Eleven years after the creation of the Bundesliga, the second division Bundesliga 2 was formed in 1974. Teams, players and coaches have since been fighting for a place in the top flight ever since, and setting records as the league enters its 48th season in 2021/22.
Promotion and relegation
Most promotions: Nuremberg and Arminia Bielefeld have both gone up the most times, with eight promotions apiece.
Most relegations: Nuremberg hold this record outright, though, having gone down from the Bundesliga nine times. They have bounced back at the first attempt on four occasions.
Back-to-back promotions: In 2018/19 Paderborn became the eighth team to be promoted to Bundesliga 2 and then go up to the Bundesliga at the first attempt. The previous clubs to do so were Darmstadt (2014/15), Hoffenheim (2007/08), Ulm (1998/99), Nuremberg (1997/98), Arminia Bielefeld (1995/96), Fortuna Düsseldorf (1994/95) and 1860 Munich (1993/94).
Most immediate returns: Bochum have bounced back from relegation to go straight back up to the Bundesliga five times.
Promotion coaches: No coach has earned promotion from Bundesliga 2 more times than Friedhelm Funkel (six), doing so with Uerdingen (1992 and 1994), Duisburg (1996), Cologne (2003), Eintracht Frankfurt (2005) and Düsseldorf (2018).
Most matches: Greuther Fürth have played the most fixtures in Bundesliga 2 with 1,126 (correct as of the end of 2020/21).
Most goals: Fürth have also scored the most goals in the division with 1,674 (correct as of the end of 2020/21).
Most goals in a season: Hertha Berlin scored 123 times in 1980/81 (42 matches).
Most wins in a season: Hertha also became the only club to register 31 victories in a Bundesliga 2 season in 1980/81.
Fewest wins in a season: Pirmasens won only one of their 38 Bundesliga 2 matches in 1977/78.
Most goals conceded in a season: Pirmasens also set the record for the most porous defence in that 1977/78 campaign by conceding 120 goals.
Fewest goals conceded in a season: Cologne boast the most solid defence in Bundesliga 2 history from 2013/14 when they let in only 20 goals.
Most home wins in a season: Homburg (1976/77), Bielefeld (1979/80), Hertha and Bremen (both 1980/81) all registered 18 victories at home in a single season.
Most away wins in a season: Eintracht Braunschweig in 1980/81 remain the only team to chalk up 14 victories on the road in a Bundesliga 2 campaign.
Most goals: The league’s all-time top scorer is Dieter Schatzschneider with 153 goals. In the single-division Bundesliga 2 (since 1981), the record is held by Simon Terodde with 143 (correct as of the end of 2020/21).
Most appearances: Willi Landgraf played a record 508 games in Bundesliga 2.
Fastest goal: Benjamin Siegert scored after only eight seconds for Wehen Wiesbaden against Greuther Fürth on 5 October 2007. It is also the fastest goal in German professional football.
Most goals in a season: Horst Hrubesch scored 41 times for Rot-Weiss Essen in the North Bundesliga 2 in 1977/78.
Biggest win: Arminia Bielefeld beat Arminia Hannover 11-0 on 23 May 1980.
Most goals in a game: Kaiserslautern beat Meppen 7-6 on 11 June 1997.