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Founded in 1963, the Bundesliga is perhaps one of the most unique leagues in Europe. Because of the ownership model – 50+1 – the clubs can’t be owned by private organisations. The rules means the clubs’ members still have a majority stake at the club. Though the rule is changing, there are still quite a few clubs, including Borussia Dortmund, who are very vocal supporters of the not getting rid of the unique rule.
Bayern Munich have won 27 league titles and are way ahead of FC Nürnberg who are second on the list with 9 league titles. Though they are in the second division, they could soon make a return. 29 different clubs have managed to lift the league title.
Since Borussia Dortmund’s league-winning campaign in the year 2012, Bayern have been unstoppable and have wrapped up the title weeks before the final game.
FC Köln won the inaugural Bundesliga title in the 1963-64 season.
In the ‘70s and ‘80s, the likes of Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hamburg briefly challenged Bayern Munich but could sustain the challenge for long. Bayern’s closest rivals, 1860 Munich, had a successful spell in the mid ‘60s but they too became irrelevant soon.
When the Bundesliga fixtures are announced, the Bayern and Dortmund fans often look forward to Der Klassiker, one of the biggest games in the division. However, the Revierderby, involving the Ruhr giants Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 is often considered one of the biggest derbies in the country. The Nordderby, featuring Werder Bremen and Hamburg, is also a pretty feisty game.
Inaugural Bundesliga Champions FC Köln’s rivalry with Monchengladbach is pretty special as well.
There isn’t much to talk about if you’re talking about title contenders. Bayern have won five in a row and are well on their way to their sixth Bundesliga title. In the last five years, only Dortmund have managed to stay where they are; finish regularly in the top four.
This season, while Bayern romp to the title, the likes of Dortmund, Leipzig, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen and surprisingly, Eintracht Frankfurt are vying for the rest of the Champions League place.
At the wrong end of the table, Köln and Hamburg are set to go down unless they can change things around in the coming weeks. Bundesliga has a relegation playoff spot, so the team that finishes 16th in the 2. Bundesliga – the second division – will get to face the 16th placed side from the Bundesliga.