Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Müller and the Bundesliga’s 2017/18 chart-toppers
As the dust settles on another action-packed Bundesliga season, it’s time to whip out the calculators and have a closer look at the players who topped the stat lists in 2017/18.
Sit back as bundesliga.com takes you through a troupe of standout statistical performers from another memorable campaign…
Robert Lewandowski – 29
Nils Petersen – 15
Niclas Füllkrug – 14
Mark Uth – 14
Kevin Volland – 14
Bayern Munich star Lewandowski was in a league of his own following the departure of Borussia Dortmund‘s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for Arsenal, sweeping to his third top scorer’s cannon with almost twice as many goals as his nearest challenger, Nils Petersen. The Poland captain notched four braces and two hat-tricks in the Bundesliga, and he could still increase his 40-goal haul in all competitions in the DFB Cup final. The 29-year-old is now up to 180 Bundesliga goals, just 12 shy of Claudio Pizarro‘s all-time leading mark for a foreign scorer. Watch this space!
Watch: What makes Robert Lewandowski so special?
Thomas Müller – 14
Philipp Max – 12
James Rodriguez – 11
Daniel Caligiuri – 10
Joshua Kimmich – 10
Nobody does it quite like Müller. Bayern’s inimitable Raumdeuter flourished after being reunited with Jupp Heynckes, contributing 12 of his league-high 14 assists and seven of his eight goals under the veteran coach to get his hands on a seventh Bundesliga title – not bad for a player who is still only 28. The Germany forward’s telepathic understanding with Lewandowski and James Rodriguez made him a nightmare for opposition defences to handle, while his ability to squeeze pockets of space out of thin air remains unparalleled. Honourable mention must also go to Augsburg’s Max, who led the assist charts for much of the campaign and had a big hand in his side remaining well clear of the relegation battle.
Philipp Max – 130
Joshua Kimmich – 109
Christian Günter – 96
Filip Kostic – 91
Daniel Brosinski – 86
It should come as no surprise to see Max topping the charts for crosses into the area, after he spent most of the season powering up the left flank to provide his teammates with scoring opportunities. The Augsburg man’s eye-catching performances even had observers wondering if he could be a surprise inclusion in Germany’s FIFA World Cup squad, but national coach Joachim Löw poured cold water on that speculation in March. Even if he doesn’t go to Russia, it has been a memorable campaign for the 24-year-old, who became the first defender since detailed data collection began to grab 12 assists in a league season.
Timo Horn – 139
Jiri Pavlenka – 128
Marwin Hitz – 124
Ron-Robert Zieler – 124
Yann Sommer – 115
Clearly, the number of saves that a goalkeeper is required to make depends a great deal on the players in front of him, which maybe explains why Cologne‘s Horn finds himself top of this particular pile. The Billy Goats finished bottom of the Bundesliga with by far the worst defensive record – 70 goals conceded – in spite of Horn making almost exactly double that number of saves. There is good news for fans though: both Horn and captain Jonas Hector have confirmed they will stay at the club next season and lead the charge for a return to the Bundesliga. Elsewhere, credit has to go to the impressive Pavlenka, whose Werder Bremen side ended with the fourth-best defensive record in the league (40 goals conceded).
Distance covered per game (miles)
Thomas Delaney – 7.3
Lars Stindl – 7.3
Maximilian Eggestein – 7.2
Philipp Max – 7
Thorgan Hazard – 6.9
Bremen recovered from a poor start to the season to finish comfortably in mid-table, and Delaney was one of their standout performers under new boss Florian Kohfeldt. The Denmark international was a whirlwind of energy in midfield, covering a league-high 7.3 miles per game ahead of Borussia Mönchengladbach captain Lars Stindl and teammate Maximilian Eggestein. The five-time Danish champion also got stuck into 432 challenges – second only to Augsburg midfielder Caiuby – as well as contributing three goals and four assists.
