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INTRODUCTION By Jon Hartley Thank you for taking the time to download and read this preview magazine of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season. The league’s profile has been rising and rising over the last few years with international football fans and is now available in 200 countries across the globe. Bit by bit the excitement, passion, and unpredictability of the Bundesliga is beginning to grip a wider audience. What better time then, than now to produce a preview in English, especially as this is the 50th season of this great competition? From the outset, this Bundesliga season looks like it could be another classic. After back-to-back titles for Borussia Dortmund most expect a big backlash from record champions Bayern Munich. The matches between the two will undoubtedly be the most highly anticipated games of the season on match-days 15 and 32, but even before then the Bundesliga kicks off with a great curtain raiser. Dortmund welcome four-time champions Werder Bremen to the Signal Iduna to play out the first game of the season in-front of over 80,000 spectators. At the start of the very first Bundesliga season it was Bremen who hosted Dortmund, so it is no coincidence that they face each other at the beginning of this anniversary campaign. Back in August 1963, it was Bremen who registered their first win in the new national league, but it was Dortmund’s Timo Konietska who struck the Bundesliga’s first goal. If this campaign kicks off in the same vein, we are potentially in for a cracker. A country as steeped in football culture as Germany is not short of rivalries. This season we see the return of a derby that dates back to the early days of football; Nuremberg versus Greuther Fürth. Those two neighbours will be meeting for the first time in the Bundesliga during this season, but the tussles between Werder Bremen and Hamburg, and Schalke and

Dortmund, will also be highlights between now and the end of the season in May. Not only that, but there are battles that have been brewing up over the past few campaigns. The traditional rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach was reignited last season with Gladbach's double over the Bavarians in the league. The clashes between the two sides this season should be no less exciting. This guide is written to give you everything you need to know ahead of this season. From the long-standing Bundesliga fan, to a newcomer to Germany’s top-flight, this magazine has all the historical and up-to-date information needed to enjoy the forthcoming campaign. The team and I are all true Bundesliga enthusiasts, so for us, putting together this preview for an international audience has been a joy. The stories in the following pages, I hope will give you great insight, not only into the past, present and future of the 18 Bundesliga clubs, but also to the league itself. A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to the magazine, and I hope that this will not be the last we produce for you and there will be more to come from us in this format in the future. Don't forget that this is not the only way that you can keep up on Bundesliga action with us. will have regular articles throughout the season and the Bundesliga Show Podcast will be available every week during the season with views, analysis, and guests to keep you up-to-date with the best of what is going on in the German top-flight. For any comments, or suggestions please to get in touch with us via the podcast email address, by Twitter (@bundesligalounge), or on Facebook ( bundesligashow) Enjoy the season!

Picture Credits: Cover - Jon Hartley, P.2 - Steffen Flor, P.6 - Matthias Suuck, P.8 - Danny Last, P.10 - Borussia Dortmund, P.12 - Richard Bartz & Bene16, P.14 - FC Schalke 04, P.15 Stuart Dykes, P.16 - Borussia Mönchengladbach & Jon Hartley, P.17, 18 & 21 - Jon Hartley, P.22 & 23 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen, P.24 & 25 - Andrew van Leeuwen, P.26 & 27 - Phil Purdy, P.28 - VfL Wolfsburg, P.29 - Sascha Heyer, P.30 - Werder Bremen & Jon Hartley, P.31 - Werder Bremen P.33 & 34 - 1.FC Nürnberg, P.34 & 35 - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, P.36 & 37 - SC Freiburg, P. 38 & 39 - Andrew van Leeuwen, P.40 - FC Augsburg, P.41 - Dave Immerz, P. 42 - Mghamburg, P.43 - Michael Krämer, P.44 - Franconia, P.48 - Fortuna Düsseldorf 1895, P. 49 - Jon Hartley, P. 50 - Danny Last, P.52 - Jon Hartley, P.54 - Danny Last, P.57 - Seb White, P.58 & 59 - Danny Last, Back Cover Jon Hartley


CONTENTS P.3 - Introduction P.4 - Bundesliga History: Great Stories, Surprises, Scandals & Tragedies P.7 - Year One: The Bundesliga Begins P.8 - Bundesliga Facts P.9 - Bundesliga Map P.10 - Borussia Dortmund P.12 - Bayern Munich P.14 - Schalke P.16 - Borussia M’gladbach P.18 - Interview: Harvard Nordtveit P.22 - Bayer Leverkusen P.24 - Stuttgart P.26 - Hannover 96 P.28 - Wolfsburg P.30 - Werder Bremen P.32 - Nuremberg P.34 - Hoffenheim P.36 - Freiburg P.40 - Augsburg P.42 - Hamburg P.44 - Greuther Fürth P.45 - German Football Dictionary P.46 - Eintracht Frankfurt P.48 - Fortuna Düsseldorf P.50 - 2.Bundesliga Preview P.53 - 3.Liga & Regionalliga Preview P.54 - Trouble in Paradise? Interview: Deutsche Akademie für Fussball Kultur

CONTRIBUTORS Editor: Matthias Suuck Design: Jon Hartley & Andrew van Leeuwen Writers: Matthias Suuck, Terry Duffelen, Jon Hartley, Kyle Barber, Diana Yeow, Archie Rhind-Tutt, Steve Moore and Dave Tunnicliffe



Great Stories, Surprises, Scandals & Tragedies By Matthias Suuck The 2012/13 season marks the 50th Bundesliga season, which is rightly being commemorated by the league and all surrounding it. It’s hard, if not impossible to do an all encompassing history of the past 49 seasons in the few pages we have in this magazine. Therefore, here are some of the great stories that this great league has produced over the past decades. Predictably Unpredictable After nearly 40-years of discussions and back-and-forth, the first professional national league, the Bundesliga, kicked off its inaugural season in 1963. The first champions of the new league were FC Cologne. The one thing you can always count on in the Bundesliga is the unexpected and the first decade of the league’s existence was no different, in that you never knew who would be crowned as champions. There was not to be a repeat champion, until Borussia Mönchengladbach pulled it off in 1971. The preceding seven seasons produced seven different champions. Aside from clubs that have produced a number of titles since then, such as Werder Bremen (a major surprise at the time), Bayern Munich, and Gladbach, other teams would win their only Bundesliga titles during the 1960’s. Amongst these one-time champions you had 1860 Munich, Eintracht Braunschweig, and FC Nuremberg.

finishing much higher than was to be expected. The first such club was Meidericher SV (later MSV Duisburg), by finishing runners-up in the inaugural season. Alemannia Aachen duplicated that result in 1969 after being promoted the season prior. They pulled off another stunner the following season when they were relegated. Other smaller clubs to pull off surprising results were Wuppertal SV (4th in 1973; the year they were promoted), Bayer Uerdingen (3rd in 1986), SC Freiburg (3rd in 1995), and VfL Bochum (5th in 1997; the year they were promoted). One of the more recent stunners was Gladbach finishing in a Champions League spot last season, despite fighting off relegation the season prior. Equally as astounding and a further proof for the entertaining and competitive nature of the league is the fact that only three times in 49 seasons have all promoted sides been relegated (1967, 1979, and 1993). In fact, on 14 occasions none of the newly promoted sides have been relegated. Scandals, Failures, and Tragedy

Nuremberg won their only Bundesliga title in the 1967/68 season, under the always entertaining and often controversial manager Max Merkel. Prior to coming to Nuremberg, Merkel had led 1860 to their first and only league title just two years prior. Merkel introduced a truly modern (especially by today’s standards) style of attacking football based on speed and a quick transition from defence to attack. All season he played mainly the exact same starting eleven. Nuremberg climbed to the top of the league after match day 3 and never gave up the pole position. The unpredictable and unprecedented happened the following season. Merkel decided to overhaul his squad and wanted to emulate the youth of Borussia Mönchengladbach by building his team around young talents. Unfortunately, this transformation led to Nuremberg being relegated as reigning champions, the only time that has ever happened in 49 seasons.

Along with the light, there is always shadow and over the past 49 seasons, the Bundesliga has certainly had its share of dark days. The first, and some would argue biggest, was the “Bundesliga Scandal” of 1971. That season, Kickers Offenbach had been relegated due to goal difference on the final match day. Club President Horst-Gregorio Canellas was furious. Almost immediately, he published recordings of conversations he had had with players from other clubs, discussing paying them to achieve certain results so Offenbach would not be relegated, i.e. bribery. It was not long before such media outlets as Bild took this shocking information to the public, which resulted in the DFB investigation and the subsequent upheaval of the Bundesliga. The scandal would leave almost no clubs untouched, especially those in the bottom half of the table fighting for financial survival, since the drop-off after the Bundesliga was quite severe. Amongst the guilty were players from Offenbach, FC Cologne, Schalke 04, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen, Hertha BSC, Eintracht Braunschweig, MSV Duisburg, VfB Stuttgart, and especially Arminia Bielefeld. The latter club was forced into relegation in the 1971/72 season and many players and club officials across the league received massive suspensions (including Canellas).

The exact opposite fate befell FC Kaiserslautern exactly 30 years later. Prior to the 1997/98 season, Kaiserslautern had experienced their first ever relegation from the Bundesliga on the last match day of 1995/96. Otto Rehhagel took over the club while in the 2. Bundesliga and led them straight back to the top flight. That next season was to be one for the ages for the club. Building his squad mainly around veteran players, such as Swiss international Ciriaco Sforza, Rehhagel was able to pull off the unbelievable. On the second-to-last match day, Kaiserslautern were crowned Bundesliga champions for the second time in their history. That was to be the first and only time that a newly promoted side would go all the way to the top of the Bundesliga and win it.

Though higher courts reduced many of the suspensions and punishments handed down by the DFB, the league was tarnished. So too were many of the stars of the time, especially those of Schalke. Klaus Fischer and Stan Libuda (amongst others) were judged to have committed perjury and thus focused much of the public attention on themselves and Schalke. All in all though, the DFB had mainly itself to blame. Still wanting to pursue the “ideals” of amateur athletics, they capped salaries and bonuses for decades, thus making players much more susceptible to bribes. The positive fall-out from the “Bundesliga Scandal” was the fact that the DFB did away with these salary caps in 1972, as well as the caps on transfer fees in 1974.

The Bundesliga has witnessed many other unpredictable results over the decades. Many smaller clubs have shocked the league by



In the annals of the Bundesliga we tend to focus mainly on the great success stories of clubs. But the Bundesliga is not without epic failures either. Many clubs have showcased massive futility over the seasons, with the likes of FC Saarbrucken (1964), Karlsruher SC (1968), Alemannia Aachen (1970), Wuppertal SV (1975), FC Nuremberg (1984), Hertha Berlin (1991), VfB Leipzig (1993), and Dynamo Dresden (1995) playing horrendously subpar football. But the ultimate example of failure in epic proportions was the beleaguered Tasmania Berlin side of 1966. The debacle from Berlin seemed to have been a foregone conclusion, since the club only received its license for the top division two weeks before the beginning of the season. All players had to hurriedly be rounded up from their vacations and the only star of the team, Horst Szymaniak, had just been acquired from Italy. Things started off swimmingly for the Berliners, with a 2:0 victory over Karlsruhe in their first match. However, it would remain their only win until their 2:1 triumph over fellow relegated club Borussia Neunkirchen on the last match day of the season. After all was said and done, Tasmania Berlin had won two, drawn four, and lost 28 matches. They had also scored 15 goals and conceded 108. Both stats are records that no club wants to ever break. Despite the current popularity of the Bundesliga, this euphoria was not always the case. In the 1980’s many factors began to threaten the state of German football, especially the Bundesliga. Most of the big name players left the league and decided to play in Spain or Italy for more money, leaving the league with many average players. The rise in popularity of tennis thanks to Boris Becker and Steffi Graf threatened the youth development of players, since many parents moved their kids into tennis instead of football. No period had seen less people entering the stadiums than the decade of the 80’s and this had especially bad consequences for the lower leagues, which were plagued by corruption and lack of interest. The saving grace for German football and its league was once again “Kaiser” Franz Beckenbauer and the winning of the World Cup in 1990. This title put more focus on German club football again and excited the punters to once again invest in their clubs by attending matches and the Bundesliga was back on track. What grew out of the “rebirth” of German football in the 1990’s was a massively passionate and faithful community, both on the field and in the stands. This community of German football came together on one of its most tragic days; November 10, 2009. This was the day that German national team and Hannover 96 goalkeeper, Robert Enke took his own life. In the days following his tragic death, the nation and especially the football community came together to celebrate his life and bring much needed attention to clinical depression; the ultimate reason for Enke’s untimely passing.

Down to the Wire One of the beauties of league play is when the title comes down to one match or one goal. There have been some absolutely epic finishes to Bundesliga seasons. The tightest ever race concluded on the final day of the 1983/84 season, when three teams (VfB Stuttgart, Hamburg SV, and Borussia Mönchengladbach) were tied on points. It was only due to mere goal difference that the club from Swabia would win their first Bundesliga title. Eight years later, it was another three team race involving Stuttgart that saw an epic conclusion to the season. The other two clubs, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund, had excellent chances of winning the title on the last day of the season, with Frankfurt sitting in pole position. However, due to a shocking loss to Hansa Rostock, Eintracht could only watch as


Guido Buchwald lifted his second Bundesliga trophy for Stuttgart, who had defeated Leverkusen that day and once again won on goal difference over Dortmund. Last day races were always a part of the league, starting in 1974 (Bayern over Gladbach by 1 point) and then continuing on in 1977 (Gladbach 1 point ahead of Schalke and Braunschweig), 1978 (Cologne on goal difference ahead of Gladbach), 1979 (HSV 1 point ahead of Stuttgart), 1982 (HSV on goal difference ahead of Werder Bremen), 1986 (Bayern on goal difference ahead of Bremen by defeating them on the last match day), 1993 (Bremen 1 point ahead of Bayern), 1994 (Bayern 1 point ahead of Kaiserslautern), 1995 (Dortmund 1 point ahead of Bremen), 2000 (Bayern on goal difference ahead of Leverkusen), and 2002 (Dortmund 1 point ahead of Leverkusen). The tightest and certainly most dramatic of all Bundesliga title race conclusions though happened in 2001, when Schalke 04 were champions for the first time since 1958…for four minutes. On this last match day, Schalke 04 were battling Bayern Munich for the title. Schalke were facing a different Munich club that day, Unterhaching, while Bayern played Hamburg. Despite surprisingly falling behind the small club from Munich, Schalke clawed its way back to defeat the relegated club 5:3. Not even one minute after the fifth Schalke goal, Sergej Barbarez scored for Hamburg, thus putting Schalke at the top of the table. When the Schalke match ended, false reports made its way to the bench that the match between Hamburg and Bayern had ended as well. After 43 years of futility, the Schalke players, team officials, and especially the fans began to celebrate. The squad then made their way back into the changing rooms, at which time they saw Patrick Andersson score a late free kick goal for Bayern with the last kick of the match. At that time pure jubilation changed to complete heart break, as it was clear that Bayern Munich had once again won the Bundesliga title. Change is Constant Though Germans are generally known for calm and steady progression, the Bundesliga has been the catalyst to many near “revolutionary” changes in both football and culture in Germany. A generational change came about in the 1965/66 season, when the two dominant clubs of the seventies and everything it entailed (athletically and culturally), Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, were promoted to the Bundesliga. They dominated 10 years of domestic and international football and swept up the young generations of football fans across the country, especially the young and somewhat perceived as counter-cultural players of Gladbach. Off the pitch, commercialism grew with every year, as Bundesliga football became big business. In 1972, Eintracht Braunschweig and liquor company Jägermeister signed a deal to make Jägermeister the first kit sponsor. The problem was that the DFB did not allow for sponsor logos to be placed on jerseys. So to get around this outdated rule, Braunschweig simply changed its logo to that of Jägermeister, which they presented on March 24, 1973. Later that year, the DFB changed its ruling on sponsor advertising, which immediately led to numerous clubs also signing sponsorship deals. Then, in 2001 the next big sponsorship change happened, when HSV sold the naming rights of its stadium to AOL for € 15 million. An outcry and shock amongst fans and purists alike could not change the fact that this was the sign of the future, which is now obvious all across the league.


The next great commercial endeavour was in the form of TV. Leo Kirch changed the TV landscape of the Bundesliga in the early 1990’s, by acquiring the rights to the league. Live matches were now only available via pay-TV and the traditional “Sportschau” was replaced by the more modern show “ran.” The money spent by Kirch would begin to grow the status and pocket books of the league and its clubs, and has ultimately led to major bidding wars every few years with more and more astronomical sums of money being spent. When the Kirch Group collapsed in 2002, many clubs felt the financial sting and have never recovered. Now the rights are split, thus giving fans more options (via Sky or the new “Sportschau”) and the league/clubs have a more stable financial platform.

Culturally and historically the greatest change to German society came in the form of the reunification of Germany in 1990. In 1991, the league expanded to 20 teams for the first and only time, to better incorporate the new teams from the east and at the same time be


fair to the regularly promoted teams from the west. Of that first batch of eastern teams, only Hansa Rostock has been able to make regular visits to the top flight. Other clubs such as Dynamo Dresden, VfB Leipzig, and Energie Cottbus only had short stays in the Bundesliga. East German clubs simply could not compete with the financial strength of western clubs and subsequently always lost their best players (e.g. Thomas Doll, Matthias Sammer, Michael Ballack, etc.).

The biggest change to German football and culture though has been the Bundesliga itself. For 49 seasons it has captivated millions of fans across Germany and the world, producing exciting and entertaining football, with a fan and club culture not to be outdone by any league in the world. The next decades are sure to bring even more exciting finishes, ground breaking changes and captivating stories.



Year One: The Bundesliga Begins By Terry Duffelen By the end of the forthcoming season, the Bundesliga will be 50 years old, we look back at the origins of the German top flight. If the microchip revolution had taken place in the 1940’s and Twitter had existed in the 1960’s, the amount of hash tags expressing outrage and cries of injustice would have been off the chart when the West German FA underwent the onerous task of selecting the final 16 clubs to form the first national football league in Germany. To say that the selection process was complex is to understate matters. I only have a limited word count so it’s not possible to go into this in the greatest detail, but it is fair to say that the selection criteria succeeded in being both scientific and arbitrary. Criteria were drawn up on the basis of club results from the previous decade in the regional championships, a number was applied and the teams with the most points were on the shortlist for admittance into the inaugural Bundesliga. In addition, the five regional champions of the 1962/63 seasons bypassed the shortlist and were allowed in to the League, irrespective of their overall points total from the last ten years. Also, the West German FA took the decision, for better or worse, to only include one club from each city. The issue with this was that a number of clubs were denied entry despite meeting the financial criteria and despite having the better record since 1952. As a consequence of this decision, there were three clubs in particular who missed out to their city rivals: Victoria Cologne, FC St. Pauli and Bayern Munich. The latter could consider themselves especially hard done by, as they were clearly a better side than 1860 Munich, but had to make way for their city rival who had the gall to be Oberliga South Champions at the time. Victoria Cologne fans may find themselves thinking what might have been, as they made it to the final cut before being excluded in favour of FC Cologne. The club have been poor relations in the city, ever since. FC St Pauli missed out because of Hamburger SV. Interestingly, St Pauli’s subsequent identity is defined by their culture and politics rather than their football achievements. As for Bayern Munich, if anyone knows what happened to them, please feel free to let us know. One consequence of the decision to not allow more than one team from each city which resonates today, is the lack of the great city derbies which you see in England, Scotland, Italy, and Spain. While Hamburg, Munich and to a much lesser extent, Cologne do enjoy fierce rivalries with their city neighbours, one club is often so much bigger than the other that they are not always much of a contest. Instead we have intercity derbies like HSV vs. Bremen, Cologne vs. ‘Gladbach, and Bayern vs. pretty much everyone. The one club per city decision was understandable, if hard to take for the clubs that missed out. West Germany was a large country with a dense league structure and only sixteen teams were allowed into its first ever nationwide league. In order to make the league truly national, the clubs needed to be spread to as many parts of the country as possible. However, of the final 16, there were still five clubs in the North-Rhine Westphalia region. Some


may argue that more consideration could have been given to other areas at the expense of the industrial heartland and one can only imagine the unholy row that would have taken place, had the decision been taken to exclude Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. Of course, this whole business may not have been quite so messy had they formed a national league in the early 1930’s, as had been originally planned. Traditionally, German football had been staunchly amateur and regional. While there were frequent calls for the country’s complex regional structure and national championship to be simplified by establishing a national league, the football authorities were resistant. It wasn't until 1932, when the decision was finally taken to form a Reichliga. However, the competition was never introduced, because a year later, the Nazis came to power and restructured the football leagues while continuing to organise them along regional lines. At the end of the Second World War in 1945, the new country of West Germany took time to reestablish itself as a separate political state and to rebuild its infrastructure. You could make the argument that when Fritz Walter lifted the World Cup in 1954, West Germany still lacked the resources to maintain a national football league. It could be said that the Bundesliga finally came about as a consequence of the post war economic miracle that swept across the country. The idea of a national league was tossed around for years after the ‘54 World Cup without enough members of the German FA willing to decide to go ahead. However, as the game continued to grow and the standard grew, it became apparent to many with the Federation that West Germany’s chances of international success would be hindered unless they modernised their league structure. Finally, at the West German FA’s annual convention on 28th July, 1962 in Dortmund, the decision was made: a new German Football Bundesliga would be formed to begin at the start of the 1963/64 season. So the inaugural Bundesliga season kicked off on 24th August the following year with a relatively even spread of clubs throughout the country of West Germany. All the traditional football hotbeds were represented: Munich, Cologne, Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Dortmund, Hamburg, Bremen, Stuttgart, Gelsenkirchen, and Kaiserslautern; all cities that resonate today and whose clubs have made a contribution to the Bundesliga story since 1963. But also there were clubs in Munster, Saarbrucken and Braunschweig who eventually fell away from the top flight (despite the latter winning the title, in the second season). There was also a club that lay deep in the heart of the politically antagonistic DDR (East Germany); Hertha BSC in West Berlin. No doubt there were compelling political reasons for wanting a club from the western part of the former German capital. However, recruiting players of a sufficiently high standard to play in the challenging environment of West Berlin proved to be difficult and after two seasons the club were relegated, not because they were terrible, but for unauthorised payments to players.


