After a number of seasons with no trophies, including last season’s treble of second place finishes, the record German champions were determined that the 2012-13 season would be a rewarding one. Already with an impressive squad the Bavarians strengthened even more in the off season. Here are eleven players that could help Munich finally win another Champions League trophy.
GK: Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Neuer is the German national team keeper and ranked as one of the best in the World, which for his age is quite impressive. He saved two shots in last season’s Champions League semi-final shootout with Madrid to help Munich progress through to the final. Neuer also fancies himself as a decent outfield player, and believes he could play football for a lower division in another position.
LB: David Alaba (Austria)
At 17 years-old Alaba became Bayern Munich’s youngest player in the Champions League. Alaba is a versatile player and can play in a variety of positions including defence and midfield. What is most impressive about Alaba is that, at only 20 years-old he is not just a star of the future but a current star for Bayern Munich too.
CB: Jerome Boateng (Germany)
Boateng arrived in Munich in 2011 from Manchester City. He has since developed into a versatile defender, capable of playing in the centre of defence or out wide. Over the last few seasons Boateng has proven his worth for the Bavarians with impressive last-ditch goal-saving tackling.
CB: Holger Badstuber (Germany)
Badstuber began his Munich career at youth level in 2002. He rose through the ranks into the first team and has asserted himself as a season regular. Louis van Gaal once labelled Badstuber as the best left footed defender in the Bundesliga.
RB: Philipp Lahm (Germany)
The Bayern and German captain has become well known for his attacking runs, but is also an excellent defender. Despite his small stature Lahm is a very capable tackler of the ball. He was named in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup and 2008 and 2012 teams of the tournament.
CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Originally a winger, van Gaal moved Schweinsteiger further infield into the holding midfield position from where he has developed into one of the best players in Europe. Schweinsteiger has an excellent ability to read that game that compliments his on and off the ball skills.
CM: Toni Kroos (Germany)
Kroos became a favourite of Jupp Heynckes while on loan to Bayer Leverkusen. When the manager took over at Bayern he brought Kroos back with him and introduced him into the first team. Kroos can play as an attacking midfielder, but frequently is deployed deeper in a great partnership with Schweinsteiger.
CAM: Thomas Mueller (Germany)
Mueller was made famous at the 2010 World Cup where he was awarded the Best Young Player award and the Golden Boot. Mueller can play on the wing, but is often at his best in the attacking midfielder role where he can receive the ball from Schweinsteiger or Kroos and feed it through to the forwards.
LW: Xherdan Shaqiri (Switzerland)
We are all aware of the ability of Bayern’s wingers Robben and Ribery, but Bayern’s real strength is the squad depth with Shaqiri. After an impressive match for Basel against Bayern, the diminutive winger made the transferred to Munich. He has proven to be an excellent substitute for the frequently injured starters Robben and Ribery.
ST: Mario Mandzukic (Croatia)
Bayern’s depth of field is again shown by Mario Mandzukic. The striker arrived in Munich from Wolfsburg in 2012 and with Mario Gomez injured became the first choice striker. Many clubs struggle while their number one striker is injured, but Mandzukic helped Bayern continue to score and win matches.
RW: Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
Since his first season at Munich in 2009, Robben has paired up expertly with left winger Franck Ribbery in a combination that has come to be known as Robbery. Left-footed Robben and right-footed Ribery are often lined up on the inverted wing, allowing them to cut inside and shoot at goal.