BERLIN - While the Bundesliga is renowned for giving local players the opportunity to showcase their talents, there can be no denying the influence of foreigners on Germany’s top flight league.
Over the years, the clubs in Germany have sought the silky talents of players from different parts of the world to spice up their line-ups.
In particular, players from Latin America and Spain have been shaping the Bundesliga for decades. Here are some of the greats assembled into our team - in a 3-4-3 formation - of legends.
Faryd Mondragon (Cologne): He was a mix of genius and insanity. The Colombian was promoted to the Bundesliga with Cologne in 2008 and two years later was the oldest player in the league at 39.
Javier Pinola (Nurnberg): On the left side of defence is a club legend. Pinola suffered highs and lows with the Bavarian side, being relegated twice. However, his greatest success was the 2007 German Cup.
Lucio (Bayer Leverkusen/Bayern Munich): Alongside Pinola is Lucio. A physical defender and a key performer for Leverkusen and later Bayern. He was an impassable object for strikers and always a constant threat going forward.
Martin Demichelis (Bayern Munich) Demichelis completes the three-man back line. The Argentine often operated in the shadows. During seven years with Bayern he lifted the Bundesliga title four times.
Ze Roberto (Leverkusen/Bayern): The midfield is led by a Brazilian with more Bundesliga appearances than any other with a total of 336 games in the league. During six years in Munich, he lifted the Bundesliga title four times.
Pavel Pardo (Stuttgart): Pardo starred in Stuttgart’s 2004 title triumph. The first Mexican in the Bundesliga went on to captain Stuttgart and will always be remembered as El Jefe - The Boss.
Xabi Alonso (Bayern): World and European champion Xabi Alonso arrived at Bayern as a global star and immediately became a leader on the pitch. Three Bundesliga titles in three years show he was a born winner.
Juan Arango (Gladbach): Less successful but just as spectacular - Venezuela’s Arango entertained Gladbach fans with his left foot alone. Arango played his part in turning Gladbach from relegation to Champions League candidates.
Giovane Elber (Bayern): Elber was always fighting for titles. A goalscorer who could do everything on the pitch, he was a Bundesliga winner, the league’s top scorer and a joker both on and off the pitch.
Raul (Schalke): Raul Gonzales Blanco arrived a Real Madrid legend and enriched both Schalke and the Bundesliga. His 2011 goal of the year will ensure he’s always remembered.
Claudio Pizarro (Bremen/Bayern): Our Latin XI is completed, of course, by Pizarro, the highest scoring non-German in Bundesliga history. A title winner at Bayern, a legend at Werder Bremen.