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Bundesliga 2019/20 Season Review

The most curious and interesting campaign of the Bundesliga – the 2019/20 Season – has drawn to a close. Let’s take a look at how the teams fared this time around:

1. FC Bayern München

Ah, Bayern Munich. The champions have been a joy to watch this season, especially after the restart. They won a record-breaking eighth-consecutive Meisterschale after dropping as low as 7th at one point. After the turn of the year, they’ve been simply unstoppable, and have finished the season with 100 goals. Currently, they are the best team in Europe, and if they keep playing like this, they can win the treble. 8.75

Best Player: Robert Lewandowski – As is the case very often, the Polish hitman has been Bayern’s best player this season. He also bagged the Bundesliga Player of the Season Award and the Torjägerkanone. In the process, he amassed a tally of 34 goals, breaking yet another host of records. I daresay, he is the best player in the world right now. Also: Get this man a Ballon d’Or.

2. Borussia Dortmund

This season has been a mirror of the last few campaigns for Dortmund. Their squad was loaded with so many talented players, they looked good for most of the season, they were in the title race until the last month, but they failed to deliver when it was crunch-time. This year, crunch-time was the Klassiker against Bayern, which they lost 1-0. BVB have been saying this for quite a while now, but maybe next year? 7.5

Best Player: Jadon Sancho – If Dortmund want to win the league next season, they’ll need to hold on to this man. He has 17 goals and 16 assists in 32 appearances this season, and has broken quite a few records while he was at it. The scariest bit? He’s only 20 years of age. The Englishman has been linked to pretty much every single club in Europe, but Dortmund need to keep him if they want to challenge Bayern next year.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Bongarts/Getty Images)

3. RB Leipzig

The Herbstmeisterschaft (winter champions) couldn’t keep their title challenge going till the end, but this was a very promising campaign for such a young side. In only their fourth Bundesliga season, Leipzig gave the likes of Bayern and Dortmund a serious run for their money, and finished ahead of established sides like Gladbach and Leverkusen. As Julian Nagelsmann said, they just lack the experience and maturity that Bayern have. The future looks bright for Die Rotten Bullen. 8

Best Player: Timo Werner – The Chelsea-bound striker finished the campaign with a very impressive 28 goals, becoming the second-highest scorer behind a certain Robert Lewandowski. With his last touch as a Leipzig player, he scored his 94th club goal, becoming their all-time top goal-scorer, surpassing Daniel Frahn. A very fitting way to say goodbye.

4. Borussia Mönchengladbach

The last team to qualify for the Champions League, Gladbach were at the top of the table at one stage, but couldn’t maintain their lead. They then dropped out of the top 4, only to recover in their penultimate fixture. It has been an up-and-down season for the Foals, but they have certainly achieved their chief objective of Champions League qualification. Like the other Borussia, maybe next year? 7.25

Best Player: Marcus Thuram – The Frenchman has impressed everyone in his debut season in the Bundesliga, so much so that reports suggest that top clubs in Europe want him. A tally of 10 goals and 8 assists in 31 performances is certainly something to be proud of, and if he keeps this up, he may even surpass his father, Lilian’s legacy.

5. Bayer Leverkusen

It’s been a very interesting campaign for Leverkusen. They were lingering around the title-race for almost the entirety of the campaign, but were never in the midst of it. Then, they looked to have secured Champions League qualification, but a late slip-up dropped them down to fifth. Even then, Die Werkself are still involved in two competitions – the Europa League and the DFB Pokal, where they will face Bayern for the final on Saturday. 7

Best Player: Kai Havertz – The 21 year-old has 12 goals and 6 assists this season, and has attracted attention from all over Europe. Even at such a young age, he has captained his side in the absence of Lars Bender. The German has been a key part of Leverkusen’s success, and if they can keep him, he may be able to shine on in the next campaign.

(Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

6. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

This season has been rather tumultuous for the Kraichgau-based outfit. After the highs of 2017/18 season which saw them qualify for the Champions League, they remained out of Europa League contention for quite a while – the whole of the 2018/19 campaign and most of this one – and only ensured a direct entry to the competition on the last matchday. In the process, they even dismissed their head coach, Alfred Schreuder and appointed a team to guide them to the end of the season. Overall, they won’t be too upset with how things have ended. 7

Best Player: Andrej Kramarić – Even though he got 33% of his goals in the last match, the Croatian will certainly be happy with his tally of 12 goals and 2 assists from 19 appearances. Though this is his lowest-ever tally in the Bundesliga, he won’t be too displeased about it, because he spent a lot of time out due to injury.

