Simon Terodde has equalled Dieter Schatzschneider’s record total of 153 goals in Bundesliga 2, but who else counts among the the most prolific goalscorers in Germany’s second division?
Before getting to the list, first we need to explain a couple of quirks about Bundesliga 2 goalscorers.
The DFL currently only has an official top five for all-time goalscorers in the second division due to historic discrepancies that are still to be confirmed. For example, Schatzschneider’s record long stood at 154 until recently, when the DFL retrospectively awarded one of his strikes against Bremerhaven in July 1979 as an own goal and revised his total to 153, which Terodde has now matched.
There will also be other lists out there that don’t even mention Schatzschneider. That’s because Bundesliga 2 was played out in two divisions (north and south) from its founding in 1974 until 1981, and again in 1991/92 due to an influx of teams as a result of German re-unification.
The likes of Schatzschneider and Karl-Heinz Mödrath did the bulk of their scoring in the two-division era, and as such don’t always feature on Bundesliga 2 lists, where only the single-division seasons are counted. Another like Theo Gries would be five short as he also played in that one-off 1991/92 campaign.
However, this is the official list of all-time top goalscorers in Bundesliga 2:
1) Dieter Schatzschneider
Clubs: Hannover, Fortuna Cologne
With Terodde dubbed the Robert Lewandowski of Bundesliga 2, it’s perhaps logical to refer to Schatzschneider as the division's Gerd Müller. He only played six seasons in the second tier with hometown club Hannover, and then in two stints with Fortuna Cologne, hitting less than 23 in just one campaign and getting 30+ on three occasions. His scoring rate worked out at a goal in three quarters of his appearances in the division and also included 10 hat-tricks and one four-goal haul. The striker also played for Hamburg and Schalke in the Bundesliga, as well as another campaign with Hannover, where he remains the club’s all-time top scorer in all competitions.
Referring to Terodde as Bundesliga 2’s Lewandowski seemed all the more fitting after the veteran frontman needed just eight games to reach double figures for the 2021/22 campaign – and level Schatzschneider’s record of 153. Like Lewandowski, Terodde has guaranteed goals for years now and no matter what the circumstances. Apart from some brief spells in the top flight, the 33-year-old has spent much of his career in the German second tier - where he has found the net with astonishing regularity. Duisburg were the first of seven clubs that Terodde played Bundesliga 2 football with, although Bochum were the first that he hit more than 20 goals in a season for. After scoring 25 league goals with them in 2015/16, he repeated the trick with VfB Stuttgart a year later to help the Swabians win the title. Back in Bundesliga 2 with Cologne in 2018/19, Terodde led them to the top flight as champions after scoring 29 goals in 33 matches. A 24-goal haul wasn’t enough to get Hamburg back in the big time at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, but his know-how at Bundesliga 2 level will give Schalke every chance of making a swift return.
Watch: Five of Terodde's best Bundesliga 2 goals
3) Karl-Heinz Mödrath
Clubs: Alemannia Aachen, Fortuna Cologne
Mödrath was one of the most consistent goalscorers there’s been in Bundesliga 2, bringing up double figures in eight straight seasons between 1974/75 and 1981/82 for local side Fortuna Cologne. His 144 goals with them makes him the highest scorer for a single club in Germany’s second division. The best season of his career came in 1978/79 when he got 28 goals from 37 appearances. Having started his career by earning promotion to the Bundesliga with Fortuna in 1973 and then scoring twice in four games in the top flight, they were relegated after one year and failed to return despite Mödrath’s goals. He spent one final season in the second tier with Aachen in 1982/83, scoring seven times in 25 games to set the record at the time of 150 Bundesliga 2 goals.
4) Theo Gries
Clubs: Hertha Berlin, Hannover, Alemannia Aachen
Gries’ excellent haul of 123 goals is actually even more impressive, considering he was a midfielder. He reached double figures in all but two of his eight seasons in Bundesliga 2 across spells with Aachen, Hertha and in a final six-month stint with Hannover before retiring. The current Union Berlin scout was another who started in the Bundesliga (one appearance for Kaiserslautern) before making waves in the second division. Unlike Mödrath, he did get to taste the top flight again after 18 goals in 1989/90 helped Hertha go up. Seven in 28 the following year wasn’t enough to keep them there, though.
Demandt is remembered fondly by his former clubs, including at Fortuna Düsseldorf with whom he scored 74 goals in 201 games across all competitions. The burly left footer started out with Düsseldorf in the mid-1980s and was the star striker in 1988/89 when they were promoted as champions. That season Demandt scored a staggering 35 league goals in Bundesliga 2, after which he spent a year with Bayer Leverkusen after reportedly getting offers from 14 of the 18 Bundesliga clubs. The Cologne native was soon back with Fortuna, though, and he proved himself at the top level by scoring 21 goals in 108 Bundesliga appearances for them. Demandt dropped down to the second division again when he signed for Hertha in 1992, and he got 17 league goals over two seasons in the capital. He then played the next seven years of his career with Mainz, where he had none other than Jürgen Klopp as a teammate throughout. Nicknamed der Kühlschrank (the fridge) in Mainz because of his hulking presence and ice-cold finishing in the area, he twice out away 10 or more league goals in a season for the 05ers.