Fans discuss. Who are the greatest players in the 18 clubs in the Bundesliga? Greatest times?
BILD has made a decision now. It was not just about statistics and success, but also personal values such as popularity with the fans and loyalty to the club.
The score: the list of the top fifty for each club, plus eleven all-time teams.
Today: Bayer Leverkusen
Fiftieth place: Karim Belarbi
The winger scored the fastest goal after just nine seconds and then the 50,000th goal in Bundesliga history. He became a player in the national team at Bayer.
49th place: Marcus Munch
Many claim that the Münch monument should be erected. The reason: His 1-1 goal against Lutheran saved the club from relegation in 1996.
48th place: Bernd Leno
An exciting rise from Stuttgart 2. He immediately became a regular goalkeeper and was also promoted to the national team. He saved five penalty kicks in the 2013/2014 season.
47th place: Falco Goetz
The striker joined Bayer with Dirk Schlegel after fleeing East Germany in 1983. As today’s B04 scout did not get a contract after winning the 1988 UEFA Cup (Goetz scored in the second leg against Espanyol), he went to neighboring Cologne after 115 match.
46th place: Jonathan Tah
Since 2015 in the team. The defender has developed into a captain and national player. Defense Minister since the departure of Sven Bandar.
The Chilean started 2015 in a brutal fashion with a ruptured Achilles tendon. But “El Príncipe” is back and has long been part of the inventory. His contract remains for one year.
44th place: Thomas Horster
One of the rising champions in 1979, Eric Rebek, made the midfielder a Liberian player since 1985. 1986 Premiere in the first national team, winning the UEFA Cup in 1988.
43rd place: Lukas Hradecky
The Finland international goalkeeper is on his way to becoming a legend at Leverkusen. Hradecky is also called “spider” because of its stretch. Captain since 2021/2022.
42nd place: Gonzalo Castro
Growing up domestically, she became a professional at the age of 17. He could have been the world champion as a right-back but didn’t really want to play that position.
41st place: Rene Adler
The greatest goalkeeper talent of all time under Bayer Cross. He is bitter because he was injured at the height of his football career in the 2010 World Cup and lost his usual place in the national team.
40th place: Heung Min Soon
The South Korean wowed admirers with his rhythm and great shooting techniques. A pillar in the coldness of Saint Petersburg was legendary.
39th place: Arne Larsen Auckland
The Norwegian was the first star striker in Bayer’s early days in the Bundesliga. Unforgettable is his hat-trick against Bayern Munich, including the dummy goal, which came back somewhat when asked by the referee.
38th place: Christian Schreyer
The central striker Bayer launched the European Cup for the first time in the 1985/86 season. “Mr. Europacup” contributed to winning the 1988 UEFA Cup with a total of three goals per season.
37th place: Tita
The first Brazilian player remained Bayer for only one year, but became a legend with a 1-0 win in the UEFA Cup quarter-final in Barcelona. He also scored the important 1-0 in the last second leg match against Espanyol Barcelona.
36th place: Lars Bender
His bones were preserved twelve years. His head to 4:3 against BVB is his “cup”. Along with his twin brother Sven, former captain Lars ended his career after several injuries at the age of 32 in 2021.
The first player from Leverkusen in the German national team. The striker was 19 years, eight months and 30 days old on June 7, 1983 when he made his debut. 1988 UEFA Cup Winner.
34th place: Moussa Diaby
The Frenchman is certainly one of the fastest Bayer players of all time. He finally made his lead last season with 13 goals and 12 assists – a new club record for assists!
33rd place: Franco Foda
The confident Libero can also play in the defensive midfield. As captain of the 1993 Cup Winners’ Cup, he secured his place in the club’s history.
32nd place: Hans-Peter Lenhoff
His subtle sides have earned Lenhoff the nickname “Flankengott”. Runner-up twice under the leadership of Christophe Dom.
31st place: Arturo Vidal
Under the symbol of coach Jupp Heynckes, the often unsupervised Chilean player was “caught” and became a first-class player in the defensive midfield.
30th place: Dani Carvajal
Just one year on loan from Real Madrid in black and red, the Spaniard was one of the best right-backs Bayer had ever seen. For him, Leverkusen was the starting signal for his world career at Real Madrid.
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Twenty-ninth place: Yildray Pastork
A great technician and a very important player in the 2002 season. W: He scored the relegation goal in Nuremberg in 2003.
28th place: Bum Kon Cha
The South Korean striker repeated the feat he achieved in Frankfurt in 1980 by winning the UEFA Cup in 1988. In 1986, Tscha-Bum traveled to the World Cup in Mexico as a Leverkusen player.
Twenty-seventh place: Christian Warrens
Member of the 93rd Trophy winning, resolute and strong in the center of defense. 263 competitive matches for Werkself.
26th place: Wolfgang Rolf
He came from HSV as Vice World Champion in 1986. He led Leverkusen to his biggest success as captain: the 1988 UEFA Cup. Intriguing record: 99 competitive matches and nine goals.
25th place: Stefan Benlich
Midfield driver, specializing in free kicks and set pieces. Paul scored Leverkusen’s first Champions League goal in 1997 – a penalty to make it 1-0 against Lierse SK.
