In case you didn't realise, the Bundesliga is up there with the best of them - and here are a few specifics as to why...
Franck Ribery, Robert Lewandowski, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Pierre-Emerick Aubemeyang, Kevin-Prince Boateng - the list is long and distinguished. Above and beyond all the top-class imports, the Bundesliga also has a knack of producing world-beating homegrown talent: Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller to name but three. Germany's top flight is a magnet for the best and a conveyor belt when it comes to rolling out tomorrow's finest. And people wonder why the national side perform so consistently well on the big stage...
You won’t hear German fans talking about the “top two” or “big four”. Quite frankly, neither exist in the Bundesliga. Indeed, the past eleven seasons alone have produced no fewer than five different champions. So you see it’s not all about Bayern München by a long stretch. Sure, they’re the record champions, but Werder Bremen, VfB Stuttgart, VfL Wolfsburg (pictured) and, of course, Borussia Dortmund - back-to-back winners in 2010/11 and 2011/12 - have all got their hands on the coveted championship plate in recent seasons.
While many clubs across the globe appear to be in heavy debt, in Germany there are strict rules to ensure clubs avoid such scenarios. What's more, unlike their Premier League counterparts for example, the top flight sides, underpinned by the '50+1 rule', put their faith in the fans so that those who wear the trousers cannot go on any mad spending sprees that could jeopardise the future of the club. In the Bundesliga, shrewd financial management is the platform for success, and that doesn't necessarily mean spending big.
Taking your seat - or standing - at any one of Germany’s state-of-the-art stadiums does not entail parting with half a week's wages for the privilege. Football fans are not there to be fleeced, not in the Bundesliga anyway. With average ticket prices starting from €10 to €12, it’s no wonder even many a non-native is willing to put in the necessary miles to get a live piece of the German top-flight action. Another big pull are the terraces - Dortmund’s magnificent Signal Iduna Park, for example, boasts the largest in Europe with enough room for 24,454 bricks in the infamous “Yellow Wall”.
Once there, you won't want to leave. Help yourself to a chilled beverage, hearty side and soak up the unrivalled atmosphere. In a recent review of the football leagues with the highest average attendances in Europe, the Bundesliga came out top with a lofty average in excess of 40,000. Whether it’s Schalke 04's Veltins Arena, the Imech Arena in Hamburg or Bayern's Allianz Arena, the Bundesliga stadia will not disappoint, least of all those eleven with the capacity to house over 40,000 supporters.
Compiled by Christopher Mayer-Lodge