Home to some of the biggest names in the game, a platform for world football’s brightest talents and the most fan-friendly division on the planet, there is no place like the Bundesliga.
If you haven’t fallen in love with the Bundesliga already, here are five reasons why you should make it your new year’s resolution to commit your heart and soul to German football’s pioneering top flight…
1) All-star cast
Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez, Christian Pulisic – the list is long and distinguished. Above and beyond all the top-class imports, the Bundesliga also has a knack of producing world-beating homegrown talent: Jann-Fiete Arp, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller to name but three. Germany’s top table is a magnet for the best and a conveyor belt when it comes to rolling out tomorrow’s finest. And people wonder why the national side – reigning FIFA World Cup and Confederations Cup champions – performs so consistently well on the big stage…
2) A regular stream of new stars
Speaking of young blood, it’s worth taking a closer look at some of those names. In the first half of the 2017/18 season, particularly, all manner of youngsters took to the Bundesliga stage for the first time and performed with a flourish. USA international Weston McKennie was influential as Schalke climbed to the lofty heights of second place, with Leon Goretzka, the latest diamond to emerge from the Royal Blues’ Knappenschmiede production line, alongside him in midfield. Joshua Kimmich and Kingsley Coman roam the flanks for the champions Bayern Munich, while Borussia Dortmund – as well as the aforementioned Pulisic – offer Alexander Isak, Mahmoud Dahoud, Jeremy Toljan and Julian Weigl. And all that’s without even coming to Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Hoffenheim, or Leipzig. Simply put, if you want a glimpse of football’s next great hope, look to the Bundesliga.
3) Brightest minds
It is not just on the pitch where youngsters are being given an opportunity to shine. Dugouts are becoming increasingly populated with hungry young coaches, determined to show they can cut it in one of the most competitive leagues in world football. Hoffenheim’s Julian Nagelsmann set the trend when he became the youngest full-time head coach in Bundesliga history in February 2016, aged 28, and a further five budding strategists under the age of 40 have taken up the reins since.
4) Well-run clubs
While many clubs across the globe appear to be in heavy debt, in Germany there are strict rules to ensure clubs avoid such scenarios. What’s more, unlike their English Premier League counterparts for example, the top-flight sides, underpinned by the ’50+1 rule’, put their faith in the fans so that those who wear the trousers cannot go on any mad spending sprees that could jeopardise the future of the club. In the Bundesliga, shrewd financial management is the platform for success, and that doesn’t necessarily mean spending big.
5) The matchday experience
Taking your seat – or standing – at any one of Germany’s state-of-the-art stadiums does not entail parting with half a week’s wages for the privilege. With average ticket prices starting from €12, it’s no wonder even many a non-native is willing to put in the necessary miles to get a live piece of the German top-tier action.
And once there, you won’t want to leave. Help yourself to a chilled beverage, hearty side and soak up the unrivalled atmosphere. In a recent review of the football leagues with the highest average attendances in Europe, the Bundesliga came out top with a lofty average in excess of 40,000. Whether it’s record champions Bayern Munich’s space-age Allianz Arena, Dortmund’s magnificent Signal Iduna Park, with the largest standing terrace in Europe (24,454), or Freiburg’s humble Schwarzwaldstadion in the foothills of the Black Forest, the Bundesliga stadia will not disappoint – least of all the dozen capable of housing over 40,000 supporters.