Record champions Bayern Munich are the only team allowed to display five stars. - © Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga
Record champions Bayern Munich are the only team allowed to display five stars. - © Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga

Which Bundesliga clubs get to wear stars on their shirts?


Bayer Leverkusen are the 13th club to be crowned Bundesliga champions, but does that earn them a star on their shirt? explains the rules about this symbolic badge of honour…

The DFL introduced a rule in 2004 allowing clubs who won the Bundesliga to display stars above their crest on their jerseys and shorts.

Will we soon see a star above the crest of new champions Bayer Leverkusen? - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga

However, the first star is only won once a team has lifted the Meisterschale three times. Additional stars then come after certain milestones.

  • 1 star: three Bundesliga titles
  • 2 stars: five Bundesliga titles
  • 3 stars: 10 Bundesliga titles
  • 4 stars: 20 Bundesliga titles
  • 5 stars: 30 Bundesliga titles

Only titles won in the Bundesliga, i.e. since 1963, count towards the total. More on that below…

As of 2024, it means that Bayern Munich with 32 titles have displayed five stars since 2021. Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Mönchengladbach are both five-time champions and have two stars. Werder Bremen (four titles), Hamburg and VfB Stuttgart (both three) are permitted one star.

It also means that two-time champions Cologne and Kaiserslautern, as well as one-time winners 1860 Munich, VfL Wolfsburg, Eintracht Braunschweig, Nuremberg and now Leverkusen do not get to wear a star.

DFL regulations stipulate the size of the stars must be between 20 and 22 millimetres in height and width.

Watch: Leverkusen celebrate their first title

The two Borussias of Dortmund and Mönchengladbach have five titles and two stars each. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga

The introduction of the rule in 2004 did spark controversy as it only considered success in the Bundesliga era, excluding championships won prior to 1963 and also those by clubs in East Germany.

In 2005, the German FA (DFB) introduced an extended the rule to encompass all those other titles. However, the DFL rejected the move. As such, teams playing in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, under the DFL, must abide by the stricter rule. Clubs that are in DFB-run leagues, i.e. the 3. Liga and below, may display a single star that includes a number in the middle representing their title successes.

For example, 10-time GDR champions BFC Dynamo would be permitted three stars if the DFL system was expanded. Instead, they display one since they play in the lower leagues now. Eight-time East German winners Dynamo Dresden also play with a star during their 3. Liga campaigns but have to remove it whenever they compete in Bundesliga 2.

Schalke and Nuremberg with seven and eight pre-Bundesliga championships each, would also have a star if they dropped below the second division. They would be able to show two stars if all their titles were counted by the DFL.

This fact should also be remembered when counting Bayern’s titles. They were crowned champions for the first time in 1932, meaning they have been champions of Germany 33 times. That’s why they only got their fifth star in 2021 with their 31st crown but 30th in the Bundesliga.