Rank 8, WorldCupStory Club Index 27,779
FC Cologne World Cup XI Dream Team
I cannot see this side having much of a communication problem, indeed the only non-German to be even a remote contender for this team is England’s Tony Woodcock, who went to Spain 1982 as a Cologne player.
With 5 players having over 1,000 of World Cup minutes as Cologne players, experience abounds.
Bodo Illgner is the second ranked Cologne goalkeeper in terms of minutes played, but since the top contender is Harald Schumacher, guilty of the worst act of on-pitch thuggery in World Cup history (see 1982 story ‘villains’), it is absolutely a no-brainer to select Illgner, who comes with a 1990 World Cup winners’ medal.
Georg Stollenwerk hails from the 1958 squad, Willi Schulz from 1970 and Wolfgang Weber and Karl-Heinz Schnellinger both from 1966. All have reached at least the World Cup semi-final, and Weber brings the added bonus of a World Cup final goal against England.
It is a solid midfield too, contributing plenty of goals. Diminutive Pierre Littbarski will have his bandy legs trundling up the right wing, Wolfgang Overath’s 19 matches were as smooth as double cream, and even Dieter Muller managed a couple of goals in 1978. Hans Schafer, with 10 matches as skipper in 1958 and 1962 comes with a prodigious 7 goals from advanced midfield.
In attack, we have 1982’s Klaus Fischer, complete with bicycle kicks, and from a more recent era, Lukas Podolski with 5 goals from 13 World Cup games.
It is hard to spot a weakness in this side, except perhaps the absence of some Latin flair when plan A goes somewhat off the rails. This lot would be good and tough to beat.