After 16 round of matches, the Bundesliga has earned its winter break - but as the clubs gear up for action once again in 2024, bundesliga.com looks back at what has been achieved in the 2023/24 season so far.
There were a total of 480 goals scored in the first 143 Bundesliga fixtures of the season, which works out at an average of 3.4 per game. After 16 rounds of matches, this is the highest number of goals in 38 years: in 1985/86, there were 492 goals at this stage of the season, although with Bayern vs. Union Berlin postponed, there is still one more game to go before the full round of 16 matchdays is complete.
If the current rate of goals continues through to the end of the season, though, the 1,000-goal barrier would be broken for the first time in 39 years. Currently, the Bundesliga season is on course to conclude with a whopping 1,027 goals.
Watch: 18 clubs, 18 of the best goals so far this season
When you sit back and watch a Bundesliga game, you are practically assured of at least one goal. Indeed, only five fixtures so far this season have ended goalless, while in Bundesliga 2, there have been just six shutouts in 153 games.
Two players have made substantial contributions to such a bounty of goals, with Bayern Munich's Harry Kane and VfB Stuttgart's Serhou Guirassy both setting scoring records in the first four months of the season.
The Englishman, who joined Bayern from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, has equalled Robert Lewandowski's record from 2020/21 with 21 goals after 16 matchdays, and he still has that rearranged game against Berlin up his sleeve to snatch the record for himself. The Guinea international is therefore only second on the scoring charts, despite scoring 17 goals in just 14 games.
He did, nevertheless, race to 13 goals by early October – scoring more in the first seven games of a season than any player in Bundesliga history. And it is also worth remembering that both Guirassy and Kane have already exceeded the total of 16 goals that earned Niclas Füllkrug and Christopher Nkunku the Torjägerkanone last season.
Watch: the race for Robert Lewandowski's goals record
Only one of the overall 96 clubs in Europe's top five leagues is still unbeaten, and that is Bayer Leverkusen. They have not lost even one of their 25 competitive fixtures this season (22 wins, three draws) and have therefore established a new record in German football. Xabi Alonso's men have topped the table at the end of 13 of the 16 matchdays to date, including the last 11 in a row.
In spite of this record-breaking start to the season, Alonso's men still have one team breathing down their neck, and a further two still within sight. For only the fourth time since 1965/66 (when it was five clubs), 2001/02 (also five clubs) and 2013/14, there are at least four clubs in double figures for wins after just 16 rounds of matches: Leverkusen, Bayern, Stuttgart and RB Leipzig, who have a combined 46 wins between them.
Watch: The story of Bayern & Leverkusen's title race so far in 2023/24
The big surprise this season is VfB Stuttgart, who needed a play-off win over Hamburg to avoid relegation at the end of last season. Now, Sebastian Hoeneß' men are sitting pretty in third, having already picked up more points (34) than they did in the whole of last season (33).
For VfB, this is the second-highest points' haul after 16 games of a season in the club's history (in 2003/04 they had 35) and 11 wins from the first 16 games is a new club record.
There have been many big-name departures from the Bundesliga in recent years, when you think of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, Jude Bellingham and Randal Kolo Muani, but that has allowed others to step into the breach, with four summer signings having an extraordinarily big impact on the league. Harry Kane (21 goals), Loïs Openda (11), Victor Boniface (10) and Deniz Undav (9) all feature among the top-six in the goalscoring charts, despite taking their first steps in the Bundesliga only in August.
Some other new faces have also adjusted well to their new surroundings, with Xavi Simons, Boniface and Jan-Niklas Beste of promoted Heidenheim all supplying seven assists – only 'old head' Leroy Sané leads that particular chart ahead of them with eight. Both of Leverkusen's top-scorers – Boniface and Alejandro Grimaldo Grimaldo – are summer recruits.
Watch: Bayer Leverkusen’s Spanish Maestros
Fair play reigns
The number of fouls committed on opponents in the Bundesliga has been dropping constantly in recent years, and the total of 3,143 fouls committed so far after 16 rounds of matches is the lowest since data collection began. There may still be one game to play, but the average number of fouls per game played is nevertheless the lowest on record.
What may seem surprising, on the other hand, is that the number of yellow cards (571) is at its highest point in 21 years, since 2002/03 when there were 611 warnings over the first 16 matchdays.
Europe's biggest attraction
Once again, the Bundesliga boasts the highest attendance across Europe, with an average of 39,507 taking in games live at the stadium – more than in any of the other top-five leagues: Spain, England, France and Italy.
What is even more impressive is the average for Bundesliga 2, which at 28,212 is higher than France's Ligue 1 (26,768) and almost as high as Spain's LaLiga (28,805) and Italy's Serie A (30,584).
And this actually represents a drop on 2022/23 (43,018), which can be explained by the smaller stadia in Heidenheim (capacity 15,000) and Darmstadt (17,810) replacing larger arenas and crowd figures at Hertha Berlin and Schalke.
Vote for February's Goal of the Month!
The likes of Harry Kane, Xavi Simons, Granit Xhaka and Deniz Undav are up for February's award, so who will you choose to take home the Goal of the Month crown? Vote now!
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