The Bundesliga, which literally translates into Federal League, is the highest level of a professional association football league in Germany and therefore lies at the top-end of the German football league system.
Actually it is divided into two separate divisions of 18 teams each that operates on a structure of promotion and relegation. The top-tier is known as the 1.Bundesliga, sometimes referred to as Fußball-Bundesliga or simply as Bundesliga, while the other is called the 2.Bundesliga.
Typically, a season runs from August to May with most of the matches taking place during the weekends. All Bundesliga teams from the two divisions gain direct entry into the DFB-Pokal, the annual cup-competition held by the German Football Association (DFB). Meanwhile, the winners of the 1.Bundesliga automatically qualify for the DFL-Supercup where they will face the reigning DFB-Pokal winners, or if a team has won the double, the runners-up of the 1.Bundesliga in a one-off tie.
1.Bundesliga: A Beginners Betting Guide- Sponsored by Cyber Bet
History of the 1.Bundesliga
Germany first introduced a national championship for football in 1903 and over the course of the next 6 decades underwent quite a few transformations which reflected the turbulent history of the nation in the first half of the 20th century. But throughout this time the competition was played out in knockout format whereby the top teams from the various regional championships would qualify for the finals.
In 1904, the German Football Association was formed to organise and regulate the sport, which was still in its infancy at the time. But the DFB held a very dim view on legalising professionalism of the game up until the early 1930’s, when eventually the formation of a nationwide league of the best football clubs in Germany called the Reichsliga was proposed.
But in 1933, the Nationalist Socialist Party gained power and all talk of professionalism and Reichsliga instantly subsided. Instead it introduced the Gaulingen, which created 16 separate regional leagues around the nation, each covering a section of its various administrative divisions. The chief idea behind it was to tarnish the identity of the old German states and gain better control of the country.
Following the annexation of Austria into the German Reich in 1938, a unified team of the two nations travelled to France for the FIFA World Cup that year. But despite high expectations, the team suffered a humiliating first-round exit that again reignited the discussions for a nationwide league. But such plans had to be put on hold due to- World War II while the Gauligen structure also gradually crumbled during this period.
At the end of the war it was replaced by the Oberligen, which consisted of 5 equivalent regional leagues namely Oberliga Berlin, Oberliga Nord, Oberliga West, Oberliga Süd and Oberliga Südwest. In addition, a separate league also existed in the Soviet-zone of Berlin which later became the DDR-Oberliga. Semi-professionalism was now introduced and players in the top leagues were allowed to receive payments of DM 120, which later improved to DM 400, while further money under the table was not unheard of either.
At the 1954 FIFA World Cup held in Switzerland, West Germany went on to become the surprise champions, leading the team’s coach Sepp Herberger to demand the creation of a unified national league, having already been an advocate for it 20 years ago. But it was his team’s triumph that held it back since those against the formation of the league argued that the current structure was the reason behind its success.
Herberger was supported in his efforts by Hermann Neuberger, a DFB official who later became its chairman and Frank Kremer, the chairman of 1.FC Köln and calls for a national league with a reduced number of teams gained force. Yet notmuch progressed in its formation until the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile after West Germany’s poor performance at the tournament meant that the issue could no longer be pushed aside.
On 28th July 1962, during the annual DFB convention held at the Westfalenhallen in Dortmund under its new president Hermann Gössman, who was elected to the post that very day, announced the creation of a novel nationwide football league. It was to be named the Bundesliga and play would begin starting with 1963/64 season.
The DFB received 46 applications from the five Oberligen to fill the 16 spots that were available in the Bundesliga. Of these, two soon withdrew their application while 15 other clubs were rejected, leaving 29 teams in the mix. The removal of the final 13 teams was bitterly contested with the qualifying system taking into account the league placing across the previous 10 years.
The champions of each Oberliga for the 1962/63 season gained an immediate entry into the Bundesliga while no city was allowed to be represented by more than one club. A 17th team was later added in the form of Borussia Neunkirchen, who not among the two slots for the Southwest region yet had a better qualification record than some of the other sides in the Bundesliga . To keep the numbers even, another spot was added into the league to bring the total to 18 teams and it has stayed at this figure for all except one Bundesliga season.
Teams from the 5 Oberligas that gained qualification into the Bundesliga:
– Oberliga Nord: Hamburger SV, SV Werder Bremen, Eintracht Braunschweig
– Oberliga West: 1.FC Köln, BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, SC Preußen Münster, Meidericher SV
– Oberliga Berlin: Hertha BSC
– Oberliga Süd: 1.FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Karlsruher SC, VfB Stuttgart, TSV 1860 München
– Oberliga Südwest: 1.FC Kaiserlautern, 1.FC Saarbrücken
With the top-tier getting reduced from five leagues to just one, the second-tier of the Oberligas saw a massive influx from teams that did not feature in the Bundesliga. As a result the 2nd Oberligas were restructured into Regionalligas, with new ones cropping up in Berlin and the North where 2nd Oberligas previously did not exist.
