Bayern Munich have been crowned as Bundesliga for a sixth consecutive season, while two of the division’s oldest and most beloved clubs Hamburger SV and FC Köln dropped out of the German top flight altogether.
The 2017/18 season had all the usual thrills and spills that we’ve come to expect from the Bundesliga, but the last nine months have been groundbreaking in how the game will be played for years to come.
So with that in mind, let’s have a look back at seven of the most memorable moments that made last season a year no one will ever forget.
7. The Bundesliga Waves Goodbye to Legends
Every year as the season comes to a close, fans prepare themselves for some emotional farewells as their club’s most iconic players lace up their boots for one final time.
This year, the German top flight waved goodbye to a number of Bundesliga stalwarts – not least of which included Stefan Kiessling and Claudio Pizarro.
The former has opted to call time on his career following an incredible 12-year stint in the ranks of Bayer Leverkusen.
Despite making just eight cameo appearances this season, Kiessling departs the BayArena with over 160 goals to his name for Die Werkself and the 34-year-old has more often than not been the face of Leverkusen over the last decade.
In comparison with former Peru international Pizzaro, the 39-year-old goal machine has represented Werder Bremen, Köln and Bayern Munich since he first moved to Germany in 1999.
And with 192 goals to his name in the top flight, the veteran striker ends his career as the Bundesliga’s highest non-German goalscorer of all time.
6. The Most Dramatic Revierderby Ever
The Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04 is rarely game that disappoints, and this season the giants from the Ruhr served up two of the most memorable games of the campaign.
But while the latter of the two fixtures was more memorable for those in Royal Blue, Schalke’s trip to the Westfalenstadion back in November made headlines across the world.
The pendulum swung in Dortmund’s favour just 12 minutes into the game when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the hosts in front. An own goal from Benjamin Stambouli then doubled their advantage before strikes from Mario Götze and Raphaël Guerreiro appeared to have three points in the bag before half time.
But goals from Guido Burgstaller and Amine Harit had the home fans bitting their nails heading into the last 10 minutes of the game, and the anxiety in the stadium was made worse when Aubameyang was sent off.
Daniel Caligiuri then scored a delightful left footed goal to get Schalke back within touching distance of an impossible comeback before Naldo, in the 94th minute of the game, rose highest from a corner to rescue a draw – although it felt more like a win – for Domenico Tedesco’s side.
5. The English are Invading
Fans across Europe have become accustomed to their country’s brightest prospects upping sticks early in their career to chase the glitz and glamour of the Premier League.
But this season the Bundesliga has started to fight back against the financial powerhouses in England by poaching some of the biggest talents that aren’t being given a chance on home soil.
Borussia Dortmund started the trend this season by signing Jadon Sancho – tipped by many to be England’s most promising young player – from Manchester City for just £8m.
And the 18-year-old has proved himself to be one of the most exciting players in the Bundesliga this season, making an impressive 12 appearances for the Black and Yellows this campaign.
RB Leipzig have also benefited from shopping in the Premier League, with Ademola Lookman joining the club on loan from Everton during the winter transfer window.
The former Charlton star has been involved in nine goals for the Red Bulls since January, scoring five goals and claiming four assists in just 11 appearances.
4. The First Female Referee
The Bundesliga is often held in high regard across Europe as being one of the most progressive top flights on the continent and that reputation was furthered even more this season when Bibiana Steinhaus became the first female referee to take charge of a top flight game.
With a wealth of experience from the second division behind her, Steinhaus was flawless in stepping up to the Bundesliga and she has gone on to take charge of eight games this season – the first of which was a 1-1 draw between Hertha BSC and Werder Bremen.
3. 6 League Titles in a Row
Bayern Munich secured an outstanding sixth consecutive Bundesliga title this season under the guidance of their legendary manager Jupp Heynckes, who retires this summer.
The Bavarians’ dominance in the German top flight is often misinterpreted as a poor advert for Bundesliga football, but their ability and success to dominate the Bundesliga is much more of a display of how well the club has been run in recent years.
2. A Guinea Pig for VAR
The introduction of a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in the Bundesliga this season has been a tough pill to swallow for fans who pride themselves on tradition and history.
There appeared to be a small majority of fans who were opposed to the introduction of the new technology this year, but most supporters were willing to at least give the VAR a chance before completely dismissing it at the start of the campaign.
But those fans have increasingly grown more and more frustrated with the technology, as well as club’s staff and players, as the season has gone forward.
With communication still a major issue in Germany, there are also concerns about what can be reviewed by the VAR, not to mention what a “clear and obvious” mistake actually is.
1. Scoring a Goal During Half Time
But perhaps the most damning incident for the Video Assistant Referee came back in April when SC Freiburg traveled to Mainz on matchday 30.
There was a fairly inconspicuous penalty shout for handball which referee Guido Winkmann waved away on the brink of half time, with the players walking down the tunnel moments later at the break.
But before Winkmann had the chance to go into his own dressing room, the VAR instructed that the official take a second look at the penalty shout.
Despite being outside the parameters of what most considered to be a “clear and obvious” error from the official, the referee overturned his original decision and forced the players out of their dressing rooms so that Mainz could take a penalty during the half time break.
Pablo de Blasis stepped up for the hosts and converted the spot kick, and Mainz went on to win the game 2-0, but the controversy that surrounded the game has lingered for the rest of the campaign, with all eyes now on what could be a make or break World Cup for the new technology.