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Bundesliga for newcomers

Are you new to the Bundesliga, and haven’t watched too much of it before, and you haven’t heard about any of the clubs that are playing on your telly? Don’t despair, here comes a guide that gives you a sense of the different clubs.

I will give a brief account of the club’s history, the clubs achievements, their key players and a list of the clubs heroes. After having read through all of it you will be more qualified to watch the Bundesliga. Enjoy.

1. FC Cologne

Nickname: The billy goats

Stadium: RheinEnergieStadion, capacity: 50,374

Arch rivals: Borussia Mönchengladbach

Founded in 1948, the club became the club to beat in the newly founded Bundesliga. The formation of the Bundesliga was the idea of Cologne’s president Fritz Kremer, and came into fruition in 1963. Being among the league’s top clubs for three decades, 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, the club’s fortune began to

The RheinEnergieStadion in Cologne from the outside

turn in the 90’s Starting with the second place in the league in 1990, the club was relegated for the first time in 1998. The team has since been struggling to keep themselves in the top flight, and to play a number of seasons in the 2. Bundesliga. The club is currently trying to stave off relegation.

Bundesliga Champions: 1962, 1964, 1978
DFB-cup: 1968, 1977, 1978, 1983

Key players in today’s side
Today’s side has a lot to live up to. The key players in the cathedral city are German international striker Lukas Podolski, midfield general and Portuguese international Petit, and captain Mohamed at the back.

Legends at the club

Klaus Allofs: Played at Cologne between 81 and 87, scoring 88 goals in 177 matches. Simply one of the best strikers that German football ever has produced. Is the sporting director at Werder Bremen now(finished also his career at Bremen).

Toni Schumacher: Legendary goalie for Germany and Cologne. Played a grand total 464 Bundesliga games, and 422 for Cologne. Good area control, and legendary when he was up against strikers on his own.

Lukas Podolski: Is still playing at the club, but already a legend. Podolski is now trying to rescue his club from relegation, once again.

Tony Woodcock: Came to Cologne for the record breaking sum of 2.5 million Deutsche Mark. The fast English

Bodo Illgner was one of Germany's finest keepers in the 90's.

attacker played at Cologne two times, between 79-82 and 86-88.

Pierre Littbarski: The tiny midfielder could hit a pass like nobody else. Won the World Cup with Germany in 1990, and is currently working as on of the co-coaches at Wolfsburg.

Bodo Illgner: Another legendary keeper. Gave Andreas Köpke a good run for his money for many years, keeping the him out of the national sides goal for many years.

Toni Polster: The Austrian played for Cologne between 93 and 98, scoring 79 goals in 150 appearances. His killer goal instinct earned him a high status amongst the fans.

Mathias Scherz: Legendary striker for the club. Decided to stay with club between the difficult seasons between 1999 and 2009. Scherz is now amongst the club’s coaching staff.

1. FC Kaiserslautern

Nickname: The red devils

Stadium: Fritz Walter-Stadion, capacity: 49,780

Arch rivals: SV Waldhof Mannheim, Karlsruher SC, 1. FC Saarbrücken, Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayern Munich and 1. FSV Mainz.

Also called “The red devils” ,the club was founded in 1900, and it amongst the more traditional clubs in Germany. Having dominated in their region, the 1. FC Kaiserslautern was amongst the founding teams of the Bundesliga. The club has been amongst the toughest teams to beat, and their stadium, the Fritz Walter Stadion(also called the Betzenberg), is known for its unique atmosphere.

Having come short many times, the team has only won four national titles. All of their four titles were won in the 90’s.

An empty Fritz Walter-Stadion

The most remarkable title-win is the win of the league in 1998. Kaiserslautern had been relegated for the first time in 96, spent one year in the 2nd division, and won the league title the year afterwards. Kaiserslautern became the first, and to this day, only newly promoted side that manage to win the Bundesliga title.

The club hasn’t done too well recently, and has spent a grand total of five seasons in the 2. Bundesliga during the last ten seasons. The side is newly promoted and is looking to avoid relegation.

Bundesliga  Champions: 91 and 98.
DFB-Cup: 90 and 97.

Key players in todays side
Goalie Tobias Sippel and captain Martin Amedick are the two key players defensively. Upfront is Srdan Lakic responsible for most of the magic.

Legends at the club

This statue of Fritz Walter can be found outside the Fritz Walter stadion.

Fritz Walter:

The biggest legend at the club. Played for the club before the Bundesliga was formed. Walter was the leader of the team on the pitch, and won the championship twice(51 and 53). The legendary attacker played 384 games for the club, and scored 327 goals. The captain of the Kaiserslautern team played also 61 matches for the national side, scoring 33 goals. He was amongst the players who were on the pitch when Germany turned a 0-2 to a 3-2 winning score line in the world cup final of 54. Walter passed away in 2002, 81 years of age.

Andreas Brehme: Came to Kaiserslautern in his early 20s in 1981, and stayed at the club until 86. Returned again in 93, and finished his career at the club in 98. The legendary defender has been one of the finest defenders that has played in the league, and for the national team. Scored the penalty kick that secured Germany the win of the World Cup in 1990.

Ciriaco Sforza: Spent three periods at the club: 93-95, 97-00 and 02-06. Playing a total of 199 league games for the red devils. The defensive midfielder was a natural leader on the pitch, and was therefor beloved by the fans at Fritz Walter Stadion.