7. VfL Wolfsburg

The 2019/20 season looked to be another successful one for the Wolves, as they were set to finish in 6th place. But, a loss against Bayern on the last matchday saw them drop down the 7th, meaning that they’ll have to go through a a qualification round if they wish to play in the next edition of the Europa League. Decent stuff overall. 6.5

Best Player: Wout Weghorst – The Dutch striker has been absolutely prolific this season, netting 16 goals in 32 appearances. In the process, he finished 4th in the Bundesliga top-scorer list, behind the leading goal-getters of each of the top three teams. He’s gone slightly under the radar, but Wolfsburg will certainly be happy to keep him.

(Photo by Sascha Steinbach/Pool via Getty Images)

8. SC Freiburg

After being tipped to be involved in a relegation scrap, Freiburg have done very well to stay far away from it, and have ended up in the top half of the table. In fact, the Breisgau-Brasilianer were very close to Europa League qualification, but missed out in the end. Although they rank in the bottom-five in terms of finances, Freiburg have done very well to finish so high up, showing great resilience, team spirit and character in the process. 7.75

Best Player: Nicolas Höfler – Though the 30 year-old has not been too great in attack as he only has 1 goal in 32 appearances, he has looked solid defensively, as he averages 6.4 ball retrievals per match. Those numbers are phenomenal when you consider the fact that he is a midfielder. He’s one of the most underrated players in the league right now.

9. Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt finished high up the table last year, as they qualified for the Europa League. This season, however, was not so good. They were in the lower half for most of the time, and almost faced a relegation battle after the restart. But, they were resurgent, and managed to sneak into the top half of the table on Matchday 33. Not too ideal, but not bad either. 6.5

Best Player: Filip Kostić – The Serbian international has thoroughly impressed this season, as he has finished with a tally of 4 goals and 11 assists. This means that he is set up the most goals of any player in the Bundesliga bar the top three sides. He is one of the first names on the Eintracht team sheet, and has started all but one Bundesliga game. He’s also made the second-most sprints in the league at 962, bettered only by Achraf Hakimi. Further, he has put in the most crosses from open play in the top-flight, a whopping 209! That’s almost 100 more than Christian Günter, who is second.

10. Hertha Berlin

Rounding off the top 10 are Hertha, who have had an absolute roller-coaster ride of a season. After starting the season under Ante Čović, they sacked him in late November as they were 15th in the league. His replacement, Jürgen Klinsmann lasted a mere 76 days as he picked up 12 points from a possible thirty. When he stepped down, Hertha were only in 14th. Finally, Bruno Labbadia brought them up to 10th after he won 4 of the 9 games since the restart. An acceptable end to a disappointing season for the ‘big city club’. 6.25

Best Player: Dedryck Boyata – The Belgian centre-back has looked solid throughout this tumultuous campaign. He was trusted by each of the three managers, and amassed 4 goals and an assist in 28 appearances. His most impressive stat is his average of 5.6 clearances per game, which makes him best in the league in that category (for >25 appearances). He boasts a very high pass completion rate of 93% as well.

(Photo by Matthias Kern/Bongarts/Getty Images)

11. 1. FC Union Berlin

The East Berliners finished only one spot behind their city rivals, after a brilliant debut season. After achieving promotion by winning last season’s play-offs, everyone predicted that they would go down. Although they were involved in the battle against the drop, they have emerged 5 places away from it, and have looked absolutely brilliant all-round. As far as debuts go, this is about as good as they get. 8

Best Player: Christopher Trimmel – The Austrian, who is also Union’s captain, has a respectable tally of 8 assists from 32 outings. Famed for his set-pieces, he has the most assists from dead-ball situations in Europe’s top 5 leagues this season at 7, ahead of a few decent players like Trent Alexander-Arnold and some guy called Lionel Messi (ever heard of him?). Not bad for a 33 year-old who was bought on a free transfer back in 2014.

12. FC Schalke 04

Oh dear, oh dear. What a season it has been for Schalke. They started off so strong, and looked set to qualify for European Football. That was until 2020 happened. The Royal Blues have won precisely zero matches in the Bundesliga in this calendar year, and what a fall from grace it has been. David Wagner, who was being hailed in the winter break, should count himself lucky if he’s not replaced over the summer. Their injury list is long too, as 8 first-team players were out injured for the final run-in. Not good stuff. 3.5

Best Player: Amine Harit – Yet another player who was out injured for most of 2020, Harit really impressed in the first half of the season, as he bagged 6 goals and 4 assists in that period. Despite being out, he was nominated for the Bundesliga Player of the Season Award (which he obviously didn’t win). A glimmer of hope in a very poor season for his side.