Promotion to the Bundesliga was later contested between the various winners and the runners-up from the 2nd Oberligas with two teams advancing to the top division in the end.
In 1974, the 5 Regionalligas were similarly combined to form a 2nd tier of nationwide football league named 2.Bundesliga which initially consisted of two separate divisions for the North and South comprising 20 teams each. In 1981, the DFB decided to reduce the league to just a single division of 20 teams while 22 clubs suffered relegation to the third-tier with no team gaining promotion into 2.Bundesliga that season.
10 years later with the reunification of Germany 1991, two East German clubs namely FC Hansa Rostock and SG Dynamo Dresden received entry into the 1.Bundesliga which expanded the competition to 20 teams for the 1991/92 season with 4 clubs set to be relegated at the end of the campaign thereby reducing the number once again. The number of relegated teams was increased to three during the 92/93 season and it has remained pretty much the same with the relegation playoff as the only new addition in the last 15 years.
1.Bundesliga Competition Format
The national football champion of Germany is decided exclusively by the performance in 1.Bundesliga for that particular season. During the course of each campaign, each team plays against every other club in the division two times, once at its home-venue and once at the opponent’s home-ground with points being awarded for each result.
Initially 2 points were handed for a victory which was improved to 3 points from the 1995/96 season, while both teams shared 1 point each for a draw and a defeat earned 0 points. The team with the most points at the end of a season, which meant 34 matches for an 18-team division, lifted the Bundesliga title. If teams are level on points, tie-breakers are applied in the following order:
– Goal difference for the entire season
– Total goals scored for the entire season
– Head-to-head results (total points)
– Head-to-head goals scored
– Head-to-head away goals scored
– Total away goals scored for the entire season
If two teams are still tied after all of these tie-breakers have been applied, a single match is held at a neutral site to determine the standing, although this fixture has never been necessary in the history of the Bundesliga.
At present, the top-4 teams in the 1.Bundesliga table at the end of a campaign gain entry into the group-phase of the UEFA Champions League for the following season. The team that finishes in 5th place receiving a spot in the group-stage of the UEFA Europa League while the 6th place side enters into the UEFA Europa Conference League. Permutations could allow more 1.Bundesliga teams to participate of European cup tournaments.
Meanwhile, the bottom-2 teams in the table from each campaign are relegated into the 2.Bundesliga for the next season. The vacancies will be filled by the winners and the runners-up of the 2.Bundesliga, with both the teams earning a direct promotion to the top-tier. The team that finishes on 16th position in 1.Bundesliga will then have to contest a two-legged playoff against the team that finished on 3rd spot in 2.Bundesliga with the winner of the contest earning the right to play in the top-tier for the following season.
1.Bundesliga Records & Statistics
Up till now, a total of 56 clubs have competed in the 1.Bundesliga over the course of its nearly 60 year-history with 1.FC Union Berlin becoming the latest addition to list in the 2019/20 season. Of these, only 12 teams have gone on to lift the 1.Bundesliga title and FC Bayern Munchen is the most successful club in Germany. We take a look at the major records and statistics of the 1.Bundesliga.
List of 1.Bundesliga Champions
|1||FC Bayern München||31||10|
|2||BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund||5||8|
|3||Borussia VfL Mönchengladbach||5||2|
|4||SV Werder Bremen||4||7|
|9||TSV 1860 München||1||1|
Top-10 Players with Most 1.Bundesliga Appearances
|1||Charly Kobel||602||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|2||Manfred Kaltz||581||Hamburger SV|
|3||Oliver Kahn||557||Karlsruher SC, FC Bayern München|
|4||Klaus Fitchel||552||FC Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen|
|5||Miroslav Votava||546||BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, SV Werder Bremen|
|6||Klaus Fischer||535||TSV 1860 München, FC Schalke 04, 1.FC Köln, VfL Bochum|
|7||Eike Immel||534||BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart|
|8||Willi Neuberger||520||BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, SV Werder Bremen, Wuppertaler SV, Eintracht Frankfurt|
|9||Michael Lameck||518||VfL Bochum|
|10||Uli Stein||512||DSC Arminia Bielefeld, Hamburger SV, Eintracht Frankfurt|
Top-10 Goal Scorers in 1.Bundesliga
|1||Gerd Müller||365||FC Bayern München|
|2||Robert Lewandowski||312||BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern München|
|3||Klaus Fischer||268||TSV 1860 München, FC Schalke 04, 1.FC Köln, VfL Bochum|
