German soccer teams: best clubs, biggest & most successful football clubs in GermanySeptember 24, 2021
German soccer teams over the years have enjoyed remarks success in European competitions as well as at the world stage.
The Bundesliga, as well as 2. Bundesliga represents the best football clubs in Germany.
The league was founded and has grown over the years to accommodate some of the most responsible names of world football.
Top teams from Germany with international recognition are Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg, etc.
Who is the best team in Germany? Bayern Munich is the best team in Germany having won the Bundesliga 31 times, DFB-Pokal 20, DFB/DFL-Supercup 9, six Champions League, etc.
What is Germany’s most famous football team? FC Bayern Munich is the most famously in Germany with over 350,000 members.
What do they call soccer in Germany? Football, or soccer, is known as Fußball in Germany.
Most especially Bayern Munich, have consistently represented the country.
The most recent success recorded by the club was the trophy sweep which including winning the UEFA Champions, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup win in 2020.
Bayern Munich alone has amassed more trophies which had attracted the international audience on the German soccer teams.
Other German teams including Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV have recorded success in European and International competitions.
German soccer teams: Ranking the top six best teams
SV Werder Bremen
1. Bayern Munich
Name: Bayern Munich
Nickname(s): The Bavarians
Stadium: Allianz Arena
League: 1. Bundesliga
Bayern Munich or simply Bayern is the most successful as well as the biggest football club in German football history.
The Munich based club have amassed numerous domestic and international trophies since its establishment as a football club in the country.
Bayern has won a record 31 Bundesliga titles, including nine consecutively league crowns since 2013 till date.
They’ve also won another 20 DFB-Pokal.
Although the club was not a founding member of the Bundesliga and had to come through the lower divisions, it has since turned out to be dominating team over the years.
Bayern enjoyed its early success which could be tagged one of the greatest moments of the club’s history in the mid-1970s.
During this period, the club won the UEFA Champions League (European Cup) three consecutive times (1974–1976).
Since then, Bayern has gone on to win major trophy including European as well as trophies on the world stage.
In overall performance at the European scene, Bayern Munich has won six European Cup/UEFA Champions League titles which stands today as a German record and the reason behind the club’s four stars on its logo.
Bayern Munich is also the only the second European club to achieve a continental treble twice after it completed its continental treble in 2020.
In 2020, Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, DFL-Supercup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
The holds numerous German as well as European football records
Bayern Munich record’s and statistics in history
- The only the second club to win the sextuple.
- One of five clubs to have won all three of UEFA’s main club competitions.
- The only German club to have won all three of UEFA’s main club competitions.
- The only second European club to achieve the continental treble twice.
- One of the most successful European clubs internationally.
- The only German club to have won two international titles (FIFA Club World Cups and Intercontinental Cups).
- Bayern Munich remains one of the biggest football clubs in the world.
Bayern Munich rivalries
Bayern Munich has established a strong presence within and outside Germany since its establishment as a soccer club.
The Bavarians are one of the three Professional Soccer teams in the Munich area.
Bayern Munich holds a strong rivalry with 1860 Munich which is known as the Munich Derby.
The club also has a heated rivalry with FC Nürnberg.
Other sides with rivalry with FC Bayern Munich are Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Bayern vs Borussia Dortmund
Known as the Die Klassiker, Dortmund plays host to Bayern Munich a fierce rivalry with the Yellow Wall who’s currently regarded as one of the best in the country.
2. Borussia Dortmund
Name: Bayern Munich
Nickname(s): The Bavarians
Stadium: Allianz Arena
League: 1. Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund is the second-best football team in Germany and has consistently retained this position over the years.
Founded in 1909, Dortmund has proven to be one of the most supported soccer clubs in Germany.
The club has consistently pulled out the highest matchday attendance in the Bundesliga.
In terms of performance, the club sits behind Bayern Munich as one of Germany’s best teams in Europe as well as internationally.
