FC Koln

FC Koln are a Bundesliga club based in Cologne, in North Rhine-Westphalia. They were formed in 1948, and have won two Bundesliga titles and four German Cups.

Their best period of success came under manager Hennes Weisweiler. The club’s mascot, a male goat, was renamed Hennes in his honour due to his achievements at the club. In 1977-78, under Weisweiler’s management, Koln won its first Bundesliga title and retained the DFB-Pokal as well, having won it the previous year. This feat makes it only the fourth club to have won a domestic double in the Bundesliga era.

Overall, the thirty-year period from the 1960s onwards was the best of Koln’s history. They were the inaugural Bundesliga champions in 1963-64, and ended up reaching the quarter-finals of the European Cup the following season, losing to Liverpool on a coin toss after three games which all finished in draws. Koln have a horrid record in DFB-Pokal finals, as despite winning the cup four times, they have been losing finalists on a further six occasions.

Koln also lost in the final of the UEFA Cup to Real Madrid in 1985-86, with six runner-up finishes in the Bundesliga also showing how close the club have come to glory on multiple fronts over the years. In recent years, Koln were relegated at the end of the 2017-18 season, but bounced back immediately to be competing in the top flight again this season.

The club play their home games at the RheinEnergieStadion, which was first opened in 1921. The stadium has been demolished and rebuilt twice over its history, with the current iteration having a capacity of just under 50,000. It has hosted games at both the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, being one of five stadiums to do so. The club colours are white and red, seen on the club crest and kit.

Their major rivalries are with Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Fortuna Dusseldorf, as all the clubs are from the Rhine-Ruhr region. The rivalry with Monchengladbach has added spice due to Hennes Weisweiler’s decision to move to Monchengladbach as head coach in 1964, which further inflamed this rivalry.

The current head coach is Markus Gisdol. He was appointed in November 2019, with prior coaching experience at the likes of Hamburger SV and 1899 Hoffenheim. The team is currently captained by Germany international Jonas Hector, who has been at the club since 2010.

In the current season, Koln were in 10th place, five points off a Europa League playoff spot, and well clear of the relegation battle.