Miroslav Kadlec: Is among the few players that participated in both league winning campaigns. Know for his cool head in difficult situation, Miroslav Kadlec is among the best defenders that has ever played for the 1. FC Kaiserslautern. Kadlec played a total of 234 matches for the club from Rheinland Pfalz.

Harry Koch: Not always having a good hair day, Harry Koch was among the favorites of the audience at the Fritz Walter Stadion. The defender was known for his committed tackling’s, and his fighting spirit. Koch played 220 league matches for the red devils between 1995 and 2003, 187 of them in Bundesliga.

Mario Basler: Played in all 92 league games for the club. The outspoken midfielder was popular at the Betzenberg for his exquisite passing game and his well placed free kicks. Having been a product of the youth academy at the club, Basler rose first to fame at Werder Bremen and then at Bayern Munich. He returned in 1999 and finished his Bundesliga career at Kaiserslautern in 2003.

1. FC Nürnberg

Nickname: The club

Stadium: Easycredit-Stadion, capacity: 48.548

Arch rivals: FC Bayern Munich and SpVgg Greuther Fürth

Founded in 1900, the club has a rich history of ups and downs. Being the local rival of Bayern Munich, the team almost always stayed in the shadows of the red-shirts from Munich.

After the team won its first, and only, Bundesliga title in 68, the team was the first team ever that was relegated the season afterwards. Throughout the 70’s and until the fans of the “Club” have been through a rollercoster ride, that has

The EasyCredit-Stadion.

included seasons in Germany’s top three divisions.Being promoted two years ago, the team avoided relegation by a whisker last year and is currently fighting to stay up in Germany’s top flight

Bundesliga champions: 68
DFB-cup: 35, 39, 62, 07

Key players in todays side
Raphael Schäfer and captain Andreas Wolf are trying to keep the oppositions attackers away, while Mehmet Ekici, İlkay Gündoğan and Julian Schieber are trying to create goals upfront.

Legends at the club

Andreas Köpke: Legandary German national keeper, played 336 games for Nürnberg. Great area control, good shot saver, and hard to beat at a one on one. One of the most complete keepers to come out of German football.

Max Morlock was honoured with a stamp by the German postal service.

Josef „Seppl“ Schmitt:

Part of the legendary Nürnberg team of the 20’s. Died in 1980.Ludwig Müller: Part of the team that won the championship in 68. Müller was at that time one of the toughest defenders that a striker could meet.

Max Morlock: Played a total of 472 games for Nürnberg between 1940 and 1964, scoring a whopping 294. The Club’s most legendary striker.

1. FSV Mainz

Nickname: Die Nullfünfer (the O-Fives), Karnevalsverein (carnival club)

Stadium: Stadion am Bruchweg, Capacity: 20,300

Arch rivals: 1. FC Kaiserslautern

Was founded in 1905, and has throughout most of its history been associated with the lower divisions of German football. The club was promoted to the 2. Bundesliga for the first time in 1988. The club fought mostly relegation until 2001. The club’s fortune changed when a former player Jürgen Klopp took over has the head coach. Klopp managed to get his side promoted to the Bundesliga. The club stayed in the Bundesliga for three seasons, coming in 11th in the first two season, but the third season saw them being relegated. The club was once again promoted to the Bundesliga in 2008, and managed to avoid relegation during the 09/10 campaign. The club is surprisingly fighting for a spot amongst the top five in Germany in this season’s Bundesliga.

No Bundesliga championships or DFB-cup wins to their name.

Key players in todays side:
Thomas Tuchel philosophy is relaying on changing his line-up constantly. The key-players this

This is the Bruchweg, Mainz 05's homeground.

season have been Nikolče Noveski at the back, and Andre Schürrle and Lewis Holtby upfront.

Legends at the club:
Jürgen Klopp: Played 325 matches for the club in the 2. Bundesliga, scoring 52 goals. Klopp played as a striker and defender for the club. He is one of only two players who managed to score four goals in a 2. Bundesliga match for the club(the other is Benjamin Auer). After retiring in 2001, Klopp started to coach the side with great success. Under his leadership did the team change from a side that fought against relegation in the 2. Bundesliga to a Bundesliga side. Klopp is currently coaching Borussia Dortmund.

Dimo Wache: Is currently the player who has the most appearances for the club, 374. The keeper played for Mainz between 95 and 2010. Wache retired after his contract wasn’t extended by the club in 2010.

Gerhard Bopp: The most scoring player for the club. Bopp scored a total 177 goals in 329 league and cup matches. The striker played for the club between 67 and 85.

Gerd Higi: Captain and defender for the FSV during the 50’s. Went on to coach the side and to serve the in the club administration.

Paul Lipponer senior: The striker played for the club between 25 and 31. Many claim that he is the club’s most scoring player through history, but this cannot be determined due to a lack of sources. Lipponer is the only player in the club’s history to score 7 goals in one goal(against SV 05 Trier, in 1927).

Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Nickname: Die Werkself(Factory squad)

Stadium: BayArena, Capacity: 30,210

Arch rivals: KFC Uerdingen 05 and Fortuna Düsseldorf

History: Founded in 1904, the club was promoted to the Bundesliga in 1979. Leverkusen has since then continually played in Germany’s highest division. As the name suggests, the club has a financial partner and supporter in the drug company Bayer. The club has since the 90’s been among Germany’s top sides, but only won titles so far: DFB cup in 93, and the UEFA-cup in 88. Because the club has come in second four times in the league, twice in

The BayArena just before kick-off between Germany and South Africa.

the cup and once in the Champions League has the term “Neverkusen” been coined. The club is currently fighting for a top finish in the league

DFB-cup: 88
UEFA-cup: 93

Key players in todays side: At the back does the club put its confidence in German international Rene Adler, and Sami Hyppia. Simon Rolfes, Arturo Vidal and Sidney Sam are the mid-fielders that are running the show, and Stefan Kießling is the striker that is suppose to make the league’s defenders shiver.

Legends at the club:

Rüdiger Vollborn: Played 401 games for the club between 83 and 2000. Vollborn was for many years one of the best keepers in the league, but never came close to appearing in the goal of the national side. Vollborn is Leverkusen’s goalkeeper coach.

Ulf Kirsten: Legendary striker that has tucked away 182 goals for Leverkusen. Quick, and trigger happy, Kirsten was amongst the best strikers in the league when he played for Leverkusen between 1990 and 2003.

Bernd Schneider had offers from bigger clubs in Europe, but chose to stay at Bayer.

Carsten Ramelow: The rock in the defensive midfield for many years. Never did anything spectacular, but was spectacularly good at getting the job done. Scored 22 goals in 333 league games for Leverkusen.

Bernd Schneider: Was called “The white Brazilian” by many of the club’s fans. Delivered some of the finest passes and tricks in the league’s history. Schneider played a total of 263 matches for the club, scoring 35 goals.

Borussia Dortmund
Nickname: Die Borussen (The Borussians), Die Schwarzgelben (The Black Yellows)

Stadium: Signal Iduna Park, Capacity: 80,720

Arch rivals: FC Schalke 04, FC Bayern Munich

History: Founded in 1909, Borussia Dortmund was named after the local brewery. The team consisted back then mainly of steel workers and miners. Spending the first years in lower divisions, the team eventually found its way upwards towards higher divisions before the second world war.

Borussia was also amongst the sides that played Bundesliga football in the first year of the league’s existence. The first Bundesliga goal ever was scored by Borussia player Timo Konietzka(after 58 seconds in the game against Werder

The Dortmund fans are getting ready for a home game.

Bremen). Coming close to winning the Bundesliga title a couple of times, the team was feared by most rivals in the league because of their two strikers Lothar Emmerich and Siggi Held. Borussia Dortmund was actually the first German team to win an international title. The club defeated Liverpool in the European cup-winners cup in 1966.

The 70’s weren’t as successful as the 60’s. The team was relegated in 1972, and stayed in the Regionalliga West(has been replaced by the 2. Bundesliga now) for four years. Borussia then turned into a mid-table Bundesliga club and didn’t win any titles for a number of years.

The win of the DFB-cup in 1989 marked a return to glory. The 90’s were the club’s most successful decade. Borussia went on to win the league twice, and the Champions League in 1997.

After winning the league once again in 2002 the club almost went bankcrupt due to mistakes made by president Gerd Niebaum and manager Micheal Meier. The club has actually managed to survive financially after the two of them took their hats.

Borussia is currently trying to win the Bundesliga championship.

Bundesliga champions: 1995, 1996, 2002
DFB-cup: 1965 and 1989.
European cup-winners cup: 1966
Champions League: 1997
Intercontinental Cup: 1997

Key players in todays side: Goalie Roman Weidenfeller, and defenders Mats Hummels and Neven Subotic are trying to keep the teams sheet clean. Nuri Sahing is the team’s general in midfield. Upfield do the offensive midfielder Shinji Kagawa and striker Lucas Barrios score the goals that Borussia needs to win matches.

Legends at the club:

Max Michallek: Played at the club between 1947 and 1960. Being a playmaker in the beginning of his career, Michallek was eventually moved to defense. Doing his job wonderfully there, he was given the nickname “the spider”.

Legandary striker Siggi Held.

Alfred Niepieklo: Played for the club between the years of 1951 and 1960. Ruled the midfield of the team with his two partners Preißler and Kelbassa.

Lothar Emmerich: One of the best German strikers in the 60’s. Forming a partnership with Sigfried Held, the two of them installed fear amongst most German defenders. (The two of them were known as the vicious twins.)

Sigfried Held: Played for the club between the years of 1965 and 1971, and between 1977 and 1979. Known to be a hard working attacker, Held was good a creating chances for his team mates.

Micheal Zorc: The midfielder played for the club from 1981 until 1998. Being captain for many of these seasons, Zorc, also called Susi, was a rock in midfield. He is the player with the most Bundesliga appearances for the club: 463 matches. He is currently the sporting director of the club.

Frank Mill: The striker played for the West-Germans from 86-94. His aggressive playing style made him the favorite of the audience in the Westfalen Stadion.

Lars Ricken: Played for the club between the years of 93 and 2008. Ricken was one of the most gifted footballers that German football has ever seen, but was held back due to injuries. The midfielder became immortal already as a teenager when he scored the 2-1 goal in the Champions League final against Juventus Turin.

Andreas Möller: Played at the club between 88-90 and 1994-2000. The midfielder was among the best midfielders in Europe in the 90’s, and was among the key players that secured the success of the 90’s.

Stefan Reuter: The right back played from 1992-2004 at the club. The Bavarian was the team’s captain for most of that period, and was one of the key players for the success of the 90’s.

