5 players you didn't know played for Bayern Munich

Lukas Podolski spent three years with Bayern Munich
Lukas Podolski spent three years with Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich are one of the biggest and most successful clubs in European football and have won a staggering 72 trophies in their history, which includes a record 29 Bundesliga titles.

Die Roten have seen the likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Mueller, Lothar Matthäus, and Philipp Lahm donning the famous red jersey of the club. While many talented players have plied their trade for the Munich-based outfit, very few have managed to make an everlasting impression on the club and the fans.

Having said that, we take a look at 5 players who we didn't know played for Bayern Munich.

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#1 Landon Donovan

Landon Donovan had a four-and-a-half-month spell with the Bavarians
Landon Donovan had a four-and-a-half-month spell with the Bavarians

USA legend Landon Donovan incidentally started his professional career in Germany after coming through the first batch of the IMG Academy. The attacker then made the journey to Bayer Leverkusen in 1999 following impressive performances in the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship.

Donovan was back in the United States in 2001, joining San Jose Earthquakes on loan after failing to make the cut at Leverkusen. The forward spent three seasons on loan with the club before moving to fellow American outfit, LA Galaxy, in 2005.

Four years later, however, the LA Galaxy ace was once again back in Germany where he joined Bayern Munich on loan. The attackers' stay at the Allianz Arena was a brief one as he joined the Bavarians in November 2008 and left the club in mid-March following the start of the 2009 MLS season. During his four-and-a-half month stay with the Munich giants, he made seven official appearances for the club but failed to convince them to extend his stay.

Donovan went on to represent Premier League side, Everton, on loan the following season before hanging up his boots for the first time 2014 with LA Galaxy. A series of returns and retirement announcements have followed since then.

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#2 Owen Hargreaves

Owen Hargreaves
Owen Hargreaves

An outstanding talent who never fully showcased his god-given abilities, Owen Hargreaves is, in fact, a Bayern Munich youth product. He joined the Bavarian academy in 1997 at the age of 16 and spent two years in the institution before making his debut for the reserve side.

Hargreaves made his Bayern Munich debut in 2000 and was part of the starting lineup that played Valencia in the 2001 Champions League final. The next couple of seasons saw the Englishman securing his place as a regular in the Bavarian midfield.

A series of injuries and a chance to return to his home nation saw the midfielder leaving the Bundesliga giants to join Manchester United in 2007. After a bright start to life in Manchester, he soon found himself on the injury list more than on the teamsheet. After his first season, the midfielder made just five appearances before leaving the club.

Four years later, Hargreaves made the move to join arch-rivals Manchester City after the Red Devils refused to offer a new contract. It was the same old story at the Etihad as he made just four appearances for the Citizens before finally deciding to call it a day in 2012.

During his ten-year stay at the Allianz Arena, Hargreaves made 218 appearances and scored 10 times for the Bavarian giants.

#3 Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes spent two seasons with the German giants
Mark Hughes spent two seasons with the German giants

Manchester United legend Mark Hughes had a brief loan spell at Bayern Munich during his 22-year long career. He had joined Barcelona in 1988 after eight seasons with the Red Devils but failed to make it at the club, resulting in him being loaned out to the Munich titans during the 1987-88 season.

The former Wales international had an impressive spell with the Bavarian giants as he regained his old goalscoring form. He found the net seven times during 23 appearances for the German club.

Hughes returned to Barcelona at the end of the loan spell but soon found himself back at the Theatre of Dreams after Sir Alex Ferguson broke a club record fee to re-sign the forward. The striker went onto become an integral part of United's first Premier League team.

The Welshman then made a move to Chelsea in 1995, ending a seven-season stay with the Red Devils. Three seasons with the Blues was followed by stints at Southampton, Everton, and Blackburn before he finally called it a day in 2002.

#4 Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina

It may come as a big surprise to see one of Liverpool's greatest goalkeepers' in the Premier League era, Pepe Reina, on this list. The Spaniard made the move to Bayern Munich in 2014 after ending an eight-year relationship with the Kop.

Playing as a backup to Manuel Neuer, Reina rarely got an opportunity to make a mark for the German powerhouse. The Spaniard eventually made his debut seven months after signing for the Bavarian giants and went onto make two more appearances for Die Roten, the last one ending with a red card.

Reina made a switch to Napoli after failing to get any match-time at the Allianz Arena. Three years later, the shot-stopper moved to AC Milan before moving back to England to join Aston Villa on loan this year.

#5 Jean-Pierre Papin

Jean-Pierre Papin
Jean-Pierre Papin

Jean-Pierre Papin had a 15-year long career but is hardly remembered for a two-season spell he had with Bayern Munich.

Following his Ballon d'Or-winning season with Olympique Marseille, Papin secured a move to AC Milan in 1992. However, the French striker failed to establish himself in Milan and soon made a move to Bayern Munich in 1994.

Papin was once again on the wrong side of luck as injuries ravaged his first season with the Bavarians. The second season saw him making more appearances but he struggled to find the back of the net consistently. He then left the club to join Bordeaux in 1996 after making 40 appearances and scoring 6 times during his two-year stint with the Munich outfit.

Papin played two seasons for Bordeaux before moving to Guingamp in 1998 and retiring at the end of the season.

Honourable Mentions: Lukas Podolski, Emre Can, Xherdan Shaqiri

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Edited by Rachel Syiemlieh
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