The 2018/19 season in the first Bundesliga ended on Saturday while that in the second division came to a close on Sunday. All that is left now domestically are the promotion/relegation playoffs and of course next Saturday’s German Cup final. Here we look back on everything that has been decided so far.
First things first, Bayern Munich has won its seventh league title in a row. As much as the rest of the country and the soccer world yawns at this news, it is a remarkable accomplishment, especially this year.
The Bavarians are in the midst of a generational shift, both on the field and on the coaching position. Despite that and more importantly, despite a nine-point deficit at one stage of the season to then- league leaders Borussia Dortmund, Niko Kovač and his team prevailed. For that they deserve much credit.
Along with Bayern and Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen close out the top four, which will represent the Bundesliga in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Meanwhile, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfL Wolfsburg take the direct spots for the Europa League group stage.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s remarkable season that took them to their first continental semifinals since 1980, (and until recently made them top four contenders) ended on 7th place domestically, which means that they will have to go through Europa League qualifiers in the late summer.
We knew since last week what we had suspected for months, which is that 1.FC Nuremberg and Hannover 96 would directly go down to the second tier, while VfB Stuttgart will compete in the pro./rel. playoff. There they will face Union Berlin.
As mentioned above, Bundesliga 2 ended this weekend too. 1.FC Cologne was crowned champion of that division. Second-placed SC Paderborn will join them directly in the top flight after years of successive relegations followed those of successive promotions.
At the other end of the table, 1.FC Magdeburg and MSV Duisburg suffer relegation to league three, while VfL Osnabrück and Karlsruher SC return to the second tier, and SV Wehen Wiesbaden takes on FC Ingolstadt in the promotion/relegation playoff.
Finally, as a Bayern fan, I must mention that the Bavarians’ reserve team will face the VfL Wolfsburg Reserves in a promotion playoff for the third division.