13. 1. FSV Mainz 05

If you spoke to someone about Mainz after their 0-1 loss against Augsburg on Matchday 31, you’d probably hear that they would go down. But after wins against Dortmund and more crucially Bremen, they have finished in a very lucky 13th position. For now, all that Mainz fans want is survival, and they have delivered. 6.5

Best Player: Robin Quaison – The Swedish forward finished with 13 goals and 2 assists in 32 appearnces. That makes him Mainz’s top-scorer with a massive margin of 9 goals. A real standout performer this season.

(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

14. 1. FC Köln

After regaining their top-flight status by winning the 2. Bundesliga last time around, Köln had the tough job of staying up. Although they have always been hovering around the drop zone, they haven’t spent too much time in it, and have comfortably stayed up in the end. 6

Best Player: Jhon Córdoba – The Colombian has been the focal point of his team’s attacks. Largely isolated up front, he has worked his socks off throughout the season to win and chase after the long balls that his defence sent. All of that hard work earned him a record of 13 goals and 2 assists from 23 starts and 6 appearances off the bench.

15. FC Augsburg

Another year, another narrow escape for Augsburg. They never really seemed destined to go down, but were precariously close to the bottom three for almost the whole season. But, when it mattered most, they pulled the results out of the bag, and have ensured top-flight survival yet again. 5.75

Best Player: Philipp Max – Augsburg’s left back has had a phenomenal season in front of goal. He is the league’s highest-scoring defender with 8 goals and 6 assists from 31 outings. He’s not bad at the back either, as he wins the ball 3.6 times per match on average.

16. SV Werder Bremen

The great escape artists were at it once again, although the job is not over right now. The drop seemed inevitable as late as Matchday 33, but then they started playing like Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona, and thrashed Köln at home, securing a play-off spot on the last matchday. Not the way their fans would want, but another Houdini-esque escape may be on the cards. 4.75

Best Player: Milot Rashica – The Kosovar is hot property right now, as many of Europe’s elite, including Liverpool and AC Milan, want his services, and for good reason too – he has a tally of 8 goals and 5 assist this campaign. He’s a versatile player who has got goals from the positions of a left winger, striker, and number 10. He’ll be a major asset wherever he goes.

17. Fortuna Düsseldorf

The opposite of the escape artists – the great drop artists. They have finished the season with a league-high of 12 draws, and had so many chances until the end to secure a play-off spot at the very least. For example, the match against Dortmund, where they hit either post and conceded with the last touch of the game to lose 0-1. Even on the last matchday, they were facing an Union side who had absolutely nothing to play for, but lost 3-0 and got themselves a deserved relegation. Don’t get me wrong: They have looked good, but at the end of the day, the results matter, and that’s where they fell short. 3.25

Best Player: Rouwen Hennings – The 32 year-old has been a standout performer for Fortuna this season. From 27 starts, he has 15 goals, which is almost 42% of Fortuna’s season tally of 36. In the process, he’s finished 5th in the list for the Torjägerkanone. This man is certainly of the highest calibre, and should be picked up by a Bundesliga team.

(Photo by MARIUS BECKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

18. SC Paderborn 07

The bottom-placed club were predicted to go down from the moment that they were promoted, and unfortunately for them, they were right. Paderborn have not looked nearly as good as they should have, and are deservedly going right back to the second tier. They have been thoroughly dominated very often, and have conceded twice as often as they have scored. That, couple with 22 losses from 34 games has sealed their fate, and they have a lot to work on in preparation for next season. 2.5

Best Player: Sebastian Schonlau – In all honesty, no one from Paderborn has really impressed, but Schonlau has looked good whenever he’s been fielded. From 23 starts, he has scored twice this season. He’s obviously better defensively, where he averages a massive 10.9 recoveries per match. That is certainly impressive.

The 2019/20 Season

What an exciting season this has been! We’ve had action till the last matchday at both ends. There was a four-way title race until the lockdown, and then a major battle for European qualification ensued. At the foot of the table, Werder pulled off half of a great escape in their last match, as Fortuna tumbled down. In the midst of all of that, there was the small matter of the lockdown and restart, where the Bundesliga led the way for the rest of Europe’s big leagues. Let’s say a major thank you to the DFB and all of the staff involved in making this possible. 10

And that is how yet another campaign of the Bundesliga has ended. Stay tuned for the DFB Pokal final and relegation play-offs, and then of course the next season of the German top-flight. Until then, Auf wiedersehen.

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