Germany, FC Bayern players

Bayern and Germany – a combined success story

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When Germany take on Ukraine in Bremen on Monday in their landmark match, there will once again be four Bayern players in Hansi Flick’s squad in Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sane. It’s the 1,000th game in Germany’s history – a history that sees the special relationship between Bayern and the national team continued. explains what connects Germany’s representatives and its most successful club.

Pioneer Gablonsky and a goal after 100 years

When Germany – still without a coach at the time – contested their first official match on 5 April 1908 against Switzerland in Basel (a 5-3 loss), there were no Bayern players represented. That changed a couple of years later when Max Gablonsky became the first FCB player to pull on a Germany kit in a 3-0 loss against Belgium on 16 May 1910. The forward would get his first goal for his country on his second appearance, but recognition took some time in coming.

Bayern 1910 Gablonsky
A photo of Bayern’s ‘Ostkreis’ champions from 1910, with Max Gablonsky – the first Bayern player to represent Germany – on the left. © FC Bayern Museum Archive, provided by the Gablonsky estate

Instead of Gablonsky, who scored Germany’s sixth in a 6-2 win over Switzerland on 26 March 1911, the German FA (DFB) actually awarded the goal to Karlsruhe’s Gottfried Fuchs. It was a fact that the Bayern player’s family didn’t wish to accept. Even long after Gablonsky’s death in 1969, his descendants fought to correct the list of goalscorers and provided much evidence to the DFB showing the true course of play. It was in 2011 – 100 years after the event – that the DFB finally realised and recognised ‘Gaberl’ – as he was known – as the rightful goalscorer.

Germany’s Bayern record holders

The idea of a Germany team without any Bayern players is now unthinkable. According to German FA stats, the record champions have provided 94 senior internationals – by far the most of any club. Next is Borussia Dortmund with 61 and then Hamburg (50). It’s little surprise, then, that Bayern players also hold a number of records for the national team.

Gerd Müller Germany
Gerd Müller scored 68 goals in 62 games for Germany, including in the 1974 World Cup final in Munich.

Germany’s record goalscorer with 71 strikes is Miroslav Klose, with a number of those coming during his Bayern days (2007-11). He took the record off Gerd Müller, whose 68 in only 62 games for the national team obviously all came while with Bayern. Germany’s most capped payer, Lothar Matthäus (150 appearances), also spent the majority of his illustrious career in Munich and is also the oldest player ever to score for Germany, aged 38 years and 128 days with his strike against New Zealand in July 1999. There are no players in the top 10 most capped who didn’t play at some point for Bayern.

Jamal Musiala Germany
Jamal Musiala became the second-youngest player ever to score for Germany when he opened his international account.

We’ll have to see whether Musiala in the current squad goes on to reach the levels of those legends, but the Bayern youngster came within a whisker of an all-time record for the national team. His first goal against North Macedonia in October 2021 came at the age of 18 years and 227 days. Only Marius Hiller – 111 years previously – has scored a goal for Germany at a younger age, doing so when 17 years and 241 days old in a friendly against Switzerland in April 1910.

Bayern’s world and European champions

When Bayern are doing well, then the national team tends to do well also – honorary president Uli Hoeneß once said. And there’s certainly something to that statement. Coach Sepp Herberger only had one Bayern player in his squad for the 1954 World Cup triumph, but Bayern provided the most players of any club in the victories of 1974, 1990 and 2014. It’s a similar story at the European Championships in 1972 and 1996. Only the Euro 1980 title saw coach Jupp Derwall select only two FCB player in Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Walter Junghans.

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, 2014 World Cup final
As well as Bastian Schweinsteiger and Philipp Lahm, five other Bayern players appeared in Germany’s 2014 World Cup final win over Argentina.

Bayern had a particular impact on the 2014 World Cup final in Rio de Janeiro, including match-winning substitute Mario Götze, who made it seven FCB players in action. Among them was Thomas Müller, who became the first former Golden Boot winner (five goals in 2010) to also score five again in the following World Cup. Müller has been a symbol of Germany’s success down the years. The national team has never lost a game in which the now 33-year-old has scored. With 44 international goals, that means plenty of wins.

Germany now at home in Munich

Philipp Lahm, 2006 World Cup
Germany have regularly played games in Munich since the summer of 2006.

A total of 29 out of Germany’s previous 999 fixtures have been played in Munich. That places the Bavarian capital behind the national captain Berlin, as well as Hamburg (35) and Stuttgart (34). However, Munich has turned into Germany’s footballing home in recent years. Since the 2006 home World Cup and the opening fixture against Costa Rica, the Allianz Arena has hosted 11 Germany fixtures, which is by far the most in that period. The next fixture is also in the books already as Germany will open Euro 2024 at the home of the record champions on Friday, 14 June 2024. Hopefully it will open the next chapter in Germany’s success story – with a big helping hand from Bayern.

See which Bayern players are currently away with their national teams:

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