A total of 57 clubs have had the honour of competing in the Bundesliga over its 60-year history – with Bayern Munich top of the list.
bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.
Watch: Bayern's record goalscorer passed away in 2021
You may not actually be surprised to see 32-time Bundesliga champions Bayern at the top of this list, but they only took to this particular summit in 2021/22 after Werder Bremen’s relegation the previous year. The Munich club are in their 59th Bundesliga campaign, having failed to qualify for the first two seasons. That’s the first big surprise.
At the time of the Bundesliga’s creation in 1963, Bayern were in fact far from German football’s top dogs – perhaps not even the big team in Munich. Places in the newly created league were based on a 12-year ranking in the regional league system in place at the time. The Oberliga Süd received five spots, with Bayern coming sixth in the standings, so they were going to miss out anyway before city rivals 1860 Munich rubbed salt in the wound by winning the Oberliga title to automatically qualify, despite being a rung below them in the 12-year ranking.
After finally coming up in 1965 with a team featuring up-and-coming youngsters like Gerd Müller and Franz Beckenbauer, they actually lost their debut Bundesliga game 1-0 to 1860, but still finished their maiden campaign in third. Champions that year? It just had to be 1860… The only time the two Munich teams have both finished in the top three in the Bundesliga.
Since then, however, Bayern have been German football’s leading light. They won their first title in their third season (1968/69) and have only finished outside the top six four times. They were Germany’s first European champions, in fact lifting a hat-trick of consecutive European Cups in the 1970s. They’re the only German club to win the continental treble of league, cup and UEFA Champions League. They did so twice – in 2012/13 and 2019/20 – with the most recent as part of a historic sextuple under Hansi Flick.
Bayern lead the Bundesliga’s all-time table by some 700 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund, but they only overtook Bremen for most games played when they faced Union Berlin in their 1,935th Bundesliga fixture on Matchday 27 of 2021/22. It’s just one of many records they hold, from titles to most points in a season. There’s also Gerd Müller’s fabled 365 goals as the all-time top scorer and Robert Lewandowski’s 41-goal campaign. The list goes on and on.
Watch: Lewandowski's record-breaking 41 goals in 2020/21