The goal for all of them is to lift the Meisterschale at the end of the season, but before then the Bundesliga's 18 captains need to lead their teams out onto the pitch every weekend throughout Germany. bundesliga.com introduces the men wearing the armbands in 2020/21…
An eight-time Bundesliga winner, Neuer goes into his fourth campaign as Bayern captain fresh from a famous continental treble triumph - the second since he joined the club from Schalke in 2011. The 34-year-old is the fourth goalkeeper to skipper the Bayern ship after Sepp Maier, Raimond Aumann and Oliver Kahn, but the only stopper in Bundesliga history with over 100 games under his belt to have conceded fewer goals (315) than matches he’s played (405).
Watch: Manuel Neuer, the best in the business
Reus took over as BVB skipper for the start of 2018/19, enjoying perhaps the best campaign of his Dortmund career with 17 Bundesliga goals as he pushed his side to a second-placed finish. That performance was crowned with the prestigious German Player of the Year award for 2019 and, despite injury troubles in 2019/20, he still produced 11 goals and five assists in 19 league outings. Should he remain sidelined for the start of the new season, it remains to be seen who will lead out the Black-Yellows following Lukasz Piszczek's decision to give up the vice-captaincy in his final season.
Watch: All of Reus' goals and assists in 2019/20
It's all change at Leipzig. Record scorer Timo Werner has moved on, while Sabitzer - the club's next-best marksman in 2019/20 - has replaced defender Willi Orban as club captain. The Austria international skippered Leipzig in 13 of their 17 league outings in the second half of last season, incidentally his most productive yet with nine goals and seven assists from 30 starts. "Sometimes some players are good enough to play for Real Madrid, and the next game they're not even good enough for the reserves. [Sabitzer] stands out because he always plays well and is completely stable," explained coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Stindl joined Gladbach in summer 2015 and has been skipper since the start of the 2016/17 campaign. The 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup-winning Germany international has had a hand in an impressive 63 goals in 137 Bundesliga matches for the Foals, scoring nine of his own last season to fire Borussia into the Champions League for only the third time in their history. Goalkeeper Yann Sommer and defender Matthias Ginter remain vice-captains.
After five years as captain of Die Werkself, Lars Bender has handed the captain's armband on to Aranguiz for Leverkusen. At 31, Bender stated that he wanted to concentrate on his "health and duties of a normal player" having made his decision to stand down as captain at the BayArena. Leverkusen announced Aranguiz's selection as his predecessor after the wishes of both Bender and head coach Peter Bosz. The Chile international has been with Leverkusen since 2015, making 142 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Hübner took over the armband from Kevin Vogt in December 2019. The 30-year-old centre-back, who arrived at Hoffenheim in 2016 from Ingolstadt, made 25 starts in 2019/20, winning an average of 62 per cent of all his tackles, while finding a teammate with 89 per cent of all his passes. He will also lead TSG out in Europe after Hoffenheim secured direct entry to the UEFA Europa League on the final day last term. His deputy is goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
Guilavogui continues in the role of Wolfsburg captain for the third successive year. The Wolves only took points in 16 of the 25 matches he featured in last season, but won just three of the nine he missed through injury towards the end of the campaign. Needless to say, a fully fit Guilavogui significantly enhances their prospects of successfully negotiating the Europa League qualifying rounds and being competitive on all three fronts in 2020/21. His deputies are goalkeeper Koen Casteels and midfielder Maximilian Arnold.
Local boy Günter has been with Freiburg since he was 13, and part of the first-team set-up since 2012, with over 250 club appearances to his name at the age of 27. The only player to start all 34 Bundesliga games last season for Freiburg, Günter will now have the honour of leading out his boyhood club full time for the 2020/21 season. The left-back replaces Mike Frantz as the club's captain with the 33-year-old departing for Bundesliga 2 side Hannover.
Abraham has been leading Eintracht since 2018/19, but injuries limited the 34-year-old Argentina to just 19 starts last term. As was the case then, fellow veteran Makoto Hasebe remains his deputy.
Veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic’s summer 2020 move to Schalke left a vacant armband in the capital. Niklas Stark frequently deputised last season and led the side in the opening game of this, but head coach Bruno Labbadia has put his faith in 29-year-old Belgium international defender Boyata.
Union quickly got to tune with life in the Bundesliga, thanks in no small part to Trimmel. The Austrian right-back, who guided Union into the big time in 2018/19 during his first season as captain, was the Bundesliga's second-best defender for assists but Europe's No.1 for set-piece provision with eight. Almost half of Die Eisernen's 41 league goals came from dead balls. Now you know why.
Schalke's former deputy, Mascarell inherited the armband from Alexander Nübel midway through the 2019/20 campaign following confirmation of the young goalkeeper's summer transfer to Bayern. A combative midfielder who appeals to Schalke's largely working-class fan base, the Spaniard is tailor-made for a leadership role in the engine room of one of Germany's biggest clubs.
Heading into the first full season under Achim Beierlorzer, midfield veteran Latza has retained the captain's armband at Mainz in his sixth campaign with the club. Moussa Niakhate led the team out most often last term and forms part of the team council with Robin Zentner, Adam Szalai, Jeremiah St. Juste, Daniel Brosinski and Leandro Barreiro.
Arguably the most loyal man in football, Hector has stuck by Cologne through thick and thin. He could have left the Cathedral City for Liverpool in summer 2018, but stuck around to successfully shepherd the Billy Goats out of the second tier and back into the Bundesliga. The 30-year-old Germany international, who these days tends to operate out of midfield rather than at left-back, has been full-time captain since July 2018 and has made over 250 appearances for the club. His lieutenants are Marco Höger and goalkeeper Timo Horn.
Beginning their 10th season in the Bundesliga, Augsburg do so for the first time without club legend Daniel Baier following the expiration of his contract. It means Heiko Herrlich needed to appoint a new captain, with Jeffrey Gouweleeuw pipping Alfred Finnbogason and Rani Khedira, with all three having worn the armband last year.
Moisander has retained the armband for a second season. Davy Klaassen was the vice-captain in the absence of the 34-year-old Finland international.
Heading into his 10th season at Arminia and his first ever in the Bundesliga, Klos will have the honour of leading his team out for the 2020/21 campaign - Bielefeld's first in the German top flight for 11 years. Klos, 32, has been with the club since 2011 and has scored goals for fun - 152 in 327 games all told. He found the net a league-high 21 times in his side's Bundesliga 2 title-winning season in 2019/20, with his eyes set on leading his team to safety in their return to the big time.
Former Leverkusen and Dortmund midfielder Castro was relegated with Stuttgart in the 2018/19 season, and stayed to help the club bounce back immediately. Named captain by coach Pellegrino Matarazzo in place of Marc-Oliver Kemp for their Bundesliga return, 33-year-old Castro is vastly experienced with 383 appearances in the division, which is only behind Christian Gentner and Neuer among current players.