SV Darmstadt 98

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Darmstadt 98
SV Darmstadt 98 logo.svg
Full nameSportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V.
Nickname(s)Die Lilien (The Lilies)
Founded22 May 1898; 124 years ago (1898-05-22)
GroundMerck-Stadion am Böllenfalltor
PresidentKlaus Rüdiger Fritsch
Head coachTorsten Lieberknecht
League2. Bundesliga
2021–222. Bundesliga, 4th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Sportverein Darmstadt 1898 e.V., commonly known as Darmstadt 98 (German pronunciation: [ˌdaʁmʃtat ʔaxtʔʊntˈnɔɪ̯nt͡sɪç] (listen)), is a German association football club based in Darmstadt, Hesse. The club was founded on 22 May 1898 as FC Olympia Darmstadt. Early in 1919, the association was briefly known as Rasen-Sportverein Olympia before merging with Darmstädter Sport Club 1905 on 11 November that year to become Sportverein Darmstadt 98. Merger partner SC was the product of a 1905 union between Viktoria 1900 Darmstadt and Germania 1903 Darmstadt. The footballers are today part of a sports club which also offers its approximately 7,600 members[1] basketball, hiking, futsal, judo, and table tennis.

The football department competed in the Bundesliga for the 2015–16 and 2016–17 seasons after a 33-year run in lower leagues.


Early history[edit]

Cigarette card with the crest of the club from 1930

Olympia played as a lower table side in the Westkreisliga between 1909 and 1913. In the late 20s and early 30s the club played as SV Darmstadt in the Kreisliga Odenwald and Bezirksliga Main-Hessen, Gruppe Hesse, but struggled to stay in top flight competition. In 1933, German football was reorganized under the Third Reich into sixteen premier divisions known as Gauligen. Darmstadt was not able to break into upper league play until 1941 when they joined the Gauliga Hessen-Nassau, Gruppe 2. Their stay was short-lived and they were relegated after their second season of play at that level. By 1944–45 the division had collapsed in the face of the advance of Allied armies into Germany.

Historical chart of SV Darmstadt league performance

Darmstadt enjoyed a long run as a second division team through the 50s and then again from the time of the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 on into the 70s. However, they were never better than a lower to mid-table side until they finally managed a breakthrough in 1973 with a Regionalliga Süd championship and participation in the promotion rounds for the Bundesliga where they finished a distant second to Rot-Weiss Essen.

From the Bundesliga to insolvency[edit]

A side with limited resources, Darmstadt eventually managed two seasons in the Bundesliga (1978–79 and 1981–82). They narrowly missed a third turn in the top league in 1988 when they lost in a lengthy relegation-promotion play-off to Waldhof Mannheim in penalty shoot-out of the third match between the two clubs.[2] In the following years Darmstadt 98 escaped relegation to the Amateur Oberliga Hessen (III) in 1991 when Essen was refused a 2. Bundesliga licence for financial reasons. However, by 1997, SV had themselves become victims of financial mismanagement, slipping to the third and fourth divisions.

The team's most recent successes include wins in the Hessen Pokal (Hessen Cup) in 1999, 2001, 2006, 2007 and 2008 as well as three consecutive Possmann-Hessen Cup wins from 2000 to 2002. In the DFB-Pokal, Darmstadt advanced as far as the third round in 1989 and 2001, and to the quarter-finals in 1986. In 2004, the club claimed the Oberliga Hessen (IV) championship under manager and former player Bruno Labbadia and were promoted to the Regionalliga Süd (III).

Financial problems limited their options and they were relegated to the Oberliga Hessen (IV) at the end of the 2006–07 season. The club's stated aim was to reach the new 3. Liga within five years. However, on 6 March 2008 Darmstadt entered insolvency proceedings with debts of around 1.1 million making the future of the club uncertain. After the 2007–08 Oberliga Hessen Championship, Darmstadt played in the Regionalliga Süd. Darmstadt took various measures to avert bankruptcy, for example a friendly benefit match against Bayern Munich, donations etc. In addition, the former management of the club (e.g. former president, former tax advisor) made vital financial contributions which secured the club's future.

Rise to the Bundesliga[edit]

After winning the 2010–11 Regionalliga Süd in dramatic fashion, Darmstadt were promoted to the 3. Liga. In 2012, Dirk Schuster was appointed as head coach, and he signed Darmstadt's future captain, Aytaç Sulu. In the 2012–13 season, the club was initially relegated but their fiercest rivals Kickers Offenbach were refused a 3. Liga licence due to going into administration and were relegated to the Regionalliga instead. Darmstadt 98 took Offenbach's place.[3]

In 2013–14, having finished third in league and thus gaining entry into the promotion-relegation play-offs, Darmstadt defeated Arminia Bielefeld in the second leg through away goals after losing 1–3 in the first leg at home to secure promotion to 2. Bundesliga for the first time in 21 years in dramatic circumstances.

In the following 2. Bundesliga season, Darmstadt secured the second-place position in the league and therefore promotion to the Bundesliga after a 33-year absence. In their final league match, against FC St. Pauli, the club won 1–0 at home through a 70th minute free-kick by Tobias Kempe. This was the second consecutive promotion for the team, led again by coach Schuster and captain Sulu.

