The 2018/19 Bundesliga season gets underway on Friday 24 August, but who will be leading their teams out for the new campaign?
bundesliga.com introduces the 18 captains skippering their clubs.
Captain for both club and country, Germany’s No.1 begins his second season as Bayern’s on-field leader. His first with the armband, however, was limited to just three league appearances because of a broken foot, with Thomas Müller often deputising. Neuer, though, is now fit and ready to lead the record champions to yet more potential Bundesliga glory.
Schalke: Ralf Fährmann
Another goalkeeper going into his second season as captain of his club, youth product Fährmann was the recipient of last term’s golden glove for the most clean sheets. His new deputy is veteran defender Naldo, who played every minute of last season. Fährmann, however, has not missed a Bundesliga game for over three years.
Hoffenheim: Kevin Vogt
Last season Julian Nagelsmann allowed his squad to choose their captain. This time the armband has been handed from Eugen Polanski to Kevin Vogt, who wore it in all but four Bundesliga games last season in any case.
Marcel Schmelzer gave up the duty at the end of last season, and now new coach Lucien Favre has bestowed the honour upon local boy Reus. One of Dortmund’s key men following his return from a long-term injury layoff, he was already an on-field leader within the BVB team, but now he’s been handed the responsibility full time for 2018/19.
Bayer Leverkusen: Lars Bender
With Die Werkself since 2009, the former 1860 Munich man has led last season’s fifth-placed side since 2015. Used across the backline and in midfield last term, his leadership skills simply add to his versatility.
RB Leipzig: Willi Orban
Even at 25 Orban is not in fact the youngest skipper in the Bundesliga this season as he enters his fourth year with Leipzig, but he is rather experienced in the role. After joining from Kaiserslautern in 2015, he was handed the armband full time last season.
VfB Stuttgart: Christian Gentner
The longest-serving captain in this year’s Bundesliga, Gentner has led Stuttgart since 2013. Apart from a three-year spell away at Wolfsburg, the 32-year-old has been with VfB since 1999 and currently sits 10th for Bundesliga appearances at the club.
Eintracht Frankfurt: David Abraham
The Argentine succeeds retired club legend Alex Meier as club captain in Frankfurt. Now going into his fourth season with Eintracht, he has been de facto captain for over a year now due to Meier’s persistent injury problems.
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Lars Stindl
Following five years at Hannover, Germany international Stindl arrived at Gladbach in 2015. Just a year later he was named club captain after the retirement of Martin Stranzl.
Ibisevic’s story mirrors that of Stindl. The Bosnian moved to Berlin from Stuttgart in 2015, originally on loan, and when he made his move permanent ahead of 2016/17 he was named captain by Pal Dardai.
Werder Bremen: Max Kruse
Kruse succeeds Zlatko Junuzovic as captain in Bremen. A Werder youth product, the 30-year-old has had a roundabout way to reach this point with spells at St. Pauli, Freiburg, Gladbach and Wolfsburg before returning home two years ago.
Augsburg: Daniel Baier
The only player to feature in every Bundesliga season for Augsburg, Baier has been with the Fuggerstädter for the best part of a decade. Following the departure of Paul Verheagh in the summer of 2017, Baier was named club captain and will now lead the side into a second campaign.
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Hannover: Waldemar Anton
If you're good enough, you're old enough. That certainly rings true for Anton who, at 22, goes into the 2018/19 season as the youngest captain in the Bundesliga. The Uzbekistan-born defender has certainly earned the armband, having stuck with his boyhood club through thick and thin down the years: relegation in 2016, promotion in 2017 and last term's 13th-placed finish. Pirmin Schwegler assumes the role of able deputy.
Mainz: Niko Bungert
Going into his 11th season with the 05ers, Bungert has been club captain since 2016 but missed the whole of last season through injury. Fellow centre-back Stefan Bell deputised for him in 2017/18.
Freiburg: Mike Frantz
Entering his fifth season as a Freiburg player, 31-year-old midfielder Frantz takes over the armband from Julian Schuster on a permanent basis, despite missing over half of the 2017/18 campaign through injury. He has skippered the side in the retired Schuster's stead since 2016/17.
Wolfsburg: Josuha Guilavogui
Frenchman Guilavogui has become a key man for the Wolves since his arrival from Spanish side Atletico Madrid in 2014 on an initial loan. A total of 105 Bundesliga appearances and six goals later and the 27-year-old midfielder has been named Wolfsburg's captain by coach Bruno Labbadia, with goalkeeper Koen Casteels and defender Robin Knoche as vice-captains.
Fortuna Düsseldorf: Oliver Fink
One of the club’s longest-serving players, 36-year-old Fink has been with Fortuna since 2009 and their captain since 2016. It’s the midfielder’s second crack at the Bundesliga as he enters the latter stages of his career.
Nuremberg: Hanno Behrens
Behrens played more than a part in Nuremberg’s record eighth promotion last season. In his third season at the club, and first as captain, the midfielder played every minute of competitive action for the team and top scored with 14 goals as the Bavarians ended their four-year hiatus from the top flight.