Twenty-fourth place: Patrick Schick
The global striker nowadays. The best foreign scorer with 24 goals in one season. Four goals in one match (7:1 against Fürth) was also a record.
Best current Leverkusen scissors: Patrick SchickPhoto: Uwe Anspach / dpa
Twenty-third place: Stephen Kessling
The club’s second best scorer behind Ulf Kirsten. With 25 goals, Case was 2013’s top scorer. Honorary Game Leader and Today Licensing Coordinator.
Twenty-second place: Simon Rolfes
Bayer formed for many years as a six, captain, shooter, and was also named captain honorary. Currently Sports Director – He will take over as General Sports Director from 1st July.
Twenty-first place: Karsten Ramelow
In the defensive midfield, the honorary captain became a star with an exceptional record: 333 Bundesliga matches and 22 goals. 2002 World Vice Champion, 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, 2002 Cup Final, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002 Vice Champion.
20th place: Juan
The Brazilian formed a strong duo in the heart of the defense with Lucio. The tough and technically elegant Juan was the perfect complement to his strong and powerful compatriot.
Nineteenth place: Oliver Nouvel
He started at Leverkusen as a left winger, and later as a centre-forward again. Final runner-up played a major role in knocking ManUnited out of the 2002 Champions League with two goals in the semi-finals.
18th place: Paolo Sergio
In 1993, the magic-footed Brazilian left winger moved to Bayer 04 in the Bundesliga at the age of 24. After four years in Rhineland and 121 games (47 goals), he moved to Roma in Serie A in 1997.
17th place: Placent
The Argentine was one of the best left-backs of all time at Bayer-Kreuz. In the 2001/2002 tri season, Placente was one of the all-time favorites in 56 games.
16th place: Bernd Schuster
The “Blonde Angel” scored forever in August 1994 with a 1-0 win in a 4-0 win over Frankfurt: he won the election for Goal of the Month, Goal of the Year and even Goal of the Decade. In 1994, three goals from Schuster finished in the top three in the election for Goal of the Year.
Fifteenth place: Andreas Thom
The technically brilliant striker was the first East German Oberliga player to enter the Bundesliga and scored a goal for Bayer in his debut against Homburg. A total of 37 goals for Leverkusen, Ulf Kirsten’s stormy partner. He won the German FA Cup in 1993.
Fourteenth place: Jorginho
Perhaps the most creative right-back at Bayer. Three years at the top level before moving to Bayern in 1992, she was voted into the Team of the Century by Werkself fans in 2004.
Thirteenth place: Rudy Fuller
At the end of his brilliant career, the world champion broke into Bayer between 1994 and 1996 and was an instant fan favorite, scoring 26 goals in 62 first-class matches. He escaped relegation in his last match.
Rudi Voller celebrates after Kaiserslautern’s 1996 victory that kept Leverkusen in the German BundesligaPhoto: WITTERS SPORT PRESS PHOTOS
12th place: Rudiger Volburn
Record player with 401 matches in the Bundesliga, honorary captain. The goalkeeper was only on the field when they won the UEFA Cup in 1988 and when they won the DFB Cup in 1993.
Eleventh place: Toni Kroos
I borrowed from Munich for a year and a half. The absolute breakthrough was his season under Jupp Heynckes. Kroos played so well that Bayern logically brought him back.
10th place: Florian Wirtz
Youngest goalscorer for the club at the age of 17 years and 34 days. Virts broke records one by one until his cruciate ligament ruptured, becoming the European Under-21 champion and a senior national player. He is the future of the club his body.
9th place: Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian was fond of beauty. His goals – the striker scored a total of 91 for Bayer – were a work of art. After Ulf Kirsten’s career ended, he was rightfully allowed to take over his number 9.
8th place: Kai Havertz
Century talent. Promoted straight to the pro after the U17 tournament in 2016, he developed into a world-class attacking player for whom Chelsea paid around €100m.
7th place: Emerson
Between 1997 and 2000 he was the main defensive midfielder. The Brazilian was particularly distinguished by his speed of action and his absolute will to win.
6th place: Jens Nowotny
Best German defender in Leverkusen. Had he not torn the cruciate ligament against Liverpool in the 2002 Champions League semi-final, he would have won at least one of three potential titles.
Fifth place: Roberto Zee
No one before or after him has dressed the left wing better than the incredible Brazilian. What he played between 1998 and 2002 is worth but one word: world class!
Fourth place: Bernd Schneider
Because of his ingenious technique, teammate Emerson has dubbed the vice world champion since 2002 the “White Brazilian”. A back injury forced Schnicks to prematurely end his career in 2009.
Third place: Michael Ballack
The outstanding and prolific playmaker will always be better than Werkself who charmed Europe in 2002. His unfortunate second time at Leverkusen, overshadowed by injuries, doesn’t change that.
Second place: Ulf Kirsten
The “master of goals” is not only an honorary captain, but above all he is the most successful and best scorer ever achieved by Leverkusen. 181 goals in 350 Bundesliga matches. His most important goals: With a header that made him 1-0 in the 1993 Cup final against Hertha amateurs.
1st place: Lucio
Call him “the beast”. The defender led Bayer to the Champions League final in 2002, scoring a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid. As a player in Leverkusen, he subsequently became the world champion with Brazil. A year later he played a big role in the nightlife.