Nice, France. 11th Aug, 2023. Dante Costa Santos of OGC Nice reacts during the Ligue 1 match at Allianz Riviera Stadium, Nice.

6 former Bayern Munich players we can’t believe are still playing in 2023

Bayern Munich’s status as the Bundesliga’s most successful club has attracted players from far and wide to play in the Bavarian capital, with some of them continuing their careers long after leaving Bayern.

While everybody knows the likes of Toni Kroos, David Alaba and Xherdan Shaqiri are still kicking a ball around, there are other oft-forgotten names still playing deep into the autumn of their careers.

We’ve done some digging to find six former Bayern players from over the years you might not have known are still plying their trade in 2023.


With Dante at the heart of their defence, Bayern broke records for fewest goals conceded and most clean sheets in a Bundesliga season during their treble-winning campaign of 2012-13.

The Brazilian started the Champions League final victory over Borussia Dortmund and stayed at the club for a further two years before joining Wolfsburg.

Now 39, the centre-back is captain of Ligue 1 side Nice and has made 248 appearances for them since signing in 2016. Not bad.

Javi Martinez

Martinez was so good that he regularly played in Spain’s midfield during their run of success between 2008 and 2012, failing to look out of place alongside Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.

After joining from Athletic Bilbao for €40 million in 2012, Martinez won nine straight Bundesliga titles with Bayern and also lifted the Champions League trophy in 2013 and 2020.

The midfielder has been playing for Qatar SC since 2021 and, at 35, should have a good few years left before retirement.

Jose Sosa

Having played for Bayern under Ottmar Hitzfeld and Jurgen Klinsmann 15 years ago, we’d have expected Sosa to be resting with his feet up rather than kicking a ball around in anger.

But the 38-year-old midfielder is made of sterner stuff than most, turning out for Estudiantes de La Plata in the Argentinian Premier Division.

Lukas Podolski

Despite his immense success with the German national team, Podolski never quite caught fire in the manner many expected after joining Bayern in 2006.

The forward scored 26 goals in 106 appearances across three seasons, but struggled to dislodge the likes of Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose from the starting line-up and rejoined FC Koln.

Today, after a spell at Arsenal, the proud kebab shop owner is terrorizing defenders in the Polish Ekstraklasa with Puskas-worthy sh*tpingers like this one.

Lukas Podolski celebrates scoring from the halfway line during the Polish League match between Gornik Zabrze and Pogon Sczczecin, November 2022.

READ: Look Arsenal fans, Lukas Podolski has won the 2023 Puskas Award already


After success with Schalke and Genoa, Rafinha joined Bayern in the summer of 2011 and went on to make 266 appearances for the Bundesliga giants.

Since leaving in 2019, the right-back has largely played for Brazilian sides but also had a brief spell at Olympiacos.

Now aged 38, Rafinha currently plays for Sao Paulo in his home country’s top tier.

Pepe Reina

Most famous for his time at Liverpool, Reina made three appearances for Bayern in 2014-15 and few would’ve predicted that he’d still be playing in 2023.

But the former Spain international is still turning out for Villarreal and made 32 appearances for the La Liga side last season.

The 41-year-old is still going, but his courting of far-right political parties and appearance as a giant penguin on the Spanish version of The Masked Singer are the signs of somebody with an eye on their post-playing career.

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