Bundesliga (football)

From Academic Kids

This article describes the men's leagues. See also: Women's Bundesliga. The text below was translated from the German version; it has been cleaned up a little, but still needs significant work. However, there is a wealth of information not contained in the English version...

In football (soccer), Bundesliga refers to the highest national league club competitions in German and Austrian football, where the German football champions and the Austrian football champions, respectively, are determined.



Missing image
The official Bundesliga logo.


In Germany the Bundesliga is the national league, comprised of two divisions, the First Bundesliga, and below that the Second Bundesliga. The First Bundesliga is usually called just "Bundesliga" or "The Bundesliga", but the Second Bundesliga is always qualified. Until 2001, the Bundesliga was directly under the control of the German soccer governing body Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB). This changed with the formation of the Deutsche Fußball-Liga (German Football League). The Bundesliga is now in the responsibility of the German Football League. The Second Bundesliga has been the division below the First Bundesliga since 1974. Until 1981 (and again during the 1991/92 season to cope with the East German first league teams after the German Reunification), the Second Bundesliga was separated into two divisions - North and South. Like other national leagues, there are significant financial benefits to being in the top division:

  • The teams in the first league get a higher amount of the TV license income.

Every team in the Bundesliga must have a license to play in the league, or else they get relegated into the minor leagues. Only financially healthy teams can get the license.

Internationally the most well known German Bundesliga clubs are probably Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, FC Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen, all in the First Bundesliga.

Presently, at the end of every season, the bottom 3 teams of the First Bundesliga are relegated to the Second Bundesliga, and the top 3 finishers of the Second Bundesliga move into the First; for the next season.

The season starts in early August and lasts until late May, with a mid-season pause of 6 weeks (second half of December through the end of January). The games are played on Saturdays and Sundays -- 7 games on Saturdays and 2 games on Sundays.

First Bundesliga


Early History

By 1932, the DFB president at the time, Felix Linnemann, demanded the introduction of a "Reichsliga", a professional league, in which the best associations should play for the German football championship. The project was rejected however by the regional federations. Until the sixties the highest leagues in Germany were the regional Upper Leagues (Oberligen). The German champion was chosen among the champions of the Upper leagues in group plays and a final match.

In 1962 a few weeks, after the German national team had lost the quarter final of the 1962 World Cup in Chile, the DFB president Hermann Neuberger suggested the creation of a uniform national league again. On July 28, 1962 in Dortmund, the DFB national assembly finally decided to introduce a federal league starting with the 1963/64 season.

Originally 16 teams played in the league, whereby five came each from the upper league south and the upper league west, three from the upper league north, two from the upper league southwest, and one team came from the upper league Berlin. Success on the field and economic criteria were to determine which teams would be selected to the league. Altogether, 46 clubs applied for the admission to the federal league.

The original clubs in the Bundesliga

From the upper league north
From the upper league west
From upper league southwest
From the upper league south
From the upper league Berlin

The 60s

In the 1964/65 season, the license of Hertha BSC Berlin was revoked because of too high player payments, and the club was relegated to the regional league (Regionalliga) (at that time the league below the Bundesliga). Originally also the Karlsruher SC and the FC Schalke 04 were to be relegated because they finished last in the league, both clubs raised objection, however. Thereupon it was decided to increase the number of clubs on 18 and to suspend relegation for one season. Since it was decided that there should be a first league football team in the former capital Berlin, Tasmania 1900 Berlin was promoted to the first league; only to become the worst team in Bundesliga history and be relegated after one season.

The 70s

At the beginning of the 70s the federal league lost a lot of reputation due to the so called Bundesliga Scandals. But this soon was to be remedied after the German win at the 1974 World Cup, which was held in West Germany.

The 80s

In the 80s there was a general decline in attendances in the federal league. This was, among other things, because of the fact that several Germans stars were transferred to foreign leagues and, in addition, the increasing problem of hooliganism.

The 90s

In 1991, a year after German reunification, the German Football Federation of the GDR, the association of East Germany merged into the DFB, the association of West Germany. With the adjustment of the East German league system to the West German league system, two teams from the East German first league (DDR-Oberliga) were incorporated into the Bundesliga. The league therefore temporarily consisted of 20 clubs for the 1991/92 season.

Since the beginning of the 90s, the Bundesliga again enjoyed increasing popularity in Germany. This was on one hand due to sporting success of the German national football team (third World Cup title in 1990 and third European Championships title in 1996). On the other hand the federal league was purposefully marketed in the media in recent years, which entailed partly a certain star cult of the players.

40th Anniversary

The first game of the newly formed Bundesliga was played on August 24, 1963; since that time, 48 clubs have played in the Bundesliga. It is probably no coincidence that on the 40th anniversary of the launch of the current Bundesliga, two clubs with a very special meaning for the league met in a game: Hamburger SV, the "dinosaur"—i.e. the only club which has played in the first league in every season of its existence, and "German record champion" Bayern Munich, which had just won their 17th premiership title (the first title of 1932 not taken into consideration).