Borussia Mönchengladbach
Nickname: The Foals

Stadium: Stadion im Borussia-Park, Capacity: 54,067

Arch rivals: 1. FC Cologne,

History: Founded in 1900, Borussia Mönchengladbach was amongst the 18 teams that played Bundesliga football from the get go in 1963. After Cologne’s domination in the league in the 60’s, the team from west-Germany took over the reins. Winning the German league a total of five times during the 70′s and the UEFA-cup twice the future seemed to be bright for the Foals. Star players of the 70′s side included Berti Vogts, Günther Netzer and Jupp Heynckes.

But financial troubles forced the team to sell off many of their best players in the 80′s, and the glory days were over.

Gladbach's fans in their new stadium. The club played its matches at the Bökelberg until 2004.

After the golden decade of the 70′s the team managed to win one title, the DFB-cup in 95. The biggest blow in the club’s history came, when the team was relegated in 99.

The team is currently fighting to avoid relegation.

Bundesliga champions: 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976 and 1977
DFB-cup: 1960, 1973 and 1995
UEFA-cup: 1975 and 1979

Key players in todays side: Keeper Logan Bailly and captain Filip Daems are trying to keep the opposition out at the back. The midfield depends heavily on the box to box player Micheal Bradley, and the winger Marco Reus. Upfront Mike Hanke and Igor de Camargo are in charge of putting the ball into the net.

Legends at the club:

Berti Vogts: Nicknamed “the terrier”, Vogts played 419 matches, scoring 32 goals, for Gladbach between the years of 65 and 79. Not being the most gifted player on the pitch, Vogts made up for it by putting a lot of work into his playing style. After Vogts finished his career, he went onto become a coach, and won the European Championship with the German national team. Vogts is currently coaching Azerbaijan.

Günter Netzer: One of the best German playmakers through history, Netzer played for Gladbach between the years of 1963 and 1973.

Stefan Effenberg: Playing for the club between 1987-1990 and 1994-1998, the midfielder was the natural leader of the team when he was put in the starting line up. Besides having a the ability to create chances for his team mates, Effenberg packed also a hell of a shot himself.

Rainer Bonhof: Played for Mönchengladbach between 1970 and 1978. The midfielder was one of the key players that won everything for the club in the 70’s.

Jupp Heynckes: Was a quick, and technically gifted attacker and scored a boatload of goals. Played for Borussia between 1970 and 1978, and scored 168 goals in 226 matches for the club. Went on to coach Borussia Mönchengladbach between 1979 and 1987, and a second time between 2006 and 2007.

Eintracht Frankfurt
Nickname: The eagles

Stadium: Commerzbank-Arena, Capacity: 52,300

Arch rivals: Kickers Offenbach

History: Founded in 1899, the club from the German capital of finance was amongst the first 18 teams that started the first Bundesliga season ever i 1963. The Eintracht had already been successful for a number of years. The club reached actually the final of what would later become the Champions League in 1960. The west-Germans lost 3-7 in what was a mesmerizing game.

Always being amongst the elite clubs of the league, the club never managed to win the Bundesliga salad bowl. However,

The inside of the Commerzbank Arena.

the club managed to win the cup and the UEFA-cup in the golden years between 1974 and 1988.

The 90’s started well, the club was still being amongst the best of the league, but the golden years were definitely over when the club was relegated in 1996. Between then and now the club had to spent five seasons in the 2. Bundesliga. The last time the club played in Germany’s second higest division was in 04/05. The club has since then stayed in the Bundesliga, mostly finishing in the no-man’s-land of the mid-table.

Bundesliga champions: no championships so far.
DFB-cup winners: 1974, 1975, 1981, 1988
UEFA-cup wins: 1980

Key players in todays side:
Oka Nikolov has been the be-trusted keeper of the team ever since Andreas Köpke left the club for Marsaille. Chris and Maik Franz are the most be-trusted defenders of the club, while Benjamin Köhler and Patrick Ochs steer the midfield with an iron rule. Theofanis Gekas is the striker that often makes the difference between defeat and victory.

Legends at the club:

Karl-Heinz Körbel: Played for Frankfurt from 1972 until 1991. Körbel played a total of 602 games for the club, scoring

Bernd Hölzenbein in 2010.

a total of 45 goals.

Hans Weilbächer: Played for Eintracht Frankfurt from 1953 until 1963. He is amongst the players that participated in the 1960 final against Real Madrid.

Bernd Hölzenbein:“Holz” debuted for Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga in 1967 to serve for this club until his departure in 1981. A three times German Cup winner with them in 1974, 1975 and 1981, Holzenbein also won the UEFA Cup with Frankfurt in 1980. “Holz” scored a total of 160 goals in 420 games.

Adolf Bechtold: Played at the club from 1938 until 1963. Bechtold was legendary for his roughness, and played in defense for the club from West-Germany.

FC Bayern Munich
Nickname: Der FCB (The FCB), Die Bayern (The Bavarians), Die Roten (The Reds)

Stadium: Allianz Arena, Capacity: 69,901

Arch rivals: TSV 1860 Munich, 1. FC Nürnberg, Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen

History: Finishing third in the first ever Bundesliga season og 63/64, Bayern Munich has been amongst the top sides from the get go. The club managed to lift the salad bowl for the first time in 1969. Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach had fierce rivalry in the 70’s, resulting in Bayern Munich taking the title a total of three times, while Gladbach lifted the trophy a total of five times.

