The Bundesliga season came to a close on May 14 as Bayern Munich had their 10th consecutive title locked up back in April. The top four spots in Bundesliga are awarded an automatic berth into next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, so let’s take a look at who those teams are and how they ended up in the top four.
How they got there: It’s not a surprise Bayern Munich ended up on top of the table again this season. They were dominant as usual, cruising to their 10th consecutive and 32nd overall Bundesliga championship. Robert Lewandowski led the league in scoring for the fifth season in a row, knocking in 35 goals throughout all 34 matches. With Lewandowski reportedly denying his contract extension and expressing interest in leaving the club, we may have seen the 33-year-old striker’s last game in a Bayern Munich kit.
Bayern will be in pursuit of their seventh Champions League title with an automatic berth into the group stage next season.
How they got there: Speaking of teams who are losing their stars for next season, Borussia Dortmund locked up second place with the help of striker Erling Haaland, who recently just signed with EPL side Manchester City ahead of next season. Haaland amassed 22 goals in the campaign in only 24 games, just shy of the 27 goals he hit in the 2020-21 season.
Dortmund had a few stumbles along the way this year, but it would have taken more than a few of those results to go differently to catch up with Bayern Munich. Regardless, they’ll be making their seventh straight appearance in Champions League after their second place finish in Bundesliga this season.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
How they got there: After missing out on UCL in 2020-21, Bayer Leverkusen will be making their return to the big stage in 2022-23. Finishing just five points behind Dortmund, Leverkusen locked up the third place spot in Bundesliga, clear of fourth-place RB Leipzig by six points. Patrik Schick led the team in scoring with 24 goals, good for second place in the league behind Lewandowski. Moussa Diaby added 13 goals as well, helping Leverkusen secure their highest Bundesliga finish since the 2015-16 season.
How they got there: Leipzig secured a fourth place finish in Bundesliga, which is their worst positioning since they finished sixth in the 2017-18 season. Christopher Nkunku led the team with 20 goals, tied for fourth in the league with FC Koln’s Anthony Modeste. Leipzig finished just one point ahead of Union Berlin after ending their season with a 1-1 draw with relegated side Arminia Bielefeld.
RB Leipzig will be making their fourth overall Champions League appearance, earning their third consecutive berth. The team was founded in 2009, but they didn’t qualify for UCL for the first time until 2017.