Darmstadt reached the Round of 16 of the 2015–16 DFB Pokal. On 8 March 2016, long-term fan Jonathan Heimes died of cancer and posthumously, Darmstadt's stadium was renamed into "Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor" for the 2016–17 season. Darmstadt finished the 2015–16 season in 14th position, mainly due to a positive away record.

Coach Dirk Schuster announced his decision to join FC Augsburg, whereas Norbert Meier was appointed as head coach for the 2016–17 season. After being defeated in the second round of the 2016–17 DFB Pokal and only scoring 8 points in 12 games, Maier was sacked on 5 December 2016. On 27 December 2016, former Bundesliga player and Werder Bremen assistant manager Torsten Frings was presented as new head coach. However, the team was incapable of securing the next season in the Bundesliga after a 0–1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the 32nd matchday of the season, and was relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.

After a poor start to the 2017/18-second Bundesliga season, Torsten Frings was removed from his position and on 11 December 2017 the vacant manager's position was again filled by Dirk Schuster who returned to the Darmstadt club for his second spell as manager, finishing 10th in the league.

In the 2018/19-second Bundesliga season, Dimitrios Grammozis replaced Schuster after 23 points out of 22 games, placed at position 14 of 18 clubs, finishing again at position 10. In the following season, the club finished at position 5. After the season, Markus Anfang took over as head coach.


The club's honours:

  • Won by reserve team.

Recent seasons[edit]

The recent season-by-season performance of the club:[4][5]

Season Division Tier Position
1963–64 Amateurliga Hessen III 1st ↑
1964–65 Regionalliga Süd II 14th
1965–66 Regionalliga Süd 13th
1966–67 Regionalliga Süd 14th
1967–68 Regionalliga Süd 14th
1968–69 Regionalliga Süd 8th
1969–70 Regionalliga Süd 18th ↓
1970–71 Hessenliga III 1st ↑
1971–72 Regionalliga Süd II 7th
1972–73 Regionalliga Süd 1st
1973–74 Regionalliga Süd 4th
1974–75 2. Bundesliga Süd 10th
1975–76 2. Bundesliga Süd 7th
1976–77 2. Bundesliga Süd 6th
1977–78 2. Bundesliga Süd 1st ↑
1978–79 Bundesliga I 18th ↓
1979–80 2. Bundesliga Süd II 4th
1980–81 2. Bundesliga Süd 1st ↑
1981–82 Bundesliga I 17th ↓
1982–83 2. Bundesliga II 7th
1983–84 2. Bundesliga 12th
1984–85 2. Bundesliga 15th
1985–86 2. Bundesliga 10th
1986–87 2. Bundesliga 4th
1987–88 2. Bundesliga 3rd
1988–89 2. Bundesliga 11th
1989–90 2. Bundesliga 16th
1990–91 2. Bundesliga 17th
1991–92 2. Bundesliga Süd 8th
1992–93 2. Bundesliga 24th ↓
1993–94 Oberliga Hessen III 9th
1994–95 Regionalliga Süd 11th
1995–96 Regionalliga Süd 15th
1996–97 Regionalliga Süd 13th
1997–98 Regionalliga Süd 16th ↓
1998–99 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st
1999–00 Regionalliga Süd III 9th
2000–01 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2001–02 Regionalliga Süd 14th
2002–03 Regionalliga Süd 17th ↓
2003–04 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st ↑
2004–05 Regionalliga Süd III 5th
2005–06 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2006–07 Regionalliga Süd 16th ↓
2007–08 Oberliga Hessen IV 1st ↑
2008–09 Regionalliga Süd IV 15th
2009–10 Regionalliga Süd 15th
2010–11 Regionalliga Süd 1st ↑
2011–12 3. Liga III 14th
2012–13 3. Liga 18th
2013–14 3. Liga 3rd ↑
2014–15 2. Bundesliga II 2nd ↑
2015–16 Bundesliga I 14th
2016–17 Bundesliga 18th ↓
2017–18 2. Bundesliga II 10th
2018–19 2. Bundesliga 10th
2019–20 2. Bundesliga 5th
2020–21 2. Bundesliga 7th
2021–22 2. Bundesliga 4th
2022–23 2. Bundesliga


Current squad[edit]

As of 31 January 2023[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Germany GER Marcel Schuhen
3 DF Sweden SWE Thomas Isherwood
4 DF Germany GER Christoph Zimmermann
5 DF Germany GER Patric Pfeiffer
6 MF Germany GER Marvin Mehlem
7 MF Germany GER Braydon Manu
8 MF Germany GER Fabian Schnellhardt
9 FW Germany GER Phillip Tietz
11 MF Germany GER Tobias Kempe
14 MF Denmark DEN Magnus Warming (on loan from Torino)
16 MF England ENG Keanan Bennetts
17 MF Germany GER Frank Ronstadt
18 MF Austria AUT Mathias Honsak
19 DF Austria AUT Emir Karic
No. Pos. Nation Player
20 DF Germany GER Jannik Müller
21 GK Germany GER Steve Kroll
22 FW Germany GER Aaron Seydel
23 MF Albania ALB Klaus Gjasula
26 DF Germany GER Matthias Bader
28 MF France FRA Yassin Ben Balla
29 FW Sweden SWE Oscar Vilhelmsson
30 MF Germany GER Alexander Brunst
32 DF Germany GER Fabian Holland (captain)
38 MF Germany GER Clemens Riedel
40 FW Switzerland SUI Filip Stojilković
41 MF Germany GER Philipp Sonn
42 FW Germany GER Fabio Torsiello

On loan[edit]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK Germany GER Morten Behrens (at Waldhof Mannheim until 30 June 2023)
GK Greece GRE Antonis Makatounakis (at OFI Crete until 30 June 2023)
MF Austria AUT Nemanja Celic (at LASK until 30 June 2023)
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF Sierra Leone SLE John Peter Sesay (at Rot-Weiß Koblenz until 30 June 2023)
FW Germany GER Henry Crosthwaite (at FCA Walldorf until 30 June 2023)
FW Germany GER André Leipold (at Würzburger Kickers until 30 June 2023)

Current technical staff[edit]

As of 14 September 2020[7]
Position Name
Manager Germany Torsten Lieberknecht
Assistant manager Germany Florian Junge
Assistant manager Germany Kai Peter Schmitz
Goalkeeping coach Germany Dimo Wache
Goalkeeping coach Germany Uwe Zimmermann
Fitness coach Germany Kai-Peter Schmitz
Head physiotherapist Germany Dirk Schmitt
Club doctors Germany Dr. med. Michael Weingart
Germany Dr. med. Alexander Lesch
Germany Dr. med. Ingo Schwinnen
Germany Dr. med. Philip Jessen
Team officials Germany Michael Stegmayer
Germany Matthias Neumann
Germany Jonas Nietzel
Germany Sebastian Pommer
Germany Björn Rein
Germany Michael Richter
Academy director Germany Björn Kopper
Academy Coordinator Germany Tim Kuhl
Under-19s coach Germany Georg-Martin Leopold
Under-17s coach Germany Patrick Kurt
Under-16s coach Germany Burak Yelken

Former managers[edit]

The managers of the club:[8]

Start End Manager
1968 1970 Germany Heinz Lucas
1971 1976 Germany Udo Klug †
1978 1979 Germany Lothar Buchmann
1979 1979 Germany Klaus Schlappner
1979 1980 Germany Jörg Berger
1981 1982 Germany Werner Olk
1982 1983 Germany Manfred Krafft
1983 1984 Germany Timo Zahnleiter
1984 1984 Germany Lothar Kleim
1985 1986 Germany Udo Klug †
1986 1987 Germany Eckhard Krautzun
1987 1988 Germany Klaus Schlappner
1988 1989 Germany Werner Olk
1989 1989 Germany Eckhard Krautzun
1989 1990 Germany Dieter Renner
1990 1990 Germany Uwe Klimaschefski
1990 1991 Germany Jürgen Sparwasser
1994 1996 Germany Gerhard Kleppinger
1996 1996 Germany Max Reichenberger
1996 1998 Germany Lothar Buchmann
1999 2000 Germany Eckhard Krautzun
2000 2002 Germany Michael Feichtenbeiner
2002 2003 Germany Hans-Werner Moser
2003 2006 Germany Bruno Labbadia
2006 2006 Italy Gino Lettieri
2006 2009 Germany Gerhard Kleppinger
2009 2010 Serbia Živojin Juškić
24 March 2010 2 September 2012 Germany Kosta Runjaić
5 September 2012 17 December 2012 Germany Jürgen Seeberger
2012 2016 Germany Dirk Schuster
1 July 2016 5 December 2016 Germany Norbert Meier
5 December 2016 27 December 2016 Germany Ramon Berndroth (interim)
3 January 2017 9 December 2017 Germany Torsten Frings
12 December 2017 18 February 2019 Germany Dirk Schuster
24 February 2019 30 June 2020 Greece Dimitrios Grammozis
1 July 2020 30 June 2021 Germany Markus Anfang
1 July 2021 present Germany Torsten Lieberknecht


  1. ^ "Mitgliedschaft – SV 98" (in German). 14 September 2020. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  2. ^ "SV Waldhof Mannheim – SV Darmstadt 98, 5:4 i.E., Relegation Bundesliga 1987/88 Spiele".
  3. ^ Ruhl: "Ein bitterer Tag für den OFC" Archived 16 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine (in German), published: 3 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013
  4. ^ Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv Archived 5 September 2019 at the Wayback Machine (in German) Historical German domestic league tables
  5. ^ – Ergebnisse Archived 18 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine (in German) Tables and results of all German football leagues
  6. ^ "Kader: Darmstadt 98" (in German). SV Darmstadt 98. 3 July 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Die Trainer". SV Darmstadt 98. Retrieved 14 September 2020.
  8. ^ "SV Darmstadt 98 .:. Trainer von A-Z". (in German). Retrieved 6 December 2011.

External links[edit]