalkeeper who played just under 500 games for Werder Bremen. Image Source: Twitter
LB) Horst-Dieter Hottges
One of West Germany and Bremen's best ever full-backs with 420 games over 14 years for Werder. Image Source: Twitter
CB) Per Mertesacker
The dominance of the 'Big Friendly Giant' started in Bremen, winning the DFB Pokal in 2009. Image Source: Twitter
CB) Frank Baumann
An astute centre-back or defensive-midfielder who was part of one of Bremen's most successive spells in history, winning the Bundesliga, as well as both German cups. Image Source: Twitter
RB) Clemens Fritz
11 years dominating the right-flank for the German club. Legend. Image Source: Twitter
CM) Torsten Frings
After rejoining Werder Bremen in 2005, Frings went on to become one of Germany's best ever central midfielders, helping Die Werderaner to two cup wins. Image Source: Twitter
CM) Tim Borowski
Borowski wore the green of Bremen over 200 times across two spells. A solid partnership with Frings in midfield. Image Source: Twitter
CAM) Mesut Ozil
While Ozil may not stand out as one of the more legendary Bremen players, the German's time at Werder propelled him to the highest level. Real Madrid soon came calling after outstanding performances for Bremen and Germany. Image Source: Twitter
The Brazilian star man who was highly significant in Bremen's title-winning season with 28 goals. Image Source: Twitter
ST) Miroslav Klose
The German forward's most memorable season was in 2006 where he managed 25 goals from 25 starts. The sort of form where Bremen would have received a ridiculous transfer fee in today's era. Image Source: Twitter
RW) Rudi Voller
97 goals in just 137 games for Werder Bremen. It's clear why Voller is regarded as one of Germany's best ever. Legendary. Image Source: Twitter
SUB) Tim Wiese
After 12 seasons in the Bundesliga, including eight for Werder Bremen, the goalkeeper fancied a career change from footballer to wrestler, joining the WWE. Image Source: Twitter
One of Bremen's best goalscoring centre-back's with 22. So if the 'Big Friendly Giant' needs a rest, Bremen have another one ready. Image Source: Twitter
SUB) Christian Schulz
The assured and versatile German spent 12 years on Werder Bremen's books. Image Source: Alchetron
SUB) Johan Micoud
Part of one of Bremen's most successful seasons in 2003/04. A catalyst in Bremen's Bundesliga most recent title win. Image Source: Twitter
SUB) Claudio Pizarro
With 144 goals, Claudio Pizarro is Die Werderaner's all-time top scorer. Image Source: Twitter
When putting such teams together, it’s always important to balance those players viewed as almost cult heroes for their clubs, against players who on a world-scale, are rated amongst the best.
For example: Bremen fans would probably prefer to see Johan Micoud starting ahead of Mesut Ozil. While it is a fair shout given that Micoud was part of Bremen’s Bundesliga winning side in 2004, the Arsenal midfielder was excellent for Bremen, too, and has been highly successful in both Madrid and North London. In addition, while Claudio Pizarro is Bremen’s top scorer, it’s tough to make a case for him over Miroslav Klose.
With testament to Bremen’s high calibre of midfielders in recent years, the all-time XI of Die Werderaner looks like a blueprint of organisation. Assured defenders supporting a midfield of Borowski, Frings and Ozil would be very difficult to breakdown, but while it is great to reminisce about the greatest players to wear the green of Bremen, for fans of Werder, it must be bittersweet – given that the clubs current form isn’t where it should be.
Overall, though, it’s clear why Bremen are regarded as one of Germany’s most successful and legendary clubs. While Die Werderaner aren’t quite where they should be performing in terms of recent success in the Bundesliga and Europe, the Green Whites are at least stable, and hopefully it’s not too long before they’re back competing at the top level.
Still, it’s going to be tough to quick-fix a midfield which once contained the likes of Tim Borowski, Torsten Frings and Frank Baumann. Bremen’s current midfield is currently way off what it once was, so investment is key for the north-western German club.