With the league calendar in Germany now complete, Goal.com presents the best Bundesliga XI of the campaignThe 2010-11 Bundesliga season was one of breakthroughs, both for certain teams and also individually. The story of the campaign was Dortmund's fantastic run, and the simultaneous coming-of-age of many of their stars. For their efforts, six players from the champions are honoured in our team of the year.
Dortmund were not the only surprise package: Bayer Leverkusen followed up last year's successful run and this time carried their form to a second-placed finish, and will join BVB in making their long-awaited return to the Champions League. Leverkusen are represented in the XI, as are third-place finishers Bayern, Europa League qualifiers Mainz, and DFB Pokal finalists Schalke.
|Goalkeeper – Manuel Neuer (Schalke)
Clean Sheets: 11
The Germany No. 1 carried his momentum from the previous season and the World Cup into 2010-11, and fully established himself as an elite goalkeeper. The 25-year-old had an outstanding campaign overall, but his heroic performances against Dortmund and Bayern stick out as examples of his unparalleled talent.
|Right back – Lukasz Piszczek (Dortmund)
Signed as a back-up to Patrick Owomoyela last summer, the Polish defender has exceeded expectations and kept his starting role for much of the season. Piszcek was solid at the back, but brilliant going forward as he provided service for the attacking players.
|Centre-back – Neven Subotic (Dortmund)
The 22-year-old forged a rock-solid partnership with Mats Hummels as Dortmund made a serious bid for the best defensive record in Bundesliga history. BVB missed the superlative accolade by a single goal, but Subotic deserves top honours for his efforts.
|Centre-back – Mats Hummels (Dortmund)
The best player in the Bundesliga this year. Hummels consistently played with all the hallmarks of a world class defender: strong on the ground and in the air, and rarely had to make challenges due to his fine tracking. All this, and he was an integral part of BVB’s attack as he often performed precise 30-yard passes.
|Left back – Marcel Schmelzer (Dortmund)
The more classic, defensive full-back in Dortmund’s arsenal. Schmelzer played every minute of every game, and never for a moment looked tired. The 23-year-old's energetic runs allowed him to effectively play two positions at once, and he did exceptionally well in both offensive and defensive roles.
|Centre midfield – Arturo Vidal (Leverkusen)
An irreplaceable part of Leverkusen’s squad. Vidal made a huge step this year, and personally took responsibility for the success of his team. Always at the centre of the action, he had more touches of the ball and engaged in more challenges than any player in Germany.
|Centre midfield – Nuri Sahin (Dortmund)
The best player in the Bundesliga during the first round, and perhaps the second only to Hummels overall. Sahin’s leadership and world class technique brought Dortmund to the next level; BVB just looked much more dangerous when he played. The Real Madrid-bound midfielder will be sorely missed next year.
|Centre attacking midfield – Mario Gotze (Dortmund)
The 18-year-old began 2010-11 as a substitute, but grew in confidence, skill, and stature over the course of the year. A player of tremendous skill and intuition, he slotted in perfectly for injured playmaker Shinji Kagawa in the second half of the season, and even proved his worth as a replacement for Nuri Sahin in the final rounds.
|Centre forward – Mario Gomez (Bayern)
After struggling in his first season at Bayern, Gomez overcame his demons and had the best year of his career. Having found the back of the net 28 times, the 25-year-old won his first Bundesliga scoring crown. Without his goals, the Bavarians may have finished in mid-table.
There you have it. Disagree with our selection? Let us know who you would have included in your esteemed line-up. As ever, we’re open to your suggestions and musings.