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Western Germany Regional All-Time team

This blogger Artur Yanturin of Russia copied many of my blog teams.  This blog was one of them.  It was my Russia All-Time Team here.  His team was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.   His Spartak Moscow All-Time team entry of was published in October 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2017.  His entry of the Dutch-German rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona was written in 2020, but mine was uploaded in 2014.  He also copied many many of my blog entries.

His Facebook and Instagram

Fritz Walter and Horst Eckel
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 23 member all-time team for the German states in the Western parts of Germany (Westdeutschland). This team is not about West Germany (Federal Republic of Germany).   It is about the German states located in Western parts of the country.  For this team, I am only including Hesse, Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate.  North Rhine-Westphalia is normally considered as a part of the area, but I created a separated blog team for   The Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate are sometimes considered to be in Southern Germany, but I am not doing a Southern German team because I have created all-time separated teams for both Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.  In a way, I basically grouped together a team of players from the three western German states with proximity to each other.

The Saarland national football team existed between 1950 and 1956 while the region was under French occupation.  They played for the World Cup Qualifiers in 1954, where they finished behind West Germany in their group.  West Germany (FRG) went on to win the World Cup in 1954.  The team included 6 players from (Rhineland-Palatinate) and a single played from Hesse. Fritz Walter (Rhineland-Palatinate) was their captain.  

Eintracht Frankfurt (Hesse), Kaiserslautern (Rhineland-Palatinate), FC Saarbrücken (Saarland) and Mainz 05 (Rhineland-Palatinate) are some of the bigger clubs located in the area.  FC Saarbrücken played a few seasons in the French league.  They won the Ligue 2 in the 1948-1949 season, but the other French clubs refused to allow them to play in Ligue 1.  They left the French league the season after.  They also represented Saarland in the newborn European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1955.
Bodo Illigner and Jürgen Kohler 
GK: Bodo Illgner (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Bodo Illgner played for Köln between 1986 and 1996.  He joined  Real Madrid in 1996, winning the Champions league in 1998. His starting position was succeeded by Iker Casillas. He was capped 54 times between 1987 and 1994.  He helped West Germany to the 1990 World Cup, where he became the first goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in a World Cup final. He also played in 1994 World Cups Finals and two other European Championship.

GK: Eike Immel (Hesse)
Impel started with Borussia Dortmund.  He made a two million Deutsche Mark transfer to VfB Stuttgart in 1986, the biggest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper in the history German football at that time. He played 9 years as Stuttgart's regular goalkeeper, winning the Bundesliga title in 1992 and the UEFA Cup runner-up medal in 1989 with them. Afterwards he left for Manchester City, where he retired at the end of the 1995–96 season. Capped 19 times, largely because he retired from the West German team at the age of 28.

GK: Willibald Kreß (Hesse)
Kreß played club football with Rot-Weiß Frankfurt between 1929 and 1932.  In 1932, he was signed by FC Mulhouse but couldn't play a league match because of a DFB suspension.  Then, he played for Dresdner between 1933 and 1934 and FSV Frankfurt between 1947 and 1949.  He was considered a top European goalkeeper of his time.  He had 16 caps for Germany.  He played in the 1934 World Cup Finals, but was blamed for the loss against Czechoslovakia in the semifinal.

RB: Manfred Kaltz (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Manfred Kaltz was one of the finest crosser of the ball in the history of the game. He was famous with his partnership with striker Horst Hrubesch at Hamburger SV.  They won the European Cup in 1984. For West Germany, he was capped 69 times.  He was a key player for West Germany (sometimes as their captain) in the 1980's and was considered one of Germany's greatest fullbacks. He won the European Championship in 1980.
Manfred Kaltz 
RB/CB: Thomas Berthold (Hesse)
Thomas Berthold began his career in 1982 with Eintracht Frankfurt. In Italy, he played for Hellas Verona  for two seasons, and another two for A.S. Roma.  He later played for FC Bayern Munich, VfB Stuttgart and Turkey's Adanaspor.  With 62 caps, he went to the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cup  Finals, winning the 1990 edition.  He also played in the 1988 European Championship.

