Bild rank current Bayern XI as better than Arsenal's Invincibles

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Gunners fans will most likely not be impressed to see the likes of Jerome Boateng come out on top against Kolo Toure and David Alaba level with Ashley Cole.

Arsenal's Invincibles side of the 2003/2004 campaign will go down in Premier League folklore as one of, if not the, best XI the country has seen in the modern era.

The free-flowing football which accompanied an unbeaten season - the only other team to achieve the feat were Preston North End in the inaugural English football season way back in 1888/1889 - stood them out as one of the greatest club sides of all time as they matched brain with brawn to win the division at a canter ahead of traditional rivals Manchester United, Chelsea and the rest.

They were much-revered because of the style that manager Arsene Wenger managed to implement, with the likes of Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry all combining to form a tormenting front foursome, who scored a wide variety of goals for fun all season long.

Equally, the backline remained water-tight, thanks in part due to the midfield contributions of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva, but also as a result of a settled back four which featured two England regulars in Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole.

Jens Lehmann, initially regarded as something of a scapegoat having transferred from Borussia Dortmund, stepped out from within David Seaman's shadow to give Arsenal a rare safe pair of gloves between the posts.

Their stock has always remained sky-high for their remarkable achievement, secured through a swashbuckling brand of football few since have been able to replicate, let alone emulate.

It will be to the distaste of Arsenal fans, then, that German publication Bild have released an online article which suggests the current Bayern Munich XI, one held in similarly high esteem following their treble-winning season last year and runaway lead in the Bundesliga this time around, is marginally better than that of Wenger's magicians of yesteryear.

Controversial choices include the decision to have Jerome Boateng over Kolo Toure and a refusal to choose between David Alaba and Ashley Cole in the left-back berth.

Here's what Bild had to say about each player for both sides and, importantly, who came out on top in each encounter.

Manuel Neuer v Jens Lehmann - The two German goalkeepers could, unsurprisingly, not be split by Bild, who opted to award a point each.

Neuer kept out compatriot Mesut Özil's penalty during Bayern's recent 2-0 win at the Emirates Stadium in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie and has been praised by the club's sporting director Matthias Sammer as being " probably the best goalkeeper ever".

Lehmann was an integral part of Arsenal's Invincibles Campaign, keeping an impressive 15 clean sheets and conceding just 26 goals.

Bayern Munich 1-1 Arsenal

Philipp Lahm v Lauren - Bild seem to think this is something of a mis-match, but that would be doing a grave injustice to the Arsenal legend's worth at right-back.

Lahm has developed a reputation for being one of the best modern-day full-backs due to his incessant forward forays but is also defensively sound with Pep Guardiola seeing enough in both areas of his game to convert him into a defensive midfielder in his 4-1-4-1 setup. According to the comparison, he has a 'minimum error rate' too.

Lauren left less of an impression on them but, despite his cult hero status, even the most ardent of Arsenal fans may be tempted to give Bayern this one.

Bayern Munich 2-1 Arsenal

Jerome Boateng v Kolo Toure - This decision will have Gunners' fans up in arms, with the German international preferred to the man largely seen as one of Wenger's best polished rough diamonds.

Toure was plucked from African obscurity at ASEC Mimosas and was initially fielded as a left winger by the Frenchman, before being converted into a full-back and, finally, a central defender where he enjoyed the majority of his success in an Arsenal shirt.

If there is one weakness in this juggernaut of a Bayern Munich outfit, it appears to be at centre half, where Boateng, Dante and Javi Martinez have all endured their respective struggles on occasions. Nonetheless, his performances have been enough to convince the Germans of his worth in the XI.

Bayern Munich 3-1 Arsenal

Dante v Sol Campbell - To put this simply, the Brazilian still has his critics, Sol Campbell didn't have any, certainly not in an Arsenal shirt.

Dante's worth at the other end is noted, having scored twice and provided three assists but his cumbersome style is also acknowledged, most evident when he felled Marco Reus in last year's Champions League final against Borussia Dortmund.

