Bayern Munich vs. Bundesliga

Without any doubt, Bayern Munich is the best team in the Bundesliga. One of the best, possibly even the best, in the world. "But are they better than the rest of the Bundeslga combined?", asks @Halbraumrandale.

So what happens if we pick the best XI from all non-Bayern Bundesliga players and let them play against Munich? Would they be able to compete? Obviously, this is only a though experiment, because in practice we know they aren't used to play with each other and maybe the combination makes little sense from a tactical point of view. But we can use this as a baseline. If Bayern is better than the rest of the Bundesliga combined in this thought experiment, than in practice they will be way better than them.

Let's start with the Bayern XI, ignoring injuries and tactical constraints.

Player Team Goalimpact Player Age PeakGI
Thomas Müller Bayern München 211.97 26.08 212.07
Mario Götze Bayern München 200.77 23.33 205.91
Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 198.27 27.08 200.64
Manuel Neuer Bayern München 195.47 29.50 199.66
Arturo Vidal Bayern München 178.75 28.33 183.30
Arjen Robben Bayern München 175.90 31.67 190.26
David Alaba Bayern München 174.24 23.25 179.55
Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 170.79 27.08 173.09
Rafinha Bayern München 166.11 30.08 172.28
Xabi Alonso Bayern München 160.79 33.83 183.29
Philipp Lahm Bayern München 160.50 31.92 175.86

This is an average Goalimpact of 181. It even seems to make remotely sense in that they have all positions covered to actually play like this. Opponents should thank god that they never did.

So who are the best of the rest? Again just a selection without tactical considerations and injuries. Just one edit: We forced a goalkeeper in the team (there was no in the top 11) and chose one that is actually playing. Heinz Lindner has a slightly higher Goalimpact than Oliver Baumann, but is only reserve at Frankfurt after Timo Hildebrand.

Player Team Goalimpact Player Age PeakGI
Luiz Gustavo VfL Wolfsburg 183.18 28.17 187.59
Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund 182.31 26.75 183.99
Kevin Kampl Bayer Leverkusen 176.99 25.00 178.59
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Borussia Dortmund 175.62 26.67 177.09
Tony Jantschke Bor. Mönchengladbach 173.26 25.50 174.06
Salomon Kalou Hertha BSC 167.94 30.17 174.56
André Schürrle VfL Wolfsburg 167.70 24.92 169.42
Nuri Şahin Borussia Dortmund 166.00 27.08 168.28
Łukasz Piszczek Borussia Dortmund 163.68 30.33 171.17
Gonzalo Castro Borussia Dortmund 163.10 28.33 167.61
Oliver Baumann 1899 Hoffenheim 144.94 25.33 157.73

The average of the best players of the rest of Bundesliga is only 169.5. Clearly lower than Bayern Munich's. But what is more striking: Only two players of the rest have a Goalimpact above of Bayern Munich's average, Luiz Gustavo and Mats Hummels. And only narrowly so.


Even if all other teams cooperate and let a best-of team play Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola's team is expected to win. Even if we look only at the Goalimpact of the players, ignoring that other factors are likely to side with Munich, too. Yes, they dominate the league.

@Halbraumrandale made this nice pricture from the XI.

The Best XI Ever

In Brazil in summer of 2014, Jogi Löw prepared the German national team to enter the World Cup. He took care of all the details as famously documented in the movie "Die Mannschaft". One detail he addressed earlier was picking the best players to join the team. Germany had that year excellent players to choose from and Löw didn't want to take any risk. He mainly selected by output. And he did a very good job. Actually, for the opening game he fielded a starting XI with a Goalimpact of 179.0, the highest Goalimpact ever, in all competitions, on club and national team level.