Dortmund has won eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB-Pokals, one UEFA Champions League, one Intercontinental Cup, and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.
Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga back to back between 2010–11 and 2011–12 before Bayern Munich began its nine winning streak beginning from the following season (2012/2013).
Tipped to go toe to toe with Bayern in the domestic scene, the club has failed in its bid on most occasions to match the fireworks of Bayern.
Over the years, Dortmund has also lost some big players to Bayern Munich including players like Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, etc.
Although the club has not to challenge Bayern at the top well enough, it is still among the best soccer teams of world football.
Most especially in European competitions like the UEFA Champions League, Dortmund has featured in the competition and have qualified for the knockout stages.
Dortmund won the 2020/2021 DFB-Pokal.
Borussia Dortmund rivalries
Dortmund is not just a club in Germany, but a giant and one of the main title challengers over the years.
Dortmund has also produced some of the biggest players, some of which have also moved to Bayern Munich at some point.
The club’s rivals are Bayern Munich, Schalke 04, etc.
3. SV Werder Bremen
Name: Sportverein Werder Bremen
Nickname(s): The River Islanders
League: 2. Bundesliga
SV Werder Bremen is regarded as the third-best German soccer team in history.
Although the club has faced ups and downs in recent years, it is still one of the biggest teams in the history of soccer in the country.
Bremen are third in the all-time Bundesliga winners table.
The club also shares the record for most seasons played in the Bundesliga with Bayern Múnich.
Founded in 1899, SV Werder Bremen have won four Bundesliga titles, six DFB-Pokals, three DFL-Supercups, European Cup Winners’ Cup,
To add to the club’s trophy haul, SV Werder Bremen won the “Double” in 2003–04 as it clinched the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal.
Bremen were runners up in the UEFA Cup (Europa League) in the 2008–09 campaign as well as the European Super Cup (UEFA Super Cup) in 1992.
Werder Bremen boost a significant number of followers across Germany.
SV Werder Bremen rivalries
Bremen were also Germany’s top performers in history.
Although the club’s form has been Hansi in the balance in recent years, it still holds a high place in the history of soccer in the country.
Bremen plays Hamburger which is one of the long-standing rivalries in German soccer.
The derby is known as the northern Nordderby or North derby in English.
4. Hamburger SV
Name: Hamburger Sport-Verein
Nickname(s): The Red Shorts
League: 2. Bundesliga
Hamburger SV is one of the few German soccer clubs that have achieved international success.
Hamburger SV is also one of the most supported football clubs from Germany internationally and until 2018 before its relegation, it was the only club to remain in the Bundesliga since its establishment.
Unlike other clubs, Hamburger SV had its successful period from the mid-1970s until the mid-1980s.
During this period, the club won major domestic trophies as well as the UEFA Champions League (European Cup) in 1982–83 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1976–77.
Regarded as one of the oldest football clubs in Germany, the club has top rivalries with Werder Bremen (Nordderby) and FC St. Pauli (Hamburg derby).
Hamburg is five-time German champions between 1922–23, 1927–28, 1959–60, 1978–79, 1981–82, and 1982–83.
The club has also won three DFB-Pokals, one European Cup (Champions League), one European Cup Winners’ Cup.
Hamburger SV won the “Double” during the 1982–83 season as it lifted the Bundesliga and European Cup.
Hamburger SV rivalries
As the only team that had played in every season of the Bundesliga since its foundation in 1963, Hamburger SV has a strong rivalry with other top clubs in the country.
Hamburger SV is also one of the oldest soccer clubs in Germany.
HSV contest the Nordderby with SV Werder Bremen.
The club also has a strong rivalry with Hamburg-based side FC St. Pauli and the two teams contest the Hamburg derby.
5. Borussia Mönchengladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach is one of Germany’s best soccer teams in history. The is also one of the top-performing German clubs of the present era.
Founded in 1900, the club is currently regarded as the fifth largest club soccer club in Germany.
