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2. Fußball-Bundesliga
Countries Germany Germany
Confederation UEFA
Founded 1974
Number of teams 18
Promotion to Bundesliga
Relegation to 3. Liga
Levels on pyramid 2
Domestic cup(s) DFB-Pokal
Current champions SC Freiburg (2008-09)
Most championships 1. FC Nuremberg (4 titles)
2. Fußball-Bundesliga 2009-10

The 2nd Bundesliga is the Second Division of professional football in Germany. It is below the Bundesliga in the German football league system.



1974 marked the introduction of the second tier of the Bundesliga. 40 clubs, divided into two leagues (North and South), competed for promotion into the Bundesliga. 1981 saw the introduction of a single 2nd Bundesliga of 20 teams. In the 1991-1992 season, the former DDR's clubs participated as well. This was managed by returning to a two-tier system (with 12 teams in each league). 1992-93 was a momentous season, with 24 teams competing in a single league. Since 1994-95, there have been 18 teams in the second division. The most successful team was Fortuna Köln (1,376 points from a possible 2,910).

Members of the 2. Bundesliga (2009-10 season)

For details on the 2. Bundesliga 2008-09 season, see here.

Division set-up


Changes in division set-up

  • Number of clubs: currently 18. From 1974 to 1981 there were two conferences, each of 20 teams. In 1981-91 it had 20. The 1991-92 season was played in two groups of 12 teams each; 1992-93 again in one group with 24 teams, 1993-94 with 20 teams.
  • Teams promoted to the higher league: 3; 1981-91 there was a relegation round, in 1991-92 there was 1 promotion per group.
  • Number of relegations into the regional league (until 1994: Upper league): 4; 1991-92: 2-3 per group (inclusive relegation); 1992-93: 7.

Promotion and relegation

  • The top three teams gain promotion into the Bundesliga. Starting 2008-09, only the top two teams are promoted automatically, and the third placed team plays a two-leg playoff against the Bundesliga 16th.
  • The bottom four teams are relegated into the Regional leagues. Starting 2007-08, the bottom teams will be relegated to the 3rd Liga, which will play its inaugural season in 2008-09.
  • Starting 2008-09, only the bottom two teams are relegated into the 3rd Liga automatically. The third last team can avoid relegation through a two-leg playoff against the 3rd Liga third (SC Paderborn 07).

League rules

Matchday squads must have no more than five non-EU representatives. Seven substitutes are permitted to be selected, from which three can be used in the duration of the game.

Champions since 1975

Second Bundesliga North

Second Bundesliga South

Second Bundesliga

Season Champion Runner Up Third Place
1981-82 Schalke 04 Hertha BSC Kickers Offenbach
1982-83 Mannheim Kickers Offenbach Uerdingen
1983-84 Karlsruhe Schalke 04 Duisburg
1984-85 Nuremberg Hannover 96 Saarbrücken
1985-86 Homburg BW Berlin Fortuna Köln
1986-87 Hannover 96 Karlsruhe St. Pauli
1987-88 Stuttgarter Kickers St. Pauli Darmstadt
1988-89 Fortuna Düsseldorf Homburg Saarbrücken
1989-90 Hertha BSC Wattenscheid Saarbrücken
1990-91 Schalke 04 Duisburg Stuttgarter Kickers

Second Bundesliga North

Second Bundesliga South

Second Bundesliga

Season Champion Runner Up Third Place
1992-93 Freiburg Duisburg VfB Leipzig
1993-94 Bochum Uerdingen 1860 München
1994-95 Rostock St. Pauli Düsseldorf
1995-96 Bochum Bielefeld Duisburg
1996-97 Kaiserslautern Wolfsburg Hertha BSC
1997-98 Frankfurt SC Freiburg Nuremberg
1998-99 Bielefeld Unterhaching Ulm
1999-00 1. FC Köln Bochum Cottbus
2000-01 Nuremberg Gladbach St. Pauli
2001-02 Hannover Bielefeld Bochum
2002-03 SC Freiburg 1. FC Köln Frankfurt
2003-04 Nuremberg Bielefeld Mainz
2004-05 1. FC Köln Duisburg Frankfurt
2005-06 Bochum Aachen Cottbus
2006-07 Karlsruhe Rostock Duisburg
2007-08 Gladbach Hoffenheim 1. FC Köln
2008-09 Freiburg Mainz 1. FC Nuremberg

From 1974 to 1994, promotions were decided in relegation rounds. Since 1995 there have been four teams promoted from the regional leagues.

Teams promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga since 1992

SC Fortuna Köln was the team most consistently in the 2nd Bundesliga. Up to 2000 it spent 26 consecutive years in the 2nd Bundesliga.

Teams relegated to the Regionalliga - Oberliga - 3. Liga since 1990

Teams relegated to the Oberliga (1990-1993)

Teams relegated to the Regionalliga (1994-2007)

Teams relegated to the 3. Liga (since 2008)

See also

External links (sites in German)


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