As a footnote, the German Football Association insisted that a team from the West part of the old capital replace Hertha, which resulted in the entirely undeserved promotion of Tasmania Berlin, a club with a minuscule support that mustered only two wins and four draws in the entire season. Needless to say they were relegated with eight points and only fifteen goals scored to offset the horrific 108 conceded. Whoever said that politics and sport should not mix was correct in this instance. With the momentous decision to go ahead with the Bundesliga, taking place in Dortmund, there is an element of romance about a Borussia Dortmund player scoring the first ever Bundesliga goal. Friedhelm ‘Timo’ Konietzka has the honour of being the first player to trouble the score keepers in the new league in the game against Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion. Dortmund won the game, 3-2. FC Cologne were crowned champions at the end of the season and lifted the Bundesliga trophy or the “Salad Bowl” as it has come to be known. This over-sized serving dish would not look out of place on the wall of a medieval Bavarian Schloss, which has been converted into a beer hall. The trophy was not designed for the new league, it was first used in 1949 and was designed by Cologne resident, Elizabeth Treskow who frankly has a lot to answer for.


Top Scoring League: Of the top five European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France), the Bundesliga has the most goals per match average with 2.86 in 2011/12 (followed by the Premier League with 2.81). Best Attended League: Of the top five European leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France), the Bundesliga has the highest attendance per match with 45,134 in 2011/12 (followed by the Premier League with 34,601). Most Bundesliga Goals: 1. Gerd Müller (365) The amazing part of Müller’s outstanding and probably never-to-be-beaten record is that he did it in 427 matches! 2. Klaus Fischer (268) 3. Jupp Heynckes (220) 4. Manfred Burgsmüller (213) 5. Ulf Kirsten (182) Most Bundesliga Appearances: 1. Karl-Heinz Körbel (574) 2. Manfred Kaltz (559) 3. Oliver Kahn (538) 4. Eike Immel (529) 5. Klaus Fichtel (517) Highest Scoring Matches The five highest scoring Bundesliga matches of all time all recorded a total of 12 goals. An odd coincidence is that Dortmund were involved in four of these matches. Borussia M’galdbach vs. Borussia Dortmund: 12-0 (1978) Borussia Dortmund vs. Arminia Bielefeld: 11-1 (1982) Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund: 11-1 (1971) Borussia Dortmund vs. FC K’lautern: 9-3 (1963) FC Cologne vs. TeBe Berlin: 8-4 (1977)


In second place was Meidericher SV. Meiderich is a district of Duisburg and the club were to change their name to that city in 1967. Unfortunately, they were never to scale the same heights in the Bundesliga. Saarbrucken and Preußen Munster were relegated. Uwe Seeler was the first ever top scorer with thirty goals for his beloved HSV, a club that as every proud supporter will tell you, have never been relegated from the Bundesliga, despite their best efforts on occasion. Given the somewhat arbitrary circumstances behind its genesis, and how relatively recently the competition began, it is impressive that within a decade Bundesliga clubs were returning from European club competitions with winner's medals. As the Bundesliga enters its fiftieth season it can look back on some top class football and its fair share of controversies. This is by no means a perfect league, but the virtue of maintaining majority supporter ownership for most of the clubs, reputation for financial prudence and highly effective youth development structures makes the Bundesliga one of the world game’s most relevant football leagues.

Fastest Goal Scored in a Match: The quickest a goal was ever scored in the past 49 seasons was exactly 11 seconds. The amazing thing is that it’s happened three times. Giovane Elber (Bayern Munich vs. HSV – 1998) Ulf Kirsten (Bayer Leverkusen vs. FC K’lautern – 2002) Paul Freier (VfL Bochum vs. 1860 Munich – 2003) Longest Undefeated Run: Though last season’s Borussia Dortmund side hold the record for an undefeated run in a single season (28), the longest series of going undefeated goes to the great Hamburg sides of 1981/82 and 1982/83 with 36 matches without a loss. Most Wins in a Season: Unsurprising that both Dortmund and Bayern would top this category. Last season’s Dortmund team won an astonishing 25 matches, a feat equaled by arguably one of the greatest football squads in history, namely the Bayern Munich side of 1972/73. As a side note, this Bayern squad also scored the most goals in a season ever the year prior…an astonishing 101 goals.




Club History – Borussia Dortmund were founded back in 1909 as a club that would offer local church goers a place to play football, as well as a tie-in with the local working class and immigrant communities. For most of its early history, the club had marginal success in the regional leagues of the time. Only after the establishment of the Oberliga system following World War II, did Dortmund become a regional, as well as national power. Their first chance at a championship came in 1949, when they lost in the final to VfR Mannheim. Dortmund would continue to be a strength in the Oberliga West, but only prevailed to the final again in 1956, when they won their first ever title against Karlsruhe SC. The following season they once again held the top honours in Germany, after cruising past HSV in the final. It was also during this time that their famous rivalry with Schalke truly began to evolve. Dortmund also hold the distinction of being the last non-Bundesliga champion, by defeating FC Cologne in 1963. Dortmund remained a top-tier club in the early Bundesliga years and also won their first German Cup in 1965. They followed that up the next year by becoming Germany’s first ever European competition champions, when they defeated Liverpool in the Cup Winners’ Cup final. That 1966 title was to be Dortmund’s last great success for many years. The club and its supporters suffered through hardships in the 1970’s, when the club were relegated in 1972. BVB did not return to the Bundesliga until 1976. The 1980’s produced further financial woes and mixed results, which almost saw the club relegated again in 1986. Three years later though, things were beginning to move up, when Dortmund won the German Cup. Then, in 1991 a new era began with the hiring of the great Ottmar Hitzfeld. Under Hitzfeld the club was one of the best in Europe in the 1990’s, playing in a UEFA Cup final, winning two Bundesliga titles, and rounding it all off with Champions League and Intercontinental Cup titles in 1997. Dortmund rounded off a great 10-year run, by winning another Bundesliga title and appearing in a UEFA Cup final in 2002, but extreme financial hardship soon followed, which led to near bankruptcy and poor results in the league. This all changed with the restructuring of the club’s finances and the eventual hiring of Jürgen Klopp as manager in 2008.


Club Facts: Official Name: BV Borussia 09 Dortmund Formed: 1909 Nickname: Die Schwarzgelben (The Black and Yellows) Stadium: Signal Iduna Park Capacity: 80,552 Coach: Jürgen Klopp Sporting Director: Michael Zorc Rivals: FC Schalke 04, VfL Bochum, FC Bayern Munich Honours: German Champions – 1956, 1957, 1963, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2011, 2012 German Cup – 1965, 1989, 2012 European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1966 Champions League – 1997 Intercontinental Cup - 1997

Recent History – It is certainly no secret that Borussia Dortmund have been the most dominant domestic club in Germany the past two seasons. Since the beginning of the 2010/11 they have looked nearly unbeatable, with last season being the crowning achievement, by winning the first double in club history. With an extremely young and versatile squad they brushed aside many opponents with an aggressive and fast paced attacking brand of football, and won both league titles with large point margins ahead of their competition. They even managed to defeat Bayern Munich five straight times; something never done before in the Bundesliga era. Many critics saw the title won two seasons ago as a bit of an aberration and certainly nothing that could be repeated, but Dortmund compensated for losing midfield general Nuri Sahin and a long second half of the season injury to young star Mario Götze, by showing great squad depth and resilience, going 28 matches without a loss (another Bundesliga record). The biggest hiccup was the poor run of form in the Champions League, which could be attributed to the squad’s age and lack of experience competing at that level, which also includes manager Klopp. Season Preview – After the past two seasons there is no doubt that Dortmund are one of the hot picks for winning the Bundesliga title. The atmosphere in and around the club is one of great optimism. One of the keys to look at this season is how they will balance all three competitions, especially since it is expected that they will put a strong focus on doing much better in the Champions League. The good thing is that in many parts of the team they have decent depth. The only area of stronger concern is in defence, where their starting back four is among the best in the world, but any major injuries could stretch them a bit. Löwe and Felipe Santana are great alternatives, but if against all odds both Hummels and Subotic should face injuries and/or suspensions at the same time, it could become a strong liability. In midfield, Dortmund probably have the deepest talent pool of any club in Germany. Despite selling Kagawa (and having an amazing return on investment for it), BVB is more than well equipped to handle it. The greatest addition to the squad, Marco Reus (for € 17.1 million from Gladbach) is projected to slide into the Kagawa role as the central attacking midfielder. The beauty is that both Mario Götze and Ivan Perisic can also take up that position, as well as play out wide, where Reus is equally at home and the speedy Großkreutz and Blaszczykowski add even more depth. Thus, Dortmund can have a very fluid, alternating attack that will surely pose massive problems to all foes. Behind this attacking line of three, the very solid Kehl and Gündogan, who more than took over for Sahin last season, along with a fit Sven Bender will add stability and outstanding cover. Up front, Dortmund still have their leading goal scorer from last season, Robert Lewandowski. His (and his agent’s) constant flirtations with England could pose a bit of a distraction this season, and might signal that this could be his last in black and yellow. To add another alternative, the club signed the very talented Julian Schieber from Stuttgart, who should continue his good form and could be a threat to Lewandowski’s position, should the Pole continue to send mixed signals or have a poor run of form. Despite picking at certain small perceived weaknesses, Dortmund have retained most of their double winning squad and are poised to make another great run in the league, the cup, and Europe.

By Matthias Suuck


Goalkeepers: 1 Roman Weidenfeller D 06.08.1980; 20 Mitchell Langerak AUS 22.08.1988; 33 Zlatan Alomerovic D 15.06.1991 Defence: 4 Neven Subotic SER/USA 10.12.1988; 15 Mats Hummels D 16.12.1988; 22 Patrick Owomoyela D 05.11.1979; 24 Chris Löwe D 16.04.1989; 26 Lukasz Piszczek PL 03.06.1985; 27 Felipe Santana BRA 17.03.1986; 29 Marcel Schmelzer D 22.01.1988 Midfield: 5 Sebastian Kehl D 13.02.1980; 6 Sven Bender D 27.04.1989; 7 Moritz Leitner A 08.12.1992; 8 Ilkay Gündogan D 24.10.1990; 10 Mario Götze D 03.06.1992; 11 Marco Reus D 31.05.1989; 14 Ivan Perisic CRO 02.02.1989; 16 Jakub Blaszczykowski PL 14.12.1985; 19 Kevin Großkreutz D 19.07.1988; 21 Oliver Kirch D 21.08.1982; 28 Mustafa Amini AUS 20.04.1993; 31 Marvin Bakalorz D 13.09.1989; 32 Leonardo Bittencourt D 19.12.1993 Forwards: 9 Robert Lewandowski PL 21.08.1988; 23 Julian Schieber D 13.02.1989; 34 Marvin Ducksch D 07.03.1994 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012

New for the 2012-13 season! The Yellow Wall Podcast: Covering everything Borussia English. Twitter: @yellowwallpod



Club History - What can one say about Bayern’s illustrious history as the record champion of Germany? For starters, the time between their first title (1932) and their second (1969) was inconceivably long, given what we have come to expect since then. The 1932 squad was special; producing attractive football and the first young superstar for Germany, Oskar Rohr. The following year, however the club in both leadership and squad suffered a major overhaul, as the club president and manager were forced to leave, due to their Jewish heritage and Rohr left for Switzerland to join a professional league and earn his living playing football. The changes imposed by the Nazis almost destroyed the club, but luckily FC Bayern outlasted the horrible regime. The Oberliga years following World War II were ones to forget for the club. The only highlight being the cup victory of 1957. Bayern were not even invited to join the Bundesliga, losing out to their bitter rivals 1860 as the representatives of Munich. This dubious decision had major consequences for the club and one can say it might have been the best thing to happen to Bayern. Playing in the Regionalliga Süd, they were forced to rely on young, inexpensive players. They also hired a new manager, Zlatko “Tschik” Cajkovski. With a new manager and young players such as Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, and Gerd Müller, Bayern won promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965. The following season they won the cup, followed by their first European trophy a season later (Cup Winners’ Cup). Then, in 1969 under new manager Branko Zebec and with the additional help of Bayern staples such as “Bulle” Roth, Georg Schwarzenbeck, and Gustl Starek, FC Bayern Munich won their first Bundesliga title and double. Since that time, despite some minor and very short down periods, Bayern have never looked back; winning seven more doubles (19 Bundesliga titles and 11 cup titles more), four European Cups (1 Champions League), a UEFA Cup, and two Intercontinental Cups. Since that 1969 season, FC Bayern Munich have been the German power club above all others. Recent History - As is expected, Bayern dominated the early part of the 21st century, winning six Bundesliga titles in the first decade. The second decade is a different story so far. The past two seasons have been title-less, with last season being the ultimate disappointment; finishing second to Dortmund in league and cup and then the gut wrenching loss to Chelsea in the Champions League final in their own stadium. Much of the issues of these two (for Bayern) subpar seasons were created by their previous manager, Louis van Gaal and his squad upheaval (despite adding gems like Müller and Badstuber). Last season the old stalwart and good friend of Uli Hoeneß, Jupp Heynckes, was hired for his third stint as the man in charge.


Club Facts: Official Name: FC Bayern München Formed: 1900 Nickname: Die Roten (The Reds) Stadium: Allianz Arena Capacity: 69,901 Coach: Jupp Heynckes Rivals: 1860 Munich, FC Nuremberg, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen Honours: German Champions – 1932, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1980, 1981, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 German Cup – 1957, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1967 European Cup – 1974, 1975, 1976, 2001 UEFA Cup – 1996 Intercontinental Cup– 1976, 2001

Bayern were also very active on the transfer market, adding Manuel Neuer, Jerome Boateng, and Rafinha as starters. But it was all not to be for Bayern that season, mainly due to inconsistent form (especially against the top 4), a long Schweinsteiger injury during the most critical phase of the season and Arjen Robben showing surprisingly weak nerves in key moments. But as is the case with any club of Bayern’s stature, they decided to make major changes to not have another season pass without titles. Season Preview – The 50th Bundesliga season started with an early headline grabbing move for the Bavarians. After the disappointment form the last two seasons, sporting director Christian Nerlinger was sent packing and Matthias Sammer was hired away from the DFB to replace him. Sammer, an extremely driven “winner type” is already making things uncomfortable for the superstars at Bayern. He will not stand for complacency and wants to see players with his type of hunger and toughness; after-all Sammer was hugely successful as both a player and a manager at Dortmund. The fact that Bayern made this move shows where the leadership of Hoeneß and Rummenigge see the weaknesses of this squad; a lack of winning instinct. Aside from their off-the-pitch moves, Bayern have been active on the transfer market as well. Shoring up a thin centre of defence with the likes of Dante from Gladbach was a sound move. He can surely give Boateng and Badstuber occasional rests or jump in when one of them has a dip in form. The highly talented youngster, Xherdan Shaqiri has joined their midfield. Though they desperately wanted Marco Reus, the young Swiss international gives them many of the same features and options that Reus would have. The only difference maybe that Shaqiri might be more content with coming off of the bench than Reus would have, because Ribery and Robben are still the unshakable starters on the wings. If Ribery can continue with his excellent play from last season and if Robben can find his confidence again, then this will once again be an extremely formidable winger duo. Bayern are still looking for a compliment to Kroos and Schweinsteiger in central midfield, especially since Schweinsteiger’s fitness, form, and mentality could still be an issue early on. Much like in central defence, Bayern added more depth to their forward positions as well. Mario Mandzukic is the most expensive signing so far this year and together with returning Claudio Pizarro, they both can give a good alternative to Mario Gomez on his days off, or when they need another attacking option coming off of the bench. Obviously, Bayern go into this season as one of the favourites for the title, especially given their talent. But as has been underlined in the past two seasons, they are certainly not the only big contender for the title, which is a new role for this generation of Bayern players and this will be the most interesting thing to watch for this year. By Matthias Suuck

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Manuel Neuer D 27.03.1986; 22 Tom Starke D 18.03.1981; 24 Maximilian Riedmüller D 04.01.1988; 32 Lukas Raeder D 30.12.1993 Defence: 5 Daniel van Buyten B 07.02.1978; 13 Rafinha BRA 07.09.1985; 17 Jerome Boateng D 03.09.1988; 21 Philipp Lahm D 11.11.1983; 26 Diego Contento D 01.05.1990; 28 Holger Badstuber D 13.03.1989; 36 Emre Can TUR/D 12.01.1994 Midfield: 7 Franck Ribery F 07.04.1983; 10 Arjen Robben NL 23.01.1984; 11 Xherdan Shaqiri CH 10.10.1991; 23 Mitchell-Elijah Weiser D 21.04.1994; 25 Thomas Müller D 13.09.1989; 27 David Alaba A 24.06.1992; 30 Gustavo BRA 23.07.1987; 31 Bastian Schweinsteiger D 01.08.1984; 39 Toni Kroos D 04.01.1990; 44 Anatoliy Tymoshchuk UKR 30.03.1979 Forwards: 9 Mario Mandzukic CRO 21.05.1986; 14 Claudio Pizarro PER 03.10.1978; 20 Patrick Weihrauch D 03.03.1994; 33 Mario Gomez D 10.07.1985 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012


SCHALKE Club History – The club named after their region of Gelsenkirchen came to prominence in both their own city and the nation in the late 1920’s, when their short-sharp passing style of playing, nicknamed “the spinning top,” earned them supporters and a progression through the regional league structure. It was a style that, coupled with having the star players of the era, Fritz Szepan and Ernst Kuzorra, dominated German football for a decade. Not only did they win six national titles in nine seasons, but finished runners-up on two others, as well as reaching five cup finals, winning just one. Being runners-up has since become a theme. First, Schalke recovered from a match-fixing scandal in 1971 to almost do the double in 1972, losing out on the title having led the majority of the way. Another second place finish in 1977 was the precursor to a horror decade as the club spent the eighties as a yo-yo club. But they had a nineties recovery with a UEFA Cup win. Schalke have since spent the new millennium turning finishing second into an art form. Five times the blue and whites have almost ended their title drought, and in 2001 seeing the title snatched away by an injury-time goal from Bayern Munich Recent History – The last two years could almost be called the Raul era, such was the impact that the great Spanish forward had in just two seasons at the Veltins Arena. This is proven by the fact that it is his number seven that has now become the first number retired in Schalke history. They started with high hopes when he arrived, as they felt he could be the missing piece in Felix Magath’s jigsaw that would turn second into first. That season was split into two between Bundesliga form and their cup competition form, which was outstanding. In the league, fourteenth place saw Magath dismissed in March, but under Ralf Rangnick they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League and won the DFB Pokal. On the field, last season was more sedate with moderate success for Schalke. Third place meant a return to the Champions League, but it was not without its trials and tribulations as Rangnick quit in September sighting a lack of energy, a decision that came out of the blue. However, his replacement, Huub Stevens, who was the boss when they won the UEFA Cup in 1997, took over the reins and kept them ticking over.


