Last updated on January 18th, 2022
How are these 2 competitions different, and which one is better?
Here’s what you need to know:
The difference between Premier League and Bundesliga
The Premier League involves the top 20 teams in English football, while the Bundesliga includes the top 18 teams in German football. Both of these competitions mainly differ in terms of their squad rules and Europa Conference League qualification.
Here is a further comparison between these 2 leagues:
Number of teams involved
The Bundesliga is the only competition among the top 5 leagues in Europe to have 18 teams. This was due to historical reasons that happened in 1965.
Meanwhile, the Premier League has 20 teams, similar to the other top leagues in Europe, including:
Origin of teams
The teams in the Premier League originate from England, while those in the Bundesliga originate from Germany.
Here are some of the top teams from each country that have been playing in these leagues:
|Manchester City||Bayern Munich|
|Manchester United||Borussia Dortmund|
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.
The Bundesliga usually has a 2-week winter break. This normally starts in mid-December, and the competition will resume in the first week of January.
In contrast, the Premier League does not have a fixed winter break, where all teams will be resting at once.
Format of competition
Both the Premier League and Bundesliga follow a double round-robin league format. Each team will play against the other clubs in the league.
For 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.
Qualification for competition
To qualify to be in the Premier League, your team will need to be in the top 20 football teams in the English football pyramid. If they are starting at the bottom of the pyramid, they will need to get promoted to the different tiers, and ultimately reach the Premier League.
One of the most gruelling competitions is the EFL Championship, which is the second tier of English football. There are 24 teams that are competing for 3 spots in the Premier League.
The teams that are in 3rd to 6th place will compete in the Championship playoffs. This is one of the most intense competitions, especially since there is a Premier League spot at stake!
Meanwhile, the Bundesliga contains the top 18 teams in German football. Every season, the bottom 2 teams will be relegated, and the top 2 teams from the 2. Bundesliga will be promoted.
Here is an example of the playoff between Union Berlin and VfB Stuttgart.
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 same for the top 5 teams in both competitions:
|League position||Qualification for|
|Top 4 teams||Champions League|
For the qualification to the Europa Conference League, the 6th team in the Bundesliga will qualify for the play-offs.
Meanwhile, the winners of the EFL Cup in England will qualify for the Europa Conference League play-offs, instead of the 6th-placed team.
Rewards for winning competition
Here are the rewards your team will receive when they win either competition:
|Prize Money||Based on performance||Distribution model|
|Qualification for next|
season’s Champions League
for Super Cup
|FA Community Shield||DFL-Supercup|
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 the Premier League is more straightforward, where it is based on the position of the team. In the 2020/21 season, the winner received £153.9 million.
The winners of both leagues will qualify for the Champions League group stages. Moreover, they will play in the English and German versions of the 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:
|Manchester City (5)||Bayern Munich (9)|
|Chelsea (2)||Borussia Dortmund (1)|
|Leicester City (1)||–|
|Manchester United (1)||–|
Bayern Munich has been very dominant in the Bundesliga, where they have won 9 out of the last 10 titles!
Meanwhile, the Premier League has been ‘slightly’ more competitive, as there have been 5 different winners for the past 10 years.
However, it is still pretty dominant as Manchester City has won 5 out of the last 10 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:
|2020/21||2 (Manchester City|
|2017/18||1 (Liverpool)||1 (Bayern)|
The Premier League has provided more semi-finalists (5) compared to the Bundesliga (3).
Here is a summary of the comparison between these 2 leagues:
|Duration||10 months||10 months|
|Format||Double round-robin||Double round-robin|
|Squad size||25 (17 homegrown)||Minimum 12 German|
players under contract
|Qualification||Top 2 from EFL |
3rd – 6th will
play in playoffs
|Top 2 from 2. Bundesliga |
3rd in 2. Bundesliga has playoff
with 16th in Bundesliga
|Prize Money||Based on position||Distribution model|
|Qualification for |
for Super Cup
|FA Community Shield||DFL-Supercup|
|Mainly Manchester City||Mainly Bayern|
in past 5 years
in past 5 years
Is the Premier League better than the Bundesliga?
The Premier League may be considered to better than the Bundesliga in terms of Champions League performances, where there are 5 semi-finalists in the past 5 years compared to the Bundesliga (3 semi-finalists).
It is quite hard to compare one league to another, and I feel that the best way to do so would be by the Champions League performances!
The Premier League and Bundesliga are 2 of the top footballing competitions in the European football season.
Based solely on the Champions League performances, the Premier League takes the slight edge!
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