Since the 80’s Bayern Munich has won the title a total of 17 times. The most serious rivals in recent years has been

Bayern's Allianz Arena is one of the world's most modern football stadiums.

Werder Bremen.

Bundesliga champions: 69, 72, 73, 74, 80, 81, 85, 86, 87, 89, 90, 94, 97, 99, 00, 01, 03, 05, 06, 08 and 10
DFB-cup: 57, 66, 67, 69, 71, 82, 84, 86, 98, 00, 03, 05, 06, 08 and 2010
UEFA Champions League/European Cup: 74, 75, 76, 2001
European Cup Winners’ Cup: 67
UEFA Cup: 96
Intercontinental Cup: 76 and 01

Key players in todays side: Youngsters Thomas Kraft(GK) and Holger Badstuber are trying to keep the opponents away from the goal, together with right back Philip Lahm. The midfield consists of the imminent Bastian Schweinsteiger and the wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Upfront Mario Gomez is responsible for scoring the goals.

Legends at the club:

Franz Beckenbauer: Playing for the club between 1964 and until 1977, Beckenbauer started to make his biggest impact on the game of football at the end of the 60’s when he started to play as a sweeper for the club. Beckenbauer, whose nickname is “Der Kaiser”, played a total of 427 matches for Bayern Munich, scoring a total of 60 goals for the club.

The legend Gerd Müller works still at the club.

Gerd Müller: Legendary striker, averaged more then one goal per game for the side from Munich.

Paul Breitner: A left back in the 70’s, Breitner became a top midfielder in the 80’s, forming an excellent partnership with Karl Heinz Rummenigge. Breitner played a total of 255 matches for the club, scoring 83 goals.

Sepp Maier: Playing for the club between 1962 and 1979, the keeper was called “the cat from Anzing”, because of his fast reflexes. Maier was among the players that won Germany the World Cup at home in 1974.

Uli Hoeneß: Playing a total of 239 matches and scoring 86 goals for the club in 70’s, Hoeneß went on to become the club’s manager. The 59 year old is the currently the president of the club.

Klaus Augenthaler: Augenthaler played generally in the position of central defender or, especially in the later part of his career, libero. In his years with Bayern Munich he won seven national championships and three German Cups. Aufenthaler played a total of 404 matches, scoring 52 goals. Augenthaler was also among the players that won Germany’s last World Cup, in 1990.

Karl Heinz Rummenigge: The midfielder played a total of 310 matches for the club from Munich, scoring a total of 162 goals. He found in midfielder Paul Breitner a congenial partner and he formed such a formidable one-two-punch that they were only called Breitnigge. He is currently working for the managing staff of the club.

Lothar Matthäus: The west-German spent a total of 12 seasons at the club. Starting as a midfielder in his early career, Matthäus ended his days at Bayern as a sweeper. He was renowned for his perceptive passing, positional sense, and well-timed tackling, as well as his explosive shot.

Mehmet Scholl: Quick, and brilliant with both of his feet. The short winger was often held back by injuries.

Oliver Kahn: Probably one of the best keepers German football has produced. An insanely good shot stopper, Kahn comanded his defenders with a lot of authority and was among the leading figures in the Champions League winning season of 00/01.

FC Schalke 04
Nickname: Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues), Die Knappen (The Miners)

Stadium: Veltins-Arena, Capacity: 61,673

Arch rivals: Borussia Dortmund and Rot-Weiss Essen

History: Founded in 1904 as Westfalia Schalke, the club became quickly a formidable side. Winning the championship a total of 7 times before the Bundesliga was founded. The club performed at an unstable level between 1963 and 1980, finishing second two times(72 and 77). The club was relegated in 81, and spent a total of five seasons in the 2. Bundesliga between 81 and 92.

The 90’s marked a new start for Schalke, and the club has ever since been amongst the top contenders in the league.

The Veltins Arena.

The 90’s success was further enhanced by the win of the UEFA Cup in 1997. The club is currently trying to establish itself as the Bayern Munich’s top challenger under the leadership of iron man Felix Magath.

DFB Cup: 1937, 1972, 2001 and 2002.
UEFA Cup: 1997

Key players in todays side: Goalie Manuel Neuer and defender Christoph Metzelder are in charge of the defense. The midfield depends on Jefferson Farfan, Ivan Raketic and Spaniard Juardo to deliver the goods. Upfront Raul and Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar are the key players.

Legends at the club:

Olaf Thon in 2006.

Norbet Nigbur: Nibur’s nickname was the “penalty killer”. The keeper played a total of 393 games for the club from west-Germany.

Olaf Thon: Playing a total of 333 matches for the miners, the rough defender was among the fans favorites during his two stints at the club. Thon is currently working for the club’s administration.

Ingo Anderbrügge: The winger played a total of 321 goals and scored 82 goals between 88 and 00. Anderbrügge was famous for his excellent penalties and free kicks.

Reinhard Libuda: The right winger played a total of 215 games for Schalke, scoring 28 goals. Libuda was renown for his technical ability and his pace.

Klaus Fischer: Famous for his acrobatic skills in front of the goal, Fischer scored a total of 182 goals, the club record, for the miners.

