These clubs have reigned supreme at the tournament in multiple editions.
The DFB-Pokal is one of the major domestic cup competitions in Europe and has a huge importance in the history of German football. Founded in 1935, the tournament is held every year by the German Football Association (DFB) and was known as Tschammer-Pokal until 1943. A total of sixty four teams across Germany’s several football divisions, including the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, participate in the multi-round event.
The DFB-Pokal generates a huge buzz among the fans as several clubs from lower divisions face some of the biggest clubs in the land. The tournament plays an important role in shaping any club’s ambition as the winners are guaranteed a spot in European competitions.
Over the years, the DFB-Pokal has been dominated by Bayern Munich as the Bavarian giants are the record title holders, winning the competitions more times than any other club in Germany. The Munich-based club are also the only team to win the championship more than 10 times.
Let’s take a look at the top five clubs to have won the most DFB-Pokal titles.
5. Eintracht Frankfurt – 5
Eintracht Frankfurt are one of the biggest teams in Germany and are one of the most successful outfits in DFB-Pokal history, winning the competition five times and finishing as runners-up on three occasions. The Eagles’ most-recent success in the tournament came in the 2017-18 season, when they defeated record-champions Bayern Munich in the final. Their first success at the tournament came in the 1973-74 season and defended it a season later. They also won the DFB-Pokal in 1980-81and 1987-88 campaigns.
4. Borussia Dortmund – 5
Dortmund have won the competitions five times while finishing runners-up on the same number of occasions. In recent years, the Black and Yellows have managed to challenge Bayern Munich’s supremacy in Germany. But they haven’t been able to dethrone the Bavarians from the top of the league since 2012.
However, Dortmund have enjoyed success in the domestic cup competition, with their latest triumph coming in 2020-21 the season. They also won the competition in the 2011-12 season. They won a domestic double for the first time in the club’s history. Dortmund’s other success in the tournament came in 1965, 1989 and 2017.
3. FC Schalke 04 – 5
FC Schalke have managed to reach the finals of DFB-Pokal on 12 occasions. They have managed to lift the trophy five times while finishing as the runners-up on seven instances, the most in the history of the competition. The Miners are one of the most successful clubs in German football. But they have endured some difficult campaigns in recent years.
League champions on seven occasions, Schalke have failed to win a single Bundesliga title since. Now, they find themselves in the second division. Meanwhile, their last cup success came more than a decade ago in the 2010-11 season as they defeated lower-league side MSV Duisburg in the finals. They won their first title in 1937. They thus became the first team to win the domestic double in Germany and added to their trophy haul in 1972, 2001 and 2002.
2. Werder Bremen – 6
German giants Werder Bremen are next in the list with six DFB-Pokal titles to their names and have finished as runners-up on four occasions. Bremen enjoyed their maiden success in the competition in the 1960-61 season, which was also the first major title in the club’s history. They also won the tournament in the 1990-91, 1993-94, 1998-99 and 2003-04 seasons with their latest triumph coming in 2009, their last major title success.
1. Bayern Munich – 20
The Bavarians are the most successful club in the history of German football as they are the record league and cup champions. Bayern are also the German side with the most titles on the continental stage. They have won the DFB-Pokal a staggering 20 times, while finishing as runners-up on four occasions. Their maiden success in the competition came in the 1956-57 season and since then, have managed to remain the most dominant team in the tournament. Their latest triumph at the DFB-Pokal came in 2020.