The 2018/19 Bundesliga season gets underway on Friday 24 August, but who will be leading their teams out for the new campaign?

bundesliga.com introduces the 18 captains skippering their clubs.

Captain for both club and country, Germany’s No.1 begins his second season as Bayern’s on-field leader. His first with the armband, however, was limited to just three league appearances because of a broken foot, with Thomas Müller often deputising. Neuer, though, is now fit and ready to lead the record champions to yet more potential Bundesliga glory.

Neuer became Bayern’s captain when Philipp Lahm (l.) retired in 2017. © imago

Schalke: Ralf Fährmann

Another goalkeeper going into his second season as captain of his club, youth product Fährmann was the recipient of last term’s golden glove for the most clean sheets. His new deputy is veteran defender Naldo, who played every minute of last season. Fährmann, however, has not missed a Bundesliga game for over three years.

Last season Julian Nagelsmann allowed his squad to choose their captain. This time the armband has been handed from Eugen Polanski to Kevin Vogt, who wore it in all but four Bundesliga games last season in any case.

Vogt will captain Hoffenheim in their first ever season of UEFA Champions League football. © imago / Avanti

Marcel Schmelzer gave up the duty at the end of last season, and now new coach Lucien Favre has bestowed the honour upon local boy Reus. One of Dortmund’s key men following his return from a long-term injury layoff, he was already an on-field leader within the BVB team, but now he’s been handed the responsibility full time for 2018/19.

Reus, now 29, has been at Dortmund for six years and was named captain by Lucien Favre this summer. © imago

With Die Werkself since 2009, the former 1860 Munich man has led last season’s fifth-placed side since 2015. Used across the backline and in midfield last term, his leadership skills simply add to his versatility.

Still only 25, Orban is the youngest skipper in the Bundesliga this season as he enters his fourth year with Leipzig. After joining from Kaiserslautern in 2015, he was handed the armband full time last season.

The longest-serving captain in this year’s Bundesliga, Gentner has led Stuttgart since 2013. Apart from a three-year spell away at Wolfsburg, the 32-year-old has been with VfB since 1999 and currently sits 10th for Bundesliga appearances at the club.

Not only does Stuttgart’s long-serving captain Gentner get to wear an armband, he also gets to wear a mask. © imago / Michael Weber

The Argentine succeeds retired club legend Alex Meier as club captain in Frankfurt. Now going into his fourth season with Eintracht, he has been de facto captain for over a year now due to Meier’s persistent injury problems.

Following five years at Hannover, Germany international Stindl arrived at Gladbach in 2015. Just a year later he was named club captain after the retirement of Martin Stranzl.

Ibisevic’s story mirrors that of Stindl. The Bosnian moved to Berlin from Stuttgart in 2015, originally on loan, and when he made his move permanent ahead of 2016/17 he was named captain by Pal Dardai.

Ibisevic will be Hertha captain for the third straight season in 2018/19. © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Kruse succeeds Zlatko Junuzovic as captain in Bremen. A Werder youth product, the 30-year-old has had a roundabout way to reach this point with spells at St. Pauli, Freiburg, Gladbach and Wolfsburg before returning home two years ago.

The only player to feature in every Bundesliga season for Augsburg, Baier has been with the Fuggerstädter for the best part of a decade. Following the departure of Paul Verheagh in the summer of 2017, Baier was named club captain and will now lead the side into a second campaign.

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Hannover: To be confirmed

Mainz: Niko Bungert

Going into his 11th season with the 05ers, Bungert has been club captain since 2016 but missed the whole of last season through injury. Fellow centre-back Stefan Bell deputised for him in 2017/18.

Bungert is one of the Bundesliga’s longest-serving players, although he has been captain only for two years. © imago / Jan Huebner

Freiburg: To be confirmed

Spaniard Camacho became a leader for the Wolves from the moment he signed in 2017 and wore the captain’s armband in eight of his 11 league appearances last season. Injuries curtailed his playing during that campaign and Verhaegh was often the man asked to step in and deputise.

One of the club’s longest-serving players, 36-year-old Fink has been with Fortuna since 2009 and their captain since 2016. It’s the midfielder’s second crack at the Bundesliga as he enters the latter stages of his career.

Preparing for a challenging first season back in the Bundesliga: Fortuna captain Oliver Fink. © gettyimages / Christof Koepsel

Behrens played more than a part in Nuremberg’s record eighth promotion last season. In his third season at the club, and first as captain, the midfielder played every minute of competitive action for the team and top scored with 14 goals as the Bavarians ended their four-year hiatus from the top flight.


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