- Outside of Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga has not enjoyed a lot of success participating in the Champions League. Since the Champions League started in 1955, and the current format began play in 1992, only Bayern Munich (4), Borussia Dortmund (1), and Hamburg SV (1) have won the title. Dortmund won their title in the 1997 year, and Hamburg won in 1983.
In total, a German side has won the Champions League six times. But in recent memory, the Bundesliga has been down and out outside of Bayern Munich.
However, 2012 could be a year of change. Dortmund and FC Shalke 04 both also moved through into the knockout stage of the Champions League.
In recent years, the English Premier League and La Liga have been regarded as the best leagues in Europe. Outside of Bayern, the Bundesliga has been considered second-rate behind both the EPL and La Liga. En route to the knockout stage, Dortmund took down traditional powers Real Madrid, Manchester City, and Ajax, drawing City and Madrid on the road, while also winning all three matches at home.
With very winnable matches for all three clubs, the Bundesliga could be place three teams in the quarterfinals, and begin to show that the league in on the upswing. The German National League has become a league that is proving it can hang (and win) with the bigger, more well-known leagues.
They do not have media rights deals like the English Premier League. They do not have as many world-wide recognizable names such as Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. But what the German teams have (outside of Bayern) are a lot of young, unknown (to much of the world) talent looking to make their mark on the rest of the football world.
While some players are known throughout the world due to their appearances with their countries’ respective national team, others will be making theirs known soon.
In a time where the beautiful game can change so quick, it is time for the German League to show they are at the top of their game and ready to compete with the rest of the world.