Bundesliga vs Eredivisie

Bundesliga vs Eredivisie – What’s The Difference?

Last updated on January 22nd, 2022

If you’ve been following the top leagues in European football, you may have noticed that there are a few popular ones, including the Bundesliga and Eredivisie.

How are these 2 competitions different, and which one is better?

Here’s what you need to know:

The difference between Bundesliga and Eredivisie

The Bundesliga and Eredivisie include the top 18 teams in German and Dutch football respectively. Both of these competitions mainly differ in terms of their squad rules and the qualification for European competitions.

Here is a further comparison between these 2 leagues:

Number of teams involved

Both the Bundesliga and Eredivisie have 18 teams in their respective leagues. This is lower compared to the other top leagues in Europe, such as:

  1. Premier League
  2. Serie A
  3. La Liga
  4. Ligue 1

Origin of teams

The teams in the Bundesliga originate from Germany, while those in Eredivisie originate from the Netherlands.

Here are some of the top teams from each country that have been playing in these leagues:

Bayern MunichAjax
Borussia DortmundPSV Eindhoven
RB LeipzigAZ Alkmaar
VfL WolfsburgVitesse

If you’re wondering what does VfL stand for in Wolfsburg, you can check out my guide here.

Frequency and duration of competitions

Both competitions have a similar schedule, where they will start in August, and then end in May.

This is similar to the other top European leagues as well.

Both the Bundesliga and Eredivisie usually have a 2-week winter break. This normally starts in mid-December, and the competition will resume in the first week of January.

Format of competition

Both the Bundesliga and Eredivisie follow a double round-robin league format. Each team will play against the other clubs in the league.

For both leagues, each team will play against 17 other teams, for a total of 34 matches.

Squad size

In the Bundesliga, it is not clear how the big squad size can be. However, each club must have a minimum of 12 German players under contract.

8 of these players have to be trained locally, while the other 4 can be trained by a club or association in Germany.

The matchday squad of each Bundesliga team must have no more than five non-EU representatives too.

Meanwhile, the rules are not really clear for the squads in Eredivisie too. However, in Football Manager, it was stated that an Eredivisie squad has no restrictions, except there cannot be any under-18 non-EU players.

Qualification for competition

The promotion criteria for both the Bundesliga and Eredivisie are quite similar.

Every season, the bottom 2 teams will be relegated, and the top 2 teams from the 2. Bundesliga or Eerste Divisie will be promoted.

The 3rd bottom team (16th placed) in the Bundesliga and Eredivisie will play in a playoff match. For the Bundesliga, the 16th placed team will compete with the 3rd-placed team in the 2. Bundesliga

This is a 2-legged match where the first match is played at the home of the Bundesliga side, while the second leg is played at the home of the Bundesliga 2 side.

Here is an example of the playoff between Union Berlin and VfB Stuttgart.

Meanwhile, the playoffs for Eredivisie is slightly more complicated. The 16th placed team will compete with the top 6 teams from Eerste Divisie who have not been promoted yet.

If a B team like Jong Ajax or Jong PSV are within the positions 3-8 of Eerste Divisie, they will not take place in the playoffs and the spot will go to the next best team.

This is because B teams can’t be promoted to the Eredivisie!

These 6 teams from Eerste Divisie will play against each other in a knockout round, where 3 teams will move on to the next round. The 16th-placed team in Eredivisie will then enter this round, and a semi-final round will start.

This is slightly complicated, and you can view how these playoffs work here.

UEFA competitions placing

Your team will be eligible to qualify for UEFA competitions, based on how they perform in the league. The qualification is the different for both competitions:

1stChampions League
Group Stage
Champions League
Group Stage
2ndChampions League
Group Stage
Champions League
Second Qualifying Round
3rdChampions League
Group Stage
Europa League
Playoff Round
4thChampions League
Group Stage
Europa Conference
League Third Qualifying Round
5th Europa League
Group Stage
competition playoffs
6thEuropa Conference
League play-offs
competition playoffs
7th – 8thNAEuropean
competition playoffs

There is quite a huge difference in the UEFA competitions placing, as Netherlands has a lower UEFA coefficient compared to Germany.

The Bundesliga has more Champions League spots (4) compared to Eredivisie (2).

For the Eredivisie, positions 5-8 will play for a spot in the Europa Conference League second qualifying round.

Rewards for winning competition

Here are the rewards your team will receive when they win either competition:

Prize MoneyDistribution modelBased on performance
Qualification for next
season’s Champions League
for Super Cup
DFL-SupercupJohan Cruyff Shield

Interestingly, the Bundesliga has a unique way of distributing the prize money. It follows this model of:

  • 65% of the yearly pool divided equally
  • Other 35% is divided according to league positions in the last 5 years

Meanwhile, the prize money for Eredivisie is more straightforward, where it is based on the position of the team. In the 2016/17 season, the winner received €8.93m, with the 2nd-placed team receiving €8m.

The winners of both leagues will qualify for the Champions League group stages. Moreover, they will play in the German and Dutch versions of the Super Cup.

The super cup is usually the curtain raiser of the football season. This is played between the winners of the league and the cup of that particular country.

You can find out more about how a Super Cup works by reading my Guides on the FA Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup.

Dominance of teams

In this section, we will be looking at the past winners of these 2 leagues since the 2011/12 season:

Bayern Munich (9)Ajax (5)
Borussia Dortmund (1)PSV (3)
Feyenoord (1)

The 2019-20 Eredivisie season was abandoned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bayern Munich has been very dominant in the Bundesliga, where they have won 9 out of the last 10 titles!

Meanwhile, the Eredivisie has been ‘slightly’ more competitive, as there have been 3 different winners for the past 10 years.

However, it is still pretty dominant as Ajax has won 5 out of the last 9 titles.

As such, the Eredivisie may be slightly more exciting to watch compared to the Bundesliga.

Champions League performances

In this section, we will see how the clubs from these leagues have performed in the Champions League. This is the best indicator of how well the league is as a whole, since the Champions League is a competition between the top European clubs.

To make a fairer comparison, I will be looking at the semi-finalists for the past 5 years that come from either league:

2019/202 (Bayern
and Leipzig)
2018/1901 (Ajax)
2017/181 (Bayern)0

The Bundesliga has more semi-finalists in the last 5 years (3) compared to the Eredivisie (1).


Here is a summary of the comparison between these 2 leagues:

Number of teams1818
Origin of teamsGermanyNetherlands
Duration10 months10 months
FormatDouble round-robinDouble round-robin
of matches
Squad sizeMinimum 12 German
players under contract
No non-EU
under-18 players
QualificationTop 2 from 2. Bundesliga

3rd in 2. Bundesliga has
playoff with 16th in Bundesliga
Top 2 from Eerste Divisie

16th in Eredivisie has playoff
with the next 6 in Eerste Divisie
Champions League
Prize MoneyDistribution modelBased on position
Qualification for
next season’s
Champions League
for Super Cup
DFL-SupercupJohan Cruyff Shield
of teams
Mainly BayernMainly Ajax
Champions League
performances (semi-finals)
3 semi-finalists in
the past 5 years
1 semi-finalist in
the past 5 years


The Bundesliga and Eredivisie are 2 of the top footballing competitions in the European football season.

Based solely on the Champions League performances, the Bundesliga takes the slight edge!

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