CB: Wilhelm Sold (Saarland) 
Sold began his career with FC Saarbrücken in 1930.  Later, he platyed  FC Nürnberg and Tennis Borussia Berlin.  After the war, he played with FV Saarbrücken when it was playing in the French league.  The club earned a promotion that year, but was disallowed.  He earned 12 caps for the national team between 1935 and 1942.  He represented Germany at the 1936 Olympics held at home.
CB: Werner Liebrich (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Werner Liebrich played 16 times for West Germany.  He played in West Germany's triumph in the 1954 FIFA World Cup.  He was remembered for injuring Ferenc Puskas in the match at the Group Stage between Hungary and West Germany. Puskas returned to play in the Final, but was ineffective. For his club career, he spent his entire playing career of almost twenty years with hometown club Kaiserslautern between 1946 and 1962.
Werner Liebrich
CB: Jurgen Kohler ( Rhineland-Palatinate)
Jurgen Kohler was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1990's.   He earned 105 caps for West Germany/Germany between 1986 and 1998.  He won the World Cup in 1990 and the European Championship in 1996.  For his club career, he played with Koln, Bayern Munich, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund.  He won the Champions' League in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund.  He was Footballer of the Year in Germany in 1997.

SW: Manfred Binz (Hesse)
From 1985 to 1996, Manfred Binz played over 330 games for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga.  In 1996, he moved to Italy and played for Brescia in Serie B, helping the club to grain promotion.  From 1998 to 1999, he played for Borussia Dortmund.  With the German national team, he earned 14 caps.  He was a member of the 1992 European Championship team that finished second behind Denmark..

LB/CB/DM: Hans Peter Briegel (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Hans Peter Briegel's original sport was Decathlon.  From 1975 to 1984, he played with FC Kaiserslautern before he moved on to HellasVerona in Italy.  With them, he captured the Serie A title in 1985, a surprising result at the time. The same year Briegel was named German Footballer of the Year, being the first foreign-based winner.  He later played with Sampdoria. With West Germany, he had 72 caps.  He won the European Championship in 1980.  He played in the World Cup Finals of both 1982 and 1986.
Hans-Peter Briegel
DM/RM: Horst Eckel (Rhineland-Palatinate)
In the 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifying, Eckel became the first substitute in the history of football. He was part of the West German team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup. He also participated in the 1958 FIFA World Cup.  During his club career he played for 1. FC Kaiserslautern and SV Röchling Völklingen. Because of his rapid way of playing, he got the nickname Windhund (sighthound).

DM/SW: Bernhard Cullmann (Rhineland-Palatinate)
Bernhard Cullmann began his footballing career in 1969 with SpVgg Porz, until he was signed by 1. FC Köln in 1970. He played 341 matches in the Bundesliga for them before his retirement in 1984. He played 40 matches for the German team between 1973 and 1980, scoring six goals.[4] He participated at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the 1978 FIFA World Cup, and the victorious UEFA Euro 1980.
Bernhard Cullmann
CM: Uwe Bein  (Hesse)
Uwe Bein's career began in 1978 with Kickers Offenbach, before he moved to 1. FC Köln, Hamburger SV and Eintracht Frankfurt. He also helped Köln to the 1986 UEFA Cup Final. In 1994, he moved to Japan's Urawa Red Diamonds in 1996. In 1997, he made appearances for VfB Gießen.  From 1989 to 1993, he played 17 times for Germany.  He played 4 games at the 1990 World Cup Finals as Germany won the World Cup.

CM/RM: Rudolf Gramlich (Hesse)
Gramlich played his entire career with Eintracht Frankfrut, but his career was interrupted by the Second World War.  Gramlich made 22 international appearances for Germany between 1931 and 1936, achieving third place at the 1934 World Cup in Italy. He was the captain of the German team at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.

RW/LW/FW: Bernd Hölzenbein (Hesse)
Holz debuted for Eintracht Frankfurt in 1967.  Hölzenbein won the UEFA Cup with Frankfurt in 1980. He is their all-time leading scoring.  Later, he became a teammate of Gerd Müller at Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the United States.  He earned 40 caps for West Germany.  He was a member of the 1974 World Cup winning team.  He also went to the 1978 World Cup and 1976 European Championship.

RW/AM: Jurgen Grabowski (Hesse)
Jurgen Grabowski played his entire career with Eintracht Frankfrut. He was considered one of the club's greatest players.  With this team he won the German Cup in 1974 and 1975 and the UEFA Cup in 1980.  He was capped 44 times.  He had 44 caps between 1966 and 1974.  For West Germany, he went to three World Cup Finals: 1966, 1970 and 1974.  He won the European Championship in 1972 and then, the World Cup two years later in 1974. 
Jurgen Grabowski 
AM/SS: Alfred Pfaff (Hesse)
Pfaff club was Eintracht Frankfurt with whom he won the 1959 German Championship, and in 1960 reached the finals of Champion's Cup against Real Madrid. Pfaff was capped seven times between 1953 and 1956 for West Germany.  He was a aprt of the team that won the 1954 World Cup.  He scored a goal against Hungary in the preliminary round.

