The Bundesliga is the top-division tournament in German football. The competition was founded in 1962, while the first season began in 1963. The Bundesliga replaced the German national championship, which was the first tournament in German football history. And since then only club has dominated with most Bundesliga titles.
The German national championship, which was founded in 1903 and ran for a period of 60 years, was a knockout competition contested between winners of each of the country's top regional leagues.
The founding member teams of the Bundesliga are 1860 Munich, Cologne, Borussia Dortmund, Eintracht Braunschweig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hertha Berlin, Kaiserslautern, Karlsruhe, Preußen Munster, MSV Duisburg, Nuremberg, Saarbrücken, Schalke, VfB Stuttgart and Werder Bremen.
Besides the Bundesliga which operated in West Germany, the DDR-Oberliga was the top-level football league in Soviet-controlled East Germany. Following the reunification of Germany, the Bundesliga became the national league of the country.
The Bundesliga started out as a 16-team tournament but would soon expand to 18 teams from 1965. In a one-off event, the league played the 1991-92 season with 20 teams following the reunification but would return to its 18-side format in the following campaign.
There has been 12 different winners of the Bundesliga since its inception in 1963.
FC Koln, or FC Cologne in English, won the first-ever Bundesliga season in 1963-64. The Billy Goats maintained a six-point advantage over second-placed Meidericher SV (39) and scored in each of the 30 league games played in the inaugural edition.
Karl-Heinz Thielen (16 goals) and Christian Müller (15 goals) finished as the top-scorers for the team in the championship-winning season.
Bayern Munich lead the Bundesliga winners list with 33 titles. The Bavarians won their maiden Meisterschale in the 1968-69 season, with an eight-point cushion and legendary forward Gerd Muller contributing 30 goals. The Bavarians are the most dominant German team and has most Bundesliga titles.
The Bavarians recently claimed the Bundesliga 2022-23 title, on the last match day on goal difference against rivals Borussia Dortmund. In doing so, Bayern have now won the German championship a record 11 times in a row. The run began in 2012-13 under the management of Jupp Heynckes.