League Rules

The German football champion is decided strictly by play in the Bundesliga. Each club plays every other club once at home and once away. Originally, a victory was worth 2 points, with a draw worth 1 point and a loss no points. Since the 1995/96 season, a victory has been worth 3 points, with no change in the value of a draw or loss. The club with the most points at the end of the season becomes the German champion. Currently, the top two clubs in the table qualify automatically for the group phase of the Champions League, while the third-place team enters the Champions League at the third qualifying round (see overview). The three teams at the bottom of the table are relegated into the 2nd Bundesliga, while the top three teams in the 2nd Bundesliga are promoted (see overview).

If teams are level on points, tiebreakers are applied in the following order:

  1. Goal difference for the entire season.
  2. Head-to-head results (total points).
  3. Head-to-head goal difference.
  4. Total goals scored for the entire season.

If two clubs are still tied after all of these tiebreakers have been applied, a single match is held at a neutral site to determine the placement. However, this has never been necessary in the history of the Bundesliga.

Changes In League Structure

  • Number of teams:
  • Number of teams relegated (automatic relegation except as noted):
    • 1963-1974: 2, determined by a relegation round
    • 1981-1991: 2 automatic; the 16th-place team in the First Bundesliga played a test match against the third-place team of the Second Bundesliga for the final spot in the First Bundesliga
    • 1991/92: 4
    • Since 1992: 3

Overview: European Qualification (as of 2005/06)

  • 1st place: German football champion
  • 1st and 2nd place: Group phase of UEFA Champions League
  • 3rd place: Third qualifying round of Champions League. Winners at this stage enter the group phase; losers enter the UEFA Cup.
  • DFB-Pokal (German Cup) winner: Qualifies for UEFA Cup, regardless of league position.
    • If the Cup winner has qualified for the Champions League, the losing finalist will enter the UEFA Cup. For example, although the Second Bundesliga side Alemannia Aachen lost to Werder Bremen in the 2004 DFB-Pokal final, Alemannia secured an entry in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup, because Werder qualified for the Champions League as First Bundesliga champions.
  • 4th - 5th place: Qualify for UEFA Cup
    • If both Cup finalists have qualified for the Champions League, an extra UEFA Cup place is granted on the basis of First Bundesliga position. Since the 2005 DFB-Pokal final pitted champions Bayern München against runners-up Schalke 04 (with Bayern winning), sixth-place Bayer Leverkusen will receive a berth in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup.
  • 16th - 18th place: Relegated to 2nd Bundesliga.

Up to three other First Bundesliga clubs can participate in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, with priority for entry dependent on league position. The number of German clubs which may participate in UEFA competitions is determined by a formula that takes into account the results of a particular nation's clubs in UEFA competitions over the preceding five years (known as the UEFA coefficients ranking list).

European qualification: History

  • European Cup/Champions League:
    • Up to and including 1996/97: German champion only
    • 1997-99: Top two teams
    • 1999-present: Top two teams automatically into first group phase (only one group phase starting in 2003/04). Depending on the DFB's standing in the UEFA coefficients ranking list, either one or two other clubs enter at the third qualifying round; winners at this level enter the group phase.
  • UEFA Cup:
    • Starting with the 1999/2000 season, the DFB-Pokal winner automatically qualifies. Depending on the DFB's standing in the UEFA coefficients ranking list, anywhere from 0 to 3 extra participants can enter. Since the Cup Winners' Cup was folded into the UEFA Cup after 1999, the DFB has always been entitled to enter a minimum of three clubs in the UEFA Cup, and has been able to enter as many as four (the maximum for any European federation). Teams that enter via the Intertoto Cup or UEFA's Fair Play mechanism do not count against the national quota. The DFB's current UEFA coefficients ranking allows as many as three First Bundesliga sides to enter the Intertoto Cup, with as many as three UEFA Cup berths available. For the 2005/06 season, the DFB earned an extra UEFA Cup place via the Fair Play draw; this place went to Mainz 05 as the highest-ranked club in the Fair Play table of the First Bundesliga not already qualified for Europe.
  • Cup Winners' Cup (abolished after 1999):
    • DFB-Pokal winner entered the Cup Winners' Cup. Today, that club will enter the UEFA Cup.

