Opening games and opening goals: the first season scorers in Bundesliga history
With UEFA Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt preparing to host the defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the opening fixture of the 2022/23 season, it may come as a surprise to know that there has always been at least one goal in the season-opening fixture, which has been played on a Friday night since 2002.
Given the attacking calibre and goalscoring records of the two season-opening teams, that is a record which is likely to continue, but who will get the first goal of the 2022/23 season? Well, if history is anything to go by, Bayern's Thomas Müller could be a good bet.
In the 20 seasons since the Bundesliga season commenced with an opening fixture, rather than several games kicking off simultaneously on a Saturday afternoon, Müller has opened the scoring on no fewer than three occasions (in 2010, 2014 and 2018).
Watch: How Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season looks
If not Müller, then one of his teammates can be expected to draw first blood, since the opening goal of the season has been supplied by a Bayern players on no fewer than 13 occasions since 2002. That could well be down to the fact that perennial champions Bayern have been involved in 14 season-opening fixtures, and 2022/23 will be no exception.
In 18 of these 20 opening games since 2002, the first goal has fallen in the first half. Only in 2004, when Werder Bremen faced Schalke, and 2009, when Wolfsburg played VfB Stuttgart, did the opening goal come after the interval, while the quickest goal of a Bundesliga season fell in 2002 when Bart Goor struck for Hertha Berlin after just 55 seconds against Borussia Dortmund.
Serge Gnabry needed just a few more minutes – a total of four, to be precise – to put Bayern on their way to a record 8-0 win over Schalke in 2020/21, with Müller's earliest strike coming after nine minutes in 2010 – the same length of time it took Xabi Alonso (2016) and Niklas Süle (2017) to register the record champions' first goal of the new season, while Alassane Plea got Borussia Mönchengladbach off to a flyer in the tenth minute of their 1-1 draw with Bayern last season.
Opening goalscorers season by season since 2002:
2021/22: 10th minute - Alassane Plea (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
2020/21: 4th minute - Serge Gnabry (Bayern Munich)
2019/20: 24th minute - Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
2018/19: 23rd minute - Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)
2017/18: 9th minute - Niklas Süle (Bayern Munich)
2016/17: 9th minute - Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich)
2015/16: 27th minute - Medhi Benatia (Bayern Munich)
2014/15: 37th minute - Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)
2013/14: 12th minute - Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich)
2012/13: 11th minute - Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
2011/12: 17th minute - Kevin Großkreutz (Borussia Dortmund)
2010/11: 9th Minute - Thomas Müller (Bayern Munich)
2009/10: 71st minute - Zvjezdan Misimovic (VfL Wolfsburg)
2008/09: 12th minute - Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)
2007/08: 25th minute - Levan Kobiashvili (FC Schalke 04)
2006/07: 24th minute - Roy Makaay (Bayern Munich)
2005/06: 28th minute - Owen Hargreaves (Bayern Munich)
2004/05: 84th minute - Nelson Valdez (Werder Bremen)
2003/04: 16th minute - Ze Roberto (Bayern Munich)
2002/03: 1st minute - Bart Goor (Hertha Berlin)
Will it be Bayern or Frankfurt who hit the ground running at the start of the new season? We will find out on Friday, August 5!
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