Bundesliga 2 Standings: Everything You Need to Know

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The Bundesliga 2 – or the 2. Bundesliga as it is officially known – is the second division of German soccer. As the name suggests, the league is linked to the top flight, the Bundesliga.

Unlike in the United States, where there is no relegation from or promotion to MLS, a top-two finish in the Bundesliga 2 standings will earn German sides a place in the top division. The team which ends the season in third place in the Bundesliga 2 standings advances to the promotion play-offs, where they will face the Bundesliga’s 16th-placed team over two legs. The winner will play in the top flight the next season, while the loser will be part of the Bundesliga 2 standings.

At the other end of the Bundesliga 2 standings, the bottom two teams are relegated to the 3. Liga, with the third-bottom side contesting the relegation play-offs.

The Bundesliga 2 was founded in 1974 and is approaching its 50th birthday. We’ve put together this handy guide containing everything you need to know about Germany’s second division.

History of the Bundesliga 2 Standings

As you can see from the table below, soccer was professionalized later in Germany than in many other nations.

Professionalization of Soccer (Selected Countries)

Country Year
England 1885
Scotland 1893
United States 1894
Italy 1926
Spain 1926
France 1932
West Germany 1963

The Bundesliga was launched as soon as soccer turned professional, but it took another 11 years before the second tier was added to the pyramid. It began as two regionalized divisions (North and South) with 20 clubs each but has operated as a single league with 18 clubs since 1994. From the 1991/92 season onwards, clubs from former East Germany featured in the Bundesliga 2 standings as the country was reunified.

Between 1991 and 2008, the side that came third in the Bundesliga 2 standings was automatically promoted to the top flight. The current playoff system has its advocates and its detractors. Supporters of the arrangement cite the drama and entertainment it brings, but others argue that it is unfair on the Bundesliga 2 side given the probable disparity in resources between the two competing clubs.

Which Players Top the Bundesliga 2 Standings?

The Bundesliga 2 has provided a home to hundreds of players since its inception. The holders of the below records are no doubt hugely proud of their accomplishments, but there is nevertheless a curiosity to them: the ultimate aim of any player involved in the Bundesliga 2 is to get out of the division by winning promotion to the Bundesliga. Even so, being the highest appearance maker or leading goalscorer in the history of the Bundesliga 2 standings is no mean feat.


Player Club(s) Goals
Dieter Schatzschneider Hannover 96, Fortuna Koln 154
Karl-Heinz Modrath Fortuna Koln, Alemannia Aachen 150
Theo Gries Hertha Berlin, Alemannia Aachen, Hannover 96 123
Sven Demandt Mainz, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hertha Berlin 121
Walter Krause Kickers Offenbach, SG Wattenscheid, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen 119
Daniel Jurgeleit Union Solingen, FC Homburg, Lubeck 117
Gerd-Volker Schock VfL Osnabruck, Arminia Bielefeld 116
Franz Gerber St Pauli, Ingolstadt, 1860 Munich, Wuppertaler, Hannover 96 115
Paul Linz Osnabruck, Freiburger, Waldhof Mannheim, Bremerhaven 115


Player Club(s) Goals
Willi Landgraf Alemannia Aachen, Rot-Weiss Essen, 08 Homburg, Gutersloh 508
Joaquin Montanes Alemannia Aachen 479
Karl-Heinz Schulz Freiburg, Freiburger 463
Hans Wulf KSV Hessen Kassel, Schwarz-Weiss Essen, Wormatia Worms, Hannover 96 440
Wolfgang Kruger Union Solingen 428
Hans-Jurgen Gede Fortuna Koln, Preussen Munster 416
Andreas Helmer SV Meppen, Osnabruck 411
Gerd Paulus Kickers Offenbach, Rochling Volklingen 407
Oliver Posniak Darmstadt 98, FSV Frankfurt 403
Dirk Hupe Fortuna Koln, Union Solingen 399

Transfer Fees Received

Player Clubs Transfer fee
Benjamin Pavard Stuttgart to Bayern Munich €35 million
Anthony Modeste Koln to TJ Tianhai €29 million
Ozan Kabak Stuttgart to Schalke €15 million
Lukas Podolski Koln to Arsenal €15 million
Timo Werner Stuttgart to RB Leipzig €14 million
Filip Kostic Stuttgart to Hamburg €14 million
Marcell Jansen Borussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich €14 million
Douglas Santos Hamburg to Zenit Saint Petersburg €13 million
Santiago Ascacibar Stuttgart to Hertha Berlin €10 million
Timo Baumgartl Stuttgart to PSV Eindhoven €10 million
Lukas Podolski Koln to Bayern Munich €10 million

Which Clubs Top the Bundesliga 2 Standings?

As with the player records, the below represent something of a double-edged sword. Indeed, while achieving multiple promotions from the Bundesliga 2 is an undoubted achievement, it also means the teams in question were relegated back into the second tier on several occasions.


Club Number of titles Seasons
Nurnberg 4 1979/80, 1984/85, 2000/01, 2003/04
Koln 4 1999/00, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2018/19
Freiburg 4 1992/93, 2002/03, 2008/09, 2015/16
Hannover 96 3 1974/75, 1986/87, 2001/02
Karlsruher SC 3 1974/75, 1983/84, 2006/07
Bochum 3 1993/94, 1995/96, 2005/06
Arminia Bielefeld 3 1977/78, 1979/80, 1998/99
Stuttgart 3 1976/77, 2016/17, 2019/20
Hertha Berlin 3 1989/90, 2010/11, 2012/13
Darmstadt 2 1977/78, 1980/81
Fortuna Dusseldorf 2 1988/89, 2017/18
Kaiserslautern 2 1996/97, 2009/10
Saarbrucken 2 1975/76, 1991/92
Schalke 2 1981/82, 1990/91

Average Attendance (Data Available Since 1992)

Club Season Avarage Attendance
Stuttgart 2016/17 50,515
Koln 2018/19 49,547
Koln 2013/14 46,176
Hertha Berlin 2010/11 46,131
Koln 2007/08 43,763
Koln 2006/07 42,194
1860 Munich 2005/06 41,932
Koln 2012/13 40,688
Stuttgart 2019/20 39,503
Eintracht Frankfurt 2011/12 37,641

All-Time Bundesliga 2 Standings (as of February 2021)

Club Points Goal difference
SpVgg Greuther Furth 1,238 +163
Saint Pauli 1,219 +77
Alemannia Aachen 1,098 +65
MSV Duisburg 1,098 +53
Freiburg 1,084 +208
Hannover 96 997 +183
Karlsruher SC 953 +40
Fortuna Koln 916 +3
Stuttgarter Kickers 867 +137
Mainz 849 +84

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]