The 2017/18 German Bundesliga season has come to an end this past Saturday.
It was a historic year in many respects. Bayern Munich has won its sixth consecutive league title, thus doubling the previous such record.
The Bavarian giants will be joined in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage by three other German teams. They include Schalke 04 after a few years out of Europe’s biggest club competition.
TSG Hoffenheim will for the first time in its modest club history play in the UCL, after having failed to reach it at the final hurdle this season, against a fantastic Liverpool FC team in qualifying. Champions League regulars and 1997 winners Borussia Dortmund round out the top four, to squeeze in as well.
From next season on, no team from the English Premiership, Spain’s la Liga, the Italian Serie A, or the German Bundesliga will have to enter the qualifying stage of the UCL, but will all instead have all of their top four directly in the group stage. That is why Dortmund has now also made it in.
After just finishing behind Hoffenheim and BVB on goal difference, Bayer Leverkusen will enter the UEFA Europa League group stage. How a possible two other German clubs will enter the Europa League, depends on the outcome of DFB Cup final between Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt.
If Frankfurt wins, they would also go directly to the group stage, while sixth place finishers RB Leipzig would have to qualify.
Otherwise, Leipzig would also go in directly and seventh place VfB Stuttgart would go through qualifying.
The Bundesliga season was also historic because Hamburger SV, the only remaining founding member of the league never to be relegated before, could not avoid the drop this time.
HSV will join 1.FC Cologne in the second tier, while Fortuna Düsseldorf and 1.FC Nuremberg will replace the relegated duo from below. VfL Wolfsburg will also take on Holstein Kiel in a relegation playoff to determine the last remaining spot in the division for next season.