Given the unsettled nature of Germany's history throughout much of the 20th century, it's no surprise to find that this is also mirrored in the complexities of its football league championship !

As with many of the continental European countries, Germany had been introduced to the wonders of football by English expats during the late 19th century, and the game had become popular enough in some of the big cities (such as Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig) for regional leagues to start up. From 1903 right up until the Bundesliga was formed in 1963, it was the winners of these regional leagues that would then take part in a knockout competition to decide the overall German champions, and claim a trophy called the Viktoria. These championships were suspended during both world wars, resuming in 1947, although teams in the Soviet-controlled East Germany then split into their own separate league.

The Bundesliga was formed in 1963, and with it West Germany had a national league championship for the first time. The German reunification of 1990 saw both the East and West German leagues merge into a single national championship.

German Football League Articles