The 2006 World Cup proved to the world – if it didn't know it already – that Germany is crazy about football. Every summer, millions of football fans look forward with great excitement to the beginning of the new Bundesliga season. Many stars of the German league have also won fans abroad.In recent years, players such as Mesut Özil, Sami Khedira, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski have thrilled thousands upon thousands of spectators – and not only on home turf.
Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben are just two of the many international footballing greats who are under contract to German clubs. The Bundesliga is currently made up of 18 teams which play home and away fixtures on 34 match days. Around ten million fans watch from the stands, supporting their teams with chants, cries of encouragement and even the odd Mexican wave.
Another feast of football is the DFB Cup, which sees teams from Germany's two-tier national league compete against amateur clubs. The final is always played in May or June at the Olympic stadium in Berlin.
It's been a long time since football in Germany was exclusively the domain of men. Indeed Germany is the only country to have won the World Cup and European Championships both in men's and in women's football. The women's team has won the World Cup twice and the European Championships seven times. Birgit Prinz is one of the most famous players of recent times and has been named World Player of the Year three times. Since 1990 the twelve best clubs in the Frauen-Bundesliga have competed every year for the title of German Champion.