Rank 24, WorldCupStory Club Index 17,604

Hamburg World Cup XI Dream Team

GKRudolf KargusGermany10000
RBManfred KaltzGermany213120001
CBWilli SchulzGermany1657000
CBPetar HoubchevBulgaria1766000
LBGuy DemelIvory Coast2218000
MFMehdi MahdavikiaIran1327000
MFRaphael WickySwitzerland1438000
MFYordan LetchkovBulgaria1761520
MFFelix MagathGermany21087700
STUwe SeelerGermany4211980912
STHorst HrubeschGermany1532310

Aha, I think we have found, at last, an eclectic German team in this Hamburg dream team! So, there are 6 Germans, but the others are chosen from Bulgaria (2), Ivory Coast, Iran and Switzerland.

The first difficulty presents itself in goal, as we have had to go with a 1978 non-playing squad member, Rudolf Kargus. But he deserves his place for having such a splendid name. Manny Kaltz and Will Schulz (the 1966 version) provide dependability, and at centre back we find the no nonsense defending of Bulgaria’s Petar Houbchev, from the 1994 tournament. The back four is completed by Ivory Coast’s Guy Demel, now plying his trade at West Ham.

Bombing up and down the right flank is our Iranian, Mehdi Mahdavikia, with the central midfield policed by 2006 Swiss, Raphael Wicky and 1994 Bulgarian Yordan Letchkov, whose inclusion is especially delicious as his goal eliminated Germany in the quarter final, 2-1. Felix Magath completes the midfield and despite his lack of World Cup goals, he is known for getting forward to support the strikers.

At the sharp end we have chalk and cheese; the giant target man, Horst Hrubesch from 1982, and the diminutive Uwe Seeler. What more can be said about Seeler? Third on the list of World Cup minutes played, 12 matches as West Germany’s captain, 21 games played between 1958 and 1970, with a decent return of 9 goals, he has few peers indeed.

Aside from the goalkeeping uncertainty, the ability of the diverse midfield to gel into a cohesive unit will be key to Hamburg’s success. A secret weapon, however, is likely to the combination of Kaltz and Hrubesch. Kaltz was noted for overlapping from right back and delivery of tricky outswinging crosses. Hrubesch was often on the end of these. After one such incidence, Hrubesch summed up what happened in an after match interview, saying succinctly: “Manny banana, me head, goal!’. I think we may conclude he was not much of a linguist.


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