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The History of Germany's Bundesliga


The Bundesliga is a core part of German culture. You see, it has always been the case but when it comes to a sport, there is often a very rich history around it.

So what we thought we would do is take a look at some of the history of the sport, to try and get a better understanding of where it all came from, and what it means for people. That's right, this is our look at the beginning of Germany's Bundesliga.

Signal Iduna Park

A Strange Beginning

Okay, so let's go right back to the beginning to best understand how this all got started. Before there was the Bundesliga, football in Germany was played pretty casually, it wasn't really a thing that was properly managed or even that well maintained. But, the Second World War changed all of that.

From 1949 onward, there was a semi-professional football league introduced in Germany. Technically, there was a whole selection of different leagues and divisions all playing and this was fine, but there was also no central cohesion or theme to it all. It was kind of playing professionally for the sake of doing so.

The Beginnings of Bundesliga

So, obviously, people were having issues with the current format of the game during the 1950's. A lot of people wanted to get their hands on a central league that was professional and focused. There were a lot of demands for this, and international developments didn't help matters. A lot of countries outside of Germany began to put together their own leagues, and this drew the best players away from their homes and into teams where they could gain international approval.

This meant that Germany as a whole began to perform pretty badly at an international level. They had a lower standard of player, which wasn't necessarily visible during games taking place internally, but when it came to locking horns with other countries, it was clear that they were pretty outmatched. So this meant that the whole country was clamouring for the formation of a centralised, singular league which could hold a candle to other variants played across the world. Sepp Herberger, who was the head coach for the national team, was one of many who was an outspoken critic of the current system, and actively pushed for a more professional league to be adopted, stating that "If we want to remain competitive internationally, we have to raise our expectations at the national level."

Bundesliga football

The Formation of the Bundesliga

Despite the fact that the teams continued to do poorly on an international level, what was found is that when it came to the world of sport, there was no change. However, this was set to change in 1962, following the defeat of the national team by Yugoslavia in the quarter-final game of the World Cup in Chile.

This defeat prompted officials to take a proper look at the structuring of the league system in Germany, and so the Bundesliga was built on the 28th of July in 1962, with the intention of starting play for the 1963 to 1964 season. This radically altered the entire structure of the leading system, as at the time there were five different Premier Leagues representing West Germany's south, Southwest, west, and north districts. Berlin was also represented. East Germany was not counted in this structuring system, as at the time they were still behind the Iron Curtain, and had their own entirely separate league structure which they followed without any outside influence.

46 different clubs applied for application into the new league. However, 16 teams were selected from this group, based on various categories. Economic criteria, such as the overall budget of the teams, their success on the actual playing field, and the representation of the different districts meant that there was an effective cross-section of German sport and talent.

The Modern Incarnation

The fundamental principles of the Bundesliga have remained the same since its conception in 1963. The system has obviously become more polished and refined over time, but it has gradually evolved to become what we know today.

The system remains Germany's defining contribution to the world of global sports. Bundesliga is frequently watched and participated in by various clubs across the world, and it has a strong following in other countries.

Bundesliga football

In conclusion, it is an interesting history when we think about the journey that German soccer has been on to get to the point it's at now. It's definitely come a long way and managed to be pretty impressive in the process. It was interesting to see the context behind a lot of the history of German soccer. For a pretty long time, a lot of the world had to rebuild following the Second World War. It was a big event that had a lasting impact, and you could see it in the way that people rebuilt following it. Germany went on a journey of rebuilding following that period, and the Bundesliga is probably one of their best examples of that. It presented the German people with a chance to create something positive that would have a lasting legacy. This sport really does have a global following, and so what a lot of people need to understand is that this will have ramifications for the longest time. Everything that this sport entails, from the physical elements of it right the way through to the camaraderie that all the fans have, will really make all the difference.



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Get the double-sided 92 Club & National League map poster - 2020/2021 season