Dominant Bayern, furious Frankfurters and even an impeccable record in the long cursed Europa League: At the end of an outstanding European Cup year including winning the title, German football can already look forward to next spring and other highlights.
Before the first round final sprint in the league, almost all local representatives were convincing. "Seven German participants are wintering in a European competition, four of them are in the round of 16 of the Champions League. In addition, we are experiencing excitement, surprises and many goals in the Bundesliga: The current season is an excellent calling card for German professional football, both nationally and internationally." , said Donata Hopfen as managing director of the German Football League (DFL) of the German Press Agency.
A four-pack with FC Bayern, Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig in the premier class, plus three representatives in the Europa League in Bayer Leverkusen, SC Freiburg and Union Berlin: These seven trump cards also promise to be successful after the Winter World Cup in Qatar (20 November to December 18th) gripping football with Bundesliga representatives.
Almost perfect week
Bayern, who despite the two well-known opponents Inter Milan and FC Barcelona once again got the maximum haul of 18 points in the group phase, are again at the top and one of the big favorites in the premier class. "Last year we also played a very good group phase and a not so good knockout phase," said coach Julian Nagelsmann before the draw on Monday (12 p.m.), which could bring Munich opponents such as Liverpool or Paris Saint-Germain.
This time, however, the focus will not only be on Bayern. BVB, Leipzig and Eintracht may be runners-up in the group, but they all look ripe for an upset in the round of 16. "When you see what all the teams are doing on the international stage, it's an outstanding result for all of us in the German football. If you look at Spain, only Real Madrid are further in the Champions League," said Hertha coach Sandro Schwarz.
FC Barcelona, who were only thrown out in April by the eventual winner Frankfurt in Europe's second highest club competition, and FC Sevilla have to go to the Europa League, the former finalist Atlético Madrid is even completely out. All three Spanish representatives finished behind German clubs in their groups. Two years ago, the Bundesliga had four Champions League round of 16 - but this time there are three instead of two representatives in the Europa League.
The competition, long cursed for German teams, now seems to be working after Frankfurt's triumph in May. In addition to Champions League relegated Leverkusen Freiburg mastered the group confidently. Union secured progress on the last matchday under great pressure. Juventus Turin or Barça could be guests at the Alte Försterei in the spring. "The names are just music to our ears. We're happy, no matter who or what it is," said Sven Michel. Favourites, high-flyers and courageous outsiders: the seven German representatives cover a number of facets.