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:
- 1 The difference between Bundesliga and Eredivisie
- 2 Number of teams involved
- 3 Origin of teams
- 4 Frequency and duration of competitions
- 5 Format of competition
- 6 Squad size
- 7 Qualification for competition
- 8 UEFA competitions placing
- 9 Rewards for winning competition
- 10 Dominance of teams
- 11 Champions League performances
- 12 Verdict
- 13 Conclusion
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:
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:
|Borussia Dortmund||PSV Eindhoven|
|RB Leipzig||AZ Alkmaar|
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.
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.
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:
|1st||Champions League |
Second Qualifying Round
League Third Qualifying Round
|7th – 8th||NA||European|
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 Money||Distribution model||Based on performance|
|Qualification for next |
season’s Champions League
for Super Cup
|DFL-Supercup||Johan 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.
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)|
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.
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:
|2019/20||2 (Bayern |
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 teams||18||18|
|Origin of teams||Germany||Netherlands|
|Duration||10 months||10 months|
|Format||Double round-robin||Double round-robin|
|Squad size||Minimum 12 German|
players under contract
|Qualification||Top 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
|Prize Money||Distribution model||Based on position|
|Qualification for |
for Super Cup
|DFL-Supercup||Johan Cruyff Shield|
|Mainly Bayern||Mainly Ajax|
|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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