Club Facts: Official Name: FC Gelsenkirchen-Schalke 04 Formed: 1904 Nickname: Die Königsblauen (The Royal Blues) Stadium: Veltins Arena Capacity: 61,673 Coach: Huub Stevens Rivals: Borussia Dortmund Honours: German Champions 1934, 1935, 1937, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1958 German Cup - 1937, 1972, 2001, 2002, 2011 UEFA Cup - 1997

Season Preview – To build on that third place finish, Schalke have very much opted to stick rather than twist with just the two signings coming to the Veltins Arena. The most important of those is likely to be Roman Neustädter, the Ukrainian-born former German under-21 international, who joined from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Neustädter is a holding midfielder who had a breakthrough season, as did so many of the Foals players, and his signing continues the regeneration and overhaul of the aging midfield with him and Cameroonian youngster, Joel Matip starting where Peer Kluge would have been over the last couple of years. The man who would back himself to be replacing the huge hole left by Raul is their other summer signing, free transfer Tranquillo Barnetta. The skillful 27-year-old Swiss attacking midfielder saw himself more and more on the sidelines with Bayer Leverkusen. It is the opportunity to replace Raul that could well have swayed his decision to join Schalke, but it may well be that he finds himself behind the young and talented German international, Julian Draxler with the teenager likely to have his eyes on the same spot for a regular place in the team. With the more pace-injected players of Lewis Holtby, Jefferson Farfan, and Chinedu Obasi on the wings, it looks likely that Barnetta may find himself reduced to substitute cameos again. The key for another season of Champions League qualification will be having the squad depth to cope with the addition of playing in the competition as well. Where this is required most is for somebody to come up with the goals up-front to take some of the pressure off of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. While his incredible total of 48 goals in 47 games in all competitions was key to their success last season, somebody needs to step up with some support for the Dutchman. Therefore, all eyes will be on Teemu Pukki. The young Finnish striker showed glimpses of his talent last term, most notably with a brace against Hannover, but he needs more consistency to add the necessary support for Huntelaar. What they will have is a continued improvement of a talented young defensive group, of which Christoph By Steve Moore

Metzelder is the only member over the age of 26.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Ralf Fährmann D 27.09.1988; 34 Timo Hildebrand D 05.04.1979; 36 Lars Unnerstall D 20.07.1990 Defence: 3 Sergio Escudero E 02.09.1989; 4 Benedikt Höwedes D 29.02.1988; 14 Kyriakos Papadopoulos GR 23.02.1992; 21 Christoph Metzelder D 05.11.1980; 22 Atsuto Uchida JAP 27.03.1988; 23 Christian Fuchs A 07.04.1986; 32 Joel Matip CMR/D 08.08.1991 Midfield: 10 Lewis Holtby D 18.09.1990; 11 Alexander Baumjohann D 23.01.1987; 12 Marco Höger D 16.09.1989; 13 Jermaine Jones USA/D 03.11.1981; 15 Vasilis Pliatsikas GR 14.04.1988; 18 Jurado E 29.06.1986; 27 Tranquillo Barnetta CH 22.05.1985; 28 Christoph Moritz D 27.01.1990; 31 Julian Draxler D 20.09.1993; 33 Roman Neustädter D 18.02.1988; 40 Anthony Annan GHA 21.07.1986 Forwards: 8 Ciprian Marica ROM 02.10.1985; 16 Edu BRA 30.11.1981; 17 Jefferson Farfan PER 26.10.1984; 19 Chinedu Obasi NGA 01.06.1986; 20 Teemu Pukki FIN 29.03.1990; 25 Klaas Jan Huntelaar NL 12.08.1983 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012



Club History - Borussia Mönchengladbach is one of the most revered names in the Bundesliga. The five-time Bundesliga champions, along with Bayern Munich, set the benchmark for German football during the 1970s with a young and gifted side. That team was nicknamed “Die Fohlen” (The Foals); an apt name that has stuck ever since. Unfortunately, those heady heights were a one decade blip in a somewhat more middle of the road history. Gladbach weren’t even in the initial Bundesliga batch in 1963, but had managed their first major trophy in 1960, by winning the DFB-Pokal. It wasn’t until Hennes Weisweiler joined the club in 1964 that the club really took off. Weisweiler was a former player and coach with local rivals Cologne, and was so influential at that club that the famous Billy Goat mascot is named Hennes. His greatest work however, was to take place in Mönchengladbach. Having unearthed the gems of Berti Vogts, Rainer Bonhof, Günter Netzer, and Jupp Heynckes, Weisweiler had the spine of his multiple championships winning side. After a whirlwind of three championships, the German Cup, one UEFA Cup, a European Cup Final (and a falling out or two with his stars), Weisweiler left for Barcelona and was replaced by Udo Lattek. Lattek managed to keep the Foals charging and followed up with two more Bundesliga titles and another UEFA Cup, but that was as good as it got for Gladbach. The golden 9-year period was followed by a 16-year wait for another trophy and that was the DFB-Pokal. The club’s league form never hit the same heights of those glory days. By the end of the 20th century the club had been relegated and spent two seasons in the 2.Bundesliga and the glory days of the 70s looked a long way away. Recent History - Borussia Mönchengladbach had another one season stint in the 2.Bundesliga during the 2007-08 campaign, but on return to the top division hadn't found life easy until last season. A series of coaches and poor seasons finally gave way to Lucien Favre’s tenure at the Borussia Park, and his short time in charge has been nothing less than sensational. Favre took over as coach on Valentine’s Day 2011, with the club rock bottom of the Bundesliga and staring down the barrel of another relegation, and another low in club history. Under the new boss, Gladbach survived via the Relegation play-off against Bochum, but wasn’t content to leave it there. With the same group of players who almost suffered relegation, he pushed them onto an outstanding campaign last season, finishing fourth and achieving a place in the Champions League qualifying round. Favre’s success has been a combination of several factors: Subtle changes to the line-up, tactical nuance, team discipline, supreme fitness and a talented crop of youngsters. Despite slugging it out with Dortmund, Bayern, and Schalke, the threadbare squad couldn't maintain their title challenge, as Gladbach slowly drifted off the pace.


Club Facts: Official Name: Borussia VfL 1900 Mönchengladbach Formed: 1900 Nickname: Die Fohlen (The Foals) Stadium: Borussia Park Capacity: 54,047 Coach: Lucien Favre Sporting Director: Max Eberl Rivals: Cologne & Fortuna Düsseldorf Honours: German Champions 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977 German Cup - 1960, 1973, 1995 UEFA Cup - 1975, 1979

The season will be remembered for the two wins over Bayern Munich, big victories over Wolfsburg, Bremen, and Schalke; but also with the true emergence of young players like Marco Reus, Patrick Hermann and Marc-André ter Stegen. It looked like The Foals were back, but can that continue? Season Preview – To say Gladbach have a challenging season in-front of them is somewhat of an understatement. The expectation on the club has grown considerably after last seasons' impressive showing, and a repeat performance will be challenging, especially after the departure of the spine of last season’s side. Gone are Dante (Bayern Munich), Roman Neustädter (Schalke) and Marco Reus (Dortmund), and their losses will be hard to replace at the Borussia Park. The club made €17 million from the sale of Reus and that money has certainly been reinvested in bringing in several replacements for the departed pack. The headline signing was that of striker Luuk de Jong from FC Twente for around €15 million. That is no small amount and Gladbach had to fend off other suitors to get his signature, including Newcastle United. With 39 goals in all competitions for Twente, he had become a player to watch and there will be great hope that he will be able to repeat that in the Bundesliga. De Jong is not alone in joining the club and has been part of an influx of young talent to the Foals during the summer-break. Another big signing is Granit Xhaka form FC Basel. Stepping into Neustädter's central midfield position, Xhaka is another hot property who, if he lives up to the hype, will bring Gladbach on to even better things. Moving back into defence, one of the biggest holes to fill was the one left by Dante. With the carrot of a potential Champions League campaign, Coach Favre and Sporting Director Eberl managed another coup with the signing of Alvaro Dominguez from Europa League winners Atletico Madrid. That European experience should stand Gladbach in good stead with possible midweek and weekend fixtures on the horizon. Other additions include Peniel Mlapa, who will be using his move from Hoffenheim to kick-start his career. Still young at 21, Mlapa broke into the Hoffenheim side two seasons ago, but failed to make the grade. He is a big and powerful striker, who could blossom alongside Gladbach's assortment of talent, but his success could be down to attitude as much as anything else. It isn't only the newbies that could make or break the season of Favre's side, but the continuing success of their other gems. This is a big season for Marc-André ter Stegen and Patrick Hermann, and if those two can continue where they left off, this could be another exciting season at the Borussia Park. By Jon Hartley

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Marc-André ter Stegen D 30.04.1992; 21 Janis Blaswich D 02.05.1991; 33 Christofer Heimeroth D 01.08.1981 Defence: 2 Matthias Zimmermann D 16.06.1992; 3 Filip Daems B 31.10.1978; 4 Roel Brouwers NL 28.11.1981; 15 Alvaro Dominguez E 15.05.1989; 17 Oscar Wendt SWE 24.10.1985; 24 Tony Jantschke D 07.04.1990; 39 Martin Stranzl A 16.06.1980 Midfield: 5 Alexander 12.02.1991; 21.06.1990; 06.08.1993; 27.09.1992

Ring FIN 09.04.1991; 6 Tolga Cigerci TUR 22.03.1992; 7 Patrick Herrmann D 8 Lukas Rupp D 08.01.1991; 14 Thorben Marx D 01.06.1981; 16 Havard Nordtveit NOR 18 Juan Arango VEN 17.05.1980; 23 Yuki Otsu JAP 24.03.1990; 25 Amin Younes D 27 Julian Korb D 21.03.1992; 30 Alexander Bieler D 05.09.1992; 34 Granit Xhaka CH

Forwards: 9 Luuk de Jong NL 27.08.1990; 10 Igor De Camargo B/BRA 12.05.1983; 19 Mike Hanke D 05.11.1983; 22 Peniel Mlapa D 20.02.1991; 31 Branimir Hrgota SWE 12.01.1993 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012






Harvard Nordveit By Jon Hartley

Borussia Mönchengladbach’s change in fortunes has been nothing less than sensational. From the bottom of the Bundesliga to the edge of Champions League group stage qualification. Gladbach midfielder, Harvard Nordtveit, talks to the Bundesliga Lounge about the past, present and future of the galloping ‘Foals’ team. Jon Hartley: Hello Havard, I want to start by talking about the 14th of February, 2011. It was Valentine's Day and Lucien Favre arrived at the club with the team in the relegation zone of the Bundesliga. What did he do to turn that season around? You’d only just arrived at the club, so what were your visions of what happened and how did he turn it around for an impressive end to the campaign and into last season’s success? Harvard Nordtveit: The main reason was that we scored more goals and didn’t let the opponent score against us. I think we got fitter and we trained a lot more than before he came. In defence we were not as good as we are now, when we had the former coach. I think it was important that we were more compact and did not concede as many goals as we had. I think that we had conceded more goals than anyone else in the Bundesliga at that time, and last season I think we were the second best; which says a lot about our defensive structure. JH: That is a massive turnaround. Does he bring anything in terms of garnering a team spirit with you all that was different from when you first arrived at the club? HN: Of course, both mentally and physically. But I think the main reason is that we train on things quite a lot. We play a lot of 11 vs. 11 in match situations, and of course we are saying: “we are doing this again,” but the reason for that is that we learn it that way. And for me, I see football on the other side of the pitch, because it is more intelligence. It is not only tackles and tackles, it is more about moving 2 metres to the left. It is a more tactical way to play football. JH: Last season’s success on the pitch was just extraordinary. Did any of you think that you’d be able to achieve that? HN: No I don’t think so. We ended in fourth place, and we were also in first place around Christmas time. I think no one, none of us or the fans actually believed what was happening. I think we had a great start to the season, we won the first game at Bayern Munich 1-0 and that was the main reason we had a good season. We believed in ourselves and we believed in our game, and we hardly conceded any goals, but we scored goals instead and that’s how you win games.

“I think no-one, no-one of us or the fans were actually believed what was happening.” JH: So much of it was fuelled by an excellent home record here at the Borussia Park, only one defeat all season. What was the feeling like in the stadium last season? HN: It was unbelievable. We had average attendances of around 53,000 every second week. For a football player it is like having a 12th player; it’s very important when you play at home when everyone is cheering. I think we all had more belief in ourselves when we got the ball, and we played, and we scored goals. I think it was really important to have the crowd behind us. JH: And for you personally, you played 31 league games last season and you really bedded yourself into this successful side. That must be extremely satisfying for you to be at the heart of this team? HN: Of course. And as a footballer, you need to play almost every weekend to get better, and I think that the Bundesliga is one of Europe’s best leagues. When we were at the top of the table and beating teams like Bayern Munich and getting a draw with Dortmund, it is a lot to take when you are 21 years-old, which I was at the time. I want to get better as a football player and I’ve still got a lot to learn yet. Last year, I also got my debut in the first team for Norway, but I just hope that my progress as a football player keeps going the right way.



JH: So much of the success of last season was helped by three players who have departed the club: Marco Reus, Roman Neustädter, and Dante. The club have reinforced after their departures and invested in new players like Peniel Mlapa, Alavaro Dominguez, Granit Xhaka, and Luuk de Jong. What have you seen of the new players since their arrival? HN: They are all quite young players, and we have quite a young squad this season. I hope they’ll all develop as football players and we know that they are big talents, and did well for their old clubs. From what I have seen in training, they can play football at a very high level and some of them have experience in the Champions League. I hope that they will help the club score goals and win games and that is the reason they are here. JH: Do you think that the squad is in a stronger position this season than the beginning of last season? HN: It is hard to say, but we have been working hard for the last two months and we are getting better with the defensive structure of the team. Of course we’ve lost three good players from last season, but that’s football. We have good players who have come into the team with good qualities, and I hope that they can fill those roles. JH: Of course one of the challenges will be the Champions League play-off, a couple very important games coming up. Do you go into that with no fear about who you might face in the two game play-off? HN: We fear no one. We don’t know who we are facing yet. On the 10th of August, we know who we are playing. I think we need to go in there and play our game. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to win against big teams. Everyone wants to play in the Champions League, and they’ll want to give everything. I think it is going to be hard, but I think that we need to show no mercy and hope that we can play our game. JH: Surely a competitive fixture like that one is a great build-up for the Bundesliga season. You’ve got the start of the season just a few days later, so you’ll be really hitting the ground running with that play-off. HN: I think we’ve got around one and a half weeks before the start of the Cup, which gives us three games in a week, and I think we are all looking forward to it. Last season we had two or three weeks with three games, and now we are playing to Christmas with, I think, around 12 or 14 weeks with three games. For me, I’m quite looking forward to it. They call it the ‘English Week’ here in Germany and that’s what football is all about, to play games; almost no training, just regeneration and looking forward to the next game. I think it’s going to be hard, but great for the development for us as players.

“I think it is going to be hard, but I think that we need to show no mercy and hope that we can play our game.” JH: And finally, what are the aims that the Gladbach team have been talking about this season? What can we expect from the team, and what are the aims that you and the manager have set this season? HN: We actually haven’t talked about that so much. We have discussed that we didn’t have that in our minds last season, to reach number four. I also think that we need to stay low for this season - how shall I say it the expectations, not keeping them too high. But of course we want to win every game, go as far as we can in the Cup, also in the Champions League, and also be as high as possible in the league table. I hope and think we can have a good start to everything and if we qualify for the Champions League, we’ll go step-bystep through to the Pokal and have a good start against Hoffenheim. That is my dream; so we’ll see if it will be realistic. JH: Thank you so much for talking to us Harvard.




Club History - Bayer Leverkusen are one of the two Bundesliga works clubs (the other being Wolfsburg), so no surprise that the Bayer Corporation is a large part of their existence. It is also no surprise that the nickname for the club is Die Werkself (The Factory 11), because at the beginning that is exactly what it was. In those early days it was the workers of the company paint factory that made up the squad, but the reality these days is obviously a lot different. The football club is now a separate entity from the sports club that it grew up with, so unfortunately there are no longer makers of Aspirin on the Leverkusen bench. Leverkusen first made it into Germany’s top flight in 1951, when they made it to the Oberliga West. Having not made it to the initial Bundesliga cut in 1963, they had to wait until 1979 to be part of the national division. Some may think that their mere existence in the Bundesliga is strange due to the fact that it was a 3-3 draw with Bayer’s other works club, FC Bayer 05 Uerdingen, that finally saw Leverkusen promoted. Since that promotion, Bayer have been a constant in the top division of German football, and during that time have managed to put a few pieces of silverware into the trophy cabinet, including the UEFA Cup and DFB Pokal. Despite those titles, it is what Leverkusen haven’t won that has been the source of reputation. ‘Neverkusen’ is the joke for many Bundesliga fans after spectacular failures to bring back titles despite having the teams to do so. The biggest of those came in 2002 where a Leverkusen squad that included the likes of Michael Ballack, Oliver Neuville, and Dimitar Berbatov finished second in the DFB Pokal, Champions League and the Bundesliga. The Bundesliga title, in that year disappeared from grasp on the final day of the season, something that had happened before to the unfortunate Leverkusen. Recent History - Unfortunately that record of being a runner-up struck Leverkusen as recently as two seasons ago. While the title wasn’t lost on the final day of the season, it was another second place for the team under Jupp Heynckes. At the end of that season, Heynckes was one of two major departures from the club, the other being key midfielder Arturo Vidal. Neither was adequately replaced, as new coach Robin Dutt’s tenure was not only dogged by problems with injuries, but also with personalities, including that of Michael Ballack. With team spirit shot and Leverkusen’s place in the Europe under serious threat at the end of March, the club acted to replace him with a management team of club legend and recent captain Sami Hyypiä and U-19 coach Sascha Lewandowski. Together the pair managed to guide Leverkusen into the Europa League for the coming campaign with a late flourish. In their six games in charge, the team were undefeated and won four of those matches.


Club Facts: Official Name: Bayer 04 Leverkusen Formed: 1904 Nickname: Die Werkself (The Factory 11) Stadium: BayArena Capacity: 30,210 Coach: Sami Hyypiä (Team manager), Sascha Lewandowski Rivals: FC Cologne Honours: UEFA Cup - 1988 German Cup - 1993

Season Preview – A new season and new challenges for Bayer Leverkusen. After last season's upheaval, an understated but improving campaign would be welcome at the BayArena. Gone are the headaches surrounding Michael Ballack and Robin Dutt, and also is the large injection of cash that comes with entry to the Champions League group stage. That isn't to say that the club haven't brought in new blood and shipped out players as well. Sporting Director Rudi Völler has once again plumbed the depths of Chiliean football to sign Junior Fernades. Völler also brought fellow Chiliean Arturo Vidal to Leverkusen, and his performances for the Werkself and then for Juventus have been impressive to say the least. Another find of that quality would set Leverkusen up well with a more than adequate replacement for Eren Derdiyok. More goals are always welcome at any club, but conceding fewer would certainly help out Leverkusen considerably. The signature of defender Phillip Wollscheid will help shore up the centre of defence. He was a key member of Nuremberg 's side over the last few seasons, and his performances had Leverkusen scrabbling around for a pen as early as last November for his signature. Another defensive signing may also be played with a view to get forward as well and that is Daniel Carvajal. The former Real Madrid II right-back is a U-19 European Champion with Spain and looks to be the right-back the club want for the coming years. Leverkusen also welcome back Jens Hegeler and Hajime Hosogai, who both had good seasons for Nuremberg and Augsburg respectively. Those two players will give Leverkusen more midfield options if they can be integrated alongside some established colleagues. For this Leverkusen side to get back into the Champions League next season it will require yet more from the heart beat of the midfield; Lars Bender and a more consistent season from the dynamic Andre Schürrle. Schürrle's first Leverkusen campaign improved as it went on, and there is no doubt that he is still one of the Bundesliga's hottest properties. Bayer 04 have kept suitors of both of those players at arm’s length, a move that could pay dividends if a top four finish can be achieved. All eyes will be on the management team of Hyypiä and Lewandowski to see if that aim can be achieved. They garnered a good team spirit at the end of last season with that good final six game burst, but a good full season will be By Jon Hartley

more difficult to muster for the rookie pair.

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Bernd Leno D 04.03.1992; 22 David Yelldell USA 01.10.1981; 36 Niklas Lomb D 28.07.1993 Defence: 2 Daniel Schwaab D 23.08.1988; 4 Philipp Wollscheid D 06.03.1989; 5 Manuel Friedrich D 13.09.1979; 20 Daniel Carvajal E 11.01.1992; 21 Ömer Toprak TUR/D 21.07.1989; 23 Carlinhos BRA 22.06.1994; 24 Michal Kadlec CZE 13.12.1984 Midfield: 3 Stefan Reinartz D 01.01.1989; 6 Simon Rolfes D 21.01.1982; 8 Lars Bender D 27.04.1989; 10 Renato Augusto BRA 08.02.1988; 13 Jens Hegeler D 22.01.1988; 14 Hajime Hosogai JAP; 18 Sidney Sam D 31.01.1988; 27 Gonzalo Castro D/E 11.06.1987; 30 Kolja Pusch D 12.02.1993; 31 Dominik Kohr D 31.01.1994; 38 Karim Bellarabi D 08.04.1990 Forwards: 7 Junior Fernandes RCH 10.04.1988; 9 Andre Schürrle D 06.11.1990; 11 Stefan Kießling D 25.01.1984; 19 Samed Yesil D 25.05.1994 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012


STUTTGART Club History – When the club was first founded under the name of Stuttgarter Fußballverein on 9th September, 1893, it was under its previous guise Stuttgarter FV, which started out playing rugby. But it would come to be known as VfB Stuttgart following a merger of its predecessors Stuttgarter FV and fellow rugby club Kronen-Club Cannstatt on 2 April, 1912. Stuttgart’s first sniff at a national title came in the final of the 1935 championship, where they lost in a real shoot out against Schalke, 6-4. The golden age of Stuttgart football was undoubtedly the 1950’s. The club won the very first championship of that decade, by defeating Kickers Offenbach 2-1 in the final. Just two years later, the Swabians would once again win the title, this time defeating Saarbrucken. 1953 saw yet another trip to the final, but the legendary Fritz Walter led FC Kaiserslautern defeated them handily. It was this Fritz Walter who led Germany to their first World Cup title the following year, the same year Stuttgart won the DFB Pokal. Cornerstones of this amazing four year run were the German internationals Robert Schlienz, Karl Barufka, Erwin Waldner, and Erich Retter. The latter was a stalwart defender in the Germany side, but missed out on the World Cup, due to an injury suffered just prior to the tournament in Switzerland. Stuttgart rounded out this fantastic decade with another DFB Pokal victory in 1958. Stuttgart’s consistent good performances in the 1950’s saw them being among the founding members of the Bundesliga in 1963. The club would usually find itself mid-table until the mid-1970s, when it was relegated at the end of the 1974/75 season. Stuttgart would restructure and build its squad around young talented players, which included a certain Ottmar Hitzfeld to see them back in the top-flight after a season in 2.Bundesliga. During the 1980’s the club managed to win its first Bundesliga title (1984) and reach the UEFA Cup final (1989) with a talented squad that included future World Cup winners Guido Buchwald and Jürgen Klinsmann. The next titles came in the following decade, with another league and cup title. The 1992 Bundesliga title, much like their ’84 title came all the way down to the wire, and remains one of the most exciting finishes to any Bundesliga campaign. The later ‘90’s were also witness to the ‘magic triangle’ of Krassimir Balakov, Fredi Bobic, and Giovane Elber under the now-Germany coach Joachim Löw. The team that was formed around these three players and led by the tactical mind that is Joachim Löw, managed to win the DFB Pokal in 1997 and advance to the European Cup Winners’ Cup final the next season (without Elber), where they lost a close match, 1-0 to Chelsea. However, the club could not hold its consistent good form and a string of poor managerial hirings following Löw’s dismissal had Stuttgart putting out mediocre performances for many subsequent seasons. Recent History - Being on a roller coaster ride is something that fans of the club have been used to in recent seasons, with the fluctuating league position determining the changes at the dugout. The pattern began to emerge in the season before they won the league title in the 2005/06 season. Giovanni Trapattoni was sacked and Armin Veh came in. In the title-winning season of 2006/07, the club actually began the season on a wrong foot before Veh turned it around.