From all his players available, he chose the ones with the highest Goalimpact, apart from Bastian Schweinsteiger who missed some weeks of team training due to an injury. That team beat Portugal 4:0 ensuring a good start in the tournament. Also the exactly same team drew a few days later against Ghana 2:2 in the heat of Fortaleza.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeClubNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Per Mertesacker160.0165.629.7Arsenal FC47543835
Mats Hummels187.5188.425.4Borussia Dortmund32528466
Thomas Müller216.0218.024.8Bayern München37729855
Toni Kroos178.9181.424.4Bayern München31923051
Philipp Lahm164.4173.030.6Bayern München58151993
Manuel Neuer194.6199.128.2Bayern München43840917
Benedikt Höwedes165.8166.326.3FC Schalke 0432928208
Jérôme Boateng169.0169.425.8Bayern München35428593
Mario Götze171.4180.622.0Bayern München20414298
Mesut Özil206.9207.525.7Arsenal FC43833170
Sami Khedira154.7157.227.2Real Madrid34927770
André Schürrle151.7156.123.6Chelsea FC25718827
Miroslav Klose126.1164.236.0Lazio Roma60545175
Roman Weidenfeller139.7145.233.8Borussia Dortmund41438278
Julian Draxler126.2147.320.7FC Schalke 0417011338
Bastian Schweinsteiger181.8187.529.8Bayern München56743606
Matthias Ginter115.7139.920.3SC Freiburg13712556
Lukas Podolski138.9144.029.0Arsenal FC42932205
Kevin Großkreutz145.6145.825.8Borussia Dortmund34527128
Christoph Kramer100.7105.923.3Bor. Mönchengladbach18014941
Shkodran Mustafi106.3115.122.1Sampdoria756182
Erik Durm98.7107.722.1Borussia Dortmund1239537
Ron-Robert Zieler116.6129.525.3Hannover 9617316172

When Germany played Brazil in the semi finals, the team's Goalimpact was slightly lower. Featuring aging Miroslaw Klose instead of Mario Götze reduced the Goalimpact more than replacing Per Mertesacker by Bastian Schweinsteiger could improve it.

Notice also that Germany lacked depth in the team. Many bench players had a considerably lower Goalimpact than the first XI. Hence, they were lucky not to suffer multiple injuries. So it is no surprise that the weakest starting XI of Germany in the tournament played the final against Argentina. It had only a Goalimpact of 171.2.

FC Barcelona 2013/2014

The starting XI with the highest Goalimpact, 177.5, ever to play at club level, was Martino's Barcelona in a league game on 15. February 2014 against Rayo Vallecano that they trashed 6:0. It was also the second best starting XI ever after Germany 2014. Again there weren't many options to improve the team's Goalimpact further. Just GI would have chosen Mascherano over the aging Puyol.

Notice how may players have left the team in the meanwhile, mainly to join a Premier League club.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Lionel Messi202.4203.726.6Argentinien46037187
Dani Alves172.1181.730.8Brasilien53445708
Alexis Sánchez168.5169.925.1Chile32221786
Cesc Fàbregas209.3210.926.8Spanien48936983
Victor Valdés173.9178.432.1Spanien52348678
Javier Mascherano175.9181.529.7Argentinien45038045
Alex Song178.2179.126.4Kamerun34127004
Ibrahim Afellay133.7137.627.8Niederlande28520221
Jordi Alba117.8119.524.8Spanien22817260
Cristian Tello115.1122.822.5Spanien [U21]1306210

Bayern Munich 2014/2015

The second highest ranked club ever with 177.0 isn't rated much lower. On 11. March 2015, Pep Guardiola's Bayern defeated Shakhtar Donetsk with a humiliating 7:0. Apart from the excellent starting XI this was facilitated by a very early red card against Shakthar.

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Rafinha166.7172.129.5Brasilien Olymp.36330547
David Alaba162.2169.222.7Österreich27122450
Thomas Müller212.5213.425.5Deutschland41833197
Arjen Robben179.2190.631.1Niederlande52739194
Bastian Schweinsteiger180.3189.130.6Deutschland58745018
Manuel Neuer194.9199.228.9Deutschland48245071
Holger Badstuber148.1148.126.0Deutschland27023655
Jérôme Boateng169.6170.726.5Deutschland39231889
Robert Lewandowski196.8197.926.5Polen31725342
Mario Götze186.6193.522.8Deutschland24317029
Franck Ribéry150.6166.031.9Frankreich46737594
Claudio Pizarro119.9161.836.4Peru62344801
Pepe Reina167.8172.432.5Spanien63458921
Philipp Lahm162.7175.131.3Deutschland60654247
Medhi Benatia144.6148.627.8Marokko22719902
Juan Bernat119.4128.522.0Spanien1228762
Sebastian Rode109.9112.424.4Deutschland [U21]16912927


And here are the top 25 starting XIs ever according to Goalimpact. Per season the table is showing each team only once, with the highest Goalimpact. Observations:

  • The only non-Spanish, non-German entry is Manchester City from the last two seasons.
  • All entries are from recent years. For the clubs this can be explained by a stronger concentration of top players on few top clubs. I'm not sure what to make for the national team from it. The third best national team is the Netherlands 1998 followed by Germany 1982. So maybe for national teams this is incidental.
  • The highest ranked starting XI ever to lose a match was FC Barcelona (174.8) losing against Real Valladolid 1:0 on the 27th match day of the 2013/2014 season of Primera Division. This is the 21st ranked starting XI. (not in the list below as this was not their best starting XI that season.)