FC St. Pauli
Nickname: The Buccaneers of the League

Stadium: Millerntor, Capacity: 24,487

Arch rivals: Hamburger SV

History: The FC ST. Pauli is often referred to as “Everyones second favorite Bundesliga club”. The club was founded and has spent most of its time in the lower divisions of German football. St. Pauli was promoted into the Bundesliga for the first time in 1977. The club didn’t manage to keep its place there, and didn’t return to the highest division until 1988. This time the club managed to stay in the league until 1991. The next time the club returned was in 1995. Having staved off relegation the first year around, the club was relegated the next season. The club returned yet again in 2001, but didn’t manage to avoid relegation this time.

St. Pauli returned to the Bundesliga before this season, and is currently fighting to avoid relegation.

St. Pauli is very popular throughout Germany. The club’s fans are rather left leaning, and they do embrace values like equality between the sexes, openness towards foreigners and the acceptance of homosexuals. Former president Corny Littmann is the first openly gay man to be the president of a German football club.


Key players in todays side: Keeper Thomas Kessler and defenders Carlos Zambrano and Markus Thorandt are in charge of keeping the defense in tact. Max Kruse and Matthias Lehmann are running the show in the midfield, and Marius Ebbers is often the lone striker that is in charge of getting the ball into the net.

Legends at the club:

André Trulsen: Played for the club for 13 years. The defender was known to keep a calm head in trying situations.

Holger Stanislawski: Played for the club from 1993 and until 2004. Stanislawski was known for his physical style of

Legend at the club: Holger Stanislawski.

play, and scored 18 goals in 260 matches.

Helmut Schön: The German national coach that won the World Cup and European Championship with the national side played for the FC in the late 40’s and early 50’s.

Franz Gerber: Is the all time top scorer of the second Bundesliga with 115 goals. He scored all of the them for the FC. His nickname was “Snake Franz”.

Volker Ippig: The keeper who played for the club between 1986 and 1992 was the embodiment of the left leaning ideology of the St. Pauli. Ippig was forced to end his career after 100 games for the club due to a back injury.

Hamburger SV
Nickname: Rothosen (“Red Shorts”), (Der große) HSV The Dinosaur

Stadium: Imtech Arena, Capacity: 57,274

Arch rivals: 1.FC St. Pauli, SV Werder Bremen and FC Bayern Munich

History: Founded in 1887, the HSV has been a constant in the Bundesliga since 1963. Being a mediocre club from 1963 until 1973, the club rose to success with in the mid-70’s. The year of 1981 saw Ernst Happel taking charge of Hamburg, and rang in the most successful period for the club. The Austrian master coach stayed with the club until 1987, winning four titles.

After Happel left the club to return back home to Austria the club has failed to win any titles of significance. The club is currently trying to reach a place in the upper half of the table.

Bundesliga champions: 79, 82 and 83
DFB-cup: 63, 76 and 87
European Cup Winners’ Cup: 77
European Cup / UEFA Champions League: 83

Key players in todays side: Keeper Frank Rost and defenders Joris Mathijsen and Heiko Westermann are in charge of keeping the opponents out. Running machine David Jarolim and the elegant Piotr Trochowski are the club’s most important midfielders, while Ruud van Nistelroy is in charge of scoring the goals upfront.

Legends at the club:

Uwe Seeler: Played at the club from 1953 until 1972 and scoring a total 404 goals in 476 matches for the club. Seeler

The statue of Uwe Seeler's right foot is in front of the stadium in Hamburg.

was known for his instinct in front of the goal, and his committed playing style.

Manfred Kaltz: Playing a total of 581 Bundesliga matches for the club, the right back is the player with most Bundesliga appearances for the club. Kaltz was known to be a fantastic penalty taker, scoring 53 of his 76 goals from the spot. Less flattering for Kaltz: the defender managed to put the ball into his own net a total of six times. This is the record for the most own goals scored by a Bundesliga player.

Peter Nogly: The defender was amongst the key players that lifted the side from the mediocrity of the 60’s and into the glory days of the 70’s. Nogly played a total of 320 matches for the club, scoring 38 goals between 1969 and 1980.

Gert Dörfel: The left wing was known for his inch perfect crosses, and played at the club from 58 until 71. He played a total of 224 Bundesliga matches for the club, scoring 58 goals.

Thomas von Heesen: Played at the club from 1980 until 1994. The midfielder was known for his good eye, and for being a danger in front of the goal as well. von Heesen scored a total of 100 Bundesliga goals.

Horst Schnoor: The goalie was the club’s first choice keeper for an impressive run of 15 years, between the seasons of 52 and until 67.

Hannover 96
Nickname: Die Roten(The reds)

Stadium: AWD-Arena, Capacity: 49,000

Arch rivals: Eintracht Braunschweig and SV Werder Bremen

History: Founded in 1896, the club club played in the Bundesliga between 1964 and 1974. The club was promoted in 75, but has mainly played in the lower divisions since 1977. The club was promoted in 2002, and has stayed in the Bundesliga ever since. Not having too many moments of glory, the national cup win in 92 is considered to be the club’s finest hour.

DFB-cup: 1992.

Key players in todays side:
Goalie Florian Fromlowitz Christian Schulz and Emanuel Pogatezt are trying to defend to the best of their abilities. Sergio Pinto and Moritz Stoppelkamp are running the midfield. Upfront Moa Abdellaoue and Didier Konan Ya are the club’s main attackers.