Club Facts: Official Name: VfB Stuttgart 1893 Formed: 1893 Nickname: Die Swaben (The Swabians) Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Arena Capacity: 60,411 Coach: Bruno Labbadia Rivals: Karlsruhe SC, SC Freiburg, Bayern Munich Honours: German Champions 1950, 1952, 1984, 1992, 2007 German Cup - 1954, 1958, 1997

But until they won the league out of the blue on the final day, nobody had given them any chance. The pattern of inconsistency continued the season after, but close to midway through the 2008/09 season, Veh got the sack and his former assistant, Markus Babbel took on the job despite not having any managerial experience. It was quite a turnaround and they eventually finished a very respectable third in that season. The following couple of seasons saw a large rotation of managers, until some stability was found in the person of Bruno Labbadia, who took over halfway through the 2010/11 season. Season Preview – There have been more departures than arrivals in the current transfer window, with the likes of Matthieu Delpierre (1899 Hoffenheim), Timo Gebhart (1. FC Nuremberg), Khalid Boulahrouz (Sporting CP), Stefano Celozzi (Eintracht Frankfurt), and Julian Schieber (Borussia Dortmund) leaving the club. So far, the club has responded with the signings of Tunay Torun from Hertha Berlin and defender Tim Hoogland from Schalke, the latter on loan. The club has also signed striker Jerome Kiesewetter, who is from Hertha Berlin’s reserve team and welcomed back midfielder Daniel Didavi, following his loan spell at Nuremberg. With the club ending the 2011/12 season in sixth, which qualifies them for the Europa League play-off round, reinforcements are needed. The club have promoted midfielders Raphael Holzhauser and Kevin Stoeger, as well as defender Rüdiger from the reserve team. There could have been more departures, until striker Cacau, who had been linked with moves elsewhere, pledged his commitment to the club. It is a piece of news welcomed by coach Bruno Labbadia, despite Cacau not having the best of seasons in 2011/12. Schieber’s move to the reigning Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund means that strikers like Cacau are needed, along with Vedad Ibisevic, and Martin Harnik. The lack of European football at the club in the previous season has also affected how much the club is spending on players. Gerd Mäuser, who was elected the club president back in July last year, succeeding the outgoing Erwin Staudt, has been trying to preach a period of austerity, where bringing down the wage bill and promoting players from the reserve team are amongst his aims. While Stuttgart does have a habit of promoting its own players from the reserve team, Labbadia has been accused of not putting more faith in them. With the club going to be in the Europa League, it will be a chance to see whether this will happen. But it will be interesting to see whether this will affect the club greatly domestically, after how the club had nearly flirted with relegation in the past before pulling clear. By Diana Yeow

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Sven Ulreich D 03.08.1988; 22 Marc Ziegler D 13.06.1976; 33 André Weis D 30.09.1989 Defence: 2 Gotoku Sakai JAP 14.03.1991; 5 Serdar Tasci D 24.04.1987; 6 Georg Niedermeier D 26.02.1986; 14 Maza MEX 20.10.1981; 15 Arthur Boka CIV 02.04.1983; 21 Cristian Molinaro I 30.07.1983; 23 Tim Hoogland D 11.06.1985; 24 Antonio Rüdiger D 03.03.1993 Midfield: 4 William Kvist DEN 24.02.1985; 8 Zdravko Kuzmanovic SER/CH 22.09.1987; 10 Daniel Didavi D 21.02.1990; 11 Johan Audel F 12.12.1983; 13 Mamadou Bah GUI 25.04.1988; 16 Ibrahima Traore GUI/F 21.04.1988; 19 Kevin Stöger A 27.08.1993; 20 Christian Gentner D 14.08.1985; 26 Raphael Holzhauser A 16.02.1993; 28 Tamas Hajnal HUN 15.03.1981 Forwards: 7 Martin Harnik A/D 10.06.1987; 9 Vedad Ibisevic BOS 06.08.1984 17 Tunay Torun TUR 21.04.1990; 18 Cacau D/BRA 27.03.1981; 31 Shinji Okazaki JAP 16.04.1986 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012



Club History - These are exciting times in Lower Saxony with 2012 marking Hannover’s 11th consecutive season in the Bundesliga; their best run in the top flight. Yet originally, the club founded in 1896 didn’t even play football, with rugby and athletics preferred. The round ball was introduced three years later and from there, it started to take centre stage. They waited 39 years for a major success, becoming German Champions in 1938, where it took two games to beat the best side of the era, Schalke. In fact, the first encounter finished 3-3 and the second was only won 4-3 thanks to a 117th minute winner from Erich Meng. Their second, and last, championship to date came in 1954 against Kaiserslautern. After 44 minutes they trailed 1-0, but Hannes Tkotz equalised just before half time. In the second half, their opponents from the South-West crumbled as Die Roten romped to a 5-1 victory. So with two German Championships, would they gain entry to the Bundesliga in 1963? No. Rivals Eintracht Braunschweig did instead. No matter, Hannover were unfazed as promotion to the Bundesliga was secured in 1964. In their first season, they came in fifth; a record which wouldn’t be topped for nearly half a century. Another nine Bundesliga seasons followed including a three year stint from a striker in his twenties by the name of Jupp Heynckes. By the time he’d returned to Gladbach, Hannover had been relegated back in 1974 to the 2. Bundesliga. Over the course of the next 27 years, only four would be spent in Germany’s top division, but there was still room for another major success. In 1992, they became the first team during the Bundesliga era to be outside of the top flight and win the DFB-Pokal. It came in a penalty shoot-out against Borussia Mönchengladbach with goalkeeper Jörg Sievers the hero, saving two spot-kicks. Years of prosperity didn’t follow immediately. When Hannover celebrated their 100th anniversary, they were relegated to the third division, but the 96 gained promotion to 2. Bundesliga in 1998. The 21st Century though was to be a new dawn for the club. Recent History - Ralf Rangnick took charge in 2001. The following year, Hannover were celebrating a return to the Bundesliga for the first time in 13 years. Ever since, they have been regulars despite coming close to relegation on a few occasions. Prior to the arrival of Jӧrg Schmadtke as Sporting Director in 2009, they’d only achieved one top half finish. That isn’t to say Hannover didn’t have some good players amongst their ranks previously. Per Mertesacker spent the majority of his formative years in Lower Saxony before joining Werder Bremen. He formed part of a defensive partnership including goalkeeper Robert Enke. This brings us to a tender part of Hannover’s history and also shows why Schmadtke’s first season was so difficult. For on the 10th November, 2009, Robert Enke took his own life. Hannover weren’t the only ones shaken by the news; the footballing world and those outside the sport were as well.


Club Facts: Official Name: Hannover 96 Formed: 1896 Nickname: Die Roten (The Reds) Stadium: AWD Arena Capacity: 49,000 Coach: Mirko Slomka Rivals: VfL Wolfsburg, Eintracht Braunschweig Honours: German Champions 1938, 1954 German Cup Winners - 1992

Sport wasn’t at the forefront of the players’ minds, as a long winless streak proved. However, after all the sadness which pervaded, Mirko Slomka ushered in a new era in January, 2010. It took time though. In fact, Hannover lost their first six league games under Slomka, meaning that since Enke’s death, Hannover had lost 11 of their 12 league games. Then came the turning point, perhaps not just for the season, but for Slomka’s reign. An own goal from one Papiss Demba Cissé, secured a 2-1 win at Freiburg, lifting them out of the relegation zone. Hannover narrowly went on to secure survival, collecting another four wins. From there it was lift off under the partnership of Slomka and Schmadtke as coach and sporting director; the latter making the astute signings like Mohamed Abdellaoue, the former gelling them together in a coherent fashion. Hannover went on in 2011 to achieve their best ever Bundesliga finish, coming in fourth, five points behind Bayern Munich and a Champions League spot. They went into the Europa League the following season, making a sizeable impression by reaching the quarter finals. In the Bundesliga, they finished seventh enduring a Jekyll and Hyde season: wretched away from home, imperious at the AWD-Arena, as they were the only team in the division not to lose at home. Season Preview – So after a pair of fantastic seasons, there are reasons for Hannover 96 to be optimistic about the coming campaign. They’ve had the sixth best defence for the last two seasons, which has seen young goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler flourish. Going forward too, they have plenty of strong options with Mohamed Abdellaoue, Didier Ya Konan, and Mame Biram Diouf. Having spent a year juggling the challenge of Europe with the Bundesliga, they should also be better equipped to deal with the rigours it presents this year. Yet there are areas where improvement is needed this season. Hannover must tweak though, not overhaul. Judging by the amount of changes being made, and the personnel actually leaving the club, this is what’s happening. The away form will be the main area to improve on, with just two away wins in 17 attempts. What’s more, they lost every single game on the road against top half opposition. This is peculiar for a team with counter attacking strengths like Hannover to have enjoyed such little success away. Perhaps it would be worth reining it in against better sides and attacking more against the division’s lesser teams. However, football is never this simple. Still, they do find it hard to draw weaker teams out into attack as they struggle sometimes to cope with the role of favourites. That said, it would be a surprise if Hannover are found outside the top half at the end of the season, so expect to see Slomka and Schmadtke succeeding again this campaign, securing a Europa League place, but still dropping short of the Champions League...for now. By Archie Rhind-Tutt

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Ron-Robert Zieler D 12/02/1989; 14 Mark Miller D 08/04/1982; 21 Samuel Radlinger A 07/11/1992 ! Defence:! 3 Karim Haggui DO 01/20/1984; 4 Hiroki Sakai JAP 12/04/1990; 5 Mario Eggimann CH 24/01/1981; 6 Steven Cherundolo USA 02/19/1979; 19 Christian Schulz D 04/01/1983; 20 Felipe BRA 15/05/1987; 23 Sofian Chahed DO / D 18/04/1983; 24 Christian Pander D 08/28/1983; 33 Yannik Schulze D 05/02/1995; 35 Christopher Avevor D 1/02/1992 Midfield: 2 Leon Andreasen THE 04/23/1983; 7 Sergio Pinto D / POR 16/10/1980; 8 Manuel Schmiedebach D 05/12/1988; 10 Szabolcs Huszti HUN 17/04/1983; 15 Henning Hauger NOR 17/07/1985; 22 Adrian Nikci CH 11/10/1989; 26 Deniz Aycicek D 06/05/1990; 28 Lars Stindl D 26/08/1988; 34 Konstantin Rausch D 15/03/1990; 38 Niko Gießelmann D 09/26/1991 Forwards: 9 Artur Sobiech PL 06/12/1990; 11 Didier Konan Ya CIV 22/05/1984; 13 Jan Schlaudraff D 07/18/1983; 25 Mohammed Abdellaoue NOR 10/23/1985; 39 Mame Diouf SEN 16/12/1987 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012



Club History - Despite its corporate image, the origins of VfL Wolfsburg take after the great tradition of a workers football club. Just after the Second World War, the remaining workers of the VW plant founded the club from the rubble of the city, as it began to rebuild itself following the Allied bombings. In the decades leading to their admittance into the 2. Bundesliga, the Wolves played with some distinction in the regional leagues of Lower Saxony. In 1974, the club were admitted into the new national second division and enjoyed a modest existence. In 1995 they reached the German Cup Final as a second division side, where they lost to Borussia Mönchengladbach. Eventually, they went on to be promoted in 1997 and have been a top flight club ever since. However, it was when the football club separated from the sports club that Wolfsburg started to flex their muscles under their new majority owners, Volkswagen. In 2001, a new stadium was erected and in 2007, Felix Magath joined after successful spells with Stuttgart and Bayern Munich. Two years later, Magath delivered their first and so far only

Club Facts: Official Name: VfL Wolfsburg Formed: 1945 Nickname: Die Wölfe (The Wolves) Stadium: Volkswagen Arena Capacity: 30,000 Coach: Felix Magath Rivals: Werder Bremen and Hannover 96 Honours: German Champions 2009

Bundesliga title, which they won in fine style thanks to the attacking triumvirate of Zvjezdan Misimović, Edin Džeko, and Grafite. The latter two formed a striker partnership that yielded 54 goals in a single season; a Bundesliga record for a strike partnership. Recent History - After delivering his project in 2009, Felix Magath left “Die Wölfe” for Schalke. Perhaps inevitably, the club were unable to emulate their success under the new coach, Armin Veh, for the 2009/10 season. Veh had pedigree as a title winning coach with Stuttgart in 2007, but was unable to create that level of intensity that the players had managed under Magath. This may not be entirely Veh’s fault. After all, the herculean effort to win the league in the first place would have been enough to sap the energy from even the most motivated of players. There was also the dual challenge of the Champions League to contend with without any significant additions to the squad the previous summer. Add to that the departure of Misimovic mixed with an element of relief that the notoriously inflexible Magath had left and Wolfsburg failed even to qualify for Europe. Veh was fired and ultimately replaced by the Englishman, Steve McLaren for the 2010/11 season. But the former FC Twente boss fared even worse, despite signing former Werder Bremen midfield maestro Diego. By the winter break, Wolfsburg were at the wrong end of the table, out of the DFB Pokal and McClaren was sacked. Caretaker coach, Pierre Littbarski, fared no better so the club pressed the reset button and recalled the by then out of work Magath in March, 2011. Magath managed to keep the Wolves up on the last day of the season. Last season saw what appears to be the beginning of a turnaround in fortunes. Felix Magath went on a winter recruitment drive and despite a rocky start, managed to finish in eighth place. Given their recent troubles this was respectable, but not good enough for a club of Wolfsburg’s ambitions and resources.


Season Preview – This summer, the manager has continued the squad refresh that he started last season. Two centre backs have joined from other Bundesliga clubs: Emanuel Pogatez from Hannover 96 cost €3.5 million in transfer fees and Naldo arrives from Hannover’s local rivals, Werder Bremen. The former seems an eminently sensible signing as Pogatez was a consistent performer at the 96ers. However, the recruitment of Naldo, for €6.5 million, is somewhat riskier given his injury history. Nevertheless, the Brazilian is a fantastic defender with good technical ability and if he can survive Magath’s notoriously rigorous training and fitness techniques, then he will provide extra versatility when bringing the ball out of the defence. Both players have been joined at the back by another Brazilian signed from Vasco da Gama; the full back, Fágner for €4 million. Up front, Wolfsburg has invested in youth and experience to support Patrick Helmes, Srđan Lakić, Rasmus Jönsson, and replace Mario Mandžukić. 23 year-old Dutch striker, Bas Dost, scored 32 Eredivisie goals for Heerenveen last season. A long legged goal poacher, Dost has pace and good positional awareness. Obviously, the Bundesliga presents a new challenge, but Magath will be betting that his €9 million transfer fee will yield him a player who can fulfil a role similar to Edin Džeko, back in the day. Additionally, Magath has signed the Croatian, Ivica Olić from Bayern Munich on a free transfer. The 32 year-old may spend a fair amount of time on the bench. However, his much reputed professionalism and dedication to his work makes him a footballer born to play for Magath and may enjoy something of an “Indian Summer” at the VW Arena. Perhaps the most interesting arrival this summer is the return of the midfield playmaker Diego, following a successful loan spell at Atlético Madrid. The Brazilian returns to Wolfsburg with a Europa League winner’s medal in his back pocket and having patched things up with Magath after a very public falling out in the past. His time at VfL has, so far, been disappointing to say the least, but Magath has given him the Number 10 shirt and looks set to put him at the tip of a diamond midfield. "It's important that we learn from our mistakes, to do things better next time," he told a club press conference. "I hope the fans can forgive me." If he can match his recent performances in Madrid, the fans will do more than forgive him and Wolfsburg will qualify for Europe.

By Terry Duffelen

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Diego Benaglio CH 08/09/1983; 21 Patrick Drewes D 04/02/1993; 35 Marwin Hitz CH 09/18/1987 Defence:! 3 Felipe Lopes BRA 08/07/1987; 5 Emanuel Pogatetz A 16/01/1983; 16 17! Alexander Madlung D 07/11/1982; 23 Marco Russ D 08/04/1985; CRO 04/03/1985; 28 Peter Pekarik SVK 30/10/1986; 31 Robin Knoche D Ricardo Rodríguez CH / E 08/25/1992;39! Michael Schulze! 03/26/1989;

Sotirios Kyrgiakos GR 23/07/1979; 25 Naldo BRA 10/09/1982; 26 Hrvoje Cale 05/22/1992; 32 Fagner BRA 11/06/1989; 34 D 13/01/1989; Simon Kjaer DEN

Midfield: 2 Patrick Ochs D 14/05/1984; 4 Marcel Schäfer D 07/06/1984; 6 Slobodan Medojevic SER 20/11/1990;7 Josué BRA 19/07/1979; 8 Vieirinha; POR 24/01/1986; 10! Diego BRA 28/02/1985; 13 Makoto Hasebe JAP 18/01/1984; 14 Vaclav Pilar CZE 10/13/1988; 15 Träsch D 09/01/1987; 18 Kevin Pannewitz D 10/16/1991; 20 Petr Jiracek CZE 03/02/1986; 22 Mateusz Klich PL 06/13/1990; 24 Ashkan Dejagah D 07/05/1986; 27 Maximilian Arnold D 27/05/1994; 29 Jan Polak CZE 14/03/1981; 30 Yohandry Orozco VEN 19/03/1991; 37 Ferhan Hasani MKD 18/06/1990; 38 Thomas Kahlenberg DEN 03/20/1983! ! Forwards:! 11 Ivica Olic CRO 09/14/1979; 12 Bas Dost NL 05/31/1989; 19 Rasmus Jönsson SWE 27/01/1990; 33 Patrick Helmes D 01/03/1984; 36 Srdjan Lakic CRO 10/02/1983 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012



Club History - When it comes to Bundesliga success Werder Bremen can shout louder than most in the league’s history. Since the formation of the division in 1963, Werder have spent all but one season in the top-flight and bagged four titles during that time. But before the Bundesliga kicked off, Bremen made sure that they started to get into the winning habit and won the German Cup in 1961. It is safe to say that the club’s start in the new national league was not the best, as they conceded the first goal in Bundesliga history in the first minute of their game against Borussia Dortmund. They did win the game 3-2 in the end, and finished the first season in 10th place. The following season they won their first Bundesliga title in 1965, but it was not to mark a golden era for Werder. Despite a financial boost in the 70’s, it wasn’t until the club was relegated in 1980 that fortunes began to change for the club. In 1981, Otto Rehhagel took over the team shortly before the club was promoted straight back from the 2.Bundesliga North, and stayed in-charge for the next 14-years. During that time Bremen didn't finish outside the top 10 and were crowned champions twice, as well as picking up the German Cup twice and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Rehhagel’s Bremen saw some of the best German players of the era in the now famous Green and White shirt. It was the likes of Rudi Völler, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Mario Basler that provided the firepower during Rehhagel’s time at the club, but it was one of his defenders, Thomas Schaaf who would go on to be his long-term successor. And with Schaaf came Bremen’s greatest success - the double in 2004. Goals from Ivan Klasnic, Johan Micoud and Ailton secured the title in Munich of all places, where not only did Bremen become Champions, but also made sure that Bayern finished in second place. Recent History - After the euphoria of that magical double, Bremen continued to be a title contender, as well as regular entrants in European competition. The last two seasons however, have been a different story; as the once mighty Werder have lost their way. Despite being a defender as a player, Thomas Schaaf’s coaching style is very much set up for attack. While that worked in 2004, the teams that have followed have not been able to score enough to cover their defensive frailties and as a result, Werder's last few campaigns have been far from a success. 2010-11 saw the club slump to 13th and only made it as high as 8th during the whole campaign - they were hit for four goals or more, five times during the season as the defence leaked a massive 61 goals. After a relatively good start, last season was a slight improvement on the previous campaign, but a reliance on the goals of Claudio Pizarro was never going to yield a place in Europe for this coming campaign. Bremen’s ‘gung-ho’ brand of football is often exhilarating to watch, as is the defensive thing is for sure...Werder are never boring.


Club Facts: Official Name: SV Werder Bremen Formed: 1899 Nickname: Werder Stadium: Weserstadion Capacity: 42,100 Coach: Thomas Schaaf Rivals: Hamburger SV & Wolfsburg Honours: Bundesliga Winners: 1965, 1988, 1993, 2004 German Cup: 1961, 1991, 1994, 2004, 2009 European Cup Winners Cup: 1992

Season Preview – Over the last few seasons, Werder have had an air of transition about them. Key old guard names have left like Thorsten Frings and Per Mertesacker, while other talents like Mesut Özil have also left the Weserstadion. This summer the trend has continued, but with more constructive results this time around. Out of the door goes goalkeeper Tim Wiese, winger Marko Marin and striker Claudio Pizarro. Out of those, Pizarro will be the greatest loss to the club, despite his age. Incoming players include defenders Assani Lukimya and Theodor Gebre Salassie, another winger Eljero Elia and striker Nils Petersen. That combination has some serious potential, but doesn't come without its risk. Lukimya was a star in Fortuna Düsseldorf's promotion to the Bundesliga and would have been off to Cologne had they not been relegated. He certainly could be a standout player for Werder, and bring stability to that shaky defence, but it will require a step up for him. A similar argument could be levelled at Gebre Selassie, though he played well in a Czech shirt this summer at Euro 2012. The Bundesliga will be a tougher challenge for him than the Czech league, but there are the signs that the right-back could be a real transfer coup for Werder. Bremen will be thankful that Nils Petersen arrives at the Weserstadion with a mission to impress. He is on loan from Bayern Munich where he failed to breakthrough to become a first team starter, but certainly has the hallmarks of a quality striker in the making; this will benefit Werder after the departure of Pizarro. In Elia, the club have a player who may be tough to mould. The former HSV player was hit and miss at the Imtech Arena, and was unsuccessful during his one-year stay at Juventus. This could be his last chance to prove himself at a big club, so there will be pressure to perform. From Werder's perspective, having just off-loaded a miss-firing left winger (Marko Marin), the last thing they need is to acquire another. These players join a Bremen team that have integrated, or have been forced to integrate, several youngsters over the last season, and they could well play an increasing part in the team. Florian Hartherz, Tom Trybull and Florian Trinks, all came to the fore last season and may again be part of the first team as they mature. This Bremen team, while in transition, could provide a few surprises this season. It is unlikely that Thomas Schaaf will dispense with his attacking philosophy for a more pragmatic approach, but perhaps the changes employed may benefit both the offensive and defensive options for the club. If this team can get up to speed quickly, then they should be back in the European places next season. Any improvement will be welcome by the supporters, but whatever happens with Werder, for neutral fans it will be another great spectacle.

By Jon Hartley

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Sebastian Mielitz D 18.07.1989; 20 Raphael Wolf D 06.06.1988; 30 Richard Strebinger A 14.02.1993; 33 Christian Vander D 24.10.1980 Defence: 3 Francois Affolter CH 13.03.1991; 5 Assani Lukimya CGO 25.01.1986; 8 Clemens Fritz D 07.12.1980; 13 Lukas Schmitz D 13.10.1988; 15 Sebastian Prödl A 21.06.1987; 22 Sokratis GR 09.06.1988; 23 Theodor Gebre Selassie CZE 24.12.1986; 26 Florian Hartherz D 29.05.1993; 29 Cimo-Patric Röcker D 21.01.1994! Midfield: 6 Kevin De Bruyne B 16.08.1991; 10 Mehmet Ekici TUR/D 25.03.1990; 11 Eljero Elia NL 13.02.1987; 14 Aaron Hunt D 04.09.1986; 16 Zlatko Junuzovic A 26.09.1987; 17 Aleksandar Ignjovski SER 27.01.1991; 18 Felix Kroos D 12.03.1991; 25 Tom Trybull D 09.03.1993; 28 Levent Aycicek D 14.02.1994; 31 Predrag Stevanovic SER 09.03.1991; 32 Özkan Yildirim! D 10.04.1993; 34 Aleksandar Stevanovic SER/D 16.02.1992; 35 Florian Trinks D 11.03.1992; 44 Philipp Bargfrede D 03.03.1989 Forwards:! 7 Marko Arnautovic A 19.04.1989; 9 Denni Avdic SWE 05.09.1988; 24 Nils Petersen D 06.12.1988; 27 Johannes Wurtz D 19.06.1992; 41 Niclas Füllkrug D 09.02.1993 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012


NUREMBERG Club History - It is strange to think that Nuremberg are historically one of the big clubs in German football. In the post World War I era, Nuremberg were the team that everyone wanted to beat, and in the 1920s they picked up five titles and were rightly nicknamed Der Club (The Club). Reputations can wane, and often do in football, which certainly happened with 1.FCN, but not before they picked up four more German titles. One of the key components, of not only the championship winning sides of 1948 and 1961, but of West Germany’s first World Cup win in 1954, was Max Morlock. Nuremberg’s favourite son scored the first German goal in that World Cup Final and scored plenty for Nuremberg as well; around 700 in 900 games. Thankfully Morlock had retired by the time crisis struck the club. But before the decline there was another championship, which is the club's last to date. After picking up the title in 1968, the following season the club took the drop to the second tier due to a catastrophic decision that is now near legend at Nuremberg. Coach Max Merkel made the move to cull the experienced heads of the team and replace them with what he thought were talented youngsters - the result was a very rapid demise. They didn’t return to the top flight until 1978, such was the impact of the crisis, and that return was only for one season. A period of relative stability followed, as between 1980 and the end of the season in 1994, the club had spent all but one season in the top division. Despite yo-yo-ing in the following years, Nuremberg did manage to secure the German Cup in 2007, but their biggest success of recent time was gaining promotion through the play-off in 2009. Since then, Nuremberg have managed to survive in the top division. Recent History - The return to the Bundesliga for the 2009-10 season didn’t mean that Nuremberg fans could take it easy. There was another twist under the stewardship of Michael Oenning. He had brought the team back up, but Nuremberg were struggling in their first season back. At the time of Oenning’s departure at the winter break, Nuremberg were second from bottom and had only mustered three wins in the first half of the season. His replacement was Dieter Hecking, and he at least managed to pull the club through yet another play-off win to save themselves from relegation. From there, Hecking has done a good job in tough circumstances to turn the club around. Hecking’s Nuremberg have always been tough to beat and have always been willing to get under the skin of their opponents. It’s not just been all muscle and passion to get this team through. It has also been achieved by some shrewd signings of talented youngsters, not only as permanent signings, but in the loan market as well.


Club Facts: Official Name: 1.FC Nürnberg Formed: 1900 Nickname: Der Club (The Club) Stadium: easyCredit-Stadion Capacity: 48,548 Coach: Dieter Hecking Rivals: Greuther Fürth & Bayern Munich Honours: German Champions 1920, 1921, 1924, 1925, 1927, 1936, 1948, 1961, 1968 German Cup Winners - 1935, 1939, 1962, 2007

From that group, Ilkay Gündogan (Borussia Dortmund), Mehmet Ekici (Werder Bremen), Julian Schieber (Borussia Dortmund), Daniel Didavi (Stuttgart), Dennis Diekmeier, (Hamburg), Harvard Nordtveit (Borussia Mönchengladbach) and Phillip Wollschied (Bayer Leverkusen) have all donned the Nuremberg shirt, and have all now gone on to bigger and better things. Nuremberg certainly seems to be a springboard for many players in the Bundesliga and that has benefitted the club as well. Hecking has steered the club to 6th and 10th place in the table in the last two seasons, and to achieve another result like that in the coming year, will require yet more heroics in the transfer market to keep this historic club in the Bundesliga. Season Preview – The aim once more for Nuremberg will be to remain in the Bundesliga come the end of the season. This summer a number of key performers have left the Franconians, including Philipp Wollschied, Daniel Didavi and Jens Hegeler. Tasked to replace them and improve the squad, Dieter Hecking and Martin Bader are once more balancing young, talented, but relatively untested players with some more experienced heads. One of those more seasoned professionals is Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio who arrived from Rapid Bucharest. The 29-year old is well travelled and has played in France, Greece, and Portugal before arriving in the Bundesliga. It is hoped that his experience will plug the gap left by Wollscheid after his departure to Leverkusen. Nuremberg have always tried to pick up the best young talent as well, and with the signing of Hiroshi Kiyotake they are undoubtedly trying to find the Bundesliga's next Shinji Kagawa. Kiyotake, like Kagawa, is another attack minded midfielder, and if he is a fraction of the success of his international teammate, Nuremberg could have a great compliment to their new striker Sebastian Polter. Polter has already proved that he can score in the Bundesliga having netted the winner in back-to-back matches last season for Wolfsburg. At 21-yearsold, Polter still has some learning to do, but will be accompanied by another player whose stock rose during the last season; Alexander Esswein. Again, a player who is not the finished article, but whose skill down the left and goal scoring abilities were demonstrated last season – another improvement from him would bode well for Nuremberg. Another new face at the easy-Credit Stadion is Timo Gebhart from Stuttgart. He may only be 23, but he has notched up over 75 Bundesliga outings. The midfielder wasn't always a hit with the Swabians, but could compliment Esswein's talents on the other flank. As a result of these changes Nuremberg are certainly packing more of an offensive punch this season, but only time will tell if it will be enough to keep them in the division once more. By Jon Hartley


Goalkeepers: 1 Raphael Schäfer D 30.01.1979; 22 Patrick Rakovsky D 02.06.1993; 30 Alexander Stephan D 15.09.1986 Defence: 3 Per Nilsson SWE 15.09.1982; 4 Marcos Antonio BRA 11.06.1988; 15 Timm Klose CH 09.05.1988; 21! Marvin Plattenhardt D 26.01.1992; 25 Horacio Javier Pinola ARG 24.02.1983; 26 Timothy Chandler D 29.03.1990; Felicio Brown Forbes D 28.08.1991 Midfield: 2 Timmy Simons B 11.12.1976; 5 Hanno Balitsch D 02.01.1981; 7 Markus Feulner D 12.02.1982; 10 Timo Gebhart D 12.04.1989; 13 Hiroshi Kiyotake JAP 12.11.1989; 14 Robert Mak SVK 08.03.1991; 17 Mike Frantz D 14.10.1986; 18 Almog Cohen ISR 01.09.1988; 23 Adam Hlousek CZE 20.12.1988; 24 Wilson Kamavuaka CGO 29.03.1990; 27 Markus Mendler D 07.01.1993; 31 Julian Wießmeier D 04.11.1992; 35 Philipp Klement D 09.09.1992 Forwards: 8 Sebastian Polter D 01.04.1991; 9 Tomas Pekhart CZE 26.05.1989; 29 Roussel Ngankam D/CMR 15.09.1993; 33 Alexander Esswein D 25.03.1990 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012



Club History - What can be said about the history of Hoffenheim? While the origins of the club were formed in 1899 in the little village of Hoffenheim, the success of the club has been rapid and centres around one man, Dietmar Hopp. Hopp was a member of the sports club in his youth and having made a considerable amount of money as the founder of the SAP Software company, in 2000 he decided to put his money into Hoffenheim. The rise of the club makes it almost unrecognisable to the club that Hopp was a member of in his younger years. For starters, the village of Hoffenheim has a population of between 3-4,000. Today the Rhein-Necker Arena, home of 1899 Hoffenheim, has a capacity of just over 30,000. Hopp’s investment has seen the club rocket up from the local leagues in a short space of time. A notable coach of that early-Hopp era was Hansi Flick, who is now assistant to Jogi Löw for the German national team. During Flick’s time at the club there was the inevitable promotion and also Cup successes, like in the 2003-04 season where Hoffenheim sent Bayer Leverkusen out of the competition. However, the coach who finally kicked on Hoffenheim’s meteoric rise was Ralf Rangnick. Under Rangnick, Hoffenheim brought in good and hungry players, but they also spent some cash. On the way to promotion to the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim spent a 2.Bundesliga record of €8 million on Carlos Eduardo. Things were moving very fast for Hoffenheim; they had out grown the Dietmar Hopp Stadium and had to ground share with neighbours Mannheim before heading to their new home - all this in the space of eight years. Recent History - There were a lot of questions about how this team would operate in the top division, and in the first half of the 2008/09 season, the answer was, very well. In fact, it was so good that they led the Bundesliga at the winter break. The partnership of Vedad Ibisevic and Demba Ba up front was formidable, with Ibisevic notching up 18 goals in the first 17 games of the season. Sadly, his and Hoffenheim’s fortunes changed during the winter break that season. Ibisevic suffered a knee ligament injury and didn’t play another minute of the campaign, while Hoffenheim without him finished 6th and out of the European places. The following season, Rangnick and company were firmly in mid-table, but there was greater upheaval ahead to halt the rise of Hoffenheim. A shift from being a buying to a selling club saw the disgruntled Rangnick step down as coach in January, 2011 following the sale of Luis Gustavo to Bayern Munich.


Club Facts: Official Name: TSG 1899 Hoffenheim Formed: 1899 Nickname: Die Hoffe Stadium: Rhein-Necker Arena Capacity: 30,150 Coach: Markus Babbel Rivals: Stuttgart, Kaiserslautern & Freiburg Honours: No Major Titles

Unsuccessful assistant, Marco Pezzaioli took charge and he too only steered Hoffenheim to a mid-table finish (11th) and departed at the end of campaign. Holger Stanislawski had just over half a season in charge before being sent packing during last season, before Markus Babbel took over in February. The big question is, with the successful team all but disbanded, can Babbel (also Sporting Director) bring stability and success to Hoffenheim? Season Preview – With the role of both coach and sporting director, Babbel has taken no time in making some changes to his team for the new season. His purchases in the closed season have consisted of a combination of tried and tested Bundesliga players and those who have made a decent impact elsewhere. The signing of names like goalkeeper Tim Wiese from Werder Bremen and striker Eren Derdiyok from Bayer Leverkusen are a sign of intent from Hoffenheim. Babbel has also invested in a trusty lieutenant in Matthieu Delpierre, who played under the coach at Stuttgart. For Stephan Schröck, it was his exploits in helping Greuther Fürth gain promotion that caught the eye of Hoffenheim. The 25-year old is flexible and can play in defence or midfield, but is most comfortable at right back. That said, with 7 assists last season, he has no problems in the attacking side of the game. Another player to impress in the 2.Bundesliga last season was Kevin Volland. The young striker is returning from a loan spell at 1860 Munich with 13 goals and 11 assists to his name in the last campaign. Another arrival in Sinsheim from Munich is Takashi Usami from Bayern. The deal for the attacking midfielder is for a year with an option to buy, so it will be crucial for him to prove his worth with Hoffenheim. And to give even more firepower up front, Hoffenheim have drafted in Joselu. He has be prolific for Real Madrid B in recent seasons, and this move brings him to the country of his birth. It hasn't been all incoming to the Rhein-Necker Arena, and there have been some major departures during the last twelve months. A massive 15 players have left this summer alone (more than any other Bundesliga club), and add into that the sale of Vedad Ibisevic during last season, then it is clear there is a definite change in philosophy at the club. How quickly Babbel's team will be able to gel in full blown competition is up for debate, but what is clear, is that this team certainly have the potential to break into the Europa League places. Apart from the newbies, Hoffenheim have existing talent, but unfortunately it has only shown itself in fits and starts over the last few years. Ryan Babel has disappointed since his move from Liverpool, while the likes of Roberto Firmino needs to find the consistency to go with his considerable talent. It is all there for Hoffenheim, they now just need to prove it.

By Jon Hartley

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Tim Wiese D 17/12/1981; 19 Jens Grahl D 09/22/1988; 30 Koen Casteels B 06/25/1992; Defence: 2 Andreas Beck D 03/13/1987; 3 Matthias Jaissle D 04/05/1988; 4 Stefan Thesker D 04/11/1991; 5 Compper D 06/14/1985; 14 Chris BRA 08/25/1978; 15 Matthieu Delpierre F 04/26/1981; 16 Fabian Johnson D 12/11/1987; 25 Isaac Vorsah GHA 21/06/1988; 28 Edson Braafheid NL 08/04/1983; 29 Jannik Vestergaard THE 03/08/1992; 40 Stephan Schröck D 21/08/1986; Midfield: 6 Sebastian Rudy D 02/28/1990; 7 Boris Vukcevic D 16/03/1990; 13 Daniel Williams USA 03/08/1989; 17 Tobias Weis! D 07/30/1985; 20 Ahmed Sassi DO 09/24/1993; 21 Dominik Kaiser D 16/09/1988; 22 Roberto Firmino BRA 02/10/1991; 23 Sejad Salihovic BOS 10/08/1984; 27 Sandro Wieser FL 02/03/1993; 32 Joseph-Claude Gyau USA / GHA 09/16/1992; 33 Takashi Usami JAP 05/06/1992 Forwards: 8 Filip Malbasic SER 11/18/1992; 9 Sven Schipplock D 11/08/1988; 10 Ryan Babel NL 19/12/1986; 11 Eren Derdiyok CH 12/06/1988; 18 Joselu E 03/27/1990; 24 Michael Gregoritsch A 18/04/1994; 31 Kevin Volland D 30/07/1992 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012


FREIBURG Club History - Freiburg are relative newcomers to the Bundesliga, having first gained promotion to the top division as recently as 1993. Since then, Freiburg have done well with their modest means and on the whole operated in a sensible manner for a team that can’t splash the cash. The basis of this relative success was nurtured by former coach Volker Finke, who took up the post in 1991 and lasted until 2007. That 16-year tenure in charge of Freiburg makes him the longest serving coach in Bundesliga history, but it wasn’t without its ups and downs. Freiburg spent six seasons in the 2.Bundesliga in total during Finke’s reign, but there were successes as well, even if they didn’t amount to silverware. In the club’s second season in the Bundesliga, Freiburg came in third and finished just three points behind eventual winners Borussia Dortmund. That success not only gave the club a place in the UEFA Cup, but also gave rise to the nickname Breisgau-Brasilianer (Breisgau-Brazilians). The nickname was based on their flare, but the leading goal scorer was neither Brazilian, nor German, but was Argentinean midfielder, Rodolfo Cardoso. Such was the success of this team that they beat the reigning champions 5-1; a match that saw Cardoso score twice. Sadly their time in the UEFA Cup didn’t last long and they were knocked out in the first round by Slavia Prague, though it did last a little longer the next time they took part in 2001/02. That time they made it to the third round, but were knocked out by Feyenoord, 3-2 on aggregate. Finke stepped down from his position as coach with the club in the 2.Bundesliga and handed the reigns over to Robin Dutt, who joined from Stuttgart Kickers. Recent History - It took Dutt two seasons to get Freiburg back into the Bundesliga, and on arrival managed to stave off relegation and finished four points above the bottom three. What Freiburg had found during the season was a top class striker in Papiss Demba Cisse. He arrived in January, 2010 and scored a reasonable six goals in the second half of the season. In the following campaign he hit 22 in his 32 Bundesliga matches, which was over half of the team’s goals for the campaign. With Cisse scoring the goals, and talented goalkeeper Oliver Baumann supplying stability, Freiburg finished a very credible 9th in 2011. This surprise success led to great interest in Dutt and at the end of that season he left to replace Jupp Heynckes at Bayer Leverkusen. The man chosen to replace him came from within the club’s ranks and was second team coach Marcus Sorg. Going against the club’s usual policy of sticking with a manager, Sorg was fired after 17 games in charge and with the club rooted to the bottom of the table.


Club Facts: Official Name: SC Freiburg Formed: 1904 Nickname: BreisgauBrasilianer (BreisgauBrazilians) Stadium: Mage Solar Stadion Capacity 24,000 Coach: Christian Streich Sporting Director: Dirk Dufner Club Members: 2,500 Rivals: VfB Stuttgart Honours: No Major Titles

Another in-house man, Christian Streich was drafted in, and Papiss Demba Cisse made his big money move to Newcastle United. Streich set to work not only changing the team by including hungry youngsters and new signings, but by instilling an immense team spirit. Players that suffered under Sorg became rejuvenated with Streich, as goals from across the squad, not only lifted Freiburg out of the relegation zone, but with an 11th placed finish; an incredible turnaround having been bottom at Christmas. Season Preview – For Freiburg to maintain their incredible finish from the end of last season will be a tough ask for Christian Streich. When it comes to changes in personnel, the club have done less business than many other opponents in the Bundesliga, so there is certainly a belief that many of the successful players from last season's turnaround will get to prove themselves again. There have been a few ‘ins and outs' at the Mage Solar Stadion this summer, but this has been a quiet summer in the Black Forest. Left-winger Ezequiel Calvente will have a chance to show what he can do in the Bundesliga, after arriving on a season loan from Real Betis. He had a trial with Borussia Mönchengladbach before joining Freiburg, but didn't make the grade with “the Foals.” It will be interesting to see which club made the correct decision. In defence, Freiburg have added more youth to their ranks with the signing of Norwegian right-back Vegar Eggen Hedenstad from Tippeliggaen side Stabæk. Alongside the signings from abroad, a few have also arrived from the German second tier. Both Max Kruse and Marco Terrazzino played in the 2.Bundesliga last season, but both have top-flight experience. Attacking midfielder Kruse has the greater number of 1.Bundesliga matches to his name. He has been a key part of St. Pauli's recent history and played in all but one of their matches in the recent solitary season in the top division. These are minor additions to the squad, but the emphasis will be on the team that did so well last season. Many of the goals of the Freiburg team of 2011/12 came from midfield thanks to Cedric Makiadi and Daniel Caligiuri, and the same will be required again from across the team this season. The club now no longer have the ability to rely on an extraordinary striker like Papiss Demba Cisse, so any success will require the same fight that got them out of the mire last season. This will be another tough campaign for Freiburg, and a chance to see if Streich's infectious style will continue to breed relative success. If not, this will be another basement battle for the Breisgau-Brazilians. By Jon Hartley

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Oliver Baumann D 02/06/1990; 19 Daniel Batz D 01/12/1991; 36 Alexander Schwolow D 06/02/1992 ! ! ! Defence: 2 Pavel Krmas CZE 03/03/1980; 4 Beg Ferati CH 11/10/1986; 6 Vegar Eggen Hedenstad NOR 06/26/1991; 13 Fallou Diagne SEN 08/14/1989; 24 Scale Mujdza BOS 03/28/1984; 25 Oliver Sorg D 29/05/1990; 28 Matthias Ginter D 19/01/1994; 30 Christian Gunter D 02/28/1993; 41 Immanuel Höhn D 12/23/1991 Midfield: 7 Cedric Makiadi D / COD 02/23/1984; 8 Jan Rosenthal D 07/04/1986; 14 Anton Putsila BLR06/10/1987; 17 Jonathan Schmid F 26/06/1990; 18 Johannes Flum D 14/12/1987; 20 Max Kruse D 03/19/1988; 22 Marco Terrazzino D 15/04/1991; 28 Julian Schuster D 15/04/1985; 31 Karim Guede ODC / TOG 07/01/1985; 40 Daniel Caligiuri I / D 15/01/1988 ! ! ! Forwards: 9 Ivan Santini CRO 21/05/1989; 11 Garra Dembele MLI / F 02/21/1986; 26 Erik Jendrisek SVK 10/26/1986; 33 Mounir Bouziane F 02/05/1991; 35 Sebastian Freis D 23/04/1985 NOTE: Correct as of 16.08.2012


MAINZ Club History - The historical annuls for Mainz read like the very definition of being the “nearly men,” with promotion to the upper echelons only finally being realised in 2004. Founded in 1905, the club took its present name shortly after the conclusion of the Second World War, and enjoyed an extensive sojourn in the regional Südwest League (competing at that level for the better part of five decades). Part of that time also saw them crippled by financial issues, reverting to amateur status during the late-1970s and early-80s (winning the national amateur title in 1982). Professionalism was restored to the Rhineland side in 1988 and, although their first few terms in the 2.Bundesliga brought several close shaves with relegation, they gradually became firmly established at that tier. The fulfilment of a perennial role as “always the bridesmaid…” took for with three fourth-placed finishes between 1997 and 2003 – the latter coming with the highest ever points tally (64) not to achieve promotion in modern Bundesliga history! However, eventually the seemingly impossible was realised when, just one season on, they followed Nuremberg and Bielefeld into the “promised land”of the top-flight; under the stewardship of a little-known coach by the name of Jürgen Klopp. Recent History - In retrospect, the recent past has been very good to Mainz, who are now entering their fourth successive top-flight campaign, having finished last season in 13th spot. And, in the shape of Thomas Tuchel, they boast one of the youngest head coaches in Bundesliga history. Yet Tuchel is swiftly establishing a burgeoning reputation for tactical acumen, coupled with a style of football that epitomises the definition of being greater than the sum of its constituent parts. Having taken charge of first team affairs ahead of the 2009/10 season, he has evolved and imbedded a dogmatic work ethic amongst his squad, with no little skill and an eye for youth development. His second campaign saw him quickly face down any remaining sceptics by leading Mainz to a sequence of seven straight wins, and last season they got the better of the likes of Bayern, Leverkusen, Stuttgart, and Bremen. Despite being widely touted (with all due respect to Mainz) for greater things, the mutual commitment between man and Club cannot be cast into doubt; he signed a contract extension through to 2015 in May this year, some 13 months before his existing one was due to expire. At confirmation of negotiations, Sporting Director, Christian Heidel, enthused: “He’s the most important single element in our forward planning.” Having punched sufficiently far above their weight in the 2010/11 season (finishing in a lofty fifth, and qualifying for Europe), Mainz’s 13thplace finish last term, although probably more reflective of their expected league standing, represented something of a comedown.