Borussia Mönchengladbach has won five Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals, two UEFA Cup (Europa League) winners between 1974–75 and 1978–79.
Mönchengladbach won the “Double” in the 1974–75 season to enter the list of German soccer teams with the “Double” when it won the League and UEFA Cup (Europa League).
Over the years, Borussia has enjoyed a significant rise in performance across all competitions including the European scene.
Borussia Mönchengladbach rivalries
Mönchengladbach has a regional rival 1. FC Köln. Other rivalries include Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund.
6. VfB Stuttgart
VfB Stuttgart prides itself as one of the most successful teams in Germany. It is also one of the largest sports clubs in the country.
When it comes to German soccer, VfB Stuttgart is a household name with five Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals, 2. Bundesliga twice.
VfB Stuttgart rivalries
Stuttgart have a rivalry with Bavarian side Bayern Munich (“Süd-/South Derby”).
There’s also a city rivalry with Stuttgarter Kickers (Die Roten/Reds against Die Blauen/Blues).
Other top soccer clubs in the country
Schalke is one of the most popular professional football teams and multi-sports clubs in Germany.
Founded in 1904, “The Royal Blues have won over seven German Championships, five DFB-Pokals, one DFL-Supercup and one UEFA Cup (Europa League).
Schalke 04 is also one of the top internationally recognized German soccer teams alongside Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, etc.
The club has a rivalry with Borussia Dortmund known as the Revierderby.
Köln or FC Cologne is another top side in German soccer.
The club is two time Bundesliga winners as well as four wins in the DFB-Pokal.
Frankfurt has enjoyed more success in the DFB-Pokal, winning the German knockout cup Competition five times.
The club also had its name listed as one of the clubs from Germany with an international trophy after it won the UEFA Cup or Europa League in 1979–80.
Frankfurt lifted the league title once in 1959.
FC Kaiserslautern was one of the early big names when it comes to soccer in the country.
Historically, FC Kaiserslautern is among the most successful football clubs in Germany having won the league four times.
The club also won the DFB-Pokal twice as well as two Bundesliga 2 trophies.
FC Nürnberg was the early winner of German soccer.
The club won the league about nine times although most titles were the old national league crown.
The popularity of soccer in Germany
Soccer remains the most popular sport in the German federal republic.
Germany also has other popular sports such as basketball, hockey, handball, etc.
Soccer in Germany has grown from a normal sport to a tradition amongst fans and followers of the game throughout the country.
The love for the sport was behind the push by fans for the introduction of the 50+1 rule.
The 50+1 allows fans to own and control major shares of Professional Soccer clubs in Germany most especially teams in the two Bundesliga divisions.
The involvement of fans in the game has also helped smaller clubs gain popularity as well as sponsorship and endorsement deals from the corporate organization.
This makes Germany the next big league with more sponsors as well as money from Television broadcast partners domestically and internationally.
Top football Competitions in Germany
1. 1. Bundesliga
The German Bundesliga is the country’s top tier Professional Soccer competition contested by 18 teams across the federation.
Bayern Munich is the record winner of the top division and the strongest in the history of the league.
The German league is ranked as the third-best football league in the European continent based on UEFA coefficients.
Although based on individual team performance, the German league could be regarded as the second-best league in Europe behind the Premier League.
Bundesliga teams including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, RB Leipzig, VfL Wolfsburg, Hamburger SV are European heavyweights.
2. 2. Bundesliga
The second Bundesliga is the second-tier professional football league in Germany contested by 18 teams.
Behind the EFL Championship, Bundesliga 2 is regarded as the second-best second-tier football division in Europe.
Although by popularity and matchday attendance, the Bundesliga 2 would challenge the EFL Championship.
It is also one of the most sought after in Germany and across the world alongside the 1. Bundesliga.
DFB-Pokal is the national knocked Cup competition contested by all Professional teams across the country.
