Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger- The Bundesliga 2023 Edition

So, Bayern Munich claimed their eleventh title in succession after the drama that unfolded on the final matchday, while Union sensationally clinched a top four finish. Now we all like a good statistic, so here at the Bundesliga Fanatic we’ve taken a look at the other ‘leading performers’ in the German top division to bring you the best players in all areas of the game.

The metronome

All good teams have that player who is a magnet to the ball, the game moves through them and whose passing dictates the ebb and flow of the match. In terms of pure touches of the ball, the outfield player with the most touches this season is perhaps unsurprisingly Bayern’s pivot Joshua Kimmich, who chalked up 3073 touches this season. Willi Orban followed with 3000 while Benjamin Pavard had 2699.

Kimmich also played the highest number of progressive passes this season (315) with Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham his nearest challenger with 252. He also played 29 through balls, which was eight more than Dani Olmo his nearest competitor.

The pass master

Moving the ball and keeping possession are key elements in the game, so those players who can spread the ball around accurately are at a premium. We’re not necessarily talking passing for passing’s sake or the Tiki taka of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona side, the more accurate your passing, the better you’ll do.

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The Bundesliga leader this season in terms of passing accuracy was Nico Elvedi of Borussia Mönchengladbach who recorded an overall accuracy of 91.5% which was just slightly ahead of Bayern centre back Mathijs de Ligt (91.1%).

Ko Itakura, Niklas Süle and Dayot Upamecano all manage to achieve a passing accuracy of over 90%. In terms of key passes Jonas Hofmann led the way with 99 passes that led directly to a shot. Looking at progressive distance achieved via passing, of the outfield players Willi Orban led the way with 16,406 yards.

The hatchet man

This is perhaps an unwanted accolade, but Bayer Leverkusen’s Piero Hincapié racked up the highest number of yellow cards this season with 13. The Ecuadorian was also sent-off on three occasions for the Werkself.

In terms of raw fouls committed Union Hoffenheim’s Christoph Baumgartner led the way with 64 across the season. Nicolas Höfler of Freiburg was one behind on 63, while another Hoffenheim player, Ozan Kabak was next with 54. At least Pellegrino Matarazzo can say his players are competitive.

The speedster

The Bundesliga was not short of speed merchants this season, but the player clocked the fastest was Dortmund’s Karim Adeyemi at 36,65 km/h. This was just a tad quicker than Sheraldo Becker (36,57 km/h) and Alphonso Davies (36,53 km/h).

Four other speed demons hit 36+km/h- Moussa Diaby, Nathan Ngoumou, Leroy Sané and Jeremie Frimpong.

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The deliveryman

Nobody in the Bundesliga has been more adept at getting crosses into the box this season than VfB Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa. The Croatian whipped in a tremendous 255 crosses this season. His nearest rival in terms of delivery from wide was Florian Kainz with 251.

In terms of assists it was BVB’s Rapahel Guerreiro who led the league with 12 overall. Randal Kolo Muani was one behind on 11 while both Florian Kain and Jamal Musiala had 10.

The barrier

Even though goals are where the glory lies, the art of defending is just as valuable to teams looking to shut out dangerous opponents.  In his final season before retiring Köln’s Jonas Hector made the most tackles in the defensive third with 59. He also led the Bundesliga for blocks with 61. His teammate Timo Hübers tied with Matthias Ginter for the most clearances (153), while Konstantinos Mavropanos was the league leader for interceptions with 63.

The golden gloves

As the last line of defence Freiburg’s Mark Flekken kept the most clean sheets (13), but Union Berlin keeper Frederik Rønnow had the highest save percentage with 81.5%. The Dane had a post-shot xG of 35.2, but conceded only 27 meaning he saved his side 8.2 goals across the season. Manuel Riemann of Bochum made the most saves in total (128), but that’s perhaps not surprising when you have the Bochum back four in front of you as protection!

The water carrier

Eric Cantona may have originally meant the term in a derogatory way in describing Didier Deschamps as a water carrier, but the role is a vital one. In terms of total distance, the ball was carried, Leipzig captain Willi Orban led the way with 9699 yards. Looking at progressive distance Edmond Tapsoba of Leverkusen led with 5323 yards. Orban also led for touches in the defensive third with 1473.

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The Duracell bunny

If you played in all 34 Bundesliga matches this season for the duration, you would have racked up 3060 minutes of action. That figure was achieved by five goalkeepers and one outfield player.  Mark Flekken, Oliver Baumann, Koen Casteels, Manuel Riemann and Marvin Schwäbe were keepers with Matthias Ginter the other to not miss a minute this season.

Of the other outfield players Micky van der Ven notched up 2970 minutes with Willi Orban (2951 minutes) and Lucas Tousart (2944 minutes) the next up.

The running man

Ellyes Skhri once again led the entire league for distance covered with 393.6 km covered- that’s the equivalent of running 9.3 marathons! The highest number of total sprints was led by Jeremie Frimpong with 1144, while Mario Götze showed his importance to Frankfurt with a league high 3035 intensive runs.

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The joker

No, not the funniest player, but the one brought off the bench the most. Freiburg striker Nils Petersen didn’t make a single start this season for Christian Streich, but was called off the bench on 27 occasions. He did so on his final game before retiring and produced his party trick of grabbing a goal.

Spare a though for Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler, who must have splinters in his bum. The American was an unused sub for the Adler on 25 occasions.

About Mathew Burt 1046 Articles
Former writer at Goal.com and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball