Ballack, Lúcio and others
Tue, 12/09/23, 13:30
11 players who represented Bayern and Leverkusen
FC Bayern's game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Friday night (20:30 CEST) is not only the top match of Bundesliga Matchday 4, but also a fixture with plenty of history. Along with many great battles in Germany's top flight, the two clubs are linked by several players who have turned out for both the German record champions and the Werkself. Ahead of the upcoming encounter, fcbayern.com has put together a combined XI:
In his own penalty area, Hans-Jörg Butt regularly frustrated opposition attackers; in the opposition box, he made his mark from the penalty spot time and again. The three-time Champions League finalist scored 26 goals in the Bundesliga, making him the highest-scoring goalkeeper to date. However, most of those goals came in a Hamburger SV shirt (19), while he netted seven times for Bayer 04. The 2010 double winner, who played for Bayern between 2008 and 2012, scored his only spot-kick for the German record champions on 8 December 2009 in the Champions League group stage in a 4-1 win at Juventus.
He was regarded as a rampaging defender who was feared for his forward forays. We're of course talking about Lúcio, who moved to Leverkusen in the 2000/01 winter break and made a total of 236 Bundesliga appearances for Bayer 04 (92 games, 15 goals) and Bayern (144 games, seven goals) up to summer 2009. He didn't win any trophies with the Rhinelanders but was a 2002 World Cup winner with Brazil during his time in Leverkusen. After switching to FCB in summer 2004, the centre-back won the league and cup double three times in five years (04/05, 05/06, 07/08) before moving to Inter Milan.
Robert Kovač spent a total of nine years – the majority of his playing career – with Bayern and the Werkself. While the Berlin native played for local sides SC Rapide Wedding and Hertha Zehlendorf during his youth, the move to 1. FC Nürnberg in 1995 represented his first step into professional football. Following one season in the Regionalliga with FCN, he caught the eye of Bayer 04, who brought him to the Bundesliga. Kovač spent five years in Leverkusen followed by four seasons for Bayern, where the former Croatia international (84 caps) collected two double successes in 02/03 and 04/05 as well as the Ligapokal in 2004 and Intercontinental Cup in 2001.
The current captain of Borussia Dortmund also played for both Bayern and Bayer. Developed in the FC Bayern academy, Emre Can made his first-team debut against his current employers in the 2012 Supercup. One year later, he completed a transfer to Leverkusen, where the Frankfurt native quickly became a key figure under head coach Jupp Heynckes – who also worked for both clubs in the dugout. Can spent just one season with Bayer, and after spells at Liverpool and Juventus, he joined BVB in 2020.
The defence isn't complete without Jorginho. The 1.75-metre-tall Brazilian played for the Werkself from 1989 to 1992 following his transfer from Flamengo, before moving to Munich. He won the Bundesliga title with FCB in 1994, thanks in part to his brilliant strike on the final matchday against FC Schalke 04 to seal a 2-0 win. The full-back's year was then crowned by success at the World Cup in the USA with Brazil just a few weeks later.
Like his brother Robert, Niko Kovač also featured for Bayern and Bayer. The defensive midfielder first played at the BayArena between 1996 and 1999, after which he spent two seasons at Hamburg. From the far north, the 83-time Croatia international moved to Bayern in 2001, with whom he won the double in 02/03. That wasn't to be Kovač's only involvement with FCB, though, as he returned to Säbener Straße in 2018 as head coach. With his brother Robert as assistant, the current VfL Wolfsburg boss led the Bavarians to the double in the 18/19 campaign.
When he was on the field, there was never any lack of commitment or willingness – Arturo Vidal was the definition of a 'midfield enforcer'. Vidal left CSD Colo Colo in his homeland Chile to join Bayer in the Bundesliga during the winter break of the 07/08 season. The 1.80-metre-tall midfielder, whose style of play earned him the nickname "Warrior", spent four seasons with the Werkself before signing for Juventus. After four years in Turin, the man with the striking haircut joined the German record champions. Vidal won the league in each of his three years at FCB as well as two Supercups (16/17, 17/18) and one DFB Cup (15/16).
The long-time captain of the German national team also counts FCB and B04 among his list of clubs. The Chemnitzer FC youth product joined Leverkusen from 1. FC Kaiserslautern in summer 1999 and spent three years there, during which Ballack grew into one of the deadliest midfielders in the world. After the 'runner-up treble' in the league, cup and Champions League, he headed to the Bavarian capital following the World Cup in 2002. He had more luck there, winning the league and cup double three times in four years (02/03, 04/05, 05/06). Following his stint at Chelsea (2006-2010), the man with the number 13 shirt spent another two years at Leverkusen at the end of his career.
Along with Ballack, Zé Roberto also moved from North Rhine-Westphalia to Bavaria in 2002. The Brazilian had spent four years in the Leverkusen midfield following his switch from Flamengo in 1998. During that time, the skilful technician became a central pillar of the Bayer team, impressing on both the domestic and European stage. But, like Ballack, silverware eluded him at Leverkusen and he joined FCB, where "Zé" won three doubles in four years together with Ballack and Co. In 2006, the left-footer left Bayern for his homeland Brazil but returned to Munich a year later. From 2007 to 2009, he thrilled the Allianz Arena faithful once again and won another double in 07/08.
Toni Kroos, who also played for both Bayern and Bayer, boasts a remarkable trophy collection. Alongside the 2014 World Cup title, the Greifswald-born midfielder's list of honours includes five Champions Leagues, three German league titles, three Spanish league titles as well as six FIFA Club World Cup crowns. Kroos spent the early part of his career with Hansa Rostock before joining the Munich academy in 2006. In January 2009, he was sent on loan to Leverkusen for a season and a half. He laced his boots for FCB again from 2010 to 2014 before joining Real Madrid, where he's still going strong.
Paulo Sérgio is another Brazilian who went from Bayer to the German record champions. The fleet-footed attacker, who predominantly played as a right winger, initially joined Roma after four years in Leverkusen (1993-1997). Two years later, ahead of the 1999/00 campaign, he returned to Germany with Bayern, where he enjoyed by far the most successful period of his career. The 1994 World Cup winner won the 2001 Champions League, two Bundesliga titles (99/00, 00/01), one DFB Cup (99/00) and the 2000 Ligapokal with the Reds. After three seasons in Munich, Sérgio moved to Abu Dhabi.