AM/FW: Fritz Walter (Rhineland-Palatinate) 
Fritz Walter was the captain of the 1954 World Cup winning team.  His brother Ottar Walter was also on that team. He had over 60 caps and also went to the 1958 World Cup Finals. He was selected as the UEFA Golden Player for Germany at the 50th anniversary of UEFA in 2004. During the War, he captured as a POW and his life was spared because the guards recognised him as a famous footballer. He played his entire career with Kaiserslautern between 1937 and 1959.

LW/FW: André Schürrle (Rhineland-Palatinate) 
André Schürrle began his career at Mainz 05 in 2009. He played  Bayer 04 Leverkusen before joining Chelsea in 2013. Then, he played for VfL Wolfsburg and Borussia Dortmund. Schürrle earned 57 caps or Germany from 2010 to 2017. He was a member of the German squads which reached the semi-finals at UEFA Euro 2012 and won the 2014 World Cup. During extra-time in the 2014  World Cup Final he provided the assist for Mario Götze's winning goal against Argentina. 
André Schürrle 

ST: Stefan Kuntz (Saarland)
Kuntz played for VfL Bochum, Bayer 05 Uerdingen, 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Arminia Bielefeld. Kuntz also played in Turkey for Beşiktaş J.K. In 1986 and 1994 Kuntz was the top scorer in the Bundesliga.  He was part of the winning German team of UEFA Euro 1996. Kuntz played a key role in the 1–1 draw with England in the semi-final, scoring the equalizer soon after England took the lead. He lost a game in German uniforms.

ST: Edmund Conen (Rhineland-Palatinate) 
Conen played with FV 03 Saarbrücken, Stuttgarter Kickers,[2] Mülhausen 93, HSV Groß Born (Pommern) and a couple of smaller clubs. He played from 1934 to 1942 in 28 international matches for Germany and scored 27 goals. With four goals in the 1934 FIFA World Cup in Italy, Conen was the joint second top scorer with Angelo Schiavio of Italy, behind Oldřich Nejedlý of Czechoslovakia who had five goals.

ST: Ottmar Walter (Rhineland-Palatinate) 
Ottmar Walter played together with his brother, Fritz Walter, at the club 1. FC Kaiserslautern. They also played together for the Germany national football team in the 1954 FIFA World Cup. Walter scored four goals in the tournament as West Germany won their first ever World Cup title. In total, Walter earned 20 caps and scored 10 goals for Germany. For his club 1. FC Kaiserslautern he scored unequaled 336 goals in 321 league and cup matches.

ST: Rudi Völler  (Hesse)
Völler started his career with TSV 1860 Hanau, before joining Werder Bremen in 1982. After becoming Bundesliga's top scorer, he was transferred to A.S. Roma.  In 1992, Völler moved to Olympique Marseille, where he won the Champions League in 1993. He joined Bayer Leverkusen in 1994.  He was capped 90 times.  He was a key player as West Germany won the World Cup in 1990. He was known for his partnership with Jurgen Klinsmann.
Rudi Völler  

Honorable Mention
Bernd Franke, Rudi Kargus, Roman Weidenfeller, Kevin Trapp, Lothar Huber, Jimmy Hartwig, Ralf Falkenmayer, Herbert Zimmermann, Werner Kohlmeyer, Karl-Heinz Metzner, Dieter Muller, Mario Basler, Wolfgang Seel, Josef Pirrung, Karl-Heinz Thielen, Sebastian Kehl, Lothar Huber, Friedel Lutz, Jonas Hector, Gere Zewe, Hermann Nuber, Erik Durm, Shkodran Mustafi, Kurt Clemens, Heinz Vollmar, Engelbert Kraus, Erik Durm, Günther Herrmann.

