This Day in History: 2023-01-26

Nr. 391


Seventy-five years after England founded a national professional league, West Germany finally followed suit in July 1962. The impetus for the Bundesliga had been West Germany’s embarrassment at their national team’s quarter-final exit to Yugoslavia at the World Cup in Chile. Until then football had been largely semi-professional and arranged as regional leagues. The inaugural Bundesliga season consisted of 16 teams chosen on the basis of recent success and an equal representation of the country from the five Oberligas in the North, South, West and Southwest of the country and the capital Berlin. At the end of the inaugural 1963-64 season FC Cologne were the first Bundesliga winners.
The Bundesliga, which took so long to come into existence, originally consisted of 16 teams. FC Cologne were the first Bundesliga champions.