Bundesliga Team of the SeasonBayern Munich narrowly lifted the league title, but faced stiff competition from Borussia Dortmund and their brilliant performances. RB Leipzig's defensive displays in 2018-19 also mean they are well represented in Goal's Bundesliga Team of the Season, but who made our final XI?
Peter Gulacsi | RB LeipzigBoasting the meanest defence in the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig secured a Champions League place for next season by comfortably finishing in third. Hungarian goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi was key to their strong showing in 2018-19, conceding less than a goal a game in the league as well as leading the way in clean sheets. The 29 year old kept 16 clean sheets in 34 games, just under 50 per cent for the season.
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Joshua Kimmich | Bayern MunichThe only thing that was inconsistent about Joshua Kimmich in 2018-19 was the right-back's facial hair. As always, the Germany international was as reliable as ever for Bayern Munich, so the only topic of conversation that was any different this season was how the cherubic-faced defender looked week to week. Whether wearing a mustache or not, Kimmich was one of Bayern's key performers, leading all defenders in assists for the season.
Willi Orban | RB LeipzigRB Leipzig captain Willi Orban's performances at club level finally earned him international recognition, with Hungary convincing the centre-back to switch allegiance from Germany. Germany's loss is definitely Hungary's gain as he has already scored for his new nation. He netted four times in the Bundesliga this season, but was even more impressive at the back, where he kept more clean sheets than any other centre-back despite playing 10 games less than many of his competitors. Orban also ranked in the top five of all positions for headed clearances and was ever-present in the Leipzig lineup for the last four months of the season, aside from a yellow card suspension.
Manuel Akanji | Borussia DortmundSwiss defender Manuel Akanji missed the first five Bundesliga games of the second-half of the season, when Borussia Dortmund faltered in the title race and allowed their lead over Bayern Munich to slip. That dip in form was more than just coincidental, as Akanji had been a rock at the back for Dortmund in the first-half of the campaign. Such is Lucien Favre's trust in his 23 year old defender, he handed Akanji the captain's armband for some games late in the season.
Marcel Halstenberg | RB LeipzigAfter missing the first few games of the season recovering from injury, Marcel Halstenberg returned to the RB Leipzig starting XI in September to face Stuttgart and helped his side keep a clean sheet. He has been in the lineup for all 15 of their Bundesliga clean sheets in 2018-19, but has also been a force going forward for the Red Bulls. The 27 year old left back has six assists this season, as well as three goals in the league. He has also been excellent in the cup, scoring once and assisting two more goals en route to the DFB-Pokal final.
Kai Havertz | Bayer LeverkusenThe list of the top five goalscorers in the Bundesliga this season is made up of strikers from the Champions League and Europa League challengers, except for one name - Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz. The teenage sensation has been the biggest success story in Germany in 2018-19, scoring 17 times in the league for Leverkusen and earning his first call up by Germany head coach Joachim Low. Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz has also increased Havertz's responsibility over the course of the season and now has the 19 year old taking the team's penalty kicks.
Axel Witsel | Borussia DortmundThere were many doubts over new Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel when the club signed him from China last summer. The €20 million (£18m/$23m) arrival had never played in one of Europe's top five leagues, but he quickly silenced any critics with goals on both his cup and league debuts for Dortmund. The Belgium international helped make Lucien Favre's team tick in 2018-19, finishing with the highest passing percentage out of just six players across the league who attempted more than 2,000 passes (93 per cent completion rate).
- Dean Mouhtaropoulos
Marco Reus | Borussia DortmundFor the first time in three years, Marco Reus managed to avoid major injury and play more than 20 Bundesliga games in a season. As a result, he finished with his second-highest goalscoring return ever (only his final year at Borussia Monchengladbach where he scored 18 times in 32 games was better). With 17 goals and eight assists in 27 games, Reus was involved in the third-most goals of any player in the Bundesliga behind Robert Lewandowski and Jadon Sancho. The Dortmund captain was arguably the best player in the Bundesliga this season and his absence was strongly felt in February as they drew two of the three games he missed through injury.
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Jadon Sancho | Borussia DortmundOnly one player completed more than 70 dribbles in the Bundesliga in 2018-19. Jadon Sancho not only reached that tally, he also ended the season with more than 100 dribbles completed. The England international caused headaches for full-backs all season and was also a nightmare for centre-backs with his crossing ability. Sancho finished with more assists (14) than any other player in the German top flight and was named the winner of Goal's NxGn, which ranks the 50 best teenagers in the world.
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Robert Lewandowski | Bayern MunichFor the fourth time in the past six seasons, Robert Lewandowski has lifted the Torjagerkanone trophy as the Bundesliga's top scorer. The Bayern Munich striker's goalscoring return of 22 is down from last season's 29, but he still finished comfortably at the top of the pile ahead of Borussia Dortmund’s Paco Alcacer and Eintracht Frankfurt's in-demand Luka Jovic. Lewandowski's all-round game was better under Niko Kovac, providing seven assists in 2018-19, more than he had in the past two seasons combined.
Thorgan Hazard | Borussia MonchengladbachThorgan Hazard was involved in more than a third of Borussia Monchengladbach's goals in 2018-19 as they secured a return to Europe. The Belgian winger scored 10 goals and assisted 10 more for Gladbach as his dribbling skills caused a nuisance in Germany in the same way older brother Eden did in England with Chelsea. He finished runner-up to Jadon Sancho in dribbles completed and could be a team-mate of the Englishman next season having agreed personal terms with Borussia Dortmund.
Bundesliga Team of the SeasonPeter Gulacsi; Joshua Kimmich, Willi Orban, Manuel Akanji, Marcel Halstenberg; Kai Havertz, Axel Witsel, Marco Reus; Jadon Sancho, Robert Lewandowski, Thorgan Hazard.