'We don't have to hide': German FA chief happy with European success

Bernd Neuendorf, DFB President, speaks during an interview. Hannes P Albert/dpa
Bernd Neuendorf, DFB President, speaks during an interview. Hannes P Albert/dpa

The good showings in this season's European club competitions is good for the image of German football as a whole, the nation's football federation (DFB) president, Bernd Neuendorf, has said.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are in the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in several years, and new Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen are among the last four in the Europa League.

Leverkusen's season-long unbeaten run of 45 matches is unprecedented in the European top leagues, and the good showings of the teams could also earn the Bundesliga a fifth slot for the next Champions League.

"We have the big chance to have an additional Champions League candidate next year. That is good news for German football as a whole and has significantly increased our international standing," Neuendorf said on Monday night at a DFB awards event.

"Not so long ago we only looked towards the Premier League and said that we are big left behind, maybe by England, maybe by Spain. But it turns out that we don't have to hide as the Bundesliga and in international competition."

Dortmund and Bayern have the chance to meet in the Champions League final like they did in 2013, again at Wembley, but would need to overcome Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid first. Leverkusen face Roma who ousted them at the same stage last season.

The last Bundesliga teams to lift European trophies were Bayern in the 2020 Champions League and Eintracht Frankfurt in the 2022 Europa League.