For football enthusiasts, the Austrian Bundesliga is a professional football league that is worth watching. Established in 1974, the Austrian Bundesliga is the highest-level football league in Austria. In this article, we will give you a complete guide to the history of the Austrian Bundesliga, its current structure, and the teams that make up the league.
A Brief Look into the History of the Austrian Bundesliga
The Austrian Bundesliga has been an integral part of the country’s football landscape since its inception in 1974. Over the years, the league has evolved, with changes in its format, rules, and regulations, and has witnessed some of the most exhilarating football matches.
Foundation and Early Years
The league was established in 1974, with ten teams competing for the top spot. Rapid Wien won the inaugural season and laid the foundation for what was to become an exciting journey for Austrian football. In the following years, the league saw some great teams and players, with FK Austria Wien, Grazer AK, and Red Bull Salzburg emerging as the top teams.
Changes in Format
The league’s format has undergone various transformations over the years, adapting to the needs and demands of the sport and its fans. From its inception to its current iteration, the league has experienced significant changes in its structure, affecting the number of teams, the scheduling of games, and the overall competitiveness of the league.
The Evolution of Team
Numbers One of the most notable changes in the league’s format occurred in 1982 when the number of teams was reduced from ten to eight. This move aimed to increase the overall quality of the teams and the competitiveness of the league. With fewer teams, players would be spread thinner across each team, leading to a more challenging and demanding playing environment.
However, this change did not last long, and in 1985, the league introduced a double round-robin system. This format meant that each team would play against each other twice, once at home and once away, resulting in a total of 28 games per season. This new structure helped to ensure that the best teams would rise to the top, as they had to perform consistently well throughout the season.
The Introduction of the Single Round-Robin System
The league’s format changed again in the 2017/18 season, with the introduction of a single round-robin system. This format allowed for the league to expand to 12 teams, providing more opportunities for players and teams to compete at the highest level. Each team would play against each other once, either at home or away, resulting in a total of 11 games per season.
This change in structure allowed for a more diverse range of teams to participate in the league, increasing the overall competitiveness and excitement of the season. It also allowed for the league to expand its fanbase and attract new supporters, as there were more teams to follow and cheer for.
The Impact of Changes in Format
The changes in the league’s format have had a significant impact on the sport and its players. The reduction in the number of teams aimed to increase the overall quality of the league, while the introduction of the double round-robin system ensured that the best teams would succeed. The move to a single round-robin system and the expansion to 12 teams aimed to increase the overall competitiveness of the league and provide more opportunities for players and teams to succeed.
Overall, the changes in the league’s format have helped to create a more competitive and exciting playing environment, allowing for the sport to continue to evolve and grow in popularity.
The current format involves the 12 teams playing 22 matches each in the first phase of the league, before the league splits into two groups for the second phase. The top six teams compete in the Championship Group, where they battle for the league title and European qualification spots, while the bottom six teams compete in the Relegation Group, where they fight to retain their spot in the league.
The Unmatched Dominance of Red Bull Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga
Red Bull Salzburg has established itself as the most successful team in the history of the Austrian Bundesliga. This highly-regarded football club has won a remarkable 15 league titles since the inception of the league, which is an achievement that no other team has managed to surpass. However, what truly sets them apart is their extraordinary winning streak, having clinched the league title for an unprecedented eight consecutive seasons.
The Rise of Red Bull Salzburg
Red Bull Salzburg’s journey to the top has been nothing short of exceptional. The club was formed in 1933 as Austria Salzburg, and it wasn’t until the arrival of Red Bull as the club’s owners in 2005 that their fortunes began to change. With Red Bull’s backing, the club experienced a massive overhaul, which included a complete rebranding and a renewed commitment to success.
Since then, the club has been on an upward trajectory, establishing itself as a dominant force in Austrian football. Red Bull Salzburg’s success has not only been limited to the domestic league, but they have also made an impressive impact in European competitions. The club has qualified for the UEFA Champions League several times, with their best performance being a semi-final appearance in the 2017-18 season.
Other Teams that Have Experienced Success
Although Red Bull Salzburg has been the standout team in the Austrian Bundesliga, other teams have also enjoyed some measure of success in the league. Austria Wien, one of the most storied clubs in the country, has won the league title 24 times, although their last title came in the 2012-13 season. Rapid Wien is another team that has enjoyed a great deal of success, with 32 league titles to their name, although their last title came in the 2007-08 season. Sturm Graz, which has won three league titles, is also a team that has made a significant impact in the league.
Current Teams in the Austrian Bundesliga
The twelve teams that currently make up the Austrian Bundesliga are:
- Red Bull Salzburg
- Rapid Wien
- Sturm Graz
- Austria Wien
- Wolfsberger AC
- Admira Wacker
- Austria Klagenfurt
- WSG Tirol
Of these teams, Red Bull Salzburg, Rapid Wien, and Austria Wien are the most successful, having won a combined 56 league titles between them.
Key Players in the Aistrian Bundesliga
The Austrian Bundesliga has been home to several talented players over the years, including former Bayern Munich and Manchester United player Marko Arnautovic, who currently plays for Bologna. Other notable players include:
- Patson Daka (Red Bull Salzburg)
- Peter Zulj (Austria Wien)
- Kelvin Arase (Sturm Graz)
- Gernot Trauner (LASK)
- Ercan Kara (Rapid Wien)