Competition Season Round Team Goalimpact Match
World Cup 2014 in Brazil Group G Germany 179.0 Deutschland - Portugal 4:0
Primera Division 2013/2014 24. Match Day FC Barcelona 177.5 FC Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano 6:0
Champions League 2014/2015 Achtelfinale Bayern München 177.0 Bayern München - Shakhtar Donetsk 7:0
Primera Division 2012/2013 22. Match Day FC Barcelona 176.3 Valencia CF - FC Barcelona 1:1
Bundesliga 2013/2014 27. Match Day Bayern München 175.2 Hertha BSC - Bayern München 1:3
Champions League 2011/2012 Achtelfinale FC Barcelona 174.2 FC Barcelona - Bayer Leverkusen 7:1
Champions League 2014/2015 Final FC Barcelona 172.4 Juventus - FC Barcelona 1:3
EC-Quali. 2014/2015 Group D Germany 172.3 Schottland - Deutschland 2:3
WC-Quali. Europe 2012/2013 Group C Germany 171.9 Schweden - Deutschland 3:5
Bundesliga 2015/2016 1. Match Day Bayern München 171.1 Bayern München - Hamburger SV 5:0
Primera Division 2012/2013 7. Match Day Real Madrid 170.6 FC Barcelona - Real Madrid 2:2
EC 2012 in Poland/Ukraine Final Spain 169.3 Spanien - Italien 4:0
WM-Quali. Europa 2012/2013 Group I Spain 169.1 Spanien - Finnland 1:1
EC 2012 in Poland/Ukraine Group B Germany 168.8 Niederlande - Deutschland 1:2
EC-Quali. 2014/2015 Group C Spain 168.4 Spanien - Slowakei 2:0
Primera Division 2014/2015 17. Match Day Real Madrid 168.3 Valencia CF - Real Madrid 2:1
Champions League 2011/2012 Halbfinale Real Madrid 167.9 Real Madrid - Bayern München 1:3
Confederations Cup 2013 in Brazil Group B Spain 167.2 Nigeria - Spanien 0:3
Primera Division 2015/2016 5. Match Day FC Barcelona 166.5 Celta Vigo - FC Barcelona 4:1
Champions League 2012/2013 Halbfinale Bayern München 165.8 Bayern München - FC Barcelona 4:0
Champions League 2010/2011 Halbfinale FC Barcelona 165.8 FC Barcelona - Real Madrid 1:1
Primera Division 2015/2016 2. Match Day Real Madrid 163.6 Real Madrid - Real Betis 5:0
Champions League 2013/2014 Achtelfinale Real Madrid 163.0 FC Schalke 04 - Real Madrid 1:6
Champions League 2014/2015 Group E Manchester City 160.7 Manchester City - AS Roma 1:1
Premier League 2013/2014 35. Match Day Manchester City 159.8 Manchester City - West Bromwich Albion 3:1

Bayern München vs Manchester City: Goalimpact of Lineups

Odds based on starting XI: Bayern München: 57.8%, draw: 26.0%, Manchester City: 16.3%

Bayern München

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Mehdi Benatia114.3118.327.4Marokko20317894
Jérôme Boateng146.3146.426.0Deutschland34628081
Rafinha128.6135.329.0Brasilien Olymp.34028680
Juan Bernat104.5119.621.5Spanien [U21]896067
Mario Götze148.0159.322.3Deutschland20914303
Philipp Lahm195.1209.730.8Deutschland58952739
Thomas Müller173.9176.325.0Deutschland36128621
David Alaba131.2142.722.2Österreich24820370
Xabi Alonso168.4197.132.8Spanien63351994
Robert Lewandowski143.9144.026.0Polen28622881
Manuel Neuer192.3197.928.4Deutschland41438780
Pepe Reina171.7173.932.0Spanien62658177
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg105.0139.619.1Dänemark [U21]735245
Sebastian Rode105.5110.423.9Deutschland [U21]15212334
Xherdan Shaqiri129.8138.622.9Schweiz21614157
Arjen Robben152.6165.530.6Niederlande50036977
Claudio Pizarro103.8156.435.9Peru61144455

