The Bundesliga has long been considered the league for goals, and 2021 was no exception. With more goals than any other top European league over the first half of the 2021-22 season, the German top flight also witnessed long-standing goal records fall as the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland and Florian Wirtz wrote their names into the record books.
As well as individual player performances, there were highlights for young German coaches, such as Bayern trainer Julian Nagelsmann, and new records for some of the clubs, too. Take a look back at the highlights from the Bundesliga in 2021.
The Bundesliga is the league for goals
- In the 2021-22 season so far, the Bundesliga is averaging 3.09 goals per game – the highest of Europe’s top leagues.
- After only 17 matchdays, Bundesliga clubs have already scored 473 goals. Over the full calendar year of 2021, 1032 goals were scored, making 2021 the most goal-filled year in German football since 1991.
- The champions of 2020-21 and the 2021-22 Herbstmeister FC Bayern München have scored the biggest share of goals. Over the year, the team netted 116 goals – breaking the previous record of 101 goals set by 1. FC Köln in 1977 by a landslide.
- Bayern have Robert Lewandowski to thank for a number of those goals. The Striker of the Year scored 43 goals in the Bundesliga in 2021 – the most ever in a calendar year, passing Gerd Müller’s historic feat of 42 goals in 1972.
- Lewandowski also became the player with the most away goals in Bundesliga history (120 so far), passing FC Schalke legend Klaus Fischer.
- Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt’s André Silva scored 28 goals in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season before joining RB Leipzig in the summer – the most goals ever scored by a Frankfurt player in a single season.
- FC Köln’s Anthony Modeste scored eight headed goals in the first half of the season –more than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues.
- In 2021-22, the Bundesliga also saw the second-lowest number of goalless games compared to the other major leagues in Europe. Additionally, 73% of goals were scored from open play.
- Some matchdays stand out in particular: Matchday 14 of 2021-22 produced 41 goals, averaging more than 4.5 goals per game – the most across European leagues.
- Considering the high number of goals, there have naturally been new records for providing assists. On Matchday 16 of 2021-22, FC Bayern München’s Thomas Müller became the first player ever to provide 12 assists before the first half of the season was concluded.
- Over the full calendar year, Müller provided 24 assists and thereby set a new record for the most assists in a calendar year across Europe’s to five leagues.
World-class talent continues to shine
- The Bundesliga is the second youngest of the major European leagues, with an average age of only 25.6 years across the 18 clubs.
- Players under the age of 20 made a total of 248 appearances so far – the second most in Europe’s leading leagues.
- In the 2021-22 season so far, the Bundesliga provided young players with valuable playing time. There are several outfield players under 21-years old that have played in every match this season, including Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Joe Scally, Greuther Fürth’s Jamie Leweling and TSG Hoffenheim’s Georginio Rutter.
- On Matchday 13 of the 2021-22 season, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland scored his 50th goal in his 50th Bundesliga game. Never has a player in the Bundesliga hit this landmark so quickly. Furthermore, the Norwegian is the youngest player ever to reach the 50-goal mark.
- With his goal on Matchday 6 for Bayer Leverkusen, Florian Wirtz became the youngest player in Bundesliga history to score at least ten goals. Furthermore, on Matchday 16, Wirtz became the youngest player ever to make 50 appearances in the Bundesliga. He is also the teenager with the most goal involvements across the top five leagues so far this season (five goals, eight assists).
- Players born in 2000 or later were involved in 133 goals so far in the 2021-22 season (66 goals, 67 assists) – more than in any other leading league in Europe.
- The Bundesliga is not only known for its top-class young players, but also for the development of coaches. On Matchday 15 of 2021-22, FC Bayern München’s head coach Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest coach ever to reach 100 Bundesliga victories.
Clubs set new standards
- By becoming 2020-21 champions, FC Bayern München levelled Juventus to become one of only two clubs in Europe to win nine consecutive league titles.
- Borussia Dortmund also left their mark this year. In May, they beat RB Leipzig 4-1 in the DFB Pokal final, winning the title for the fifth time in the club’s history. In the final, both Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland scored braces and became the two youngest players to score multiple goals in a DFB Pokal final since the foundation of the Bundesliga.
- In addition, Dortmund won all of their first seven home matches of the 2021-22 Bundesliga season – a feat they previously never managed to achieve.
- SC Freiburg set a new record for the club’s highest win in a Bundesliga match with a 6-0 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 14 of 2021-22. Before that, the club had not won an away game against Gladbach for 26 years.
- Freiburg also started the 2021-22 season better than ever before in the Bundesliga, ending the first half of the season in third place.
- Between Matchday 17 and Matchday 23, VfL Wolfsburg went a club-record seven Bundesliga matches in a row without conceding. Only three teams have managed to record more consecutive clean sheets in Bundesliga history.
- Both FC Bayern München and Eintracht Frankfurt finished the 2020-21 Bundesliga season without a single defeat at home.
On Matchday 14 of 2021-22, Bayern Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick became the first player in the club’s history to score four goals in a Bundesliga match. One Matchday later, Schick took the 5,000th penalty in the history of the Bundesliga.