Eintracht Frankfurt made it five Bundesliga teams in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League after winning the UEFA Europa League. - © Imago
Eintracht Frankfurt made it five Bundesliga teams in the 2022/23 UEFA Champions League after winning the UEFA Europa League. - © IMAGO/HMB Media/IMAGO/HMB-Media

How does European qualification work in the Bundesliga?


How many German clubs can earn a place in European competition? bundesliga.com explains the scenarios for the 2023/24 campaign...

Find out more about how European football is structured

UEFA Champions League

Germany has had four automatic group-stage berths in the Champions League since 2018/19, meaning that the teams that finish in the top four earn the right to compete.

Looking at last season, that saw Bayern Munich qualify as Bundesliga champions for the 2022/23 Champions League, with runners-up Borussia Dortmund, third-placed Bayer Leverkusen and fourth-in-the-table RB Leipzig joining them.

Although 11th in the final league standings, Eintracht Frankfurt's 2021/22 Europa League triumph meant the Bundesliga had five teams in the Champions League groups for the first time in 2022/23. This is because any team that wins the Champions League or Europa League, but finishes outside the league positions that grant qualification to the Champions League, will automatically go into the group stage regardless of where they place domestically.

This does not come at the expense of one of the four automatically qualified clubs. However, there cannot be more than five clubs from a single association in the Champions League. Should Bundesliga clubs win both the Champions League and Europa League, but both finish outside the top four, then the team in fourth place would not qualify and instead compete in the Europa League group stage. This would mean an extra Europa League place.

UEFA Europa League/ UEFA Europa Conference League

Ordinarily, the team in fifth and the team that wins the DFB Cup qualify directly for the Europa League group stage, with sixth going into the Europa Conference League play-offs.

However, if the winner of the DFB Cup has already finished in the top six in the Bundesliga, then sixth place will gain entry to the Europa League group stage, with seventh going into the Conference League play-off. It is not the runner-up in the Cup who benefits should the winner have already qualified.

Looking back at the 2021/22 domestic campaign, Leipzig and Freiburg were the DFB Cup finalists and were already assured of top-six finishes. It meant that, regardless of the result in Berlin, seventh (Cologne) got a shot at the Conference League play-offs. Union Berlin and Freiburg - fifth and sixth respectively - went into the Europa League group stage in 2022/23.

In the case of a Bundesliga team winning the Conference League, then they will automatically compete in the Europa League group stage, unless they have finished in the top four and secured a spot in the Champions League, where they will compete. If they are already in the top six, this will not affect the allocation.

Conditions for qualification and the right for clubs to compete in European competition are subject to change and approval by UEFA.