Legends at the club:

Jörg Sievers: The goalie played for the club from 1989 until 2003, making 384 appearances for the club. Being cold and analytical, Sievers controlled the defense for many years. He is currently working for the coaching staff of the side.

Carsten Linke: Played 151 times for the club between 1995 and 2003. The fans consider him one of the best defenders that the club has ever had.

SC Freiburg
Nickname: Breisgau-Brasilianer

Stadium: Badenova-Stadion, Capacity: 25,000

Arch rivals: Freiburger FC, VfB Stuttgart

The SC is one of the smallest clubs currently playing in the league. The club reached the second Bundesliga for the first time 1978, and stayed there until their longest serving coach, Volker Finke arrived in 1991. During his 16 years at the club did the SC play 12 seasons in Germany’s top flight. Finke and SC managed to qualify themselves for the UEFA-cup a total of two times.

Robin Dutt took over after Volker Finke left in 2007 and has been coaching the side since. Dutt managed to get his side promoted in 2008. The SC has since fought against relegation in the Bundesliga.


Key players in todays side:
Goalie Oliver Baumann and team captain Heiko Butscher are the key players in defense. In midfield the club relies on Jan Rosenthal and Julian Schuster to run the ship. Upfront the striker Papiss Demba Cissé has to do the magic.

Legends at the club:

Andreas Zeyer: The defensive midfielder was known for his hard work on the pitch, and played a total of 402 matches

Coach of Germany's national side, Jogi Löw, is one of the legends at Freiburg.

for the club. This is currently the club record.

Charly Schulz: A local football hero, who has played for the SC Freiburg and the local arch rival’s, the Freiburger FC. Schulz played a total of 463 matches, scoring 47 goals, for the two local Freiburg clubs.

Joachim Löw: Germany’s current national coach played for the SC between 78-80, 82-84 and 85-89. Playing a total of 252 matches, and scoring a total of 81 goals.

SV Werder Bremen
Nickname: Die Werderaner (The River Islanders), Die Grün-Weißen (The Green-Whites)

Stadium: Weserstadion, Capacity: 42,358

Arch rivals: Hamburger SV, FC Bayern Munich

History: Established in 1899, the club’s DFB-cup win secured them a place in the newly founded Bundesliga in 1963. Bremen established themselves as one of the two best northern-German sides early on, winning the championship as early as 1965.

After the win of the championship the team faded into mediocrity, finally resulting in relegation in 1979. After the team managed to get promoted in its only 2. Bundesliga season in 1980, a number of glorious years were to follow under the leadership of Otto Rehagel. Between 1981 and 1995 the team managed to win two Bundesliga championships, two DFB-cups and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once. The team fell on a number of hard years after Rehagel left in 1995. Bremen were almost relegated in 1999. The same year marked also Thomas Schaaf’s first year as head coach of the club he had played and worked for since 1972. Bremen managed to return to success under Schaaf winning the DFB-Cup three times, and the championship once. Schaaf was also the first coach that took the double with Bremen(Bundesliga champions and DFB-Cup winners of 2004).

Bundesliga champions: 1965, 1988, 1993, 2004
DFB-Cup: 1961, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009
UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup: 1992

Key players in todays side: Goalie Tim Wiese and the central defenders Per Mertesacker and Naldo are in charge of keeping the opponents away from Werder’s goal. Torsten Frings rules the midfield with iron hand. Beside him are little Marko Marin and playmaker Aaron Hunt responsible for creating chances upfront. Upfront of goal Claudio Pizzaro is the most important striker.

Legends at the club:

Marko Bode: The midfielder played a total of 379 games for Bremen, scoring a total of 101 goals. Known to be amongst

Has been at the club since 1972: coach Thomas Schaaf.

the fairest players in the league, Bode was booked a total of 10 times in his career.

Dieter Eilts: The defensive midfielder played for white and greens for 17 seasons. Eilts was renown for his calmness, and his effective playing style.

Thomas Schaaf: Schaaf joined the club in 1972 as a young boy. Going all the way from the youth teams of the club into the professional side in 1979, Schaaf stayed at the club until the end of his playing days in 1995. Afterwards Schaaf joined the club’s coaching staff. At the end of the 98/99 Schaaf became the coach of the professional side. He has stayed their coach for more then 11 years now, making him the longest serving coach in the Bundesliga.

Frank Neubarth: The striker played a total of 319 matches for Werder Bremen, scoring a total of 97 goals in the Bundesliga. Neubarth was legendary for his goals in international competitions, giving him the nickname “Mr. Europacup” at the Weser.

Dieter Budenski: The keeper played for the club from 1970 until 1988. Budenski managed to play a total of 444 games in the Bundesliga, giving him the most Bundesliga appearances for the club. His last appearance for the club came in 2002: the second team of the club was plagued by injuries, forcing the 51 year old to make a comeback. Budenski, who at that point was the club’s goalkeeper coach, didn’t make a very good figure, and the club lost 3-1 against Chemnitzer FC.

Karl-Heinz Kamp: Playing for the club from 1970 and until 1984, Kamp became legendary at the club as the member of the coaching staff that never left the club. Kamp serverd as assistant under Rehagel, Dörner, Magath, Sidka and Schaaf. Kamp was forced to retire as a member of the coaching staff in 2006, after a complicated hip surgery made it impossible for him to continue to be an active member of the coaching staff. The Werder-legend is currently working as a scout for the club.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Nickname: Hoffe

Stadium: Rhein-Neckar-Arena, Capacity: 30,164

Arch rivals: VfB Stuttgart

History: Founded in 1899, the club from the small village of Hoffenheim played mostly in Germany’s lower divisions, until software billionaire Dietmar Hopp decided to support the club that he played for as a young striker financially. The club was then promoted seven times between 1990 and 2008, and has now played Bundesliga football for the last two and half seasons.


Key players in todays side:
Goalkeeper Tom Starke, and central defender Josip Simunic and right back and captain Andreas Beck are trying to keep the defense afloat. Upfront Hoffenheim has an embarrassment of riches, considering the massive amounts talents the club has.

Legends at the club:

Heinz Seyfert: Played for the club for over 28 years in the lower divisions. Scored more then 200 goals during those years. Is still working at the club.

Marcel Throm: Played 190 games from 2000 until 2007 for the club. Is the player with the most appearances for the club after the year 2000.

VfB Stuttgart
Nickname: Die Roten, Die Schwaben

Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Arena, Capacity: 41,000

Arch rivals: Stuttgarter Kickers, Karlsruher SC, Hertha BSC and SC Freiburg

History: Founded in 1893, the VfB was amongst the teams that played the first Bundesliga season of 63/64. The quickly established itself among the mid-table teams, never surpassing the fifth place of the first season. The 74/75 season saw the team relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.

At about the same time the local politician Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder took over as the club’s president. His leadership should soon be rewarded with fantastic results. The team one the cup once, and the league two times during “MV” time at the club. Mayer-Vorfelder retired from his presidency in 2000.

Having left the club with a massive amount of debt, the 00/01 season after MV retirement ended almost with the club being relegated. Having staved off relegation, the club managed to finish 8th the next season. The club has ever since finished in the top half of the league table, and actually managed to win the third Bundesliga championship in 2007.

Bundesliga champions: 1984, 1992 and 2007
DFB Cup: 1954, 1958 and 1997

Key players in todays side: Sven Ulreich is Stuttgarts goalkeeper, and a very godd shot stopper. Captain Matthieu Delpierre is steering the club’s defense with an iron hand. Christian Träsch and Timo Gebhart are the club’s most important midfielders, while Cacau is in charge of scoring the goals upfront.

Legends at the club:

Jürgen Klinsmann: Starting his career at local rivals Stuttgarter Kickers, Klinsmann quickly established himself as one

Got his break through at Stuttgart: Jürgen Klinsmann.

of the most important players of the club after he came to the VfB in 84. Staying for the club for another five years, Klinsmann played a total of 156 games, scoring 79 goals. A fun fact about Klinsmann: his father gave him permission to become a footballer after he promised never to play for Bayern Munich, a promise he later broke.

Hansi Müller: An elegant midfield playmaker with a sweet left foot. He played a total of 186 games for Stuttgart, scoring 65 goals between 75 and 82.

Hermann Ohlicher: Ohlicher started his career at Stuttgart as a striker, but was after a while one of the club’s playmaker. Ohlicher played a total of 389 matches for Stuttgart, scoring 126 goals.

VfL Wolfsburg
Nickname: The wolves

Stadium: Volkswagen Arena, Capacity: 30,122

Arch rivals: Hannover 96

History: Founded in 1945, the club from the city that was formerly known as Adolf Hitler Stadt, used to play in the lower divisions of German football. The wolves managed to get promoted from the Oberliga Nord and into the 2. Bundesliga in 1992. The club established itself quickly as one of the top sides in the second highest division in Germany, and get eventually promoted into the top flight in 1997.

The club has since then stayed there. Wolfsburg is the home of international car manufacturer Volkswagen, and the club has been heavily supported by the car maker.

The club’s biggest success so far has been the surprising win of the championship in 2009, coming from an eleven point deficit at the half way stage.

The club is currently trying to establish itself as one of the top sides of German football.

Bundesliga champions: 2009

Key players in todays side: Arne Friedrich and Simen Kjær are supposed to run a tight shift in defense. Diego is the playmaker who is trying to feed the striker Grafite.

Legends at the club:

Detlev Dammeier: Hard working defensive midfielder, who played for the club between 1992 and 2000.

Uwe Zimmermann: The goalie played for the club between 1993 and 1999. Brilliant shot saver, and good at directing his defense.

Roy Präger: Played for the club between 1995 and 1999, and second time between 2002 and 2005. The vicious attacker was amongst the fans favorite players.


11 responses »

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  2. wow,I really like this page,I am watching Bundesliga and quite enjoying it,also I know much about it but this sure is very nice page and has every information I wish to know and I really thank you for this page,it is great.

  3. I believe that stephane chapuisat or lars ricken could find their place in legends of Borussia Dortmund.

  4. yeah,now is good,Ricken was amazing that season…

  5. Hey, awesome job on this! It must have taken you ages to put this all together. Excellent reference for any Bundesliga newbie, and for anyone, I would think. =)

  6. I started watching Bundesliga last year, following St. Pauli’s unlucky run, then some days ago I found your engaging blog, I hope to read something about the coolest club in the world soon.

    • Hi mate, I haven’t anything in the wings regarding St. Pauli at the moment, but they are amongst my favorite clubs as well. I have written about them earlier, really loved the story about “Die Wunderelf”, and how a butcher and his son managed to turn St. Pauli into one of the best sides German football has ever seen after WWII. I’ll make sure to write about them again in the not too distant future!

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