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Is the German Bundesliga starting to regrow as a European powerhouse?


For the first time in 12 years, Germany’s premier football division, the Bundesliga, changed hands. To the surprise of many sports betting UK and European odds, Bayern Munich were unable to retain the title, with Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen finishing the season unbeaten.

The Spaniard, who formerly represented Bayern as a player for three seasons, took over at Leverkusen last year, turning them from relegation candidates to sixth in the table. A year later they were champions, while also winning the DFB Pokal and reaching the Europa League final.

This season serves as a watershed moment for German football. While many expected Alonso to leave Leverkusen at the end of the season, especially after interest from former sides Liverpool and Real Madrid, his commitment to his current employers means that another title race could be on the cards for next season.

Thomas Tuchel looks to have kept his job in Bavaria, meaning the Bundesliga has a real chance of becoming competitive after Bayern dominated for so long.

In this article we take a look at the powerhouses of German football and assess their chances of wider success in Europe for the 2024-25 season. Read on to find out more.

Bayern Munich

Champions for 11 seasons in a row, Bayern may have picked up the majority of trophies in recent years, but their downfall this time around had been coming.

Die Roten had just about snatched the title on the final day due to Borussia Dortmund’s capitulation and a late goal from Jamal Musiala, but this season they looked way off the pace, despite the efforts of Harry Kane.

The England captain signed from Tottenham Hotspur and scored 44 goals in his debut season but was unable to help Bayern win their 33rd league title and his wait for a trophy must go on.

Borussia Dortmund

We move onto Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund who were unable to capture European success, inflicting more disappointment after Edin Terzic’s side lost the league on the final day of the 2022-23 season.

Dortmund were the last side before Leverkusen to win the title since Bayern’s dominance, with Jurgen Klopp picking two in a row up between 2010 and 2012.

Dortmund’s passionate fan base, who congregate in Europe’s largest stand, the ‘Yellow Wall’, will ensure their players bounce back next term and remain in the title race for longer than they did last season.

Marco Reus left the club, with Emre Can taking the armband as team captain, and with Mats Hummels, Julian Brandt and Karim Adeyemi, there is plenty of talent remaining at the Signal Induna Park.

Bayer Leverkusen

The current Bundesliga champions, Bayer Leverkusen were the nearly men of football in Germany for so long – known famously for blowing all three trophies in their 2002 treble run.

Alonso has instilled a winning mentality on the North Rhine-Westphalia, with the arrival of Granit Xhaka from Arsenal adding experience to a side looking to retain their title.

The season was almost perfect for Alonso’s Invincibles, but defeat in the Europa League final will still hurt bitterly. They looked fatigued when Atalanta rolled into town and that was showcased in the 3-0 battering.  It will be interesting to see what they produce in the Champions League next term.

RB Leipzig

The new boys on the block, RB Leipzig were only promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016 but have been credited for the conveyor belt of talent that comes through their development system.

DFB Pokal champions last season, Leipzig tend to buy young and grow their talent before selling them on, as opposed to buying the biggest stars in the country akin to Bayern’s ruthless approach.

The likes of Ibrahima Konaté, Naby Keita, Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Sabitzer and Dominik Szoboszlai have spent time at Leipzig before moving onto the Premier League, and with some talented players in their current side, managed by Marco Rose, they have the makings of challengers for the Bundesliga in the near future if they stay together.