In the ever increasing world of football transfers, German football tends to take a more modest approach than its free-spending and frivolous European counterparts.
Bundesliga sides set a new record of a £670m spend in the 2019 summer transfer window, though that was less than half of the Premier League’s huge £1.41bn outlay. Germany’s top flight also fell significantly short of the fees spent by La Liga and Serie A sides, though the division remains stacked with elite talent.
We’ve compiled a dream XI of the Bundesliga’s biggest ever buys, and it’s a side that would surely match any in European football.
Here is the most expensive Bundesliga/Bayern Munich XI of all-time…
Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer – €18m
The most expensive goalkeeper in Bundesliga history, and certainly a contender as one of the division’s all-time best. Serial title winners Bayern Munich capitalised on Neuer’s contract situation at Schalke to sign the shot-stopper, where had just been crowned as Germany’s Footballer of the Year.
He has since gone on to establish himself as arguably the world’s best goalkeeper in Bavaria, winning a series of major honours. In eight seasons he has won 18 trophies, including seven Bundesliga titles and the 2013 Champions League.
A second Footballer of the Year was won in 2014, whilst he was named as Bayern’s new club captain following Phillip Lahm’s retirement in 2017 and continues to lead Niko Kovac’s side.
Right-back: Benjamin Pavard – €35m
The World Cup winning defender signed a pre-contract agreement to join Bayern Munich from Stuttgart in January 2019, moving to the German champions that summer to bolster their backline.
The France international is comfortable centrally or at full-back and has impressed during a three-year stint in German football, the 23-year-old’s performances earning him a big-money move to Bayern.
Described as ‘a star’ by France manager Didier Deschamps following his performances at international level, Pavard’s quality and versatility is likely to see him become a key figure in the Bayern squad for seasons to come.
Centre-back: Mats Hummels – €35m
Having come through the youth ranks at Bayern Munich before leaving in search of first-team football, Hummels developed into one of the country’s best central defenders during a successful eight-year spell at Borussia Dortmund which brought back-to-back Bundesliga titles under Jurgen Klopp.
Bayern would re-sign the Germany international in 2016 for a fee of €35m, and he would win three consecutive titles in a three-year spell at the club.
An towering defender capable of playing out from the back, Hummels would win a host of honours in Munich before swapping clubs again and returning to Borussia Dortmund in 2019.
Centre-back: Javi Martinez – €40m
Originally signed as a midfield player, Martinez has swapped between central defence and holding midfield ever since his €40m move to Bayern Munich in 2012.
Since joining from Athletic Bilbao in a then Bundesliga record deal, Martinez has won seven successive league titles, four German Cups and the 2013 Champions League.
A physically imposing and tactically astute player, Martinez’s versatility as seen him play a key role in Bayern’s recent dominance of German football.
Left-back: Lucas Hernandez – €80m
A fifth Bayern Munich signing and a fifth World Cup winning player to complete our backline, Bayern once again smashed the Bundesliga transfer record to sign the France international from Atletico Madrid.
Equally adept centrally or at left-back, Hernandez established himself as one of La Liga’s leading defenders under Diego Simeone and played a key role in France’s 2018 World Cup win.
A knee injury delayed his start to life as a Bayern Munich player following his 2019 arrival, though now back fit he looks likely to cement his position in Niko Kovac’s defence in the coming months.
Midfield: Arturo Vidal – €37m
This team isn’t entirely Bayern Munich signings, promise. The German giants swooped to bring the former Bayer Leverkusen star back to the Bundesliga in 2015, after the midfielder had enjoyed a successful four-year spell in Italy with Juventus.
The combative Chilean arrived for a fee of €37m and would add dynamism and bite to the Bayern midfield. In three seasons he would win three league titles, scoring 14 goals in 79 league appearances before moving to Barcelona.
Such as been his impact at some of Europe’s biggest clubs, Vidal is currently on a run of eight successive league titles over three different domestic competitions.
Midfield: Corentin Tolisso – €47.5m
Another Bundesliga and Bayern record-signing, Lyon midfielder Tolisso moved to Munich in a deal worth up to €47.5m in 2017.
A box-to-box midfield talent who is comfortably in a variety of midfield roles, Tolisso is perhaps at his best when given a licence to make runs into the final third. Likened by some to former Bayern star Toni Kroos for his distribution, the Frenchman’s Bayern career is yet to truly take off after suffering serious injury.
The 25-year-old scored 10 goals in 40 appearances during his debut season at the club, before a ruptured cruciate ligament injury saw him miss the majority of the 2018/19 season. Now back fit, the World Cup winning midfielder will hope to make a big impact this season.
Attacking midfield: Mario Götze – €37m
One of the most infamous Bundesliga moves in recent memory, Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Mario Götze announced he would be leaving the club to join, you guessed it, Bayern Munich.
The news broke on the eve of Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final clash with Real Madrid, a tournament in which they would later lose the final in heartbreaking fashion to Bayern. The news came as a huge blow to Dortmund, with Götze having emerged as one of Europe’s most promising talents after helping the club to back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
He would spend three seasons in Munich, scoring 36 goals in 114 appearances and winning seven trophies, before being deemed surplus to requirements and returning to Dortmund in 2016.
Left-wing: Julian Draxler – €36m
Emerging as one of German football’s most promising talents after breaking through at Schalke, Draxler surprised many in Europe when moving to Bundesliga rivals Wolfsburg in 2015. The then 21-year-old had been linked with some of the continent’s biggest clubs before moving to Schalke’s divisional rivals, joining for a fee in the region of €36m.
Signed as a replacement for the departing Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic, he would spend just 18 months at the club, scoring eight goals in 45 appearances before joining French side Paris Saint-Germain.
Right-wing: Douglas Costa – €30m
The Brazil international shot to prominence as part of an exciting Shakhtar Donetsk side, winning five league titles with the Ukrainian side before a €30m move to the Bundesliga.
Handed the number 11 shirt at Bayern Munich, Costa would score seven goals in 43 appearances during his debut season as the Bavarian’s comfortably won the Bundesliga title, before winning a second championship the following season.
Having struggled to dislodge veteran duo Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery as an undisputed first choice, Costa fell-out with the Bayern board after publicly voicing his displeasure at a lack of playing time under Carlo Ancelotti.
He was allowed to leave for Juventus after just two seasons, initially on loan before joining on a permanent basis in 2018.
Forward: Mario Gomez – €35m
As with several signings on this list, Bayern Munich decided to raid their Bundesliga rivals for the division’s best talent by securing the signing of Stuttgart striker Gomez in 2009.
The Germany international had been crowned Footballer of the Year after firing Stuttgart to the title that season, and arrived with a record of 87 goals in 156 appearances for Stuttgart.
Then the Bundesliga’s record signing, he would continue his prolific record at Bayern, finishing as the division’s leading scorer in 2010/11. In four seasons he would win two Bundesliga titles, two German Cups and the Champions League, having scored 75 goals in just 115 Bundesliga appearances.