Campbell is described as a 'rock', 'built like a tree' and 'absolutely uncompromising in the tackle'. The Arsenal stopper wins by a landslide.

Bayern Munich 3-2 Arsenal

David Alaba v Ashley Cole

Another which may raise eyebrows around the North London club's fanbase with Bild again failing to pick a winner between the two.

Alaba's stock is rising all the time and, with Cole's on the wane, it may have played a part in their thinking but the former Arsenal man at his pomp was the best left-back in the world and his decline has been a rapid one rather than a gradual fall from grace.

There is no debate to be had at present about who comes out on top but Cole was a key component in a brilliant side, Alaba has not quite scaled those heights as yet.

Bayern Munich 4-3 Arsenal

Bastian Schweinsteiger v Patrick Vieira - A difficult one to call in some respects, given that they are different players, but Vieira's dominance of numerous midfield opponents in the Premier League stands him out from the crowd.

Schweinsteiger showed his ability to break from midfield in the grand manner by slamming home the opener in the return leg between the two sides recently in a 1-1 draw but his brilliance is not quite as consistent, nor crucial as Vieira's.

Described as the 'organiser' of Arsenal's midfield by Bild, Vieira captained the Gunners to the Premier League title and FA Cup-winning sides in the years before and after.

Bayern Munich 4-4 Arsenal

Toni Kroos v Gilberto Silva - Another which Arsenal fans will contest, but the chastening home defeat to Bayern, in which Kroos starred, was evidence of the Germans' undisputed talent.

Again, it is difficult to compare the two given the entirely contrasting roles they played in their side's makeup but Kroos' match-winning ability sees him edge it.

Pep Guardiola still sees improvement in Kroos though, hence why he has been unable to maintain a sustained role in the side and Arsenal supporters will suggest Gilberto's ever-presence in the first team from his 2002 arrival until his departure six years later ranks him above the likes of Kroos.

Bayern Munich 5-4 Arsenal

Franck Ribery v Robert Pires - Another one Arsenal fans are likely to strongly contest given Pires' excellent form over a sustained period, which yielded a plethora of trophies.

Ribery came third in the recent Ballon d'Or voting, however, for the world's best player and, given that he finished only below Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in that particular race, he is held in illustrious company at present.

The Frenchman is widely regarded as the star attraction in this Bayern side but Pires' quality should not be overlooked given his goalscoring exploits and silky style on the left wing.

Bayern Munich 6-4 Arsenal

Mario Götze v Dennis Bergkamp - Possibly the biggest non-contest of the lot. Bergkamp was an utter footballing genius, Götze is still feeling his way.

The German has plundered six goals in 19 league games this term but does not dictate the tempo of a match in the manner Bergkamp did, and with minimal effort to match.

Described as 'technically a genius' and the fact Götze has yet to 'imitate' his achievements epitomise the point still further.

Bayern Munich 6-5 Arsenal

Arjen Robben v Freddie Ljungberg - Arsenal fans, if not frustrated at this point, will frown upon the inclusion of a man who Wenger claimed dived to win penalties against the Gunners in the European tie.

The Dutchman's form has been impressive this year with 13 goals and 11 assists from 26 games and he notched the winner in last season's Champions League final, but suspicions remain mainly due to his histrionics.

Ljungberg's finest form in a Gunners shirt came in the 2001/2002 season but he still played a key role in the Invincibles campaign, scoring 10 goals in a campaign in which only Pires and Thierry Henry managed more.

Bayern Munich 7-5 Arsenal

Mario Mandzukic v Thierry Henry - Again, this is an absolute non-starter in terms of a debate.

Henry is the best Arsenal player have ever possessed, as a vote by the club's supporters will reinforce, while Mandzukic is still not a hit with Guardiola despite scoring 17 goals in as many appearances this season.

Still, when considering Henry is the club's all-time record goalscorer with 228 in 337 games for the Gunners, Mandzukic has some way to go to match the records set by one of the greatest goalscorers seen in the Premier League.

Bayern Munich 7-6 Arsenal

What do you think of the German paper's selections?

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