Previously, on “The Bundesliga’s biggest guns circa 1963: Part 1”:
“With the 60th season of the Bundesliga upon us, I thought it would be a fun idea to take a trip down memory lane. In the past 59 seasons, we’ve seen 56 teams, some still here, some long gone and some fresh faces. We will have a look at the clubs with the longest stays in the league so far and talk about how things are going for them so far and where they’re at now.”
This is the highly anticipated part 2 of “The Bundesliga’s biggest guns circa 1963”. Today we’ll be carrying on from where I left us in part 1, the 6 clubs after Werder, Bayern Munich, BVB, Stuttgart and HSV, who’ve stayed in the Bundesliga for more than 40 years.
Bayern Munich have their fair share of bogey clubs but the next one on our list gets the cookie for maintaining an unimaginable level of consistency, punching above their weight against us. No points for guessing who it is. Let’s welcome Borussia Mönchengladbach, the club with 54 seasons in the Bundesliga. Die Fohlen have tasted victory with five Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokals, and two Europa League titles.
The history of Gladbach is absolutely fascinating but incorporating it into this article wouldn’t do it justice. Trust me, this club’s story is worth writing a separate piece on.
In my “Farmersliga” fanpost, I spoke in detail of the struggles they’ve been facing and how heavily they’ve been hit by the pandemic. The club recently signed Daniel Farke who will hopefully implement his trademark “Farke ball” with resounding success.
I’d like to wrap up on Gladbach for the time being, with one of Muller_Era’s tear-jerking poems.
Look who is here, after being thrashed by Hertha, ready to statpad
I thought you were on decline, collapsing internally, I guess not, lad,
What began a peaceful Sommer night ending in angry tears, I’m mad.
You beat us 5-0, I don’t understand how and am still extremely sad.
You still in the 70s? I guess so, good ol’ times, what a rivalry we had!
Whether in the 70s or 2021, here’s Gladbach, never making us glad.
The next club is none other than die Europa League Sieger, Eintracht Frankfurt with 53 seasons in the top-flight. In part 1, I named 5 clubs from the Oberliga Süd of 1964-65 that were promoted to the Bundesliga, and you might remember that Frankfurt was among them.
SGE have enjoyed some success in the Bundesliga, having either won or drawn more 75% of their games as well as having finished most of their seasons placed in the top half of the table. Ironically enough for a club with such a high win percentage, they have the highest number of league losses with a mind-blowing 657 losses since the inception of the Bundesliga in ’63.
While Die Adler have surprisingly, never lifted the Bundesliga trophy (what?!), they have an excellent record in the DFB Pokal, having lifted the trophy 5 times, most recently in 2017-18 under Niko Kovac (anyone remember Haller, Rebic, Jovic?), having lost the final the previous season. They’ve also lifted the UEFA Cup/ Europa League twice (most recently last month, what a dominant run!) and the Intertoto Cup once.
Their present squad managed by Oliver Glasner is looking at a potential partial disband, as a direct result of European success. Making their way to the Champions League, albeit looking to be slightly depleted, Frankfurt show no signs of stopping on the European stage and I wish them all the very best for their efforts.
When packing for a trip, it’s crucial to pack clothes according to the place you’re visiting. For example, you wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a Neuer jersey to Brazil, or Algeria, or a certain VELTINS-Arena in Gelsenkirchen. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is none other than the home of Schalke 04.
Schalke 04, along with Eintracht Frankfurt, has 53 seasons in the top-flight. It was among the sixteen clubs that were granted entry into the Bundesliga, owing to the fact that they delivered a number of top four finishes in the Oberliga. Die Knappen have lifted the Pokal five times, the Ligapokal once and the DFL-Supercup once, However, the club has delivered rather hot and cold results since making it into the league.
The COVID pandemic catapulted them into oblivion and Schalke saw themselves drifting in the treacherous waters of the relegation zone and finally were sent to the 2. Bundesliga last season. However, they’re making a return to the Bundesliga this fall and it’s a truly exciting journey from here on for Schalke since they look amped up and ready to prove their worth.
FC Köln, the jewel of the colourful, tempestuous, and frenzied city of Köln is the next club on our list, with 50 seasons in the Bundesliga. Köln were quite the firecracker of the Oberliga West and continued their winning ways in the Bundesliga in 1963, by becoming the first ever Bundesliga champion.
In 1977–78, FC Köln enjoyed its most successful season, under Hennes Weisweiler (former Gladbach manager), winning the Bundesliga title, for the second time, and retaining the DFB-Pokal. This makes Köln one of only four clubs to have won the double since 1963. Overall, they have lifted the Bundesliga trophy twice and the DFB-Pokal four times.
Effzeh have a long-standing reputation of being a yo-yo club, with constantly oscillating form and bad habit of moving back and forth between the top two divisions. At the moment, they look very good under Steffen Baumgart, former Paderborn manager, who has brought the best out of the club’s talented players and taken them to the Conference League, having placed 7th in the Bundesliga. I hope to see them put up a good fight this season, both in the Bundesliga and in Europe.
The next club on our list is a special one, a club with arguably the most exciting fixture in the coming season’s DFB Pokal, a bunch of devils *wink wink*, ready to unleash hell. It is historically among the most successful football clubs in Germany, currently occupying eleventh place in the all-time Bundesliga table. And this club, is none other than die Roten Teufel, FC Kaiserslautern, the club with 44 seasons in the Bundesliga.
Among the founding members of the Bundesliga, FCK has lifted the Meisterschale four times, the DFB-Pokal twice, and the DFL-Supercup once.
In 2018, the club was in the most embarrassing phase in its history, facing relegation to the 3. Liga. After 4 long years of struggle, it has finally gained promotion to the 2. Bundesliga.
(P.S: The 2. BuLi is getting so much more exciting by the day y’all! + the Freiburg vs FCK is a must-watch fixture!)
The very last club on our list, with 43 seasons in the top-flight.
A club that has made the top four, a very comfortable home for itself.
A club with a fierce rivalry with Effzeh.
A club that will never sell to Bayern but proceeds to not leave a single one of its star players unsold otherwise.
And most importantly, a club that doesn’t follow the 50+1.
(P.S: Thanks for Ballack and Ze Roberto guys!)
Ok, enough hints, I’m obviously talking about Bayer Leverkusen. B04 were first promoted to the Bundesliga in 1979, and have remained in the top division ever since, not having been relegated even once (!). Ironically enough, the club have NEVER, even once, won the Bundesliga. They have one UEFA cup and DFB Pokal… and that’s it. (So much for breaking 50+1!)
Anyway, my snide remarks aside, the club has a very bright future and honestly, they’re in for another fantastic season, having made some incredible signings and have done some fantastic work in selling players as well.
*I have to say, the transfer department in Leverkusen deserves a huge round of applause for the way they’re running the ship. *
Honourable mention: Congratulations to Hertha Berlin for entering their 40th season in the Bundesliga in August.
So yeah, there we go. This was a fun trip and if you enjoyed it, I’m glad! You just saw the clubs with the longest stays in the league and a little peek into what they’ve been up to.
I wish to wrap up by quoting Rudi Voller, who once said,
Critics often doubt the quality of the Bundesliga. But can you find three top-class number 9 strikers in England, Spain or Italy? They all play in the Bundesliga.
As always, this is Muller_Era. Thanks for reading.