Final Tables

1963/64 | 1964/65 | 1965/66 | 1966/67 | 1967/68 | 1968/69 | 1969/70 | 1970/71 | 1971/72 | 1972/73 | 1973/74 | 1974/75 | 1975/76 | 1976/77 | 1977/78 | 1978/79 | 1979/80 | 1980/81 | 1981/82 | 1982/83 | 1983/84 | 1984/85 | 1985/86 | 1986/87 | 1987/88 | 1988/89 | 1989/90 | 1990/91 | 1991/92 | 1992/93 | 1993/94 | 1994/95 | 1995/96 | 1996/97 | 1997/98 | 1998/99 | 1999/2000 | 2000/01 | 2001/02 | 2002/03 | 2003/04 | 2004/05

German Champions (1903-2005)

1. FC Bayern München 19
2. BFC Dynamo 10
3. 1. FC Nürnberg 9
4. Dynamo Dresden 7
4. Hamburger SV 7
4. Schalke 04 7
7. Borussia Dortmund 6
8. Wismut Karl-Marx-Stadt 5
8. Borussia Mönchengladbach 5
10. Vorwärts Berlin 4
10. Werder Bremen 4
10. 1. FC Kaiserslautern 4
10. VfB Stuttgart 4
14. VfB Leipzig 3
14. SpVgg Fürth 3
14. 1.FC Köln 3
17. Viktoria Berlin 2
17. Chemie Leipzig 2
17. Turbine Erfurt 2
17. Carl Zeiss Jena 2
17. Magdeburg 2
17. Dresdener SC 2
17. Hannover 96 2
17. Hertha BSC Berlin 2

One German championship:

  • Union Berlin
  • Freiburger FC
  • Planitz
  • Union Halle
  • Horch Zwickau
  • T. Halle
  • Motor Jena
  • 1. FC Dynamo Dresden
  • Hansa Rostock
  • Phoenix Karlsruhe
  • Karlsruher FV
  • Holstein Kiel
  • Fortuna Düsseldorf
  • Rapid Wien
  • VfR Mannheim
  • E. Frankfurt
  • Rot-Weiss Essen
  • 1860 München
  • Eintracht Braunschweig


Top Ten Highest Goalscorers

  1. Gerd Müller (1965 - 1979) 365 Goals
  2. Klaus Fischer (1968 - 1988) 268 Goals
  3. Jupp Heynckes (1965 - 1978) 220 Goals
  4. Manfred Burgsmüller (1969 - 1990) 213 Goals
  5. Ulf Kirsten (1990 - 2003) 182 Goals
  6. Stefan Kuntz (1983 - 1999) 179 Goals
  7. Klaus Allofs (1975 - 1993) 177 Goals
  8. Dieter Müller (1973 - 1986) 177 Goals
  9. Hennes Löhr (1964 - 1977) 166 Goals
  10. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge (1974 - 1984) 162 Goals

Top Ten Players With Most Appearances

  1. Karl-Heinz Körbel (1972 - 1991) 602 Games
  2. Manfred Kaltz (1971 - 1991) 581 Games
  3. Klaus Fichtel (1965 - 1988) 552 Games
  4. Mirko Votava (1976 - 1996) 546 Games
  5. Klaus Fischer (1968 - 1988) 535 Games
  6. Eike Immel (1978 - 1995) 534 Games
  7. Willi Neuberger (1966 - 1983) 520 Games
  8. Michael Lameck (1972 - 1988) 518 Games
  9. Uli Stein (1978 - 1997) 512 Games
  10. Stefan Reuter (1985 - 2004) 500 Games

Other Records

Members of the First Bundesliga (2005/2006 season)

In the above list, Köln, Duisburg and Eintracht Frankfurt have just moved into the First Bundesliga, replacing VfL Bochum, FC Hansa Rostock and SC Freiburg who finished at the bottom 3 spots of the table at the end of the 2004/05 season and thus were relegated to the Second Bundesliga.

Second Bundesliga


1974 saw the launch of the Second Bundesliga as a division below the Bundesliga. 40 teams in two divisions (North & South) competed for the first time for the promotion to the premier football league. In 1981, the two divisions were merged into a single Second Bundesliga with 20 teams. Starting with the 91/92 season, teams from the former GDR (East Germany) also participated. Since 1994/95, the 2nd Bundesliga has 18 teams just like the first Bundesliga.

League rules

Changes in the league rules

  • Number of clubs: 18; 1981-91 was it 20. 1991/92 were played in two groups of 12 teams each; 1992/93 again in one group with 24 teams, 1993/94 with 20 teams.
  • Number of promotions into the first league: 3; 1981-91 there was a relegation round (see above), in 1991/92 there was 1 promotion per group.
  • Number of relegations to the regional league (until 1994: Upper league): 4; 1991/92: 2-3 per group (inclusive relegation); 1992/93: 7.

Overview: Promotion and relegation

  • 1st - 3rd place: Promotion into the Bundesliga
  • 15th - 18th place: Relegation into regional league

Champions since 1975

Second Bundesliga North

Second Bundesliga South

Second Bundesliga

The promotions were decided from 1974 to 1994 in relegation rounds. Since 1995 there are 4 promotions from the regional leagues.

The promoted teams since 1995

The sports club Fortuna Köln was one of the most consistent clubs in the Second Bundesliga. Until 2000 it played 26 years continuously in the Second Bundesliga.

See also

External links


See Austrian Bundesligade:Fußball-Bundesliga fr:Bundesliga (football allemand) ja:ブンデスリーガ nl:Bundesliga sv:Bundesliga i fotboll


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)


  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Personal tools