With the 2014/15 season fast approaching, bundesliga.com invites you to wrap your chops around a selection of delectable statistical appetisers...
FC Bayern München ran away with the Bundesliga in 2013/14, wrapping up their 23rd Meisterschale in record time on 25 March. The momentum seemingly on their side, the Bavarians are nevertheless no stranger to FIFA World Cup hangovers. The record German champions could only manage third- and fourth-place finishes in 2010/11 and 2006/07 respectively, while tenth was all Franz Beckenbauer and Co. could muster in the wake of West Germany's second World Cup win in 1974.
Should Bayern wobble, there'll be no shortage of contenders for the throne. Borussia Dortmund have addressed the loss of Robert Lewandowski by bringing in Ciro Immobile, Adrian Ramos and Dong-Won Ji, FC Schalke 04 have snapped up Sidney Sam and Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bayer 04 Leverkusen will be able to call on Hakan Calhanoglu's dead-ball expertise, and VfL Wolfsburg have picked up Mr. Fair Play, Aaron Hunt. Talk about a five-horse race!
Promoted SC Paderborn 07 take their top-flight bow as the 53rd club to play in the Bundesliga since its founding in 1963. Surprisingly, though, the history books are somewhat in the North Rhine-Westphalian club's favour, with SpVgg Greuther Fürth the only one of the last three Bundesliga tenderfoots to fall prey to an immediate return to the second tier. The relegation-dodging exploits of FC Augsburg (2011) and 1899 Hoffenheim (2008) will, of course, be no easy act to follow.
Goals are quite the en vogue commodity in the Bundesliga, with a 27-year-high 967 efforts finding the onion bag in 2013/14 compared to 898 a year earlier and 875 in 2011/12. Should that upward trajectory continue, we might soon see Germany's top-flight smash the 1000-goal mark for the first time since 1984/85 (1074). The overriding will to win certainly plays its part, with just 21 per cent of games ending all square last term. Only on five previous occasions has the number of draws been lower.
The Bundesliga's head-turning assets have had a major impact on the summer transfer market so far, attracting the likes of Swiss newbies Yann Sommer (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Valentin Stocker (Hertha Berlin), Chile's Gonzalo Jara (1. FSV Mainz 05), Dutch veteran John Heitinga (Hertha BSC), Spanish wide man Juan Bernat (FC Bayern), Samba star Wendell (Leverkusen), Greek international Stefanos Kapino (Mainz) and Belgian prospect Thorgan Hazard (Gladbach, on loan).
Of all the world football stars to have sampled the Bundesliga melting pot down the years, few have left such a lasting impression as Bayern's . Already the league's record foreign goalscorer, the Peruvian now has his sights firmly set on the top five of the all-time Bundesliga scorers' chart. Currently sat ninth on 176 goals, "Piza", who turns 36 in October, needs just seven strikes to overhaul Ulf Kirsten (182) in fifth. After netting ten in just 17 appearances last season, he has every chance.
While the number of goals went stratospheric in 2013/14, the proportion of fouls hit a record low. Referees stood united in adopting a let-the-game flow stance, with the general consensus being to only call players up for a ticking off when absolutely necessary. The laissez-faire approach resulted in just 9025 fouls being committed all season and an average of just 29 per game. Forget foul play; the Bundesliga only has time for the fair variety.
The title may have been put to bed in double-quick time, but that didn't deter the Bundesliga's army of fans from turning out in droves in 2013/14. The second highest average attendance figure of all time (42,609) attests to that and augurs supremely well for the new season. Indeed, with newcomers Paderborn and 1. FC Köln boasting enough stadium space for 65,000 fans combined, the Bundesliga's already legendary attendance figures are exceptionally well placed to hit new heights in 2014/15.
The Bundesliga's progress on the global stage provides one final illustration of the German top tier's to the pinnacle of the beautiful game. No less than nine top-table favourites started die Nationalmannschaft's World Cup final triumph in Brazil, but not before all four Bundesliga representatives had made it through to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the first time ever. The 52nd edition of the pioneering Bundesliga promises much, but it will deliver. It always does.
Compiled by Christopher Mayer-Lodge