Just one year after Borussia Dortmund set the record for the most points in a Bundesliga season with 81 points, Bayern Munich smashed that tally, finishing with 91 points under Jupp Heynckes, losing just once all season.
Heynckes’ lifted the trophy on matchday 28, the earliest title success in Bundesliga history, but confirmed his retirement at the end of the season after also guiding Bayern to the Champions League and DFB-Pokal.
After two titles-in-a-row, Borussia Dortmund slipped to second under Jurgen Klopp, finishing just a point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen and 11 ahead of Schalke in the race for automatic qualification to the Champions League group stage.
Eintracht Frankfurt had a fantastic season back in the top flight, finishing in sixth to qualify for the Europa League, just behind Freiburg on goal difference.
Borussia Dortmund decided to strengthen by adding the league’s best young player, Marco Reus from Borussia Monchengladbach for €17 million. They needed to replace Shinji Kagawa, who left for Manchester United for a similar fee, but were further weakened as Lucas Barrios and Ivan Perisic both left during the summer.
Heynckes found the missing piece for his Bayern Munich side, but it came at a high cost as defensive midfielder Javi Martinez was a €40m addition from Athletic Bilbao. Ivica Olic joined Wolfsburg on a free transfer, but another Croatian striker transferred the other direction as Mario Mandzukic moved for €13m. Young winger Xherdan Shaqiri was also signed from Basel, while defender Dante joined from Gladbach.
Borussia Monchengladbach used their transfer windfall to sign Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, Spanish defender Alvaro Dominguez, and Swiss 19-year-old Granit Xhaka. Bayer Leverkusen’s signings were also young players with great potential, including full-back Dani Carvajal and forward Arkadiusz Milik.
Hertha Berlin’s relegation in 2011-12 meant that there were no teams from East Germany competing in the German top flight. Newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt spent wisely during the window, bringing in 21-year-old goalkeeper Kevin Trapp and Bochum winger Takashi Inui.
Hamburg’s big summer signing was Rafael van der Vaart, who returned to the Bundesliga from Tottenham for €13m. Rene Adler joined on a free transfer, with winger Hakan Calhanoglu a €2.5m addition from Karlsruher.
Eljero Elia was given another chance to prove himself in Germany, moving to Werder Bremen for €5.5m from Juventus, with Greek defender Sokratis also arriving at the Weserstadion. By the end of the season Bremen had sacked coach Thomas Schaaf, while Felix Magah was also dismissed by Wolfsburg early in the campaign.
Bayern Munich started the season with a 3-0 win away over Greuther Furth to move to first in the table and never faltered from that position again in 2012-13. Eight wins were followed by a late 2-1 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen, which would turn out to be the only loss of the season.
Heynckes became the first coach to win the treble, adding the DFB-Pokal and Champions League to the Bundesliga title, as well as the DFL-Supercup. En route to a Bundesliga-high 91 points, Bayern broke or equalled at least 30 records, including most wins, longest winning streak, best goal difference, and most clean sheets.
New signings Martinez and Mandzukic were both fantastic domestically and in Europe, as Heynckes’ side demolished everyone in their path. This included Dortmund, who had been brilliant in the previous two seasons, but could only finish 25 points behind the champions.
Dortmund battled with Bayer Leverkusen for second place, with both sides’ main strikers also vying for the Torjagerkanone. BVB’s Robert Lewandowski finished ahead of Stefan Kiessling in the Bundesliga table, but one goal behind the German’s 25 in the top scorer race.
Huub Stevens was fired as Schalke manager as the club struggled in Germany but did well in Europe, and replacement Jens Keller took time to settle as the club eventually finished fourth to scrape into the Champions League.
Freiburg surprised many under Christian Streich with their fifth place finish, and their partners in the Europa League also came from an unexpected destination - newly promoted Eintracht Frankfurt, who returned to Europe for the first time in 20 years.
A disastrous season for Hoffenheim saw four different coaches take the hotseat, only keeping their Bundesliga status thanks to a 5-2 aggregate win over Kaiserslautern in the playoff. Fortuna Dusseldorf and Greuther Furth were not as lucky, going straight back down after just one season back in the top flight.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
The experienced midfielder ended the season with seven league goals, his best ever return for the club, but was influential all over the pitch as Bayern Munich also set a new clean sheets record.
MANAGER OF THE SEASON
The veteran manager retired at the end of the season, but did so in the best way possible, winning not only the Bundesliga, but the DFB-Pokal and Champions League as well.
STEFAN KIESSLING - 25 GOALS
Kiessling edged out Robert Lewandowski in the race for top scorer by one goal, and set a new Bayer Leverkusen record in the process with 25 goals in a single season.
TEAM OF THE SEASON
TRAPP; LAHM, BOATENG, DANTE, ALABA; REUS, GUNDOGAN, MULLER, SCHWEINSTEIGER, RIBERY; KIESSLING
MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER
Athletic to BAYERN
KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON
Bayern Munich won their first eight league games, but suffered a shock home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on matchday nine thanks to a late Jerome Boateng own goal. This could have seen them falter, but instead they picked themselves up with a 3-0 win in Hamburg going undefeated for the rest of the season.