The Bundesliga is the top-tier league of club football in Germany. It has the highest average stadium attendance in Europe with an average that exceeds 42,000 attendants per game. 18 clubs compete in the league each season with the top 4 qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. The league was established in 1962 and its first season was 1963-1964.
Until then, German football (West Germany at the time) was played in regional leagues and not in full professional capacity. The league’s most successful club is Bayern Munich which has won the title 23 times. Bayern Munich's German players were the skeleton of the national team that won the 2014 world cup in Brazil.
Bayern’s star players include Arjen Robben, Thomas Muller, Franck Ribery, Xabi Alonso, Philip Lahm, Javi Martinez, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and 2 stars who came from Brorussia Dortmund Robert Lewandowsky and Mario Götze . In 2012 Bayern Munich broke the German transfer record buying Athletic Bilbao's defensive midfielder Javi Martinez for a fee of €40 million.
Until the last season Borussia Dortmund was Bayern Munich’s biggest challenger. It won back-to-back titles in the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 seasons. Dortmund’s key players include Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Ilkay Gündogan, Marco Reus and the young superstar Ciro Immobile. Dortmund's success has been largely attributed to the quality of its coach Jürgen Klopp who is considered to be one of the top managers in the world.
Together, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have won 17 of the last 21 Bundesliga titles.
Other successful teams in the league's history are: Borussia Monchengladbach, Werder Bremen, Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart.
Other notable players in the league are, Schalke’s Julian Draxler, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Benedikt Höwedes, Bayer Leverkusen’s defensive midfielder Lars Bender and striker Stefan Kiessling. Thorgan Hazard, Max Kruse and Ibrahima Traore from Borusia Monchengladbach, and Izet Hajrovic and Franco Di Santo from Werder Bremen.
Karl-Heinz Körbel has the most Bundesliga appearances of all-time, playing 602 times for Eintracht Frankfurt between 1972 and 1991.
The top scorer in the league’s history is Bayern Munich legend Gerd Müller who scored 365 goals in 427 matches, nearly 100 more than the 2nd on the list, Klaus Fischer (268). Treble-winning manager Jupp Heynckes is 3rd on the list with 220 goals while playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hannover 96 in the 1960s and the 1970s.
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