Bayern Munich’s Biggest Foreign Flops


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‘Score goals or be gone’ — this is, pretty much, what has always been expected of attackers, either homegrown or otherwise, at all powerhouse clubs ever since there has been such a thing as big-time, European professional football.

BAYERN MUNICH were hunting foreign goal-scoring mercenaries well before Sweden World Cup winger CONNY TORSTENSSON was signed from FF Atvidabergs during the Winterpause of the 1973/74 season. Throughout the years, particularly after the Bosman Ruling helped paved the way for the Bundesliga to rescind its long-standing, strict limits on foreign players, many international “stars” have arrived in Bavaria intent on bulging the back of the net for the greater glory of the record German champions. Unfortunately, not all have been able to live up to the traditional standards of excellence as demanded by a proud organization such as Bayern Munich.

The least successful imported players in club history, listed with their career Bundesliga record and the last season contested with Bayern Munich would be as follows :

9 games, 0 goals … 04/05 … Vahid HASHEMIAN, Iran (50 caps, 15 go)
6 games, 0 goals … 08/09 … Landon DONOVAN, United States (138 caps, 46 go)
6 games, 0 goals … 01/02 … Antonio DI SALVO, Italy
2 games, 0 goals … 06/07 … Stefan MAIERHOFER, Austria (19 caps, 1 go)
2 games, 0 goals … 00/01 … Berkant GOKTAN, Turkey
1 games, 0 goals … 06/07 … Louis NGWAT-MAHOP, Cameroon

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United States international striker LANDON DONOVAN, the 29-year-old veteran of three FIFA World Cup final tournaments in his career who has been a standout for the San Jose Earthquakes and Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer, twice failed in attempts to make the grade in German football. Donovan contested seven games and scored no goals for Bayer Leverkusen during the 2004/05 Bundesliga season before joining Bayern Munich on loan to start the New Year in 2009. After six substitutes appearances in the German top flight and another in the D.F.B. Pokal without scoring, Donovan was quickly sent back to Los Angeles by Bayern Munich in early March.
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1 go, 16 ga … 2 yrs, 93/94 … Harald CERNY, Austria (47 caps, 4 go)
3 go, 27 ga … 2 yrs, 95/96 … Jean-Pierre PAPIN, France (54 caps, 30 go)
3 go, 30 ga … 2 yrs, 87/88 … Lars LUNDE, Denmark (2 caps, 0 go)
4 go, 34 ga … 2 yrs, 90/91 … Radmilo MIHAJLOVIC, Yugoslavia (6 caps, 1 go)
6 go, 18 ga …. 1 yrs, 87/88 … Mark HUGHES, Wales (72 caps, 16 go)
6 go, 23 ga …. 1 yrs, 98/99 … Ali DAEI, Iran (149 caps, 109 go)
7 go, 23 ga …. 1 yrs, 88/89 … Johnny EKSTROM, Sweden (47 caps, 14 go)
7 go, 27 ga …. 2 yrs, 95/96 … Emil KOSTADINOV, Bulgaria (70 caps, 27 go)
7 go, 27 ga …. 2 yrs, 05/06 … Paolo GUERRERO, Peru (37 caps, 17 go)

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Approaching 31 years of age, France World Cup striker JEAN-PIERRE PAPIN (right) was already past his peak when joining Bayern Munich in the summer of 1994 on the heels of celebrating the UEFA Champions League crown with Italian megaclub AC Milan, for whom Papin had scored 18 goals in 40 Serie A matches over the course of two seasons following a world record transfer from the contemporary French powerhouse, Olympique Marseille, costing a reported 10.0 million English pounds; plagued by injuries during his time in Bavaria, the two-time French Footballer of the Year totaled six goals from 39 appearances in all compeititons for Bayern Munich and was a member of the UEFA Cup winners in 1996.
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10 go, 40 go … 3 yrs, 91/92 …. Alan MCINALLY, Scotland (8 caps, 3 go)
11 go, 26 ga …. 2 yrs, 94/95 …. Adolfo VALENCIA, Colombia (37 caps, 14 go)
11 go, 49 ga …. 4 yrs, 94/95 … Waldemar MAZINHO, Brazil (10 caps, 2 go)
11 go, 53 ga …. 2 yrs, 91/92 …. Brian LAUDRUP, Denmark (79 caps, 20 go)
11 go, 81 ga …. 4 yrs, 76/77 …. Conny TORSTENSSON, Sweden (40 caps, 7 go)
12 go, 45 ga …. 2 yrs, 97/98 …. Ruggiero RIZZITELLI, Italy (9 caps, 2 go)

Colombia World Cup striker ADOLFO “El Tren” VALENCIA netted eleven goals as Bayern Munich bagged the Bundesliga title his first year in Germany but was soon transferred to Spanish club Atletico Madrid for 2.0 million Euros at the end of August in 1994.

“Er kann heute keinen Satz deutsch” stated Bayern Munich general manager Uli Hoeness to the Berliner Zeitung at the time of the sale, noting that the powerful, 26-year-old Colombian forward known as “the Train”, after one full season in the Bundesliga under his belt, still could not understand even one sentence in the German language.

