The memories of those beer-soaked, final day Bundesliga celebrations lingering in the mind, what better time to tot up the final stats tally on a terrific campaign of entertainment in Germany’s top-flight!
Each spectacular Matchday of the season seemed littered with goals. There were more scored than last year, and much more than the season before that. As many as 877 flew in, from Freiburg and Munich in the south to Hamburg and Bremen in the north; Berlin in the east to Cologne in the west. An average of 2.9 goals and 25 shots per game kept fans enthralled throughout. There were 157 headed goals – or Kopfball, in German; 23 free-kick specials and 128 scored on the counter-attack. Still with us? Take a moment and let that sink in.
RB Leipzig’s Timo 'Turbo' Werner slammed home seven on the counter, more in that category than the total of ten individual teams. Indeed, the 14 counter-attacking goals scored by this season’s Saxony-based surprise packages fell just one short of Werder Bremen, for whom Max Kruse was a colossus, involved as he was in ten of the Green-Whites’ successful counter-thrusts.
While on the subject of the aforementioned Leipzig wizard Werner, the 21-year-old’s 21 strikes placed the former Stuttgart star in stellar company. Only Gerd Müller and Dieter Müller managed more than 20 goals in a season at Werner’s age. Gerd and Dieter would also no doubt offer a nod to the Bundesliga’s top scorer this term, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joins those legends and Lothar Emmerich as one of only four players to manage more than 30 goals in a single season. Aubameyang’s final day double for Borussia Dortmund against Werder took the Gabon great to 31 for the campaign, one more than Robert Lewandowski.
Yet for the Pole too, there was reason to cheer, despite having to relinquish his Torjägerkanone title. The Bayern Munich marksman registered 30 for the second successive season. Previously, only Gerd Müller managed 30 or more goals in more than two Bundesliga campaigns.
A Jokertor in Germany is no laughing matter, especially if your team is on the receiving end of one! Meaning a goal scored by a substitute, there were 124 such ‘Jokertore’ netted in 2016/17 compared to 85 last year. And Freiburg forward Nils Petersen is the Bundesliga’s super-sub supreme – managing nine goals after coming on for the Baden-Württemberg-based side to take his career total to 19 from the bench, a German top-flight best. Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann, meanwhile, proved the shrewdest in this aspect, his substitutes generating 13 of the fourth-place finishers’ 64 goals.
And what of the German cry of ‘abseits!’ – or offside! Well, assistants’ flags were raised for this offence 1377 times during the recently-completed season. Referees brandished 56 red cards and 1,143 yellows while only eight penalties were given for handball!
There were incredible, jaw-dropping results, like Darmstadt downing Dortmund on Matchday 20 and Hamburg thrashing Leipzig 3-0 away on the same weekend, highlighting the wonderful unpredictability of the Bundesliga. Hertha Berlin’s six away defeats in a row was a startling sequence, just as Bremen going eleven unbeaten following four successive losses, was.
Watch: Bayern lift the Meisterschale:
Then there was Bayern Munich: champions for an unprecedented fifth consecutive season with by far the best defensive record, the Bavarians’ 22 goals conceded easily the fewest with the highest amount of goals on average coming in their games. Just six points separated the top five teams in terms of the ‘home’ standings, but Bayern were ten points better off in the away rankings.
The last word for this season, however, goes to the brilliant Bundesliga fans; a band apart who fill grounds around Germany in numbers unparalleled in the world game. With an average of 41,500 filing into games each week, the Bundesliga is the world’s best attended league and with Stuttgart and Hannover achieving promotion last weekend, those averages are only likely to increase. With numbers like these, where else would you rather be?
Calculators away for the summer, we'll be back next season with more numbers!
Watch: Cheers to Alonso and Lahm!