The country's first domestic champions in 1903, VfB Leipzig were once a dominant force of German football but featured just once in the Bundesliga.
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.
Years in Bundesliga: 1 (1993/94)
Most appearances: Frank Edmond (33)
Most goals: Dirk Anders (eight)
Youngest player: Rene Schmidt (18 years, 10 months, five days)
As the city where the DFB (German FA) was founded, Leipzig holds a special place in German football. And VfB were big players in the early years, in fact being the country’s first champions in 1903 and winning the title a further two times up to 1914. They would go through several names following Germany’s partition, finally emerging as Lokomotive Leipzig in 1966.
Although they never won the East German title, finishing as runners-up three times, Loko were known as a knockout team with five East German Cups and reaching the 1986/87 European Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to Johan Cruyff’s Ajax in Athens through a Marco van Basten goal. After reunification in 1991, they joined Bundesliga 2, reverting to the original name of VfB Leipzig. And in 1992/93 they achieved a surprise third place to become the first East German team to be promoted to the Bundesliga.
They celebrated their 100th anniversary in that solitary Bundesliga season but managed just three wins – including a notable one away at Borussia Dortmund – and finished bottom of the table, before slipping to the third tier after four years in Bundesliga 2. VfB declared insolvency in 2000 and the men’s first team withdrew from competition in 2004. Founded just months earlier by 13 VfB fans, 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig took over as the team started again in the ninth tier. Four straight promotions brought them back to the Oberliga in 2008 and the Regionalliga in 2012. And in October 2021, Lokomotive formally merged with the remainder of VfB. The current club can trace a history back to 1893 and as of 2022 is allowed to wear a star above its crest for the three titles won by VfB.