In 1963, the Bundesliga, the top-tier of the German football league system was established by German Football Association (the league is since 2001 organized by Deutsche Fußball Liga). The most merited teams from the different German regions were for the first time in the grouped in one division.

Basic facts

Founded: 1963
Country: Germany
Organizer: Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL)

League records

Most championships: Bayern Munich (31)
Most played seasons: Werder Bremen (56)


German football leagues had existed long before the establishment of the Bundesliga, in 1898 was the first regional league, Southern German football championship, formed.

The top national clubs were invited to become the sixteen founding members of the Bundesliga. These were FC Kaiserslautern, FC Köln, FC Saarbrücken, FC Nürnberg, Meidericher SV, Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Braunschweig, Karlsruher SC, Hertha BSC Berlin, Preußen Münster, VfB Stuttgart, Hamburger SV, TSV 1860 München, Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen. FC Köln would win by a six points margin and Uwe Seller would be the top scorer with 30 goals for Hamburger.

League system

Bundesliga is the top level of the German football league system. The second division is since 1974 known as 2. Bundesliga and the third is since 2008 3. Liga since (previously Regionalliga that was founded 1963). An overview of the current national league system is presented in table 1.

Table 1. German football tiers
Club Tier
Bundesliga 1
2. Bundesliga 2
3. Liga 3

Below the third tier are Non-Professional Leagues divided in regions.



Teams with most titles

Statistics of all German clubs that have won the top league more than once, concerning the period 1898-2023, thus including the pre-Bundesliga era.

Table 2. Clubs and German champions titles
Club Titles
Bayern Munich 31
1. FC Nürnberg 9
Borussia Dortmund 8
Schalke 04 7
Hamburger SV 6
VfB Stuttgart 5
Borussia Mönchengladbach 5
Werder Bremen 4
1. FC Kaiserslautern 4
1. FC Köln 3
Lokomotive Leipzig 3
Greuther Fürth 3
BFC Viktoria 1889 2
Dresdner SC 2
Hannover 96 2

1. FC Nürnberg won its last title in 1968, which is their only Bundesliga trophy. Schalke 04, Lokomotive Leipzig and Greuther Fürth are the three clubs in the list that never have won the Bundesliga. Among the clubs that haven't won a championship title, Bayer Leverkusen has been runners-up the most times (5).

The rest of the German champions are Karlsruher FV, Holstein Kiel, 1860 Munich, SpVgg Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin, Karlsruher SC, Fortuna Düsseldorf, Eintracht Frankfurt, VfL Wolfsburg, Freiburger FC, Rapid Wien, VfR Mannheim, Rot-Weiss Essen and Eintracht Braunschweig.

BFC Viktoria 1889 was dissolved in 2013. Blau-Weiß 1890 Berlin was dissolved in 1992.



Gerd Müller did 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches, a record that will be hard to beat

Charly Körbel has the record in league appearances with 602 matches for Eintracht Frankfurt.

By Oscar Anderson

Bundesliga timeline

1900 The German Football Federation (Deutscher Fußball-Bund; DFB) is founded.
1963 Bundesliga is established.
1965 The league is expanded from 16 to 18 clubs.
2001 Following the German reunification East German leagues are merged with the West German league system.
2001 DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga become new organizer.