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Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund: Players to have played for both clubs

The storied rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will be renewed on Saturday when the two sides meet at the Allianz Arena.

Though most of the attention has been focused on Bayer Leverkusen and their march towards a maiden Bundesliga title, Der Klassiker remains one the most eagerly-anticipated fixtures on the German football calendar.

It’s produced a catalogue of thrilling spectacles in recent years and while the Meisterschale is not on the line for either team, both will be desperate to prevail given the historical importance of this clash.

Over the last 35 years, a total of 18 players have made the switch between Germany’s two great rivals. Bayern developed a reputation of plucking Dortmund’s finest talents, with Raphaël Guerreiro the latest to make the switch from eastern Ruhr to Bavaria’s capital.

Here we take a look at some of the individuals that have played for both clubs.

Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund

Bundesliga

Robert Lewandowski

Borussia Dortmund (2010-2014)
Bayern Munich (2014-2022)

We’ve all heard the story of how Lewandowski would have signed for Blackburn Rovers were it not for the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The striker instead joined Dortmund from Lech Poznan for a fee of £3.8million and the rest, as they say, was history.

He fired BVB to a league and cup double and scored 103 goals in 187 appearances before signing a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich in 2014.

Lewandowski was a revelation in Bayern red, winning a plethora of individual accolades while helping Die Roten to assert their domestic dominance.

He was the Bundesliga’s top goalscorer for five consecutive seasons, named Best FIFA Men’s Player for two years running and scored 344 goals before moving to Barcelona in the summer of 2022.

Mario Götze

Borussia Dortmund (2009-2013, 2016-2020)
Bayern Munich (2013-2016)

Götze was not the first to cross the Klassiker divide, nor is he the last - but his switch to Bayern will arguably have stung Dortmund fans the most.

He was the golden child, one of BVB’s very own academy gems carving his name among Europe’s elite. Götze won two Bundesliga titles at the Westfalenstadion under Jurgen Klopp before becoming the most expensive German transfer in 2013 when Bayern Munich and Pep Guardiola came calling.

During his time in Bavaria, Götze scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and despite winning three league titles with Bayern, the creative midfielder was hindered by injuries and poor form.

He returned to Dortmund in 2016, citing his decision to join Bayern as a mistake. Götze later moved to PSV Eindhoven in 2020 before heading back to the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt in 2022.

Mats Hummels

Bayern Munich (2007-2009, 2016-2019)
Borussia Dortmund (2009-2016, 2019-Present)

Hummels’ career has been a revolving door of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Like Götze, Hummels’ departure to Munich in 2016 left a sour taste in the mouths of a yellow and black persuasion.

The central defender actually started his career with Bayern before joining Dortmund on loan in 2008. Hummels impressed enough for the club to fork out €4m for his services and he would clock up over 300 appearances for Die Borussen when a return to Bavaria beckoned.

After winning three Bundesliga titles with Bayern, Hummels arrived back in Dortmund for a second stint in 2019 and now at the age of 35, he remains a prominent figure in Edin Terzić’s side.

Marcel Sabitzer

Bayern Munich (2021-2023)
Borussia Dortmund (2023-Present)

One of the latest individuals to join this list, Sabitzer joined Dortmund in the summer of 2023 after a relatively unfruitful spell with Bayern.

The Austrian had spent seven years with RB Leipzig prior to being signed by Julian Nagelsmann for €16m at the end of the summer transfer window in 2021.

Sabitzer had a brief loan stint with Manchester United in 2023, helping Erik ten Hag’s side to success in the League Cup and even scoring a brace against Sevilla in the Europa League quarter-finals, though his efforts were in vain as United crashed out of the competition.

Raphaël Guerreiro

Borussia Dortmund (2016-2023)
Bayern Munich (2023-Present)

The latest star that Bayern have plucked from Dortmund, Guerreiro made the switch to Bavarian red in June 2023 as a free agent.

It had come off the back of Guerreiro’s most productive season in a Dortmund shirt as the 30-year-old scored four goals and 12 assists as Terzić’s team came nail-bitingly close to securing the title.

Injuries had hindered the start of his Bayern career but the Portuguese left back has featured prominently under Thomas Tuchel of late, even slotting into a central midfield role.