The DFB-Pokal is one of the biggest national knockout cup Competitions in Europe alongside the FA Cup, Copa del Rey, Scottish FA Cup, Coupe de France, etc.
Competition in German soccer
The competition in Germany has been one-sided in the last ten years.
Munich based club Bayern Munich have dominated most of the domestic trophies.
The club has won the league title in a nine-year run beginning from the 2012/2013 season.
This could be attributed to the level of players available at the club as Bayern Munich have spent more money on the recruitment and keeping of some of the best players across Europe.
Other Bundesliga clubs tend to lose some of it’s best legs to the financial superpowers of European football.
In few cases, some domestic players had been monitored by Bayern Munich.
The issues of Bayern Munich scouting top players from other Bundesliga clubs could be attributed to the underperformance of these clubs.
Another area that could be the result of lack of competition in the financial firepower as well as the interest from clubs to spend big on players outside Germany.
Over the years, most Bundesliga clubs have solely depended on home-based players while the likes of Bayern Munich spend heavily on players outside Germany.
In the last couple of seasons, the top clubs that have been able to compete with Bayern Munich are Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, VfL Wolfsburg, etc.
Performance of German soccer teams in Europe
When it comes to the European scene, the Bayern Munich conference leads the way followed closely by Borussia Dortmund.
Other names on the list are Hamburger SV, Borussia Mönchengladbach, SV Werder Bremen, etc.
Bayern Munich holds almost all European records and has singlehandedly lead to the increase of Germany’s coefficient points over the years.
The Bavarians have won over six UEFA Champions League titles in the club’s history.
In the 21st century, Bayern Munich has won three Champions League titles between 2000–01, 2012–13, and 2019–20 which makes it one of the most successful in the current era.
Other top sides that have enjoyed a significant rise in the European scene are Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach and most recently RB Leipzig.
Dortmund has won the Champions League once in the 1996–97 season and were runners up during the 2012–13 season.
The club has also gone beyond the group stages over the last few seasons and has been tipped as tournament favourites or top German Soccer team to watch.
Hamburger SV, Schalke 04 are the two other sides with impressed Champions League records in their history.
Most recently for RB Leipzig, the team have consistently participated in the Champions League since its debut season in the 2017–18 season.
Top teams to follow
Bayern Munich remains an internationally recognized brand or simply a global brand.
Dortmund have consistently followed the high standard set by Bayern Munich. They’re the next big side on the block and also recognized internationally.
About Soccer in Germany, Culture
Football or Soccer is like the next culture of the people. Over the years, fans have become the major participant of clubs including ownership and branding.
The involvement of the public was behind the long-standing 50+1 rule which only allowed more participation on the part of fans in terms of controlling the clubs from decision making to other areas of development.
The nature of football in the country has led to the involvement of fans in the day to day affairs.
Today, top clubs including Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Schalke 04, SV Werder Bremen, etc has a significant number of followers outside Germany.
For Bayern Munich, the successes achieved one the years has led to an increased number of followers from all over Europe, the Americas, Asia and Africa.
German soccer teams have continued to grow globally even though the competition over the last few seasons had been one-sided.
Professional Soccer teams in Bundesliga and 3. Liga
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
1. FC Köln
1. FC Heidenheim
1. FC Nürnberg
FC St. Pauli
How to follow Soccer in Germany
Soccer as one of the most popular sport in the country, major international as well as domestic media houses has held claim to broadcast rights ranging into millions.
The most followed soccer competition is the Bundesliga which runs side by side in television broadcast rights with the Bundesliga 2.
For the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 in Germany, Sky Sports Deutschland and DAZN holds the exclusive rights to broadcast live games across the country.
Internationally, ESPN, Sky Sports, are some of top media platforms raking millions for the German soccer teams.
You can as well follow these clubs on social media for the recent development regarding teams.
German soccer teams are also one of the top sides at the world stage. The best football clubs in Germany are Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Bayern Munich also prides itself as the biggest and the most successful soccer team in Germany.