The curtain raises on the 2022/23 season when defending champions Bayern Munich kick off the 60th Bundesliga campaign on Friday, 5 August. The first of 306 fixtures featuring new faces and spread across an unusual calendar this year.
bundesliga.com has five reasons why you should look forward to the new season…
1) Exciting new faces
The transfer market has been a hive of activity once again this summer with a raft of exciting young players making moves to and within Germany’s top flight. Last season’s runners-up, Borussia Dortmund, have been particularly busy in that regard with the signings of centre-backs Niklas Süle and Nico Schlotterbeck from Bayern and Freiburg respectively, Salih Özcan from Cologne, as well as bringing Karim Adeyemi – Europe’s top scorer under the age of 21 – back to his homeland from Red Bull Salzburg.
Bayer Leverkusen have also strengthened in attack with the signature of Czech starlet Adam Hlozek; Bayern have so far swooped for Noussair Mazraoui from Ajax; UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt have bolstered their ranks with Faride Alidou, Jerome Onguene and the permanent signings of Jens Petter Hauge and Kristijan Jakic; and Freiburg have brought Matthias Ginter home.
However, it’s not just new faces in new colours on the pitch. You’ll see new figures on the touchlines. Ole Werner’s arrival with promoted Werder Bremen means Julian Nagelsmann is no longer the youngest boss in the Bundesliga. Ex-Norwich City coach Daniel Farke also gets his chance on Germany’s biggest stage as he takes over at Borussia Mönchengladbach, while Enrico Maaßen swaps the BVB reserves for the Augsburg first team and his top-flight bow.
2) Big names return
Niko Kovac is back in the Bundesliga as the man who guided Bayern to a domestic double and Frankfurt to the DFB Cup takes over at Wolfsburg. And he can look forward to taking on prominent opposition as Schalke and Bremen mark their top-flight return after a year down in Bundesliga 2.
Watch: Schalke celebrate their Bundesliga return
Die Königsblauen and Grünweißen have spent a combined 108 seasons in the Bundesliga and are part of the German footballing landscape. The pair boasted the best attendance records in the second division last year and add yet more to the fantastic support the Bundesliga is known for with passionate fans and iconic stadiums.
3) Unusual schedule
This year’s historic FIFA World Cup in Qatar, being played over November and December, means a shift away from the schedule we’ve come to know in the Bundesliga.
The good thing for fans is that the summer break is a short one, with the campaign beginning on 5 August – the league’s earliest start since 2011/12. And that follows the Supercup between champions Bayern and DFB Cup holders RB Leipzig on 30 July, which is the same weekend of the first round of the cup. Bundesliga 2 kicks off on 15 July.
We do get our now traditional Englische Woche (midweek fixtures) in the week before of the winter break, but the year’s final fixtures are as early as 13 November – eight days before the World Cup starts. The final in Qatar is on 18 December, but then we have to wait a month until the Bundesliga resumes. The action finally gets going again on 20 January with another Englische Woche. We then play through to 27 May (the following day in Bundesliga 2). The DFB Cup final is the week after on 3 June, followed by the UEFA Champions League final seven days later.
4) Plenty of goals but always fair
The Bundesliga has boasted the highest goals-per-game rate among Europe’s top five leagues in four of the last five seasons. Germany was top of the pile again last year with a crowd-thrilling return of 3.12 goals every 90 minutes. Bayern (2.85) and Dortmund (2.5) were also first and third across top-flight teams in Germany, England, Spain, Italy and France for the most goals per game.
Yet even with the desire for goals and victory, fair play is at the forefront in the Bundesliga, which saw the lowest average for red cards in 2021/22. The DFL has even created a new award with partner Milka to honour those special moments of fair play.
Watch: Fair Play of the Season presented by Milka
5) Full stadiums
The Bundesliga hasn’t quite been the same in recent years with government-enforced restrictions on crowds due to the pandemic. But light appeared at the end of the tunnel late last season as we once again got to enjoy the sight and sound of capacity stadiums.
With Schalke and Bremen back, the average size of the 18 top-flight grounds increases to over 46,500. And the fan experience is one of the things that makes the Bundesliga so special. We’ll get to see that in full action again from August – and hopefully never again forced to stay away.
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