Bundesliga: Best team of the season so far

Modified 20 Mar 2019
Top 5 / Top 10
The Bundesliga season re-starts on Friday, 18th January after just over a month off for the Winter break. The first 17 games have seen all the ups and downs that we’ve come to expect from the German domestic league, with a number of teams and players catching the eye. Therefore we take a look at the stats and facts behind the players to create a Bundesliga XI team of the season so far.

In truth, after Bayern Munich’s incredible start to the season the Bundesliga XI could consist of all Munich players, but we wanted to spice things up a little bit!


The Bundesliga XI shapes up in a 4-2-3-1 formation which has been the most used formation in the Bundesliga this season. Teams like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Wolfsburg have all favoured this set up, which allows them to utilise two holding-midfielders to break up attacks then counter via three attacking-midfielders to support a lone striker.

Starting XI


Rene Adler (Hamburg)

Adler joined Hamburg in the summer on a free transfer after spending all of his career at Bayer Leverkusen. He has been very impressive in goal this season, conceding just 21 goals (joint 4th lowest in the league) and keeping 7 clean sheets in the process.

His fine form was awarded with a recent recall to the German national team in November after a 2-year absence. If it wasn’t for his heroics in goal, Hamburg would find themselves lower down the table.


Daniel Carvajal (Leverkusen)

The Spanish Under-21 right back has made a good start to life in the Bundesliga and has become an integral part of the Leverkusen team. He is solid defensively (averaging 3.5 tackles and 3.8 interceptions per game), but also equally talented at getting forward and supporting the attack down the right wing  with 4 assists to his name.

Heiko Westermann (Hamburg)

The Hamburg skipper also takes the captain’s armband in our team. He has been impressive this season and appears near the top of all defensive stats when compared to other Bundesliga players, averaging 3.2 tackles, 3.8 interceptions, 7.8 clearances and 3.4 aerial duels won per game. His versatility means that if required, he could also play at fullback or as a defensive midfielder in our side.

Olympiacos FC v FC Schalke 04 - UEFA Champions League

Kyriakos Papadopoulos (Schalke)

Greek International Papadopoulos is only 20-years old, but has shown maturity beyond his years since joining Schalke. Despite making just 9 starts this season, he gets the nod in our team due to impressive stats such as winning an average of 3 aerial duels and 3.7 tackles per game, as well as making 2.9 interceptions and 6.1 clearances per game.

Bastian Oczipka (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Left back Oczipka has had a great start to life at his new club in Frankfurt. He has started all 17 League games and helped his club reach an impressive 4th place in the table. In addition to his strong defensive performances, one of the key reasons for his inclusion in this team is the fact that he has provided 7 assists for his team-mates – the joint most in the Bundesliga and the most of any defender.

Defensive Midfielders

Milan Badelj (Hamburg)

Croatian midfielder Badelj has been impressive in his first season in the Bundesliga. Regarded as a deep-lying playmaker, one of his main qualities is his range of passing (averaging 59 passes and 7 accurate long balls per game). Badelj has done a very good job defensively too, averaging 4.2 tackles and 2.4 interceptions per game in the Hamburg midfield.

Denmark v Germany - Group B: UEFA EURO 2012

Lars Bender (Leverkusen)

Lars Bender (not his twin brother Sven at Dortmund) is our other defensive midfielder after a great season so far at 2nd place Leverkusen. He has done an exceptional job at protecting the defence, making an average of 4.3 tackles and 2.3 interceptions per game.

Attacking Midfielders

Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)

Müller brings pace, creativity and the ability to consistently score goals no matter what position he plays to our team. Despite still only being 23-years old, Müller has been a key figure for Bayern and Germany over the past few years.

He has been in exceptional form once again this season, scoring 9 goals (the joint top scorer for Bayern) and providing 7 assists (the joint most in the league).

Alexander Meier (Eintracht Frankfurt)

One of the standout players this season (and for Frankfurt over the past 8 seasons) has been tall, attacking midfielder Meier. He has scored 11 goals this season, an impressive record for any striker, let alone an attacking midfielder, and has also chipped in with 2 assists.

At 29-years old, a first German cap looks unlikely with the young German talent on offer for Joachim Low; however Meier should be regarded as one of the most under-rated players in the Bundesliga.

Franck Ribéry (Bayern Munich)

French international Ribéry is arguably the best player in the Bundesliga, showing this with 6 man-of-the-match awards in 12 appearances. His pace, skill and dribbling often cause havoc for the opposing defenders.

This season has been no different, with the tricky winger averaging 3.6 key passes and 5.8 dribbles per game. He has provided 7 assists for his teammates this season and also chipped in with 4 goals.


Stefan Kießling (Leverkusen)

A number of strikers have impressed in the Bundesliga this season, but Kießling gets the nod in our team because of his lethal form in front of goal. He leads the Bundesliga goalscoring charts with 12 League goals, 36% of the total goals Leverkusen have scored.

The German International also averages 3.6 shots on goal and 5.6 aerial duels won per game, the most of any player in the Bundesliga. Despite normally playing in a 4-3-3 formation, we are sure that Kießling would still find the back of the net in our team.

SSC Napoli v Bayer Leverkusen - Pre-Season Friendly


With the wealth of talent on show in the Bundesliga, it is no surprise that our subs bench is full of quality players, many of whom could easily walk into any team in Europe. Unfortunately though, only 11 players can start the game so these stars will need to get used to beginning the game on the bench.

Manuel Neuer has conceded just 7 goals this season for Bayern. However, he is tested less often by the opposition than Adler, so Neuer is our 2nd choice goalkeeper. Our substitute defenders are Dortmund duo Lukasz Piszczek and Mats Hummels, who are having good seasons despite their team’s inconsistency.

Our midfielders form a very talented bench, with Diego and Mario Götze providing flair, creativity and goals, whilst Daniel Caligiuri would support a move to a change in formation (these 3 got picked just ahead of Hannover’s Huszti and Dortmund’s Reus). The 10 goals Ibisevic has scored in 15 games for Stuttgart secures his place as a very capable backup for Kießling.

Published 18 Jan 2013
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