Club Facts: Official Name: 1. FSV Mainz 05 Formed: 1905 Nickname: Die Nullfunfer (after the year of their formation) Stadium: Coface Arena Capacity: 34,034 Coach: Thomas Tuchel Rivals: FC Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Frankfurt Honours: No Major Honours

With 47 goals scored in the league last time, and 51 conceded, their final standing was average in every sense of the term. They won nine games, and lost 13, finishing nine points off the European places, and eight above the relegation play-off berth. The principal difference between the 2011/12 season and the previous one was away form. Last time out, they registered a meagre two wins on the road, compared with ten in 2010/11. Season Preview – There is always the argument that Tuchel’s counter-attacking 4-3-1-2 formation of choice became less of a surprise to sides during the last season, and the return of Lewis Holtby to Schalke at the end of his loan deal also had a profound effect. Tuchel tried to fill this void by pushing Eugen Polanski into a less familiar, offensive role. And while this lent a certain enhanced resilience across the central midfield area, it also blunted the natural creativity and flow that had augmented and affected the set-up. Of the five players who’ve left this summer, four have been forwards, enhancing the issues in this area of the field through a distinct lack of experience and coherence. And so, remedying the deficiencies that engendered as the season progressed (they won just one match in the last two months of the season) and locating the source of this change simply must be at the forefront of Tuchel’s mind. Pre-season encounters with Dortmund (0-1) and Bayern (2-2) will have offered some encouragement, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. While five have departed (Allagui, Gavranović, Schönheim, Stieber, and Zidan), aside from the returning Petar Sliskovic (from a loan spell at Bochum) just two have so far come in; in the shape of 28-year-old left back, Júnior Diaz (from Club Brugge), and Chinedu Ede (a 25-year-old midfielder, from Union Berlin), leaving Tuchel noticeably short of numbers in an already relatively thin squad. While Diaz does come with a solid enough reputation, alongside 50 international appearances for Costa Rica., the past few seasons have been somewhat inauspicious for Ede, who has failed to deliver on teenage promise with Hertha that earned him German international caps at U-19, U-20, and U-21, and the latter is certainly unproven at top-flight level. With three of their first four games coming against Freiburg (away), Fürth, and Augsburg (both at home), there is due cause to suggest that Mainz’s season may be shaped at an early stage in proceedings. Take seven points from those matches, and Europe could beckon again in a tightly-contested mid-table. Lose two of them, and it could be a long, hard campaign.

By Kyle Barber

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 21 Loris Karius D 22.06.1993; 29 Christian Wetklo D 11.01.1980; 33 Heinz Müller D 30.05.1978 Defence:! ! ! 2 Bo Svensson DEN! 04.08.1979; 3!Zdenek Pospech CZE! 14.12.1978; 4!Nikolce Noveski MKD 28.04.1979; 8!Radoslav Zábavník SVK 16.09.1980; 15 Jan Kirchhoff D 01.10.1990; 16 Stefan Bell D 24.08.1991; 20 Junior Diaz COS 12.09.1983; 24! Tobias Schilk!D 24.03.1992; 26 Niko Bungert D 24.10.1986! ! ! ! ! Midfield: 6 Marco Caligiuri I 14.04.1984; 7 Eugen Polanski PL/D 17.03.1986; 11 Yunus Malli D 24.02.1992; 14 Julian Baumgartlinger A 02.01.1988; 17 Chinedu Ede D 05.02.1987; 19 Elkin Soto KOL 04.08.1980; 23 Marcel Risse D 17.12.1989; 25 Andreas Ivanschitz A 15.10.1983; 27 Nicolai Müller D 25.09.1987!! ! Forwards:! 10 Maxim Choupo-Moting CMR/D 23.03.1989; 13 Anthony Ujah NGA 14.10.1990; 28 Adam Szalai HUN 09.12.1987; 31 Shawn Parker D 07.03.1993; 5 Petar Sliskovic CRO 21.02.1991! ! Note: Correct as of 16:08:12


AUGSBURG Club History - Augsburg may be heading into their second Bundesliga season, but in terms of top flight tradition, they’re quite a way behind the rest of the division. For a start, they’ve spent 23 of the last 30 seasons outside of the top two tiers of German football. The FC Augsburg that we see today came about in 1969, but the origins of the club stretch back to 1907, when FC Alemania Augsburg was formed. However, they were soon to become BC Augsburg. Their chances of success at a national level weren’t helped by the strength of the clubs around them in Bavaria. In particular Nuremberg were the dominant force, with Bayern Munich not really coming to prominence until the second half of the century. After World War II, they played in the Oberliga Süd with the likes of Stuttgart, Bayern, Nuremberg, and 1860 Munich, but failed to come close to a title. It was therefore no surprise when they weren’t included in the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963. Six years later though, both BC Augsburg and rivals TSV Schwaben Augsburg were struggling. A merger had been mooted previously, but it was in 1969, when it finally came to fruition and FC Augsburg were formed; taking their place in the third tier of German football – the Bayernliga. Promotion was soon gained to the Regionalliga Süd. They came first in 1974, which gave them a chance of promotion to the Bundesliga through a series of play-offs (due to a restructuring of German football). However, Tennis Borussia Berlin beat them to a place in the Bundesliga. That was the closest Augsburg would get to the top flight in the 20th Century, as they spent five years in the newly created Bundesliga Süd, with only one finish in the top half. A series of promotions and relegations followed, before they settled in the third tier of the Bayernliga again in 1983. It was on that level they’d remain until the year 2000. Judging by FC Augsburg’s turnover of coaches (since their formation in 1969, they’d had 30), it was no real surprise either.

Club Facts: Official Name: FC Augsburg Formed: 1907 Nickname: Die Fuggerstädter (The Fuggertowners - The Fugger’s were an influential Augsburg family of the past) Stadium: SGL arena Capacity: 30,660 Coach: Markus Weinzierl Rivals: 1860 Munich Honours: No Major Honours

Recent History - So the new century, the new millennium – a time of great prosperity for all, no? Not initially for Augsburg who were relegated to the fourth tier, as they failed to gain the license needed to play in the third division due to financial difficulties. The club threatened to fold, but investment arrived from local businessman Walther Seinsch in November 2000. From their lowest ebb, Augsburg’s assault up the German footballing pyramid began in earnest. Their first promotion came 18 months after Seinsch’s arrival. Four seasons were spent in the third tier of the Regionalliga Süd before in 2006, Augsburg reached the 2. Bundesliga. Yet Augsburg struggled to progress towards promotion in three seasons with three different coaches. Enter Stage Right: Jos Luhukay; the man to take Augsburg where they’d never been before. In his first season, they finished third and were beaten in the Relegation/Promotion Play-Off by Nuremberg. They even managed to reach the DFB-Pokal Semi-Final too. Undeterred though, Augsburg finally made it to the top flight in 2011 finishing second to Hertha Berlin. Into the Bundesliga, Augsburg went, with the smallest budget in the division.


No victory in their first eight games left them bottom, as they fulfilled pre-season predictions of doom. However, on 15 October, 2011, Augsburg won their first ever game in the Bundesliga. Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker, a sizeable name for a sizeable moment, scored an 88th minute penalty to secure victory at Mainz. Still, Augsburg were in the bottom two at Christmas, but having lost eight games in the first half of the season, they’d only be beaten four more times. Jos Luhukay’s team fought bravely, gaining impressive draws against three of the top four whilst also securing five wins. Safety gained against all odds, it was a victory not for any individual players, but for the team as a whole, built by Luhukay. Season Preview – Augsburg’s performance was an achievement perhaps overlooked last season, even if their relegation rivals were insipid towards the end of the season. In the next season, we might just see how good a job Jos Luhukay did with Augsburg. The Dutchman has now gone to Hertha Berlin, having said he’d taken the side as far as he could. In comes Markus Weinzierl from SSV Jahn Regensburg; hardly a name synonomous with German football, but that hasn’t prevented others from going on to become successful in the Bundesliga. His latest feat was taking Regensburg into the 2. Bundesliga. Now he must keep Augsburg in the top flight. As Luhukay did, Weinzierl has a small budget to work with in comparison to other Bundesliga clubs. That said, some astute signings have been made. The retention of Ja-Cheol Koo on loan from Wolfsburg looks important. The South Korean scored five goals when he joined in the second half of last season. Milan Petrzela arrives from Viktoria Plzen; the same club where Wolfsburg’s Petr Jiracek, Vaclav Pilar and Werder Bremen’s Theodor Gebre Selassie have all played. Also, two strikers arrive on loan from Bundesliga clubs with points to prove to their parent clubs – Giovanni Sio (Wolfsburg) and Knowledge Musona (Hoffenheim). Augsburg have lost influential midfielder Axel Bellinghausen, as he returns home to newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf, but personnel wise, the Bavarians don’t look majorly deprived in comparison to last season. Weinzierl will be thankful of the team ethic created by his predecessor. Under Luhukay, you’d have thought their confidence would only grow in their second season. However, without their miracle maker in charge, a finish outside of the bottom three would be another tremendous achievement. Augsburg may find life tougher, but the tools are there for a repeat performance, it’s just a question of whether workman Weinzierl can construct it correctly. They say the lines between success and failure are very fine and Augsburg may prove that this season. By Archie Rhind-Tutt

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Simon Jentzsch D 04.05.1976; 27 Ionnis Gelios D 24.04.1992; 30 Mohamed Amsif MAR/D 07.02.1989 Defence: 2 Paul Verhaegh NL 01.09.1983; 3 Gibril Sankoh SLE 15.05.1983; 4 Dominik Reinhardt D 19.12.1984; 5 Ragnar Klavan EST 30.10.1985; 15 Sebastian Langkamp D 15.01.1988; 17 Marcel de Jong CAN 15.10.1986; 19 Matthias Ostrzolek D 05.06.1990; 20 Ronny Philp D 28.01.1989!! ! Midfield: 6 Kevin Vogt D 23.09.1991; 7 Ja-Cheol Koo KOR 27.02.1989; 10 Daniel Baier D 18.05.1984; 11 Milan Petrzela CZE 19.06.1983; 13 Tobias Werner D 19.07.1985; 14 Jan Morávek CZE 01.11.1989; 16 Andreas Ottl D 01.03.1985; 18 Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker! D 23.09.1984; 25 Dawda Bah GAM 12.11.1983; 26 Lorenzo Davids NL 04.09.1986; 29 Moritz Nebel D 25.09.1991; 31 Marco Thiede D 20.05.1992; 21 Dominic Peitz D 11.09.1984 Forwards: 8 Knowledge Musona ZIM 21.06.1990; 9 Torsten Oehrl D 07.01.1986; 22 Giovanni Sio F 31.03.1989; 23 Aristide Bancé BFA 19.09.1984; 33 Sascha Mölders D 20.03.1985; 36 Stephan Hain D 27.09.1988 Note: Correct as of 16:08:12


HAMBURG Club History - As the Bundesliga enters the landmark of its 50th season, just one club can lay claim to the title of ‘ever-present’: Hamburg SV. And they are certainly not shy in drawing attention to it; with a clock counting every passing second of their time dining at the top table. HSV were formed in their current guise in 1919, through the amalgamation of three teams in the city – Hamburger FC, FC Falke Eppendorf, and Sportclub Germania – and lay claim to roots back to 1887 through the latter of that trio. The side’s first undisputed national honour came just four years later, courtesy of victory in the national final over Union Oberschöneweide (now Union Berlin). A second title followed five years later, before the reorganization of the league structure to a regional focus under the Nazi regime saw Hamburg dominate the Northern locale; a status they reinforced right up to the formation of the new national league – winning the Oberliga Nord fifteen times in the sixteen seasons between 1947 and 1963. During that period, HSV also chalked up another ‘first’ for the German game, as they embarked – on the invitation of the GermanAmerican Association – on a US tour in the summer of 1950. Despite winning all six of their fixtures (played against teams from New York, Rochester, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Newark, as well as a composite Hungary-American All Stars side), the 16-strong squad endured something of a torrid time in The States, with incidents of booing and being pelted with tomatoes; the representative legacy of the Second World War. As a result of their standing with the DFB and their unequivocal domination of the northern region, HSV were invited to compete in the inaugural Bundesliga campaign, in 1963. To mark this, the club elected to move into the vacant Volksparkstadion; a questionable move since the stadium could hold some 75,000 spectators, and was filled on only a handful of occasions during the early years. It took “die Rothosen” (the red-shorts) some time to reassert their previous dominance, and it was not until 1979 that they again stood atop the national standings – largely through the addition of one Kevin Keegan (signed in 1977 from Liverpool). Back-to-back league titles came in 1982 and 1983, before the definitive high-point in the Club’s history was realized; being crowned Champions of Europe through a 1-0 defeat of Juventus – the eponymous Felix Magath registering the solitary score, just eight minutes into the contest.

Club Facts: Official Name: Hamburger Sport-Verein Formed: 1887 Nickname: Die Rothosen (The Red Shorts) Stadium: Imtech Arena Capacity: 56,889 Coach: Thorsten Fink Rivals: Werder Bremen & St. Pauli Honours: German Champions 1922, 1923, 1928, 1960, 1979, 1982, 1983. German Cup Winners - 1963, 1976, 1987 European Cup Winners - 1983 European Cup Winners’ Cup 1977

Recent History - For HSV, the 2012/13 season will not only mark their 50th successive top-flight season, but will also register a decade since their most recent success of any kind. That was a win in the Pokal fifteen years ago, and itself was the first trophy in fifteen years. And for a Club with their history and pedigree, that is far from being acceptable. That malaise was both clearly evident and reflected in the last campaign, where survival – and a fifteenth-placed finish – was only guaranteed at the end of April, and has been further compounded by the financial investment made in the (subsequently much criticized) recruitment of Frank Arnesen to the position of Sporting Director. That decision was seemingly founded on the idea of reinvigorating the Club to a younger base, in an attempt to engender more of a legacy, and ape the approach of the likes of Borussia Dortmund, under the tutelage Armin Veh. However, this investment has been undermined by the weight of expectation and pressure from the Club’s board, along with a lack of willingness to accept the time needed for the realisation of such an initiative. Thus, Veh lasted just nine months and 26 games; Michael Oenning came in…and went out again after just six months and 15 games, and Thorsten Fink was finally handed the reins in October 2011. All just 18 months on from a seventh-spot finish in 2009/10, and a EuropaLeague campaign that took them to the semi-final stage.


Season Preview - There is an unerring feeling that nags away at you when considering the sort of season Hamburg may have; the sense that it’s more likely to be determined by off-field goings-on, rather than the on-field product. Hoisted by their own proverbial petard over the past two years, they have neither committed to the long-term youth project, nor to reverting to the investment-driven shorter term that would match their aspirations and expectations. For the former to succeed, there needs to be recognition at Board level that it will take time, and a few years in the mid-table will need to be endured for that to come to fruition. And their summer transfer activity has done little to help discern their choice. Out have gone 31year-old Mladen Petrić (last season’s top scorer, with seven) and José Paolo Guerrero (28, second top scorer last term, with six), while René Adler has come in. The other principal recruit has been the more youthful Artjoms Rudņevs (24), who joins from Lech Poznań after scoring 22 goals in 29 games during 2011/12. Should both of those ably overcome injury issues (in the case of Adler) and traversing Europe (Rudņevs), then they could well provide a sustainable spine to the side – alongside the likes of Westermann, Skjelbred, and (the also-recruited, and widely experienced) Paul Scharner. Additionally, HSV has added a much needed central playmaker with the signing of Croatian interntaional Milan Badelj from Dinamo Zagreb. A pre-season 2-1 defeat to Barcelona offered a certain level of encouragement, with that scoreline being set in an opening 45 that saw the hosts compete well with a (near) full-strength Catalan side. However, that can be tempered by noting that they were subsequently unable to get back on level terms in the second period, despite the away team changing all eleven players (including covering an injury to Muniesa by bringing ‘keeper Bartra back on as an outfield player). That said, one defeat in eight warm-ups at least generates an air of positivity. And the Pokal match with Karlsruhe, which starts the competitive campaign, offers further opportunity to build a level of momentum, before hosting Nuremberg on matchday one. The following weekend sees them travel the short distance to Bremen for the Nordderby; a fixture in which they haven’t tasted victory since 2007. A tricky seven days then sees matches with Dortmund, ‘Gladbach, and Hannover that could quickly set a debilitating tone. An acceptance within the camp that, at this stage, they are (at best) a mid-table side would serve HSV well. Meter that with a reflective level of expectation, and an unspectacular season beckons. In Fink, they have a talented coach, but the shadow of Arnesen is cast long, and the pressure on him to deliver has a knock-on effect on the direct team management that will quickly permeate a relatively inexperienced squad. Once again, Hamburg’s season is more than likely to be set by how far those not kicking the ball are prepared to play ball. By Kyle Barber

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Jaroslav Drobny CZE 18.10.1979; 12 Tom Mickel D 19.04.1989; 15 René Adler D 15.01.1985; 30 Sven Neuhaus D 04.04.1978 Defence: ! ! ! 2 Dennis Diekmeier D 20.10.1989; 3 Michael Mancienne ENG 08.01.1988; 4 Heiko Westermann D 14.08.1983; 5 Jeffrey Bruma NL 13.11.1991; 6 Dennis Aogo D! 14.01.1987; 23 Slobodan Rajkovic SER 03.02.1989; 34 Muhamed Besic BOS/D 10.09.1992; 37 Janek Sternberg D 19.10.1992; 20 Paul Scharner A 11.03.1980; ! ! ! ! Midfield: 7 Marcell Jansen D 04.11.1985; 8 Thomas Eduardo Rincon VEN! 13.01.1988; 11 Ivo Ilicevic CRO 14.11.1986; 13 Robert Tesche D 27.05.1987; 18 Tolgay Arslan D 16.08.1990; 21 Maximilian Beister D 06.09.1990; 22 Jacopo Sala I 05.12.1991; 25 Per Skjelbred NOR 16.06.1987; 38 Andreas Lam D/CHN 04.06.1991; 44 Gojko Kacar SER 26.01.1987 Forwards:! ! ! 10 Artjoms Rudnevs LAT 13.01.1988; 16 Marcus Berg SWE 17.08.1986; 40 Heung-Min Son KOR 08.07.1992! Note: Correct as of 16:08:12



Club History - The name Fürth belongs to one of the most storied clubs in German football history. A club bearing this name goes all the way back to the early twentieth century and is the

Club Facts:

winner of the German National Championships on three occasions, the most notable being in 1914. Back then, national Championships were decided by play offs between the regional title holders and in the final of that year, Fürth faced VfB Leipzig in a match that went into a second period of extra time and was not settled until the 154th minute by a Golden Goal for Fürth. The Bavarians enjoyed many years of success in the interwar years and enjoyed a fierce rivalry with the other Bavarian powerhouse at the time, Nuremberg. However, after failing to gain membership of the Bundesliga, Fürth went into gradual decline until, by the mid-nineties, they were playing in the south German regional league. In the same league was nearby TSV Vestenbergsgreuth, a village club with a modest history, but with a decent squad of players who had knocked Bayern Munich out of the German Cup in 1995. One year later, the two clubs

Official Name: SpVgg Greuther Fürth Formed: 1903/1996 Nickname: Die Kleeblätter (The Clover Leaves) Stadium: Trolli Arena Capacity: 18,500 Coach: Mike Büskens Rivals: FC Nuremberg Honours: German Champions: 1914, 1926, 1929

merged (hence the name Greuther Fürth) and are now based in Fürth. Recent History - Despite their distinguished history, Greuther Fürth is not a club supported in large numbers. By missing out of the Bundesliga and the growth of the sport in the post war economic boom in Germany, Fürth became a name more associated with yesteryear and their eventual first appearance in the top flight was slow. There was a post merge bounce, which took them into the second division in 1997 and from a footballing perspective the merge seems to have paid off. While they have enjoyed an unglamorous fifteen seasons, the club were rarely in danger of being relegated and had very much found their level with solid upper mid table finishes to the league. In fact, the club finished in fifth place for three consecutive seasons, twice during the last decade. It must have been sorely tempting for Fürth to change their name to Fifth. The lowest the club ever finished in the table was 11th and that was two seasons ago. Having narrowly missed out on a playoff spot in the 2010/11 season under coach Mike Büskens, Fürth finally exited the second division as champions in a thrilling climax to the season that saw five teams battling for the three promotion spots until the last few weeks of the campaign. Season Preview – If Augsburg have taught us anything it is not to underestimate the newly promoted side, even if they are a small club with no top flight pedigree. However, even the most wide eyed romantic observer will surely feel that Mike Büskens faces an almighty challenge with Greuther Fürth. The club has the smallest stadium in the Bundesliga and with only eighteen and a half thousand people coming through the turnstiles there is not much of a financial foundation for them to sustain top flight football. So far the transfer talk has been about departures rather than arrivals with last season’s top scorer, Olivier Occéan, departing for fellow promoted club, Eintracht Frankfurt. Although no one should blame the Canadian international for looking to increase his income it is, perhaps, a measure of how little confidence there must be in the club’s prospects that Occéan didn’t feel there was much value in sticking around to see if they could make it work for at least one season.