Ivan Perišić

Borussia Dortmund (2011-2013)
Bayern Munich (2019-2020)

Dortmund was the first big break for Perisic, with the Croatian joining the club from Club Brugge in 2011.

He revelled in a productive debut campaign, helping Dortmund to triumph in the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal before his relationship with Jurgen Klopp soured.

Perisic was subsequently sold to Vfl Wolfsburg, where he would later attract the attention of Inter Milan. He would remain in northern Italy for four years but was deemed surplus to requirements following the appointment of Antonio Conte.

Bayern Munich came calling with a season-long loan deal and it delivered Perisic’s most decorated season to date, with the German giants completing the treble after they defeated PSG in the Champions League final.

Bayern ultimately opted not to sign Perisic on a permanent deal and he returned to Inter, where he would win his first trophy with the Nerrazzuri by lifting the Scudetto.

Emre Can

Bayern Munich (2012-2013)
Borussia Dortmund (2020-Present)

Can’s career began at Bayern Munich, joining the club from the age of 15.

Unfortunately for him, competition in central midfield was immense when he broke through and he was sold to Bayer Leverkusen just two years after making his debut.

Can would enjoy spells with Liverpool and Juventus before returning to Germany in 2020 with Dortmund. Signed on loan with an obligation to buy, BVB purchased the midfielder for €25m and it’s proven to be a sensible piece of business, with Can succeeding Marco Reus as the club’s captain at the start of the 2023/24 season.

Sebastian Rode

Bayern Munich (2014-2016)
Borussia Dortmund (2016-2019)

A key figure in Eintracht Frankfurt’s promotion to the Bundesliga in 2012, Rode had garnered the attention of several big clubs in Europe but, as is to be expected in the German transfer market, it was Bayern Munich that were at the front of the queue.

His first season offered great encouragement but Rode’s career had stalled at the Allianz Arena, with the versatile midfielder playing less than 400 minutes of Bayern’s title defence in 2015/16.

Moving to Dortmund on a free transfer, a club that Rode supported, it was hoped the move would revive his career but he struggled to nail down a starting spot during his time at the Westfalenstadion.

Rode later returned to Frankfurt, where he’s since unearthed his best form.

Niklas Süle

Bayern Munich (2017-2022)
Borussia Dortmund (2022-Present)

A product of Hoffenheim’s academy, Süle moved to Bayern Munich in 2017 as part of a double swoop with midfielder Sebastian Rudy.

The defender clocked up over 170 appearances for Bayern over five seasons, winning every trophy on offer. In 2021/22, he had amassed more minutes than any other Bayern defender and was seemingly an integral feature in Naglesmann’s plans, which is why it came as a surprise when he decided to sign a pre-contract agreement with Dortmund in February 2022.

Süle’s switch was a timely reminder that Dortmund themselves can lure Bayern’s better players, though it’s not quite worked out how the German international may have envisioned; the defender has been the subject of consistent criticism over his form and weight.

Robert Kovač

Bayern Munich (2001-2005)
Borussia Dortmund (2006-2007)

The younger brother of Niko, Kovač was a Berlin-born Croat who began his career with Hertha Zehlerndorf.

Moves to 1. FC Nurnberg and Bayer Leverkusen followed before he joined Bayern Munich upon the expiry of his contract and his stint in Bavaria was a success, winning the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal twice.

He remained with Bayern for four years before Juventus acquired him in 2005 and after helping the Turin giants win promotion back to Serie A, Kovač was back in the Bundesliga, though this time with Dortmund.

Kovač didn’t stay for long though; within a year he was shipped out to Dinamo Zagreb.

Torsten Frings

Borussia Dortmund (2002-2004)
Bayern Munich (2004-2005)

The man famed for his two spells with Werder Bremen, Frings had stints at Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich filled in between.

With a number of Europe’s elite in pursuit, Dortmund were the club that prised Frings away from Bremen prior to the 2002 World Cup.

A severe knee injury hampered his time with Die Borussen but it didn’t stop Bayern from securing his services in the summer of 2004.

Despite completing the domestic double, the central midfielder admitted he was very unhappy during his stint in Bavaria and returned to his beloved Bremen in the following campaign.

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