After seeing both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund blow away Spanish opposition in the first legs of the Champions League semi-finals, we look at the German influence on the Premier League by picking our best five to have played on English shores.

In total there have been just fewer than 40 German players to have played in the Premier League. In no particular order, here are five of the best.

Jens Lehmann

Part of the Arsenal team that went unbeaten for an entire season, Lehmann was a good keeper, but often had momentary lapses of concentration that led to Arsenal conceding silly goals.

Signed from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2003, Lehmann enjoyed five seasons with the north London outfit, which included an FA Cup winners' medal and a Premier League medal. Renown for his absurd relationship with Olivier Kahn and behaviour on the pitch, none more so than an incident with Didier Drogba - one of his funnier moments whilst in goal at Arsenal.

Dietmar Hamann

Dietmar Hamann spent 11 seasons playing for three different Premier League clubs: Newcastle United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

His most successful time came whilst playing for Liverpool, where he won a Champions League, a UEFA Cup, two FA Cups, two League Cups and two UEFA Super Cups. A strong holding midfielder, "Didi" also enjoyed a prosperous career with the German national side, earning 59 caps in the process.

Since retiring, Hamann has tried his hand at a bit of managing; however, he flattered to deceive and eventually quit after 19 games in charge of Stockport County.   

Michael Ballack

Famous for his number 13 shirt, which he wore at every club he played for, Ballack was a commanding midfielder with a rocket of a shot.

After a successful time playing in his home nation, Ballack found his way to Stamford Bridge and Chelsea. Spending four seasons with the Blues, Ballack’s time in England produced three FA Cup winners' medals, a League Cup and a Premier League medal. Unfortunately, though, he has no European accolades after losing two Champions League finals, one with Bayer Leverkusen and the other with Chelsea - and, to make matters worse, he has also lost in a World Cup final and lost in the Euro 2008 final.

Uwe Rosler

Whilst maybe not a conventional choice for most, Rosler was a regular scorer for Manchester City between the years of 1994 and 1998, netting a goal close to every three games.

After originally joining the club on loan, Rosler impressed enough to be given a full-time contract, where in his first full season finished top scorer for his club. He left City when the club were relegated to Division Two. A member of the East Germany team before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Rosler returned to the Premier League with Southampton but was unable to replicate his past form at City. Now coach of Brentford in League One

Jurgen Klinsmann

Only spent two separate seasons in England, but he made such an impact it would be mad not to have included him on this list.

Signed by Tottenham in 1994 and then again on loan in 1997. Already a household name when Spurs signed him, he took to the Premier League like a fish to water, striking up a deadly strike-force with Teddy Sheringham.

Known to all English as a diver, it didn’t take him long to win over the English fans and press. He then moved on to Bayern Munich and Sampdoria before returning to Spurs on loan, saving the club from relegation, where he ended his career.

Now coach of the USA national side, Klinsmann has also been in charge of the German team, and led them to the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup in his home nation. He also had a brief spell at Munich as head-coach.

This list is sure to bring some sort of difference of opinion, with players like Markus Babbel, Christian Ziege, and Thomas Hitzlsperger missing out.

Lewis Hotlby has the ability and time on his side to eventually be included on this list, and perhaps even Lukas Podolski.

Whilst it is easy to talk about the best that have graced these shores, don’t forget there have been some unbelievable flops; most notably Jerome Boateng, who never got much of a chance at City, and Germany B international Sean Dundee, who came to England with huge amounts of promise and never delivered.

 

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Jurgen Klinsmann