Moreover, it does not bode well for Fürth when it comes to replacing Occéan and places extra emphasis on veteran goal scorer, Gerald Asamoah, who was an inspired Winter Transfer Window signing, last season. Asamoah’s five goals in ten games tipped the balance in favour of Greuther Fürth in the promotion race. However, coach Büskens and his manager, Helmut Hack, have been relatively busy transfer wise with some interesting, if not, inspiring signings. The Hungarian international, Zoltan Stieber did not live up to his early promise, when he arrived at Mainz last summer from Aachen and only made seven appearances during the whole season. However, Büskens no doubt feels the left winger has something to prove and he will almost certainly get the chance to justify the €700,000 fee. In what is likely to be a very busy defence, young Borussia Dortmund centre back, Lasse Sobiech will be gaining some valuable experience. Joining Sobiech in central defence is another youngster, Michael Hefele, from Unterhaching. Full back Baba Rahman has signed from the Ghanaian club, Asanta Kotoko and Thanos Petsos, a defensive midfielder joins from Bayer Leverkusen. Last season, Greuther Fürth succeeded through a spirit of togetherness and with a “no superstars” mentality. This was an approach dictated, to an extent by their resources, but if their existing players can manage the challenge that the first division presents with the same team ethic, then Mike Büskens will believe that his team can emulate Augsburg and keep this club with an historic name in the Bundesliga for more than one season.

By Terry Duffelen

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Wolfgang Hesl D 13.01.1986; 26! Max Grün D 05.04.1987; 29! Issa Ndoye SEN 12.12.1985 Defence:! 2 Lasse Sobiech D 18.01.1991; 4 Kevin Kraus D 12.08.1992; 5 Mergim Mavraj D/ALB 09.06.1986; 6! Heinrich Schmidtgal KAZ/D! 20.11.1985; 7 Bernd Nehrig D 28.09.1986; 15 Michael Hefele D 01.09.1990; 18 Abdul Rahman Baba GHA 02.07.1994; 19 Thomas Kleine D 28.12.1977; 30 Johannes Geis D 17.05.1993 Midfield: 8 Stephan Fürstner D 11.09.1987; 10 Sebastian Tyrala! D 22.02.1988; 13 Milorad Pekovic! MON 05.08.1977; 14 Edgar Prib! D 15.12.1989; 16 Zoltán Stieber HUN 16.10.1988; 17 Thomas Pledl D 23.05.1994; 21 Robert Zillner D 04.08.1985; 22 Thanos Petsos D/GRE 05.06.1991; 23 Sercan Sararer E 27.11.1989; 34 Tayfun Pektürk D 13.05.1988; 36 Felix Klaus D 13.09.1992 Forwards: 9 Christopher Nöthe!D 03.01.1988; 11 Gerald Asamoah D 03.10.1978; 20 Kingsley Onuegbu! NGA 05.03.1986; 27 Tobias Mikkelsen DEN 18.09.1986; 33 Ilir Azemi ALB! 21.02.1992; 24 Baye Djiby Fall SEN 20.04.1985; - Frank Ohandza CMR 28.07.1991! Note: Correct as of 16:08:12

GERMAN FOOTBALL DICTIONARY: A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M – -

Abseits (offside) Anstoss (kick-off) Abstoss (goal kick) Bank (reserve bench) Chöre (supporter songs) Dauerkarte (season ticket) Eintrittskarte (match ticket) Einwurf (throw-in) Flanke (cross) Flügelspieler (winger) Gelbe Karte (yellow card) Grätsche (sliding tackle) Halbzeit (halftime) Handspiel (hand-ball) Hymne (anthem) Innenverteidiger (centre-back) Jahreshauptversammlung (annual club meeting with management, members and supporters) Kurve (a bend in the stadium, usually associated with a supporter’s section) Linienrichter (linesman) Meister (champion) Meisterschaft (league championship) Mittelfeld (midfield)


N – Nachwuchsabteilung (youth academy) - Niederlage (loss) O – Oberliga (once the top league tier in German football, now the fifth) P – Platz (pitch) - Pokal (cup) Q – Querlatte (crossbar) R – Rasen (pitch) - Rote Karte (red card) S – Schiedsrichter (referee) - Schuss (shot) - Sieg (Win) - Spielmacher (playmaker) T – Tor (goal) - Torwart (goalkeeper) - Trainer (coach) U – Unentschieden (draw) V – Verein (club) - Verlängerung (extra-time) W – Winkel (in football the corner of the goal frame) Z – Zuschauer (spectators) - Zweikampf (when two players fight for the ball)


Club History - Eintracht Frankfurt have had a colourful and varied history, which has seen the club play in some of the biggest matches possible, as well as stooping to a few lows as well. Club Facts: Eintracht are four time German Cup winners, UEFA Cup winners and European Cup finalists, but since the formation of the Bundesliga have never managed to become champions. That Official Name: Eintracht Frankfurt isn’t to say that they haven’t managed to be German Champions, and lifted the trophy in 1959 Formed: 1899 thanks to a win over fierce local rivals Kickers Offenbach. That led to the club taking part in Nickname: Die Adlerträger the European Cup the following season, and they went all the way to the final against the (referring to having an Eagle mighty Real Madrid. Eintracht thrashed Rangers with an aggregate score of 12-4 in the semion the badge) final, and they were back in Glasgow for the final at Hampden Park to take on Real. Frankfurt Stadium: Commerzbank Arena Capacity: 51,500 scored first but couldn’t keep out the great Alfredo Di Stéfano and Ferenc Puskás, who scored Coach: Armin Veh three and four goals respectively, as Real Madrid marched on to win their fifth consecutive Rivals: Kickers Offenbach & European Cup. Come the start of the Bundesliga in 1963, Eintracht were part of the initial Mainz pack and stayed in the top-flight consistently until 1996. In-between times, Eintracht’s Honours: German Champions: success came in Cup competitions with back-to-back DFB-Pokal wins in 1974 and 1975, as 1959 German Cup: 1974, 1975, 1981, 1988 well as the UEFA Cup in 1980 and another Pokal success in 1981. For most of those UEFA Cup: 1980 successes, Eintracht had the services of perhaps their most famous player, winger Jürgen Grabowski. Grabowski was an equal with some of the best ever German internationals and lined-up alongside the likes of Beckenbauer, Müller, Breitner and Hoeneß in the successful West Germany World Cup side of 1974. The post-Grabowski era saw the club flirt with relegation in the 1980’s, but by the 90’s the club had a new hero...Tony Yeboah. The Ghanian scored 68 goals in 128 league games and became a cult legend at the Waldstadion. A year after Yeboah’s departure to Leeds United in 1995, Frankfurt were relegated to the 2.Bundesliga for the first time in their history. Until the mid-00’s, the club was the proverbial ‘yo-yo-club’, and also suffered from financial difficulties and suffered points penalties from the DFB as a consequence. Back in the Bundesliga in 2005, the club had six straight seasons back at the top table until disaster struck once more. Recent History - Recent history hasn’t been too kind to Eintracht and they spent last season in the 2.Bundesliga yet again. The 2010-11 season was going so well for Frankfurt under Michael Skibbe, and the club were fourth at the beginning of November, thanks in no small part to the goals of Theofanis Gekas. He scored 14 goals in the first half of the season, but unfortunately he was the only goal outlet for the team. After the winter break, Gekas scored two more goals (both in the same game) and with a lack of a 'Plan B' Eintracht plummeted spectacularly. Skibbe made way for Christoph Daum, but the firefighter was unable to put out the flames as Frankfurt took the drop. Last season there was only one aim for new coach Armin Veh...promotion. He achieved that, by holding on to some key experienced top-flight heads and filling the gaps left by departures. The surprise of the season in the Eintracht ranks was probably midfielder Alexander Meier. His 17-goal haul from midfield was the best in the squad last season, with experience signing Mohamadou Idrissou coming second with 14. Frankfurt achieved their aim of promotion, but it wasn’t as champions. The aim for Armin Veh and Frankfurt is now to make sure that their return to the Bundesliga is a long one.


Season Preview – Eintracht start this season by keeping the core of their promotion battlers, while also adding to the squad. The notable absentee this season will be in defence, where Gordon Schildenfeld will be missing. Coach Armin Veh has voiced concern during pre-season about the strength of his squad, and Norwegian defender Vadim Demidov should go some way to easing the tension after his arrival from Real Sociedad. In other areas, Frankfurt have found it easier to pick up players. Martin Lanig has arrived, but may not bring huge quality to the newly promoted side and was unimpressive for Cologne during their relegation season. On a brighter note Eintracht have another goalscoring midfielder to join Alexander Meier. Stefan Aigner scored 11 goals and picked up 7 assists last season in an 1860 Munich shirt, including one of those assists against Frankfurt. As with many newly promoted teams, they raid the league they have just come from and a few more arrivals were Eintracht opponents last season. Takashi Inui lined up for Bochum twice against them, as did Olivier Occean for Greuther Fürth. Both have joined Frankfurt this summer, but most eyes will be on Occean after his blistering season for the 2.Bundesliga Champions. His move will probably allow a greater platform to shine in the long-run, but like his old club, this season will be tough for Eintracht and more of those goals will be required. With Theofanis Gekas and Mohamadou Idrissou and no longer by the Main, the need for Occean will be paramount for survival. There is one aim for the season, and that is staying up. Eintracht Frankfurt fans need to hope they have enough in the tank to achieve it. By Jon Hartley

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Oka Nikolov MKD 25.05.1974; 31! Kevin Trapp D 08.07.1990; 32 Aykut Özer D 01.01.1993! Defence: 3 Heiko Butscher D 28.07.1980; 4! Vadim Demidov NOR 10.10.1986; 5 Martin Amedick D 06.09.1982; 6 Bastian Oczipka D 12.01.1989; 15 Constant Djakpa CIV 17.10.1986; 22 Stefano Celozzi D 02.11.1988; 23 Anderson BRA 10.01.1988; 24 Sebastian Jung D 22.06.1990; 33 Alexander Hien D 03.04.1993; 34 Erik Wille D 28.03.1993; 39 Julian Dudda D 08.04.1993 ! Midfield: 7 Benjamin Köhler D 04.08.1980; 8 Takashi Inui JAP 02.06.1988; 13 Martin Lanig! D 11.07.1984; 14 Alexander Meier D 17.01.1983; 16 Stefan Aigner D 20.08.1987; 20 Sebastian Rode D 11.10.1990; 21 Karim Matmour ALG 25.06.1985; 27 Pirmin Schwegler CH 09.03.1987; ! 28 Sonny Kittel D 06.01.1993 ! ! ! ! Forwards: 9 Olivier Occean CAN 23.10.1981; 10 Erwin Hoffer A 14.04.1987; 29! Rob Friend CAN 23.01.1981! ! ! Note: Correct as of 16:08:12




Club History - Fortuna Düsseldorf’s promotion to the Bundesliga in May meant a first return to the top flight in the 21st Century after relegation in 1997. Originally formed in 1895, Fortuna didn’t play football until 1908. It was only in 1913 that they gained the name they have today. The club stood atop of Germany once in the pre-Bundesliga times of the 1930’s. That was a time when another side from North Rhine-Westphalia, Schalke, dominated. In 1933 though, Düsseldorf claimed their only German Championship by beating Schalke 3-0. This side was led by Paul Janes, who was the most renowned Düsseldorf player of the generation, becoming his country’s leading appearance maker in 1941. It was in the Seventies where Fortuna would have their next real impact on German football. Having only played in one Bundesliga season in the prior decade, they gained promotion in 1971, which resulted in 16 consecutive years in the top flight – their longest stint in the Bundesliga to date. Two third place finishes in 1973 and 1974 under Heinz Lucas remain Fortuna’s best Bundesliga performances. The end of the decade brought the club’s greatest moments, as Fortuna enjoyed success in the DFB-Pokal; about time too, having lost their five previous finals. A month before their first win they suffered another loss in another cup final, this time to Barcelona in a dramatic Cup Winners’ Cup Final, finishing 4-3 to the Catalans after extra time. Just over a month later, it was more extra time for Fortuna in a cup final, this time against Hertha Berlin. Finally, a 116th minute winner from Wolfgang Seel gave Düsseldorf their first and long awaited cup triumph. After it had taken so long to amass one, the second arrived the following year against rivals Cologne. It was downhill from there as they managed only one top half finish in the next decade. Despite a brief spell in 2. Bundesliga at the end of the 1980s, they’d become much more accustomed to climes outside the top flight over the next few years.

Club Facts: Official Name: Fortuna Düsseldorf 1895 Formed: 1895 Nickname: Fortuna Stadium: ESPRIT Arena Capacity: 54,600 Coach: Norbert Meier Rivals: FC Cologne, Borussia Mönchengladbach Honours: German Champions: 1933 German Cup Winners: 1979, 1980

Recent History - However, they spent some time in the Bundesliga, five seasons to be exact, in the final eleven years of the century. By the middle of 2000, they were in the third tier of German football. Two years later, it would be even worse as they found themselves a division lower. They recovered though, gaining promotion in 2006. Some momentum seemed to be gained when they started to play in the newly built ESPRIT Arena. A permanent move came in 2007 and from there, the club’s rise accelerated on the pitch. Of course, the arrival of Norbert Meier was a bigger accelerator in their fortunes. He arrived in January 2008, where by now the club were trying to get into the 2. Bundesliga. Within 18 months, promotion was achieved and so began the team’s attempts of getting back to the Bundesliga. It was a case of third time lucky, but writing it off with that cliché does not do justice to the manner in which Fortuna were promoted. Top of the table at the winter break, Meier’s side were cruising towards promotion. They hadn’t even lost in the first half of the season, winning 12 times. In 2012 though, Fortuna won four times in the league, nearly throwing away their chances of promotion. Thanks to a superior goal difference, they finished third, advancing into the Relegation/Promotion Play Off against Hertha Berlin.


In the first leg they won 2-1 in Berlin despite falling behind. Then, the crazy second leg ensued in Düsseldorf. An early goal from on-loan striker Maximilian Beister, along with Ranisav Jovanovic’s second half strike were the goals which promoted Fortuna, even though Hertha equalised twice. Still, tension was high and emotions spilled over onto the pitch in an extravagant manner. So much so, after flares and a pitch invasion prior to full time, the players were taken off before the final couple of minutes of stoppage time were replayed. More pandemonium ensued at full time. By then, neither Norbert Meier nor any of the Fortuna faithful cared; they were back. Hertha Berlin appealed in vain after the game, due to the antics surrounding the Relegation/Promotion Play Off. Ultimately though, Fortuna were up. Season Preview – Last season alone showed that Fortuna Düsseldorf are not an ordinary club. Preseason has only emphasised this. For a start, they’ve had the drama off the field, still surrounding last season’s surreal final game, leading to the Bundesliga dictating that Fortuna must play their first home game in front of an empty stadium. Then there is Fortuna’s transfer business. You know you’ve had a large player turnover when you have made more deals in a transfer window than Wolfsburg’s Felix Magath, which is what Fortuna have achieved. 20 players have arrived at the ESPRIT Arena since promotion. Many have left too, with seven of the side who started the second leg against Hertha Berlin departing. It is worth picking out a few incoming players such as Axel Bellinghausen, who helped Augsburg survive against the odds last season. He’s a staunch Fortuna fan, so much so his number plate is FD1895. Alternatively, there’s ex-Liverpool striker Andriy Voronin, who returns to the Bundesliga, as does former Bochum midfielder Cha Du-Ri. However, it’s unclear whether any of them will be in the starting eleven, which raises the question: how do you predict the fortunes of an almost completely new team in a new environment when as a group they’ve spent relatively little time together? It comes down to chemistry. With some sides, it’s a question of when they come together. However, with Fortuna, it’s if and when they settle. The strategy adopted is high risk, but the Bundesliga has not reacted too badly to an underdog as of late. Fortuna could do well to emulate Augsburg or Freiburg; making much from little. You feel though that with Fortuna, there’s no perfect medium; it’s win or bust. There’s something about the happy go lucky feel to the club that just says it might come off this season. For as many new arrivals as there have been, having the consistent presence of Norbert Meier there for a fourth season can only be positive. By Archie Rhind-Tutt

SQUAD: Goalkeepers: 1 Robert Almer A 20.03.1984; 33 Fabian Giefer D 17.05.1990; 44 Nikos Papadopoulos GR 11.04.1990 !



Defence: 2 Christian Weber D! 15.09.1983; 3 Leon Balogun D 28.06.1988; 4 Stelios Malezas! GR 11.03.1985; 5 Juanan E 27.04.1987; 6 Jens Langeneke D 29.03.1977; 14 Bruno Soares BRA 21.08.1988; 19 Tobias Levels NL 22.11.1986; 21 Johannes van den Bergh D 21.11.1986; 24 Jeron Hazaimeh D 30.11.1991 Midfield: 7 Oliver Fink D 06.06.1982; 8 Andre Fomitschow D 07.09.1990; 10 Ken Ilso DEN 02.12.1986; 11 Axel Bellinghausen D 17.05.1983; 12 Mazin Ahmed Alhuthayfi KSA 30.06.1986; 13 Adam Bodzek D 07.09.1985; 15 Ivan Paurevic D 01.07.1991; 17 Andreas Lambertz D 15.10.1984; 18 Ronny Garbuschewski D 23.02.1986; 22 Du-Ri Cha KOR 25.07.1980; 25 Tugrul Erat TUR 17.12.1992; 32 Bastian Müller D 31.07.1991 Forwards: 9 Nando Rafael ANG/D 10.01.1984; 16 Gerrit Wegkamp D 13.04.1993; 20 Dani Schahin D 09.07.1989; 23 Robbie Kruse AUS 05.10.1988; 27 Stefan Reisinger D 14.09.1981; 28 Timo Furuholm FIN 11.10.1987; 30 Andrej Voronin UKR 21.07.1979 Note: Correct as of 16:08:12




