Kicking off in 1963, the Bundesliga is the elite football competition in Germany. It is the best-attended football league in the world and is currently ranked the fourth strongest in Europe. Matches are played at a fast pace with plenty of honest endeavour and sportsmanship and refreshingly little playacting and gamesmanship. The Bundesliga also tends to boast the highest goals per game ratio of the main European leagues. As the teams only have to play 34 league matches and participate in one domestic knock-out cup, the DFB Pokal, players are able to remain fresh all the way to the end of the season.
Format-wise, 18 teams take part in the competition each year with the top three entering the Champions League directly; the fourth placed side enters preliminary qualifying. At the other end of the table, the bottom two teams are automatically relegated, whilst the team in 16th place plays a two-legged relegation playoff with the team finishing third in the 2. Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich are the most successful team in the history of the competition with 27 titles to their name. They are also the current holders of the Meisterschale, although they were defeated 3-1 in the final of last year’s cup by Eintracht Frankfurt. In a strange twist of fate, the victorious Frankfurt manager and ex-Bayern player, Niko Kovac, had already signed up with Bayern for the 2018/2019 season prior to the final. The Bundesliga all-time top scorer is Gerd Muller, with 365 goals.
27 Bayern Munich 5 Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach 4 Werder Bremen 3 Hamburg, Stuttgart 2 Koln, Kaiserslautern 1 1860 Munich, Braunschweig, Nurnberg, Wolfsburg.
DFB Pokal Winners
18 Bayern Munich 6 Werder Bremen 5 Eintracht Frankfurt 4 Borussia Dortmund, Koln, Schalke 3 Stuttgart, Borussia Monchengladbach, Hamburg 2 Karlsruhe, Nurnberg, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Kaiserslautern 1 Rot-Weiss Essen, Schwarz-Weiss Essen, 1860 Munich, Kickers Offenbach, Bayer Urdingen, Hannover, Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg