1. FC Kaiserslautern

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1. FC Kaiserslautern
Club crest
Full name 1. Fußball-Club Kaiserslautern e. V.
Nickname(s) Die roten Teufel (The Red Devils)
Founded 2 June 1900; 114 years ago (1900-06-02)
Ground Fritz-Walter-Stadion,
Kaiserslautern
Ground Capacity 49,780
Chairman Stefan Kuntz
Manager Kosta Runjaić
League 2. Bundesliga
2013–14 2. Bundesliga, 4th
Website fck.de Club home page
Current season

1. Fußball-Club Kaiserslautern e. V., also known as 1. FCK, FCK or simply 1. FC Kaiserslautern (German pronunciation: [ʔɛf t͡seː kaɪ̯zɐsˈlaʊ̯tɐn]), is a German football club based in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate. On 2 June 1900, Germania 1896 and FG Kaiserslautern merged to create FC 1900. In 1909, the club went on to join FC Palatia (founded in 1901) and FC Bavaria (founded in 1902) to form FV 1900 Kaiserslautern. In 1929 they merged with SV Phönix to become FV Phönix-Kaiserslautern before finally taking on their current name three years later.

Kaiserslautern have won four German championships, two DFB-Pokals, and one DFL-Supercup. Since 1920, Kaiserslautern's stadium is the Fritz-Walter-Stadion.

History[edit]

Early years to World War II[edit]

Two of the clubs predecessors, Bavaria and FC 1900, were part of the new Westkreis-Liga (I) when this league was formed in 1908, with the later taking out the first league title there. From 1909 onwards, the new FV Kaiserslautern performed well in this league, finishing runners-up in 1910 and 1912. The team passed largely unremarked through the following years, it reached the tier-one Kreisliga Saar in 1919, the Kreisliga Pfalz in 1920 and the Bezirksliga Rhein-Saar in 1931 and spent the rest of the 30's bouncing up and down between the Bezirksliga and the upper level Gauliga Südwest, one of sixteen top flight divisions formed in the re-organization of German football under the Third Reich.

The club's performance was indifferent in the years leading up to World War II, but improved after 1939. They captured the Gauliga Südwest/Staffel Saarpfalz title, but lost the overall division title to Staffel Mainhessen winners Kickers Offenbach. In the 1941–42 season the Gauliga Südwest was split into the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau and the Gauliga Westmark, and Kaiserslautern took the Westmark title, going on to play for the first time in the national final rounds. They were decisively put out 3:9 by eventual champions FC Schalke 04, the dominant side in this era of German football.

The performance of the team slipped and they finished last in their division in 1944. The following year saw the collapse of league play in this part of Germany as the Reich crumbled under the advance of Allied armies.

Postwar play[edit]

After the war, southwestern Germany was part of the occupation zone held by the French. Teams there were organized into northern and southern divisions and played to determine which of them would join the new Oberliga being put together. French authorities were slow to loose their control over play in their zones of occupation – in the Saarland in particular – and teams in those areas were longer in joining the re-established German national league. 1. FC Kaiserslautern resumed play in the Oberliga Südwest in 1945 and finished the season just one point behind 1. FC Saarbrücken. The next season they easily won the Gruppe Nord in 1947 due in large part due to the play of Fritz Walter and his brother Ottmar: the duo scored 46 goals between them – more than any other single team.

Historical logos of 1. FC and its predecessors. PC Palatia ca. 1901, FV Kaiserslautern (2) ca. 1909–1929, SV Phönix ca. 1910–1929, FV Phönix ca. 1929–1931, and 1. FC 1932–1955(?) and 1955(?)–1969.
Logo 2010–2012

Success in the 1950s and entry to the Bundesliga[edit]

This marked the beginning of the club's dominance of the Oberliga Südwest as they went on to capture the division title eleven times over the next twelve seasons. FCK advanced to Germany's first post-war national final in 1948, but lost 1–2 to 1. FC Nuremberg.

Kaiserslautern became a presence on the national scene through the early 50's, capturing their first German championship in 1951 with a 2–1 victory of their own, this time over SC Preußen Münster. They won a second title in 1953, followed by two losing final appearances in 1954 and 1955. The club also sent five players to the national side for the 1954 World Cup which West Germany won in what became popularly known as The Miracle of Bern.

Kaiserslautern's performance fell off late in the decade and into the early 60's, highlighted only by an advance to the 1961 German Cup final, where they lost 0–2 to Werder Bremen. The side recovered its form in time to again win their division on the eve of the formation in 1963 of the Bundesliga, Germany's new professional football league. This secured them one of sixteen places in the new top flight circuit. However, the club's next honours would be some time in coming: they made failed German Cup final appearances in 1972, 1976, and 1981 before finally winning in the Cup in 1990. They followed up the next season with their first Bundesliga championship.

Fall from the top flight[edit]

1. FCK won a second German Cup in 1996, but that victory was soured since the team was relegated to 2. Bundesliga with a 16th place finish just one week before the Cup Final. At the time, Kaiserslautern was one of only four of the original sixteen teams that had played in each Bundesliga season since the inception of the league, never having been relegated. This group included Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Frankfurt who went down in the same season, 1. FC Köln down in 1998, and "the Dinosaur", unrelegated Hamburger SV.

The Red Devils came storming back in 1998 with an accomplishment unique in Bundesliga history by winning re-promotion to the first division from the 2. Bundesliga and immediately going on to win the national championship under famous coach Otto Rehhagel. They also played in 1998–99 UEFA Champions League in the same group with PSV Eindhoven, S.L. Benfica and HJK Helsinki.

The club found itself in serious trouble soon after. The construction work necessary for the Fritz-Walter-Stadium to be a 2006 World Cup venue, incompetent management and financial misdeeds resulted in a heavy debt load and the fielding of incapable sides built out of mercenary players. In 2002, Kaiserslautern found itself on the brink of bankruptcy and at the centre of controversy being played out publicly. The club's management – Jürgen Friedrich, Robert Wieschemann and Gerhard Herzog – were forced out. A new team president, Rene C. Jäggi, sold the debt-ridden Fritz-Walter-Stadion to an entity owned by the Land Rheinland-Pfalz and the city of Kaiserslautern, thus saving the club from financial disaster, while a new coach, Erik Gerets, led a run after the winter break that moved the footballers out of last place and saved them from relegation.

The club started the 2003–04 season under the burden of a three-point penalty imposed by the German Football Association for its financial misdeeds. After a faltering start to the season, Gerets was fired and replaced by Kurt Jara. Jara was unpopular with the FCK faithful for his defensive football philosophy, but with him at the helm, the club had a safe season. However, Jara quit the position before the season ended, citing irreconcilable differences with club management.

2005–present[edit]

In 2005, Michael Henke, who served as long-time assistant to Germany's most successful coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, became coach. FCK was initially successful, but then suffered a string of reverses and crashed to the bottom of the table. Henke was fired, and FCK alumnus Wolfgang Wolf took up the trainer's role. Wolf brought in many young, home-grown players, but despite winning over fans and experts alike, the 2005–06 season ended in failure as FCK was once again relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga after a nine-year stay at the top flight. They finished the 2006–07 season in sixth place in the 2. Bundesliga, seven points out of the promotion places.

On 20 May 2007, the club announced the Norwegian manager Kjetil Rekdal, formerly with Belgian side Lierse, as their new head coach. Rekdal took over the reins on 1 July. Due to very bad results (the club being in 16th place in the standings with only three wins in 19 games), Rekdal was sacked and replaced by Milan Šašić in February 2008. In April 2008, the club hired Stefan Kuntz as chairman, and with new leadership at the helm, managed to save themselves from relegation to the new 3. Liga with a win over already promoted 1. FC Köln on the final day of the 2007–08 season.

Fans celebrating the club's promotion right before the first Bundesliga home game in four years, which was held against rivals Bayern Munich.

Milan Sasic lasted almost the entire 2008–09 season but was dismissed on 4 May 2009 after run of poor results in the second half of the season and three days after a 1–5 defeat by Hansa Rostock. Alois Schwartz was named interim coach and he managed the club to a seventh place finish on the season. The club eventually hired Marco Kurz as Head Coach.

Under Kurz the club secured promotion to the 1. Bundesliga on 25 April 2010 after four years in the second league. At the start of the 2010–11 season, newly promoted 1. FCK had a promising two straight wins, including a 2–0 victory over the previous year's 1. Bundesliga Champions, Bayern Munich. However after a hard fought 2–1 defeat at 1. FSV Mainz 05 and a 5–0 drubbing at eventual season champions, Borussia Dortmund, the club began to struggle and fell back to just ahead of the relegation zone. The club then had a poor start to the second half of the season – dropping into the relegation zone for several weeks – but managed to coalesce and eventually earned seven victories in their last 10 matches against only two defeats and one draw. They capped this run with four straight victories to end the season and reached seventh place in the final table for the season 2010–11. The following season 2011–12 the club finished in 18th and last place and was relegated to the 2nd Bundesliga after only two seasons in the top flight.

The club is in third place after 10 games of the current season 2014–15 with 5 wins, 3 draws and 2 losses.[1]

Recent seasons[edit]

Season Division Rank P W D L F A GD Pts DFB-Pokal UEFA Cup Winners' Cup UEFA Cup/Europa League UEFA Champions League Nation Club Score
1989–90 Bundesliga 12 34 10 11 13 42 55 −13 31:37 Winner
1990–91 Bundesliga 1 34 19 10 5 72 45 +27 48:20 2R 1R
1991–92 Bundesliga 5 34 17 10 11 58 42 +16 44:24 QF 2R
1992–93 Bundesliga 8 34 13 9 12 50 40 +10 35:33 2R 3R
1993–94 Bundesliga 2 34 18 7 9 64 36 +28 43:25 QF
1994–95 Bundesliga 4 34 17 12 5 58 41 +17 46:22 SF 2R
1995–96 Bundesliga 16 34 6 18 10 31 37 −6 36 Winner 2R
1996–97 2. Bundesliga 1 34 19 11 4 74 28 +46 68 1R 1R
1997–98 Bundesliga 1 34 19 11 4 63 39 +24 68 3R
1998–99 Bundesliga 5 34 19 6 9 62 37 25 63 2R QF
1999–2000 Bundesliga 5 34 15 5 14 54 59 −5 50 3R 3R
2000–01 Bundesliga 8 34 15 5 14 49 54 −5 50 2R SF
2001–02 Bundesliga 7 34 17 5 12 62 53 +9 56 QF
2002–03 Bundesliga 14 34 10 10 14 40 42 −2 40 Runner-up
2003–04 Bundesliga 13 34 11 6 17 39 62 −23 36 1R 1R
2004–05 Bundesliga 12 34 12 6 16 43 52 −9 42 2R
2005–06 Bundesliga 16 34 8 9 17 47 71 −24 33 3R
2006–07 2. Bundesliga 6 34 13 14 7 48 34 +14 53 1R
2007–08 2. Bundesliga 13 34 9 12 13 37 37 0 39 2R
2008–09 2. Bundesliga 7 34 15 7 12 53 48 +5 52 1R
2009–10 2. Bundesliga 1 34 19 10 5 56 28 +28 67 3R
2010–11 Bundesliga 7 34 13 7 14 48 51 −3 46 QF
2011–12 Bundesliga 18 34 4 11 19 24 54 −30 23 3R
2012–13 2. Bundesliga 3 34 15 13 6 55 33 22 58 2R
2013–14 2. Bundesliga 4 34 15 9 10 55 39 16 54 SF
2014–15 2. Bundesliga 34

As of 19 May 2011[2]
P = Played; W = Win; D = Draw; L = Loss; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; Cup = DFB-Pokal; CWC = European Cup Winners' Cup; EL = UEFA Europa League; CL = UEFA Champions League.
in = Still in competition; — = Not attended; 1R = 1st round; 2R = 2nd round; 3R = 3rd round; 1/8 = Round of sixteen; QF = Quarterfinals; SF = Semifinals.

Honours[edit]

Youth[edit]

Stadium[edit]

Main article: Fritz Walter Stadion

FCK plays its home fixtures in the Fritz Walter Stadion first built in 1920. The stadium and the adjacent street are named for the player who brought the club to prominence after the war. The facility is built on the Betzenberg, literally "Mount Betze", a steep sandstone hill.

The stadium has a capacity of 49,780 and was a 2006 World Cup venue, hosting four preliminary round and one Group of 16 round matches. The facility underwent a major refurbishment for the tournament with addition of new grandstands and a roof.

Club culture[edit]

The "Westkurve" in April 2011

Kaiserslautern's Fritz-Walter-Stadion has long been a feared away venue given the rabid ferocity of Kaiserslautern fans: the most faithful of these supporters are located in the stadium's "Westkurve" (Westside, literally "West Curve", since the stands used to be shaped in a semicircle behind the goals). Most famously, FC Bayern Munich once lost a match here in a charged atmosphere by a score of 7–4 after leading 4–1 at the 58th minute.

The club has friendly ties to TSV 1860 München and SV Werder Bremen and are bitter rivals of Waldhof Mannheim and FC Bayern Munich. They also have lesser local rivalries with Eintracht Frankfurt and, more recently, with 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Karlsruher SC.

Current squad[edit]

As of 10 July 2014[3]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Germany GK Tobias Sippel
3 Germany DF Tim Heubach
4 Germany DF Willi Orban
5 Turkey MF Kerem Demirbay (on loan from Hamburger SV)
6 Finland MF Alexander Ring
7 Germany DF Michael Schulze
8 Montenegro FW Stefan Mugoša
9 Croatia FW Srđan Lakić
10 Germany FW Philipp Hofmann
11 Norway MF Ruben Yttergård Jenssen
13 Germany DF Florian Riedel
14 Germany FW Sebastian Jacob
16 Algeria MF Karim Matmour
No. Position Player
17 Germany DF André Fomitschow
19 Germany MF Marcel Gaus
20 Austria MF Kevin Stöger (on loan from VfB Stuttgart)
22 Germany GK Julian Pollersbeck
26 Germany MF Steven Zellner
31 Germany DF Chris Löwe
32 Germany GK Marius Müller
33 Germany DF Dominique Heintz
35 Germany FW Jan-Lucas Dorow
36 Ghana MF Manfred Osei
37 Germany MF Markus Karl
38 Germany DF Michael Schindele
39 Germany DF Jean Zimmer

Out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
-- Poland FW Ariel Borysiuk (at Lechia Gdańsk)
-- Austria FW Christopher Drazan (at LASK Linz)
 

1. FC Kaiserslautern II squad[edit]

As of 2 February 2014

Manager: Germany Konrad Fünfstück

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Germany GK Marius Müller
Germany GK Julian Pollersbeck
Germany GK Patrick Weigl
Germany DF Alexander Bugera
Germany DF Marvin Leonhardt
Germany DF Sascha Mockenhaupt
Germany DF Willi Orban
Germany DF Calogero Rizzuto
Germany DF Michael Schindele
Germany DF Sebastian Sonnenberger
Germany DF Niklas Tasky
Germany DF Jean Zimmer
Germany MF Yannick Bach
Germany MF Tobias Bräuner
Germany MF Max Grammel
No. Position Player
United States MF Matt Lecinski
Germany MF Christian Lensch
Germany MF Sebastian Lindner
Germany MF Marcell Öhler
Germany MF Mario Pokar
Germany MF Nils Rattke
Germany MF Kevin Schwehm
Germany MF Sascha Simon
Germany MF Steven Zellner
Azerbaijan FW Rufat Dadashov
Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Halil Hajtić
Germany FW Jan-Lucas Dorow
Germany FW Sebastian Jacob
Germany FW Mario Müller
Germany FW Pascal Stork

Former players[edit]

Other sports[edit]

1. FC Kaiserslautern also has sports departments in athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, headis, hockey, running, triathlon and wheelchair basketball.[4]

Basketball[edit]

The basketball department was founded in 1952.[5] The seniors team played in the second German Basketball league from 2002 until 2007. In the 2014–15 season, both the male and female senior teams play in the fourth division.

Boxing[edit]

The boxing department exists since the times of FV Kaiserslautern. Most prominent athletes are Silver medalist of the 1964 Summer Olympics Emil Schulz, Bronze medalist of the 1988 Summer Olympics Reiner Gies and, before his professional career, later European heavyweight champion Karl Mildenberger.

Wheelchair basketball[edit]

The wheelchair basketball team FCK Rolling Devils was founded in 2009 as a part of the club's basketball department and turned into an separate department in 2013.[6] Since 2014, the Rolling Devils play in the 1st German Wheelchair Basketball Federal League.[7]

References[edit]

External links[edit]