2.BUNDESLIGA Season Preview By Terry Duffelen The geographical spread of the German second tier gives this division a much more national flavour than Bundesliga 1 with its more localised hotbeds in the north and south west of Germany, plus North-Rhine Westphalia and Bavaria. At present, there are no top flight clubs from the old German Democratic Republic in eastern Germany. However, the Bundesliga 2 boasts four clubs from that area (not counting Hertha who were in West Berlin). But the spread of clubs across the nation has its drawbacks, as the scheduling of the division’s fixtures can result in impractical kick off times for some away fans, especially on Friday and Monday evenings. However, for the neutral fan, the second division remains a competitive and character-full competition. The fact that the league contrived to give us a five club race for the promotion places, last season, is a testimony to its parity and this season promises to be just as eventful with the, albeit reluctant, return of some of German football’s bigger clubs. Amidst a cloud of flares and anger, FC Cologne submitted to relegation without putting up much of a fight. This club, which regularly sells out its 50,000 capacity stadium, spent four seasons of the last decade in the second division, but after the return of the prodigal son, Lukas Podolski in 2009, the expectation was that the yo-yo days were over and they would settle down as an upper mid-table first division club. However, after a string of different coaches, plus changes and divisions at the upper echelons of the club, Cologne were relegated and a thorough clear out has taken place in the hope of bringing some harmony to the club. After a brief and unhappy spell at Hoffenheim, Holger Stanislawski was recruited as coach at the RheinEnergie Stadion. As the former coach of St Pauli, “Stani” is no stranger to working in challenging environments. In terms of transfers, he has been busy despite not having a great deal of money to spend (the transfer money for the sale of Podolski to Arsenal was not available to the coach). However, so far, he has made fifteen signings, plus another six from the reserve and under 19 team. This is matched by no less than fifteen players heading through the exit door. Among them are the high wage earners, Portuguese international, Petit and the Slovenian, Milivoje Novakovic. It has been a comprehensive squad refresh for Cologne then, as they seek to return to the Bundesliga 1 a little leaner and perhaps a lot better than before. Already resigned to their fate some weeks before the end of last season were Kaiserslautern. The Red Devils are one of the more storied clubs in Germany with a strong connection to the 1954 “Miracle of Bern” World Cup victory via Fritz Walter, who was captain of both Kaiserslautern and the victorious West Germany national team. But the double Bundesliga title winners in the 1990’s have been unable to develop a model that can live up to their enormous support, which goes well beyond their location in the Palatinate Forest. The task now falls upon former player, Franco Foda, who joined as coach from Sturm Graz in the summer. His first task was to say goodbye to highly rated goalkeeper, Kevin Trapp who has joined Eintracht Frankfurt and central midfielder, Christian Tiffert who joined MLS side Seattle Sounders. There was some money to spend on incoming players with proven second tier goalscorer Mohamadou Idrissou, who scored fourteen goals for Eintracht Frankfurt last season. Relegation to the 2.Bundesliga is decided by a relegation playoff between the third from bottom of the 1.Bundesliga and third place in the 2.Bundesliga. This was how Hertha Berlin joined Kaiserslautern and Cologne in the second tier after only one season back in the first division. The two legged playoff defeat was an ignominious end to the career of Hertha coach, Otto Rehhagel. The veteran coach who had overseen three Bundesliga titles, as many German Cups and a European Championship had


to watch his team relegated amidst chaos on the terraces and violence on the pitch in the second leg against Fortuna Dusseldorf. The circumstances surrounding the final minutes of that match, where flares were thrown onto the pitch and the players were forced to remove themselves from the field, led to Hertha appealing the result. Ultimately, the appeal failed and the club are now faced with their second season in three in the second division. The Sporting Director wasted no time in appointing a successor to Rehhagel, in Jos Luhukay. The Dutchman left FC Augsburg after successfully keeping them in the 1.Bundesliga against the odds. Some have expressed surprise that Preetz himself was not removed considering that much of Hertha’s recent failures have been laid at his door. However, if Luhukay can restore some stability and top flight football to the Berlin club then all may be forgiven, if not forgotten. A silver lining to the Hertha cloud has been the chance for Hertha to take revenge over an unexpected derby defeat, two seasons ago at the hands of their city rivals, Union. Union Berlin are a club based in the part of the city that was called East Berlin, back before German Unification and was part of the Communist German Democratic Republic. The club acted as a focus for anti-GDR oppression. This political sentiment continues today and is expressed in post - unification Germany as a supporter orientated club with a leftist political slant (although the reality is probably more nuanced). The Stadium was recently redeveloped with labour and materials donated by the supporters. The club is enjoying its highest ever position in the unified German league structure. Their image and relationship with their supporter base has given them an international profile and like St Pauli, are regarded as the choice of the football hipster. Two seasons ago, Union travelled the short distance to the Olympiastadion to play Hertha, very much as the underdogs. Much to their fans delight and the home fans horror, Union won the game 2-1. The rematch is eagerly anticipated. Also from the former GDR are Erzgebirge Aue, Dynamo Dresden, and Energie Cottbus. In a previous incarnation, the Aue club was renamed as Karl Marx Stadt after the larger City nearby, even though they never relocated. They were pretty successful in the 1950’s, but were renamed once again in the 1960’s after Karl Marx Stadt were finally given their own football club (that’s how things worked in the GDR). The city is now known by its original name, Chemnitz, but apparently many Aue fans still hail from that city which will make for an interesting derby, should FC Chemnitz ever get promotion from the third division. Dynamo Dresden were once giants of the East German game and are now very much on the up after years of hard times. Their stadium was recently modernised for the Women’s World Cup and the club has made steady progress since their return to the 2.Bundesliga in 2011 under coach Ralf Loose. Of the former East German clubs, Dresden are the best equipped to make the step up to the top flight and may be something of a dark horse for promotion. Energie Cottbus were in the first division as recently as 2009, but have struggled financially since their relegation. They were almost relegated again last year and will be looking for a more stable 2012/13 season. If you’re looking for other outsiders among the smaller clubs then you should look no further than SC Paderborn, who finished fifth last season and narrowly missed a playoff spot. However, their resources are limited and they have lost some key players in the close season. Last campaign’s top scorer, Nick Proschwitz, was transferred to English Championship side, Hull City. An even bigger loss was when manager Roger Schmidt made a surprising move to Red Bull Salzburg this summer.


Eintracht Braunschweig won the Bundesliga championship back in 1967, but spent much of the last two decades in the doldrums. They returned to the second division last season and finished in a creditable eighth place. Ingolstadt are a small club, but with a new, albeit small, stadium financed by the Audi corporation with whom the club have strong links. While it is difficult to imagine either team in the top flight anytime soon, both may prove dangerous opponents on their day. The 2.Bundesliga welcomes three newcomers to the league, two of which are promoted for the first time. Both VfR Aalen and SV Sandhausen hail from Baden-Württemberg and both have a modest history with a small fan base, relative to the division. Jahn Regensburg beat Karlsruhe in the playoff last season and are based in the beautiful city of the same name. They are looking to stay for longer than the single season at this level that they achieved in 2003/04. In fact, all three clubs will be happy to still be where they are come May, 2013. Understandably, the three relegated clubs will be among the favourites for promotion. However, FC St Pauli and 1860 Munich were both strong last season and will have the advantage of recent experience in this division. Nestled in the notorious Reeperbahn district of Hamburg, St Pauli exudes a punk progressive and hip image. However, beneath their party loving attitude, the club has ambitions higher than their current station. Coach André Schubert has brought in two new centre backs from Paderborn: Sören Gonther and Florian Mohr. The 21 year-old striker, Daniel Ginczek has arrived on loan from Borussia Dortmund, while the experienced Florian Kringe also arrives from the Bundesliga champions. 1860 Munich used to be kings of their city before Bayern emerged in the 1960s. Two seasons ago they almost went into liquidation before being ultimately rescued by the Jordanian investor, Hasan Abdullah Ismaik. The club have a highly regarded youth policy (the Bender twins, Lars and Sven, are former 1860 players) and coach Reiner Maurer has made some astute signings in the shape of experienced defender, Moritz Volz, Polish full back Grzegorz Wojtkowiak, Greek international defensive midfielder Grigoris Makos and the Argentine striker Ismael Blanco. With their experience of the current sporting landscape and their blend of youth and experience, 1860 will be optimistic of a return to the top flight. All in all, this season’s campaign is certain to be as tightly contested and entertaining as last season’s was, with many clubs vying for promotion, as well as fighting for survival.



3.LIGA & REGIONALLIGA Season Preview By Dave Tunnicliffe It’s somewhat apt that, while big daddy Bundesliga celebrates its 50th birthday, the newest addition to the German professional football family, the 3. Liga, is turning five. And this season it’s really started to grow up. If you browse through a typical 3. Liga matchday, you might be forgiven for thinking that you’d mistakenly clicked on the Bundesliga fixtures. In Alemannia Aachen, Karlsruhe SC, Hansa Rostock, and Arminia Bielefeld, four of the current crop of 3. Liga teams had spells in the top flight in the 2000’s. Thanks to the addition of these sides (three were relegated, Bielefeld are spending their second season in the league) and with relatively small clubs SV Sandhausen and VfR Aalen leaving the third flight for Friday 6pm kick-offs in Cottbus and the other joys of the 2. Bundesliga, the general attractiveness of the league has most definitely been increased. However, the difference in quality between the second and third tiers usually means that the relegated sides are nearly always there or thereabouts in the race for promotion, especially if they spend wisely. Aachen have brought in former Fortuna Düsseldorf midfielder Sasha Rösler who, after scoring 13 times in the 2. Bundesliga last term, is surely too good for this level even at the age of 34. However, Aachen’s relegation seemed to be a surprise to everyone, not least the club and fans and it remains to be seen whether they can jump back up in to the second tier. Hansa Rostock, on the other hand, had a rather long time to prepare for life in the 3. Liga and their relegation after a barmy 5-4 loss at Union Berlin was merely confirmation of the inevitable. One of the most important elements for their success is the fact that they have kept manager Wolfgang Wolf. The former Wolfsburg man knows what it takes to achieve promotion, guiding Stuttgart Kickers to promotion into the second tier in the ‘90’s and bringing FC Nuremberg back into the top flight in 2004. Apart from the relegated teams, VfL Osnabrück will be looking to reinforce their yo-yo status under the guidance of outlandish manager Claus-Dieter Wollitz. Wollitz enjoyed relative success at Energie Cottbus before leaving in January 2012 and could be a shrewd appointment for the men from Lower Saxony. FC Heidenheim are another team to watch, after having been edged out for the playoff post by Jahn Regensburg last season. After two successive fifth-place finishes, Rot-Weiß Erfurt will be looking to make that extra step up, but could be badly affected by the loss of last season’s leading scorer in the league, Marcel Reichwein. For FC Chemnitz, a repeat of last season’s heroics, where the newly promoted club occupied the playoff spot for several weeks and went 16 games unbeaten over the spring, looks unlikely, but a pre-season victory over a relatively strong Newcastle United side and the fact that last season’s top scorer Anton Fink is in the side (despite the loss of energetic midfielder Ronny Garbuschewski to Fortuna Düsseldorf) could be crucial. Down at the bottom, things will be tough again for Babelsberg and Darmstadt, and newly promoted Stuttgart Kickers will probably also spend most of their time looking down rather than up. From a fan perspective, the league has definitely become more attractive. The addition of Alemannia Aachen, Hansa Rostock, and Karlsruhe SC in return for VfR Aalen, SV Sandhausen, and Jahn Regensburg will be sure to increase average attendances, particularly given how many fans from these sides tend to travel. Hallescher FC’s return to the third flight after an absence of almost 20 years will also inject new life into the league. Borussia Dortmund fans’ willingness to support their Amateure shouldn’t be underestimated either (provided the first team aren’t playing at the same time): Over 2,000 travelled to Osnabrück on matchday 1 to support the reserves. This will be the first season of a restructured fourth tier in Germany. The number of Regionalligas has been increased from 3 to 5 and the number of reserve sides from Bundesliga clubs has been restricted to seven in each league. The positives about the restructuring include a consolidation of clubs from the same area, such as the new Regionalliga Nordost, which brings together Carl Zeiss Jena, FC Magdeburg, Lokomotive Leipzig and FSV Zwickau for the first time in years. In the Regionalliga West, the opening match of the season is a perfect indication of the number of traditional clubs playing at this level: on Friday 3 August, Rot-Weiß Oberhausen will take on RotWeiß Essen at the Stadion Niederrhein. One negative side of the Regionalliga reform is the fact that there is no longer any direct promotion from the fourth to the third tier. The champions from each Regionalliga, plus the second-placed team in the Regionalliga Südwest, will go into a six-team playoff at the end of the season, where the three promoted sides will be decided over two-legged ties. It is sure to provide an exciting end to the season, but the downside is that 2 or maybe even 3 league champions won’t be promoted. The playoffs should feature sides such as last season’s cup heroes Holstein Kiel, RB Leipzig (complete with new sporting director Ralf Rangnick) and Rot-Weiß Oberhausen. For all major sides at this level though, the only thing that counts is promotion to the fully professional leagues as quickly as possible.






The end of the last Bundesliga season was overshadowed by scenes of flares on the playing surface and pitch invasions. This summer the football authorities have sought to resolve these problems. To find out the background of the problems, or if the measures taken will be affective; the Bundesliga Lounge caught up with Andreas Schade from the Deutsche Akademie für Fussball Kultur (German Academy for Football Culture). Jon Hartley: Last season it was widely stated that football related violence was at a 12-year high in Germany. Have you felt that? And if you have, why do you think that it has come about? Andreas Schade: It’s difficult to get a really diplomatic phrase. Football related violence always existed. From the World Cup 2006 on, and a few years earlier in the preparation phase, the number of police officers working around stadiums grew enormously. With all the security measures and more police around the stadium, you will always find more violence or conflicts around the you know what I mean? JH: Yes, if there are more police, then more people will be arrested, naturally. AS: Surely, it is their job. If you have more eyes watching then you will have more incidents registered. The fact was that we had somewhere between 17 and 18 million people attending Bundesliga matches last season, and if you compare this to the number of incidents recorded then it is a very low percentage. With this low number, in my opinion, you can’t really talk about a rise in football related violence in Germany. You will always have this phenomenon around the stadiums, but the majorities of fans are peaceful and just want to watch the game, drink a beer and eat a bratwurst. It’s also about media policy. The media takes the worst thing to make the news. If you have a pitch invasion like we had in Düsseldorf, a peaceful pitch invasion, or if you have some pyrotechnics used in the terraces; there is a focus from the media on this and not on the normal football supporter. Also, another point is that the DFB is taking stronger measures to punish clubs for the behaviour of their fans. JH: Many of the incidents you’ve spoken about have involved pyrotechnics. That has been a real concern for the DFB, but what is your view on the use of ‘Benaglos’ (flares) in stadiums? AS: It’s always a contentious issue. In earlier times, it was used to describe a nice or party like atmosphere in southern European stadiums. If you listen to football commentators in earlier times they always talked about the good atmosphere and the enthusiastic fan, and this has changed a lot. The problem is that they are quite dangerous things. The ‘Bengalos’ goes together with a certain danger about them and there have been some fans who have burned each other with them. What the DFB did last season was to get together with fans and look at the possibility, somehow, to legalise these pyrotechnics in the stadiums. In my opinion, they went about this the right way to get in touch with the fans and the fan clubs, but came to the decision that they won’t ever allow pyrotechnics in stadiums. They lost a big chance to solve this problem in a diplomatic and democratic way, and personally, I think it would be no problem to burn pyrotechnics in a controlled area, which is all that the fans asked for in the discussions with the DFB. JH: The throwing of pyrotechnics and pitch invasions during the Relegation play-off between Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hertha BSC was a massive talking point for German football and an event that has sparked quick decisions to be made. What has happened during the summer in terms of changes to stadium security and fan freedom? AS: First of all we need to divide two things. One is the possibly peaceful use of pyrotechnics in the stadiums. What happened in Düsseldorf is that mostly Berlin supporters threw pyrotechnics onto the pitch, and that in my opinion is what should not be allowed and should be punished. The pitch invasion itself was a peaceful pitch invasion. Just imagine the special situation. Fortuna Düsseldorf is a big German club with a lot of tradition, who have spent the last 15 years in the lower divisions and have suffered a lot. It was a massive frustration that went away at that point, and what the media did with it was to talk about a scandal. There had been discussions on TV, but they didn’t get the point. Nobody talks to the fans, that is what is happening. You see the images, you build-up the public opinion and you use it against the cheering fans, as well as using it to implement stronger rules in stadiums. That brings us on to the conference we had at the Ministry of the Interior here in Germany recently and there were no fan clubs or fan representatives at this meeting. All the decisions made were made by the official sides, or association’s side or the state’s side, but there was no dialogue with the fans.



JH: Do you think that will harm fan relationships in the future? The fact that this landmark conference took place without the fans being involved. AS: The problems fans have is that they have no real PR. They have no real voice talking for them. In the public opinion you have these ultra groups and that is what we are talking about here. These groups are mainly the groups who have a problem with the DFB and the police, and they have no public possibility to get their issues out. They are independent units and they are not really trying to get to the public. They are not really a violent bunch of people; their ideas and ideals, and they are against modern football and the evolution of the marketing product of football, but they have no way of getting this into the public arena. What I think is that they will be punished more and more, and evidently there are existing voices saying that the decision had been made to end terracing, and end the story of standing places in Germany; but that is not official yet, it is just rumours. I think that officials will try and control fans more and more and cut fan freedoms. And obviously the German police are trying to place undercover agents in the fan-scene and trying to infiltrate these close circles. That's far beyond any practice used up to now - that's truly a scandal to take the same observation measures on football-fans as used to be taken against enemies of our constitution. JH: Can you run through some of the key points that came out of the conference? AS: What they decided in the security meeting was a clear banning of pyrotechnics and hard punishments for using pyrotechnics. They also decided that stadium bans used to be three years, but can now be up to ten. They decided that terrace places will be kept in future, and they also raised the amount of funds given to fan projects across the Bundesliga. There was also the signing of a code, not to use violence, not to use pyrotechnics and to use clearly sanctioned methods. JH: But this came down from the clubs. The clubs have agreed, well all but one club. AS: Yes, the clubs have agreed, the DFB, the DFL and officials from German politics and the police. Yes, all the clubs agree apart from one club, Union Berlin. Union Berlin have a really strong relationship with their fans; the fans are building the stadium and are involved with the everyday life of this club. What the officials of Union said was that they were really disappointed that fans hadn’t been invited to this conference, and pointed out clearly that it was senseless to have such a conference without the fans present. They said, they need talk about these measures with their fans and then come back. So it was one club of 54 clubs in Germany. JH: Part of the agreement was the increase of funds for fan projects. It’s 50% more, and do you see this as a good compromise or as a way of buying fans acceptance of these new rules? AS: I think that every Euro spent in fan projects will come back with good effects; it is just a good and sensible investment, no question. I think that it shouldn’t only be this compromise, there should be even more money on fan projects. Because there are serious problems in Germany with some fan groups; if you think of eastern Germany where racism is a strong element and also in western Germany there are right-wing fan groups trying to build up some reputations in the stadiums like in Aachen. I don’t see this as a buying of the fan groups, because the fan projects are mainly managed by fans themselves or people who are on the side of the fans, rather than of the club or officials. I don’t see it as a problem. JH: You’ve already explained that there was a risk that standing areas in Germany might be removed, but that was turned down. Do you think that this is a realistic threat? AS: I think that if next season there are problems on German pitches, and there will be surely, because nobody is talking with the fans, then yes. The behaviour will not disappear, so there surely will be something. There will be measures that will be taken, and these will be stronger than the ones currently taken. However, you won’t find team managers and club presidents saying publicly that they will end terraces. So that is a big point; it won’t happen next year, or in the next three years, but if there is no dialogue with the fans there will eventually be no alternative for officials. But from the point of view from right now, the next years I can’t see this danger, because I can’t see team managers and the football league cutting their own flesh. This is because the fans are still an important capital. It will be a long process. JH: Attendances in the higher reaches of German football have been on the rise for some time and broke another record last season. What do you think needs to happen in German football to allow that to continue to grow? AS: I don’t think that you can stop football in Germany. Not on the economic side and not on the fans side. The hardcore fan groups are now really a small minority of the fan community. There are millions of football fans here in Germany and you will always be able to market the product of football to them. I don’t see the end coming. Instead I see another way, in quite a healthy way, a middle way, between fans points’ of view from the real hardcore supporters here in Germany and the economic point of view. They need to find a way between tradition and the money. It’s a struggle, but there will always be new ideas about how to make more money from the sport and also resistance from the fans’ side. It’s not possible to get along with the situation without a dialogue between fans and clubs and decision makers. I don’t see an end of growth of football in Germany, but I also see that the only way for it to grow in a healthy way is to bring everyone onboard. It is essential, because otherwise you’ll lose a big part of football tradition here in Germany. JH: Andreas, thank you for your time in talking to us.




THE FINAL WORD By Terry Duffelen The reasons for embracing an overseas league are not as straightforward as they are for a domestic one. I cannot claim to have been raised on the Bundesliga from childhood, nor can I say that I was attracted to German football due to the quality of football. Back in 2004, when I paid my first visit to the Westfalenstadion to watch Borussia Dortmund and then to the Veltins Arena a day later to see Schalke, I regarded the standard of football to be pretty average by comparison to the English Premier League. But it wasn’t the quality of play that turned my head. It was the atmosphere, the supporters and the stadiums that frankly, blew me away. After years of watching English football become more corporate and more expensive, I found my first Bundesliga experience to be a breath of fresh air: traditional with their terracing yet progressive with their modern stadia and subsidised ticket prices. While the new breed of young players emerging from the academies is reason enough to be excited about watching the Bundesliga, its supporter culture and club ownership structures gives the league its character and sets it apart from its peers. On my second visit to Dortmund, my friend pointed out that supporters did not wear brand new replica shirts. They dated back to different periods of the clubs recent history and we surmised (perhaps romantically) that your first replica shirt must be your last. In England, many fans consider the latest strip to be part of the uniform. The organisation of fans on the terraces is not unique to Germany, but their expression of support, via tifos, choreographed chanting and occasional protests have reached a level of planning and


sophistication that must, in part be due to the connection the supporters have to the club. This makes the German football club ownership model very special. In England, fan protests would be viewed with suspicion and very heavily discouraged. In Germany, the supporters own at least fifty one percent of the club, so if the board don’t like it then that is their tough luck. However, in this magazine you will have read that the relationship between the supporters and football authorities is not harmonious. Last year’s controversy over the use of pyrotechnics is set to continue with no apparent resolution in sight. Also, with each passing year, calls persist to change the rules regarding ownership structures of clubs to allow more corporate interests to “invest” in the game. It should be remembered that one of the reasons why German football has produced players of the calibre of Marco Reus, Mario Götze, Mesut Özil and the like, is because of the authority that the German FA has over the clubs in imposing the academy structure and that clubs are run as clubs rather than businesses. They have a duty is to produce players for the national team. The Bundesliga should beware of corporate interests diluting that purpose and I’m sure they are. Hopefully, after digesting this preview, your enthusiasm for the Bundesliga will be increased further. Whether you watch it on your HD TV or peer into a dodgy stream on your laptop in the dead of night or if you live in Germany and can make it along to the games, you are catching the Bundesliga at a good time in its history with its bevy of young players, a strong group of clubs challenging the traditional dominance from Bayern Munich, progressive coaches and packed stadiums. It promises to be an action packed fiftieth season in the Bundesliga, which you would have to try hard not to enjoy. So don’t.



Bundesliga Lounge Season Preview 2012-13  

The Bundesliga Lounge brings you a comprehensive preview of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season. The magazine includes club history's and previews...

Bundesliga Lounge Season Preview 2012-13  

The Bundesliga Lounge brings you a comprehensive preview of the 2012-13 Bundesliga season. The magazine includes club history's and previews...