A lot of people in India have had options about the German fourth Division (Regionalliga) since it came out earlier this week that Indian international goalkeeper Subrata Pal would be having a trial-cum-training stint with RB Leipzig. And sadly there has been a lot of misconceptions/misunderstanding about the level of football in Germany’s fourth division, which most will not have seen in action.Therefore I try to give you some information and insight about the Regionalliga, now that Subrata Pal has arrived in Germany…
The Fußball-Regionalliga is the fourth tier of football within the German football league system. From this season, 2012/13, onwards there are five different leagues which make-up the Regionalliga – North, Northeast, West, Southwest and Bavaria. Until last season there were only three Regionalliga’s.
Though now having five different leagues only three teams will get promoted to the 3.Liga, which means the five champions and the winner amongst the runners-up Southwest/Bavaria will have to play a playoff to determine the three promotion spots.
The Regionalliga as such is a semi-professional league though many of its top teams are professional football clubs, who have budgets running in the millions of Euros with the aim of getting promoted to the 3.Liga (3rd Division). Further these Regionalliga’s are not centrally managed by the German FA (DFB), but by the state and regional football associations.
The newly formed Regionalliga Nordost (Northeast), in which RB Leipzig will play this season, is made-up of teams from the states of Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony and Thuringia.
RB Leipzig go into the season as the top favourites to win the title in the Northeast division as the Red Bull backed side are said to have the biggest budget across all Regionalliga teams, which clearly shows their intentions of getting promoted after two failed attempts.
And coming to talk about the standard. I personally feel it is higher then the overall I-League with better infrastructure and competitiveness, and all this would be a good platform for Subrata to first prove himself and then play in a higher league, if he succeeds.
Published with permission from Arunava about Football.