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Scotland international ALAN MCINALLY, who started up front for Tartan Army supporters in the infamous 1-0 loss to Costa Rica at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, was bought by Bayern Munich from English First Division side Aston Villa for a transfer fee of 3.3 million Deutsche Mark (1.2 million English pounds) in the summer of 1989. The tall and physical, 26-year-old striker scored 10 goals in 31 Bundesliga games as the Bavarians lifted the Meisterschale to cap off his first term in West German football but lost his place shortly thereafter and would only make nine appearances (with no goals) in the league over the following two seasons. Altogether, McInally managed 13 goals from 55 matches in all competitions for Bayern Munich, including three strikes from twelve contests in the old UEFA European Cup of Champions.

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Bayern Munich’s Biggest Foreign Flops

  1. Matt Boone

    ha that article hit me in the wrong way with Donovon, he scored a bunch of goals in the preseason games, I think as you said … started a half of dozen games and did not look so well… he plays so well for Everton!

    Besides that, Rizitelli I do remember.. I completely forgot that Guerrero played for Munich! hes a good player…. its weird how it works out sometimes. I also heard hes gay

    • LOOSE CANNON

      Speaking of gay, LANDON DONOVAN is, perhaps, THE MOST OVERHYPED athlete in the history of American sports. A complete and utter BUNDESLIGA FAILURE, Landon Donovan was. I see FC Everton in England have taken on Donovan (again) … Seven games played by Lame Stream Media Pretty Boy MVP this season in the EPL … and still no goals. Poor little Landon!

      • LOOSE CANNON

        Es ist wirklich peinlich. Es gibt viele Amerikaner, die denken, dass Donovan ein guter Fussballspieler ist. Dass macht mich veraergert.

  2. Matt Boone

    Was?!??!!?! Bist du verrueckt?! Landon ist sehr gut… Tier 2 Spieler… wie sagt man .. Hes not at the same level as a munich player but I think he could fit in for Munich via an injury

    • LOOSE CANNON

      Landon Donovan could not even make the Startelf for Bayern Munich II in the Regionalliga Sued … kein Witz. Absolutely no way in hell is Landon Donovan even close to NILS PETERSEN, the leading goal-scorer in the 2.Bundesliga for Energie Cottbus last season. And Petersen is currently running behind Croatia veteran international IVICA OLIC on the Bayern Munich depth chart at striker.

  3. Matt Boone

    Danica Patrick is the most overhyped athlete in the USA… Lebron too

    • LOOSE CANNON

      Kann nicht zustimmen … Besides, the dudes at the Philly sports talk show I occasionally listen to spend half their day telling YOU (the American public) how great LeBron James is and that YOU need to stop being such a hater. 🙂 … listen to Mike Missinelli at 97.5 The Fanatic sometime 🙂

      • LOOSE CANNON

        Danica Patrick is not an athlete, end of story. From what I understand, she is not much of a race car driver, either. Just a useful tool of the Liberal Left Wing Lame Stream Media.

      • Matt Boone

        I listen to 97.5 everyday… Missennelli needs to take lebrons d out of his mouth

  4. Great!
    haha,Good essay
    welcome to my blog,thanks

  5. Bill

    how was brian laudrup a flop? he was good for bayern munich in his 1st season and played have a season after due to injury and was nominated for fifa worldplayer of the year? he was a winger, and was not a forward.

    • LOOSE CANNON

      The real point of this piece, Bill, is to pound on LANDON DONOVAN specifically — and I can do that because I am a native-born American! … For the most part, I agree with your assessment of Denmark international winger BRIAN LAUDRUP, who scored nine goals in 33 Bundesliga appearances his first season with Bayern Munich. But Laudrup did not do so much in the old European Cup that year as the Bavarians lost to eventual champion Red Star Belgrade of Yugoslavia at the semi-final hurdle. Laudrup had 2 goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances in his second season, which was very much an injury-filled one, before being sold to Italian club AS Fiorentina (probably at a decent profit from what he cost to buy from Bayer Uerdingen but I would have to look that up). One noteworthy feature of Laudrup’s two years with Bayern Munich was that no titles (Bundesliga, D.F.B. Pokal, Europe) were celebrated and that is ALWAYS a concern for the record German champions … I will say this, there are certainly many players AHEAD of Laudrup on the list of candidates to be honored as Bayern’s Biggest Foreign Flop ever, Bill! … 🙂

      • Bill

        He was nominated for fifa world player of the year in his second year for bayern Munich? its not an individuals fault if the team dont win titles, that’s the team as a whole’s fault

      • LOOSE CANNON

        Brian Laudrup was bought by Bayern Munich from Bayer Uerdingen for 6.0 million Deutsche Mark in May of 1990 and Kicker Magazine did, in fact, name Laudrup to their all-Bundesliga team after the 1990/91 season. … Laudrup finished fifth in the voting for 1992 FIFA Player of the Year — the balloting, of course, took place AFTER Denmark had won the 1992 UEFA European Championships in Sweden. Need I say more? … 😉

  6. Bill

    i mean he played half a season after

    • LOOSE CANNON

      A sincere Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bill, and I do sincerely appreciate you stopping by and stating your opininons.