Manchester City

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Yaya Touré127.6146.631.3Elfenbeinküste44737675
Samir Nasri126.1129.527.2Frankreich43831607
Jesús Navas133.0139.528.8Spanien44035373
Edin Džeko132.8139.128.5Bosnien-Herzegowina35226273
Vincent Kompany143.8149.928.4Belgien42937503
Gaël Clichy154.1161.029.1Frankreich38432518
Joe Hart143.3150.027.3England33931608
David Silva135.3141.728.7Spanien42432910
Bacary Sagna130.1151.131.6Frankreich42237675
Martín Demichelis116.9150.233.7Argentinien46038489
Frank Lampard124.5180.636.2England87674878
Dedryk Boyata94.7100.123.8Belgien [U21]644555
Kun Agüero144.8145.526.3Argentinien45133335
Willy Caballero106.2107.732.926123883
James Milner117.0123.528.7England52237463
Eliaquim Mangala120.8127.023.6Frankreich [U21]17814784
Aleksandar Kolarov105.8112.328.8Serbien26520051

FC Schalke 04 - Bayern München: Goalimpact of Lineups

Odds based on starting XI: FC Schalke 04: 29.9% (Home), draw: 30.6%, Bayern München: 39.5%

FC Schalke 04

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Sidney Sam122.6124.026.5Deutschland24716833
Felipe Santana109.1115.128.417612758
Kaan Ayhan116.2143.119.8Türkei [U21]907549
Benedikt Höwedes126.7127.926.4Deutschland28524341
Ralf Fährmann101.2117.825.811510642
Max Meyer107.8144.218.8Deutschland [U19]906149
Jan Kirchhoff115.8120.623.8Deutschland [U21]14711049
Marco Höger113.4115.724.914711509
Julian Draxler119.8138.320.8Deutschland17111355
Maxim Choupo-Moting98.499.725.3Kamerun19211302
Joel Matip113.3121.323.0Kamerun22018046
Tranquillo Barnetta110.4117.129.2Schweiz34624387
Christian Clemens98.7106.723.0Deutschland [U21]16611664
Chinedu Obasi109.0114.828.2Nigeria16110922
Christian Wetklo98.398.634.618316799
Roman Neustädter129.9131.226.426121451
Dennis Aogo95.199.527.6Deutschland29823568
Christian Fuchs105.9111.928.3Österreich37931067

Bayern München

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Xherdan Shaqiri130.1138.822.8Schweiz21213884
Xabi Alonso170.3198.032.7Spanien63051740
Holger Badstuber128.3130.924.8Deutschland23921340
Mario Götze147.7158.722.2Deutschland20514057
Philipp Lahm195.9209.530.8Deutschland58552427
Thomas Müller173.5175.924.9Deutschland35728296
Sebastian Rode106.9111.823.8Deutschland [U21]14812119
David Alaba131.6142.922.1Österreich24419998
Robert Lewandowski144.0144.125.9Polen28222524
Jérôme Boateng145.9146.125.9Deutschland34327835
Manuel Neuer191.4197.128.3Deutschland41038408
Gianluca Gaudino67.0114.717.8271931
Pepe Reina171.2173.331.9Spanien62658177
Juan Bernat105.1120.321.4Spanien [U21]855752
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg105.1140.119.0Dänemark [U21]705158
Julian Green101.9135.119.2USA564300
Claudio Pizarro103.9155.435.8Peru61044418

Bayern München vs VfL Wolfsburg: Goalimpact of Lineups

The odds based on starting XI show Bayern as clear favorite. But Goalimpact is slightly more skeptical than the betting markets. This is at least partly due to the low ratings of Bernat and Gaudino.

