On top of the German football league system sits the Fußball-Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga, both operated by the professional Deutsche Fußball Liga. The two top flights then are followed by the 3. Liga, the lowest full professional division in Germany, administered by the German Football Association itself. The top two divisions each have 18 teams and the third division has 20 teams. There is a system of promotion and relegation between the respective divisions.
The Bundesliga was founded in 1963 and 51 clubs have competed at the highest level. FC Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 21 times. Other champions that have been prominent include Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart. The 2. Bundesliga was established in 1974 and the 3. Fußball-Liga more recently in 2008.
Below the professional level is the Regionalliga which is divided into 5 regional divisions, that are organised by the regional associations of the German Football association. This fourth tier operates on a semi-professional basis.
Starting at level five there are various amateur divisions which are usually governed by the 21 state associations.
The DFB-Pokal is a German knockout football cup competition which is held annually. 64 teams participate in the competition, including all clubs from the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga. It is considered the second most important national title in German football after the Bundesliga championship. The competition was founded in 1935 as the Tschammer-Pokal.
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