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Rainer Bonhof: My team of 2012

Published: Thursday 20 December 2012, 8.45CET
A world and European champion with West Germany, Rainer Bonhof has real belief in the current generation of German talent, as he reveals in his Team of 2012 selection.
Rainer Bonhof: My team of 2012
Rainer Bonhof is now vice-president of his old club Mönchengladbach ©AFP
 
Published: Thursday 20 December 2012, 8.45CET

Rainer Bonhof: My team of 2012

A world and European champion with West Germany, Rainer Bonhof has real belief in the current generation of German talent, as he reveals in his Team of 2012 selection.

No fewer than six German or German-based players make it into Rainer Bonhof's Team of 2012, though the 53-times former international picks the man who broke his old West Germany team-mate Gerd Müller's European record of 85 goals in a calendar year, set in 1972.

A tremendous midfielder in his day, the 60-year-old Bonhof remains in football as vice-president of UEFA Europa League contenders VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, with whom he won four Bundesliga titles and the 1974/75 UEFA Cup as a player. A 1972 UEFA European Championship and 1974 FIFA World Cup winner with West Germany, he later lifted the 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup with Valencia CF, and proceeded to make use of his experience as assistant coach of Germany and boss of the German and Scottish Under-21 sides.

View Bonhof's choices below and submit your own selection before 12.00CET on Friday 4 January.

Vote for your Team of the Year 2012

Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München)
One of the best goalkeepers in the world: Manuel has long been a consistent performer and has great footballing qualities too.

Defender: Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München)
He's been a super player for years now on the left and right sides of defence. Philipp has attacking qualities as well as strong defensive skills.

Defender: Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)
An important figure for Dortmund and definitely one of the best central defenders in the Bundesliga. He has also impressed in the UEFA Champions League this year.

Defender: Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona)
A very good centre-back whose class speaks for itself. He is so strong in the challenge and dominant in the air. He is also heavily involved in attack.

Defender: Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC)
He has been a really good performer on the left side of defence and always shows that instinct to press forward.

Midfielder: Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF)
A technically gifted player who pulls the strings in midfield. He brings his team-mates into the game well but is also good at creating his own opportunities.

Midfielder: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
Marco has developed even further at Dortmund and I'm pleased for him. He's already scored so many important goals for them and has proven himself for the national team too.

Midfielder: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
An outstanding footballer who is very skilful. He is incredibly valuable for both Barcelona and Spain.

Striker: Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund)
That young man knows where the goal is. He's good in the air and shields the ball expertly.

Striker: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
A genius on the pitch. He effortlessly broke Gerd Müller's record for goals in a single calendar year, scoring many brilliant goals in the process.

Striker: Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid)
In the last few years he has proven his ability as a striker. He did it at FC Porto and since summer 2011 he's been doing it at Atlético, where he recently hit five goals in a game. That's not something any player can do.

Rainer Bonhof was speaking to Klaus Klump.

Last updated: 20/12/12 8.44CET

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