Bundesliga 2 Standings: Everything You Need to Know

Bundesliga 2 Standings

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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)

CountryYear
England1885
Scotland1893
United States1894
Italy1926
Spain1926
France1932
West Germany1963

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.

Goals

PlayerClub(s)Goals
Dieter SchatzschneiderHannover 96, Fortuna Koln154
Karl-Heinz ModrathFortuna Koln, Alemannia Aachen150
Theo GriesHertha Berlin, Alemannia Aachen, Hannover 96123
Sven DemandtMainz, Fortuna Dusseldorf, Hertha Berlin121
Walter KrauseKickers Offenbach, SG Wattenscheid, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen119
Daniel JurgeleitUnion Solingen, FC Homburg, Lubeck117
Gerd-Volker SchockVfL Osnabruck, Arminia Bielefeld116
Franz GerberSt Pauli, Ingolstadt, 1860 Munich, Wuppertaler, Hannover 96115
Paul LinzOsnabruck, Freiburger, Waldhof Mannheim, Bremerhaven115

Appearances

PlayerClub(s)Goals
Willi LandgrafAlemannia Aachen, Rot-Weiss Essen, 08 Homburg, Gutersloh508
Joaquin MontanesAlemannia Aachen479
Karl-Heinz SchulzFreiburg, Freiburger463
Hans WulfKSV Hessen Kassel, Schwarz-Weiss Essen, Wormatia Worms, Hannover 96440
Wolfgang KrugerUnion Solingen428
Hans-Jurgen GedeFortuna Koln, Preussen Munster416
Andreas HelmerSV Meppen, Osnabruck411
Gerd PaulusKickers Offenbach, Rochling Volklingen407
Oliver PosniakDarmstadt 98, FSV Frankfurt403
Dirk HupeFortuna Koln, Union Solingen399

Transfer Fees Received

PlayerClubsTransfer fee
Benjamin PavardStuttgart to Bayern Munich€35 million
Anthony ModesteKoln to TJ Tianhai€29 million
Ozan KabakStuttgart to Schalke€15 million
Lukas PodolskiKoln to Arsenal€15 million
Timo WernerStuttgart to RB Leipzig€14 million
Filip KosticStuttgart to Hamburg€14 million
Marcell JansenBorussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich€14 million
Douglas SantosHamburg to Zenit Saint Petersburg€13 million
Santiago AscacibarStuttgart to Hertha Berlin€10 million
Timo BaumgartlStuttgart to PSV Eindhoven€10 million
Lukas PodolskiKoln 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.

Titles

ClubNumber of titlesSeasons
Nurnberg41979/80, 1984/85, 2000/01, 2003/04
Koln41999/00, 2004/05, 2013/14, 2018/19
Freiburg41992/93, 2002/03, 2008/09, 2015/16
Hannover 9631974/75, 1986/87, 2001/02
Karlsruher SC31974/75, 1983/84, 2006/07
Bochum31993/94, 1995/96, 2005/06
Arminia Bielefeld31977/78, 1979/80, 1998/99
Stuttgart31976/77, 2016/17, 2019/20
Hertha Berlin31989/90, 2010/11, 2012/13
Darmstadt21977/78, 1980/81
Fortuna Dusseldorf21988/89, 2017/18
Kaiserslautern21996/97, 2009/10
Saarbrucken21975/76, 1991/92
Schalke21981/82, 1990/91

Average Attendance (Data Available Since 1992)

ClubSeasonAvarage Attendance
Stuttgart2016/1750,515
Koln2018/1949,547
Koln2013/1446,176
Hertha Berlin2010/1146,131
Koln2007/0843,763
Koln2006/0742,194
1860 Munich2005/0641,932
Koln2012/1340,688
Stuttgart2019/2039,503
Eintracht Frankfurt2011/1237,641

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

ClubPointsGoal difference
SpVgg Greuther Furth1,238+163
Saint Pauli1,219+77
Alemannia Aachen1,098+65
MSV Duisburg1,098+53
Freiburg1,084+208
Hannover 96997+183
Karlsruher SC953+40
Fortuna Koln916+3
Stuttgarter Kickers867+137
Mainz849+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.



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