bundesliga.com brings you all the important information about the coming season.
This is what the new official matchball for 2014/15 looks like – it is Adidas' torfabrik. Based on the technology used to create the FIFA World Cup matchball brazuca, the surface structure, with six symmetrically identical panels, improves grip and feeling, ensuring optimal in-game and in-flight characteristics. Here you can see the new ball in all its glory.
The opening goal of the season has been scored by either a Borussia Dortmund or FC Bayern player no fewer than on eight occasions - a league best. Last season, Bayern moved level with Dortmund in that classification when Arjen Robben netted the opener in a 3-1 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. See highlights of that game here.
The first Matchday of the 2014/15 Bundesliga season will take place on 22-24 August. The ball will be rolling earlier in Bundesliga 2, however, with the action starting three weeks prior, like in recent seasons. Bundesliga 2 thus commences on 1 August, although the kick-off times remain unaltered from last season.
Matchday 5, which will be Matchday 7 in Bundesliga 2, will take place dring the week - on 23/24 September. The next round of midweek matches are scheduled to take place just prior to the winter break on 16/17 December. The start of the second half of the season also promises to be intense with Matchday 18 on 30 January 2015 and Matchday 19 just days later, on 3/4 February. The Bundesliga 2 winter break lasts one week longer with the action recommencing on 6 February.
The first highlight of the season comes one and a half weeks before the Bundesliga kicks off, on 13 August at 16:00 GMT / 18:00 CEST in Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park. There, hosts Borussia Dortmund, runners up in both the league and DFB Cup last term, entertain the team who beat them to both titles, FC Bayern München, in the .
During the week leading up to Matchday 1, Bayer 04 Leverkusen already have their first major test of the season, in Europe. The Werkself are involved in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off on 19/20 August with the second leg a week later. FC Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 have already booked their places in the group stage with Leverkusen keen to make it four out of four for the Bundesliga when the serious action starts on 16/17 September.
1. FSV Mainz 05 are in competitive action even earlier with their UEFA Europa League campaign starting as soon as 31 July. That is when they enter the third qualifying round, with the second leg a week later. Should they cross that hurdle, they will then enter a play-off for a berth in the groups, on 21/28 August. That is also when Borussia Mönchengladbach will be involved, while VfL Wolfsburg are already assured their place in the group stage.
SC Paderborn are preparing for their first ever season in the Bundesliga, becoming the 53rd side to join the top flight. President Wilfried Finke was not so surprised by this achievement, however. "The impressive consistency we showed in the second half of the season soon convinced me that we would be able to clinch promotion to the Bundesliga," Finke said exclusively to bundesliga.com.
Eight of the sides on the grid at the start of the 2014/15 season have won at least one Bundesliga title since the league's inception in 1963. Bayern, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Gladbach, SV Werder Bremen, VfB Stuttgart, Hamburger SV and 1. FC Köln have all got their hands on the title in the past. Only 1. FC Kaiserslautern (twice), 1860 Munich, 1. FC Nürnberg and Eintracht Braunschweig are previous winners who will not be featuring next season.
The last two Matchdays of the season will, according to tradition, see all nine fixtures kick off at the same time. The final Matchday is on 23 May, when the 2015 Bundesliga champion will be crowned. Should the winner already be known by then, they will get their hands on the prize at the conclusion of their last home game of the season, hust as FC Bayern did last season.