Squad Explanation
-- Fritz Walter and Jurgen Kohler are on my Germany All-Time team.  The two of them along with Rudi Voller, Jurgen Kohler, Hans-Peter Briegel and Manfred Kaltz are the automatic selections.  No explanation is needed. Bodo Illgner and Edmund Conen are not far behind.
-- In terms of population, Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate ranked 5th and 6th respectively among the German states. The Saarland is second from the bottom.  I have 11 players born in Rhineland-Palatinate and 10 from Hesse.  The remaining two came from the Saarland. 
-- The 1954 World Cup winning team included 7 players eligible for this team. Six of them came from Rhineland-Palatinate and one from Hesse. Fritz Walter, Ottmar Walter, Horst Eckel, Alfred Pfaff and Werner Liebrich made this all-time team. Werner Kohlmeyer and Karl-Heinz Metzner were the other members on the 1954 team.
-- Bernhard Cullman, Bernd Hölzenbein and Jürgen Grabowski were on the 1974 World Cup team.
-- From the 1990 World Cup team, I selected Bodo Illgner, Rudi Voller, Thomas Berthold and Uwe Bein.
--  From the 2014 World Cup team, I selected André Schürrle. Erik Durm, Shkodran Mustafi and Roman Weidenfeller were the other members from this region.
-- Manfield Kaltz, Bernhard Cullman, Eike Immel and Hans-Peter Briegel were on the 1980 European Championship winning team.
-- The Saarland national football team existed between 1950 and 1956 while the state was under French occupation.  Helmut Schön was the manager of the team from 1952 to 1956 before he took over West Germany.  He was born in Saxony, not in this area. FC Saarbrücken also played in the French league.  They won the Ligue 2 in the 1948-1949 season.  None of the players selected ever played for Saarland.  Heinz Vollmar and Kurt Clemens made honorable mention.
-- I have a hard time deciding between Willibald Kreß (Hesse) and Bernd Franke (Saarland) for the third goalkeepers.  Rudi Kargus (Rhineland-Palatinate) and Roman Weidenfeller were also goalkeepers of note.
-- Manfred Kaltz does not need introduction.  Lothar Huber and Friedel Lutz were mainly a club legend.  So I took Thomas Berthold as the other rightback. He had a stronger international reputation playing for West Germany and AS Roma in the Serie A.   
-- Hans-Peter Briegel is a lock on the leftback.  Ralf Falkenmayer, Herbert Zimmermann and Werner Kohlmeyer all could also play there.  Jonas Hector was also considered.  In the end, I decided to go with a single leftback.  I gave the spot to Wilhelm Sold, who was a pre-War great whom I have limited knowledge.
-- Some people rated Gerd Zewe (Saarland) over Manfred Binz, but I went with Binz because he had more German caps
-- Bernhard Cullmann was a connection between two generations. He won the 1974 World Cup Finals and then, European Championship in 1980.  The two tournaments were only 6 years apart, but he was the only player who were on both team. 
-- DM Horst Eckel (Rhineland-Palatinate) was defensive archman or the unsung hero of the 1954 World Cup winning team.
-- Rudolf Gramlich was the captain of the 1936 Olympic team in Berlin.
-- DM: Jimmy Hartwig (Hesse) broke the racial barrier for being one of the first Black player to play for West Germany.  I only put him on honorable mention.
-- I toyed with the idea of selecting Kurt Clemens who played for Saarland and West Germany.  Uwe Bein, Horst Eckel and Bernhard Cullman are ahead of him.
-- Alfred Pfaff was the center of attack  for Frankfurt at the 1960 European Cup Final against Real Madrid.  Alongside with Jürgen Grabowski,  he is often identified as one of Frankfurt's greatest player.  
-- The right side also had plenty of good players.  Grabowski and Hölzenbein kept them off the team.  Mario Basler had the potential to be the greatest German of his generation, but his career was unfulfilled.  Wolfgang Seel,  Josef Pirrung and Karl-Heinz Thielen also were well-known in their time.
-- The left wing is weaker than the right side. Bernd Hölzenbein was left-footed who normally played on the right.  He could play both sides of the wing as well as a forward.  In the 1974 World Cup Finals, he was used successfully as a left winger.  Then, I took another left-side player André Schürrle as his backup.  Both Hölzenbein and Schürrle played a role in winning the World Cup respectively for Germany.  They assisted the winning goal with a cross from the left wing in 1974 and 2014 Final respectively.  Grabowski could also play on the left, but his role on this team would be on the right wing.
-- In his peak, André Schürrle was a top German player of his generation.  He suffered several injury-riddled seasons after 2016. retired early at the age of 29 in 2020 due to pressure of the game.
-- Dieter Muller (Hesse) was the hero at the 1976  European Championship, which was the first major tournament where West Germany played since the retirement of Gerd Muller.  He was the top scorer of the tournament with 4 goals. His namesake and his performance were newsworthy back then. For the national team, he only earned 12 caps.  Stefan Kuntz earned 25 caps, but the cap count is usually higher for modern players since the national teams play more games.  I took Kuntz because I have few players from the Saarland.  I believe in spreading the team around.  Besides, Kunitz can also play in more positions while Muller was a center forward who was strong in the air.
-- Edmund Conen is widely considered to be one of Germany's greatest attackers before the War.  Then, I took Ottmar Walter, Fritz's younger brother.  Edmund Conen was a teammate with Wilhelm Sold at FC Saarbrücken.
-- Heinz Vollmar played for both saarland and Germany.  He only made honorable mention.

Eight of the starters have won the World Cup for Germany.  All of whom played in the Final.  Hans-Peter Briegel and Manfred Kaltz played big parts in West Germany winning the Euro 1980.  Bernd Hölzenbein played on the left winger in the 1974 World Cup Final against Netherlands while Grabowski played on the right.  I considered starting Bein and Cullman over Gramlich.

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