The countdown is on, the 2023/24 Bundesliga season is just around the corner. bundesliga.com has five reasons you should be very excited...
1) Bayern and the Kane effect
The record champions scraped over the line on goal difference as they collected an 11th successive Bundesliga title last May. Jamal Musiala's Meisterschale-winning goal combined with a big helping hand from Mainz up in Dortmund saw the Bavarians maintain their remarkable, triumphant run on the most dramatic of final days. Fast forward three months and Thomas Tuchel's defending champions are ready to go again with fresh faces arrivng to strengthen their 2023/24 challenge. Raphael Guerreiro, Min-jae Kim and Konrad Laimer add formidable force to an already highly capable squad but it is headline arrival Kane that will draw the focus of the watching world. In England's all-time record goalscorer, Bayern have the man who can fill a Robert Lewandowski-shaped hole up front, a multi-faceted striker who provides the focal point in attack that the Bavarian giants were arguably missing last term. The prospect of the three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner mixing it with the likes of Jamal Musiala, Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane in the final third is mouthwatering and under the guise of shrewd tactican Tuchel, Bayern look like unmissable entertainment in the campaign ahead.
Watch: Here comes Harry!
2) Beware a wounded Dortmund
After coming so close to snatching the title from Bayern's grasp, BVB will be more confident than ever going into the new season. Edin Terzic's team ran roughshod over the opposition at times, aided and abetted by the return - from testicular cancer no less - of Sebastien Haller. Had the Ivorian striker been fit for the whole season instead of half of it, it's fair to assume Borussia would have been kicking off 2023/24 as defending champions. Jude Bellingham's left for Real Madrid, but history has shown us time and again no team knows how to replace stars with world-class talent-in-the-making like Dortmund. Finding out who fills the England sensation's boots is reason enough to stick to the Black-Yellows like honey. And watching new signings Ramy Bensebaini, Felix Nmecha and Marcel Sabitzer slot in will be just as enthralling. What most Bundesliga fans will be asking of Dortmund more than anything, however, is a continuation of their title-chasing form of 2023.
Watch: World-class Dortmund fans salute Edin Terzic
3) The Leipzig factor
Watch out for Marco Rose's Saxony-based thrill machine. Mutterings of a possible period of transition this term were laughed off by all those who witnessed Leipzig's Supercup extravaganza at the Allianz Area last weekend. Headlined by the Dani-Olmo show, the visitors danced around opponents Bayern Munich's pitch, causing their rivals no end of trouble with their slick, quick, attacking movement and one-touch passing. New signings Xavi Simons, Lois Openda and Benjamin Sesko had fans salivating at the prospect of what lies ahead for last season's third-place Bundesliga finishers and DFB Cup winners. However, it is Olmo's star that could well shine brightest, last Saturday's hat-trick hero for Leipzig taking his game to another level. Die Roten Bullen recorded notable wins over Germany's big two last term, either side of flirting with a serious title challenge. Having already begun the post-Christopher Nkunku/Konrad Laimer period in some style by lifting their first-ever Supercup and with Rose in his first full season at the helm, the prospect of having our first non-Bayern, Borussia Dortmund title winner since 2008/09 (Wolfsburg) looks a very real possibility.
Watch: Leipzig's incredible Supercup triumph
4) Humble Heidenheim
Frank Schmidt had already spent nearly two seasons in charge of Heidenheim when Leipzig began life in Germany's fifth tier in 2009. He later crossed paths with Die Roten Bullen in 3. Liga and Bundesliga 2, and now has the opportunity to do so at the highest level after masterminding his beloved club's first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga. They did it the hard way, scoring two goals in added time on the final day to break the hearts of Hamburg fans, who were prematurely celebrating automatic promotion in one of the enduring images of last season. New boys have come up and gone straight back down again; they've also stuck around to become part of the Bundesliga furniture - think Leipzig, Hoffenheim, Augsburg, 2022/23 fairy-tale writers Union Berlin and - although relegated in 2015/16 - Christian Streich's Freiburg, another minnow turned top-flight force to be reckoned with. Kaiserslautern even won the title in 1998, having only been promoted 12 months earlier... Not to suggest they're targeting the same achievement at the Voith-Arena, this season's smallest Bundesliga host ground. Needless to say, there will be plenty of focus on Heidenheim's debut efforts, Germany's longest-serving active coach and the Baden-Württemberg outfit's 15,000-capacity home.
Watch: Frank Schmidt's Heidenheim fairy-tale
5) It's the full package!
The closest title race across Europe's top five league's per UEFA coefficient, dramatic and unexpected rivalries in the top-four hunt, down-to-the-wire battles for European places, survival and promotion, and a refreshingly open top scorer's race, the Bundesliga set the bar and then some in 2022/23. Germany's top table outperformed its peers on so many levels, not forgetting in terms of goals per game and sky-high average attendances. Its milestone 60th year promises much more of the same. So whether you're a veteran football fan; on the lookout for a new league to call 'home'; craving immersive fan culture; scouting football's next clutch of prodigious youngsters to take you to the top of the Football Manager tree; or simply chasing a good time, let the Bundesliga be your guide. It's Football As It's Meant To Be.
Watch: The Bundesliga turns 60!
Füllkrug off the mark in BVB win
The Germany striker opened his account for Dortmund as they beat an in-form Hoffenheim side in the Matchday 6 opener.
Play with your Bundesliga heroes on EA Sports FC 24
EA SPORTS FC 24's groundbreaking innovation will bring the game to life when you play as your favourite Bundesliga heroes.
5 reasons why Leipzig will beat Bayern
The 3-0 Supercup triumph and an astonishing efficiency in front of goal this campaign are just two of the reasons why Leipzig can get the better of the reigning Bundesliga champions.