Bayern München: 66.3% (Home)
Draw: 22.3%
VfL Wolfsburg: 11.5%

Bayern München

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Manuel Neuer191.4197.128.3Deutschland41038408
Juan Bernat105.1120.321.4Spanien [U21]855752
Philipp Lahm195.9209.530.8Deutschland58552427
David Alaba131.6142.922.1Österreich24419998
Holger Badstuber128.3130.924.8Deutschland23921340
Gianluca Gaudino67.0114.717.8271931
Mario Götze147.7158.722.2Deutschland20514057
Robert Lewandowski144.0144.125.9Polen28222524
Arjen Robben153.4165.330.5Niederlande49936884
Thomas Müller173.5175.924.9Deutschland35728296
Pepe Reina171.2173.331.9Spanien62658177
Xherdan Shaqiri130.1138.822.8Schweiz21213884
Lucas Scholl65.0110.318.1241395
Sebastian Rode106.9111.823.8Deutschland [U21]14812119
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg105.1140.119.0Dänemark [U21]705158
Claudio Pizarro103.9155.435.8Peru61044418
Julian Green101.9135.119.2USA564300

VfL Wolfsburg

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Max Grün111.4118.327.311610755
Sebastian Jung123.1127.024.1Deutschland [U21]24321798
Robin Knoche119.6130.522.2Deutschland [U21]15913773
Ricardo Rodríguez105.7117.721.9Schweiz14512533
Aaron Hunt98.5103.927.9Deutschland [U21]33023326
Kevin De Bruyne107.3114.823.1Belgien18313863
Luiz Gustavo137.6140.527.0Brasilien25219979
Josuha Guilavogui109.4114.123.8Frankreich1309474
Ivica Olic100.4142.934.9Kroatien35323729
Patrick Drewes105.9164.421.5797378
Marcel Schäfer100.1108.930.2Deutschland36130493
Timm Klose107.0107.726.3Schweiz14112040
Daniel Caligiuri111.4112.926.619713197
Junior Malanda98.3122.919.9Belgien [U21]786345
Maximilian Arnold112.7135.420.2Deutschland [U21]1099092
Bas Dost103.3105.125.2Niederlande [U21]18413690

Borussia Dortmund vs Bayern München: DFB-Pokal Final

Bayern playing with the young talent Højbjerg seems a risk, but they are favorites nevertheless. Btw. Shaqiri should be better than Ribery next season due to age effects.

Borussia Dortmund

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Roman Weidenfeller128.1128.133.841137968
Mats Hummels154.2156.425.3Deutschland29425765
Sokratis Papastathopoulos110.0110.325.9Griechenland24219847
Lukasz Piszczek132.5138.028.9Polen26120823
Marcel Schmelzer143.8144.526.3Deutschland24721421
Henrikh Mkhitaryan129.2131.725.3Armenien22118631
Miloš Jojic107.2122.022.1Serbien [U21]704464
Nuri Sahin131.4132.625.7Türkei28922121
Kevin Großkreutz134.4135.225.8Deutschland [U21]31024192
Robert Lewandowski144.8145.925.7Polen27922217
Marco Reus118.5122.224.9Deutschland25920091
Zlatan Alomerovic109.8109.822.911010088
Manuel Friedrich95.1133.834.7Deutschland41636399
Erik Durm102.9118.522.0Deutschland [U21]1209308
Sebastian Kehl106.7141.134.3Deutschland43435004
Jonas Hofmann105.0121.921.8Deutschland [U21]16010738
Oliver Kirch80.0100.331.722217180
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang111.5115.424.8Gabun23316586

Bayern München

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Manuel Neuer168.5168.528.1Deutschland40037385
Jérôme Boateng148.0149.225.7Deutschland33426959
Philipp Lahm186.6196.730.5Deutschland57551558
Javi Martínez125.1126.325.7Spanien34828648
Mario Götze145.4161.521.9Deutschland19713569
Pierre-Emile Højbjerg99.2145.318.8Dänemark [U21]674975
Toni Kroos138.7144.424.3Deutschland29520937
Arjen Robben155.9164.430.3Niederlande48935881
Thomas Müller168.6173.324.7Deutschland33426093
Lukas Raeder118.1118.120.3777146
Daniel Van Buyten90.2146.536.3Belgien45839911
Diego Contento122.3129.124.012710075
Franck Ribéry134.2149.331.1Frankreich43535164
Xherdan Shaqiri130.6143.622.6Schweiz20813487
Claudio Pizarro103.9152.635.6Peru60744354