|4||Jupp Heynckes||220||Borussia VfL Mönchengladbach, Hannover SV 1896|
|5||Manfred Burgsmüller||213||Rot-Weiss Essen, BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, 1.FC Nürnberg, SV Werder Bremen|
|6||Claudio Pizzaro||197||SV Werder Bremen, FC Bayern München. 1.FC Köln|
|7||Urf Kirsten||181||Bayer 04 Leverkusen|
|8||Stefan Kuntz||179||VfL Bochum, KFC Uerdingen 05, 1.FC Kaiserslatern, DSC Arminia Bielefeld|
|9||Dieter Müller||177||Offenbacher Kickers, 1.FC Köln, VfB Stuttgart, 1.FC Saarbrücken|
|10||Klaus Allofs||177||TuS Fortuna Düsseldorf, 1.FC Köln, SV Werder Bremen|
Other Interesting Records in 1.Bundesliga
Highest number of seasons in the Bundesliga: 57 (FC Bayern München & SV Werder Bremen)
Lowest number of relegations since the debut in the Bundesliga: 0 (FC Bayern München, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, VfL Wolfsburg, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, FC Augsburg, RB Leipzig, 1.FC Union Berlin)
Highest number of promotions to the Bundesliga: 8 (DSC Arminia Bielefeld)
Highest number of relegations from the Bundesliga: 9 (1.FC Nürnberg)
Highest number of wins: 1,168 (FC Bayern München)
Highest number of wins in a season: 29 (FC Bayern München, 2012/13 & 2013/14)
Highest number of losses: 670 (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Highest number of losses in a season: 28 (SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin, 1965/66)
Highest number of goals scored: 4,232 (FC Bayern München)
Highest number of goals scored in a season: 101 (FC Bayern München, 1971/72)
Lowest number of conceded goals in a season: 17 (FC Bayern München, 2015/16)
Highest number of consecutive titles: 10 (FC Bayern München, 2012/13-2021/22)
Highest number of consecutive wins: 19 (FC Bayern München, 2013/14)
Highest number of consecutive games unbeaten: 53 (FC Bayern München, 2012/13-2013/14)
Highest number of consecutive games unbeaten in a season: 28 (BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund 2011/12 & FC Bayern München, 2013/14)
Highest number of consecutive games losing in a season: 10 (SC Tasmania 1900 Berlin 1965/66, 1.FC Nürnberg 1983/84, DSC Arminia Bielefeld 1999/2000)
Highest number of consecutive games with a clean sheet: 9 (VfB Stuttgart 2002/03-2003/04)
Highest number of consecutive games with a clean sheet in a season: 8 (VfB Stuttgart 2002/03)
Highest number of consecutive games without scoring: 10 (1.FC Köln, 2001/02)
Highest number of appearances as a player: 602 (Charly Körbel)
Highest number of appearances as a coach: 836 (Otto Rehhagel)
Highest number of appearances as a player for one club: 602 (Charly Körbel, Eintracht Frankfurt)
Highest number of appearances as a coach for one club: 493 (Otto Rehhagel, SV Werder Bremen)
Highest number of appearances as a player and coach combined: 1,037 (Otto Rehhagel)
Highest number of appearances for one club as a player and coach combined: 741 (Thomas Schaaf, SV Werder Bremen)
Highest number of appearances for a foreign player: 490 (Claudio Pizzaro)
Youngest age for a player to appear: 16 years and 1 day (Youssoufa Moukoko)
Oldest age for a player to appear: 43 years and 184 days (Klaus Fichtel)
Youngest age for a coach to appear (appointed as head coach): 28 years and 205 days (Julian Nagelsmann)
Oldest age for a coach to appear: 74 years and 184 days (Alfred Schulz)
Youngest age for a coach to win a championship: 34 years and 241 days (Matthias Sammer, BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Oldest age for a coach to win a championship: 73 years and 3 days (Jupp Heynckes, FC Bayern München)
Highest number of championships won overall: 11 (Thomas Müller)
Highest number of championships won as a player: 11 (Thomas Müller)
Highest number of championships won as a foreign player: 10 (David Alaba, Robert Lewandowski)
Highest number of championships won as a coach: 8 (Udo Lattek)
Highest number of championships won as both a player and coach: 8 (Jupp Heynckes)
Highest number of goals scored in a season: 41 (Robert Lewandowski, 2020/21)
Youngest Goal-scorer: 16 years and 28 days (Youssoufa Moukoko, BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Oldest Goal-scorer: 40 years and 227 days (Claudio Pizzaro, 1.FC Köln)
Highest number of clean sheets by a goalkeeper: 214 (Manuel Neuer)
Highest number of clean sheets by a goalkeeper in a season: 21 (Manuel Neuer, 2015/16)
Highest number of conceded goals by a goalkeeper: 829 (Eike Immel)
Highest number of scored own goals: 6 (Manfred Kaltz, Nikolče Noveski)
Highest number of penalties scored: 53 (Manfred Kaltz)
Highest number of goals scored by a goalkeeper: 26 (Hans-Jörg Butt)
Highest average attendance per home game in a season: 81,226 (BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, 2015/16)
All-time highest home attendance: 44,795,770 (BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund)
All-time highest home attendance per game: 48,903 (BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund)
Highest attendance in a season at home: 1,381,700 (BVB 09 Borussia Dortmund, 2015/16)