Caiuby – 501
Thomas Delaney – 432
Salif Sane – 432
Sebastien Haller – 411
Niclas Füllkrug – 387
Caiuby topped the Bundesliga charts for Zweikämpfe – a favoured German stat that refers to the total number of tackles, 50-50s and dribbles won by a player. The all-action Brazilian beat his man on no fewer than 501 occasions, doing much of his damage for Augsburg down the left flank. Blessed with power and technique, the 29-year-old dovetailed superbly with left-back Philipp Max, and the two men ended up having a direct hand in 26 of their side’s 43 Bundesliga goals – Caiuby alone providing five goals and seven assists.
Ralf Fährmann 13
Roman Bürki 12
Sven Ulreich 12
Ron-Robert Zieler 12
Oliver Baumann 10
Since taking over the captain’s armband from the Juventus-bound Benedikt Höwedes, Fährmann has led by example at Schalke this season. Not only did he keep the highest number of clean sheets, the 29-year-old also saved over 72 per cent of the shots he faced, helping the Royal Blues to the third-best defensive record in the Bundesliga (37 goals conceded), behind Bayern (28) and VfB Stuttgart (36). He also kept out three of six penalties in the league as Schalke finished second to secure UEFA Champions League football.
Fastest player (miles per hour)
Ihlas Bebou 21.9
Denis Zakaria 21.8
Marcel Heller 21.8
Timo Werner 21.7
Ömer Toprak 21.7
Dortmund learned a thing or two about Bebou’s remarkable pace when he ran rings around them on Matchday 10, inspiring Hannover to a 4-2 win at the HDI Arena. The Togo winger scored twice against the then Bundesliga leaders, on his way to five for the campaign overall. His top speed of 21.9 mph was almost matched by Gladbach’s Switzerland midfielder Denis Zakaria, who also boasted a joint league-high pass completion rate of 91 per cent. Though he wasn’t quite the quickest man in the Bundesliga this season, RB Leipzig‘s Timo Werner still used his phenomenal pace to great effect as he racked up 13 goals and seven assists.
Watch: Dortmund were unable to handle Bebou back in October
Claudio Pizarro (39 years, 7 months, 9 days)
Roman Weidenfeller (37 years, 9 months, 6 days)
Tom Starke (36 years, 8 months, 25 days)
Naldo (35 years, 8 months, 2 days)
Alexander Meier (35 years, 3 months, 18 days)
The Bundesliga has a reputation for being a young man’s league, but the golden oldies showed they’ve still got what it takes in 2017/18 – none more so than Naldo, who was inspirational in Schalke’s successful push for Champions League football. The Brazilian played every minute of the campaign, finishing as the highest-scoring defender with seven goals. Meanwhile, the evergreen Pizarro became the fourth-oldest goalscorer in league history when he netted against Stuttgart on Matchday 25, meaning that he has now found the back of the net in 20 consecutive Bundesliga seasons. It may have been a miserable campaign for Eintracht Frankfurt‘s injury-hit captain Meier, but he still grabbed a 93rd top-flight goal for the Eagles despite playing just three minutes all season.
Youngest player (at least 5 appearances)
Jadon Sancho (17 years, 6 months, 26 days)
Fiete Arp (17 years, 8 months, 24 days)
Alexander Isak (17 years, 11 months, 27 days)
Mickael Cuisance (18 years, 1 month, 3 days)
Kai Havertz (18 years, 2 months, 29 days)
The next generation certainly made their mark on the German top flight this term, with Sancho becoming the youngest Englishman to score in the Bundesliga against Havertz‘s Bayer Leverkusen. The FIFA U17 world champion also notched four assists in 12 top-flight appearances and will likely have no regrets about trading Manchester City for Dortmund last summer. Havertz continues to stand out as one of Germany’s brightest young things, having contributed three goals and eight assists in no fewer than 30 league appearances, while Arp and Cuisance also forced their way into the first-team reckoning for Hamburg and Gladbach. They are just a handful of the teenage talents to keep an eye on in 2018/19.
Watch: Sancho was the star of the show with a goal and two assists against Leverkusen