German Football Championship

German Football Championship

The German football champions are the annual winners of the highest association football competition in Germany. The history of the German football championship is complex and reflects the turbulent history of the country through the course of the 20th century.

Brought to the country by English expatriates, the sport had taken root in the cities of Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, and Leipzig in the 1890s, leading to the growth of city, regional, and academic leagues, each with their own championships. Following the establishment of the German Football Association (Deutscher Fußball Bund) in 1900, the first recognized national championship match was hosted by Hamburg club Altona 93 in 1903 in which VfB Leipzig defeated DFC Prag 7–2. Before the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963, the championship format was based on a knockout competition, contested between the winners of each of the country's top regional leagues. Since 1963, the first place finisher in the Bundesliga has been recognized as the national champion.

Championship play was suspended twice; from 1915 to 1919 due to World War I and again from 1945 to 1947 due to World War II. Following World War II, Germany was occupied by the victorious Allies and two German football competitions emerged when the country was divided as a result. The historical tradition of the DFB was continued in what was known as West Germany, while a second national championship was contested in Soviet-controlled East Germany under the auspices of the DFV (Deutscher Fußball-Verband or German Football Federation). Following the reunification of the country in 1990, the two separate football competitions were merged and a single national championship was restored.

Bayern Munich hold the record for the most championships with 23, all but one of these (1932) coming in Bundesliga competition. Dynamo Berlin claimed 10 titles in the former East Germany, winning these championships in consecutive seasons (1979–88).

Read more about German Football ChampionshipTotal German Football Championships Won, Total Titles Won By State, Notes, Undeclared Championships, Participation of Non-German Clubs, See Also

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