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1.FC Kaiserslautern

1.FC Kaiserslautern is a football (soccer) club from Germany.

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About 1.FC Kaiserslautern

1. FC Kaiserslautern, also known as 1. FCK, FCK or simply Kaiserslautern, is a Football in Germany 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.

History

Early years to World War II

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

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 (1945-63) 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 (1920–2002) and his brother Ottmar Walter: the duo scored 46 goals between them – more than any other single team.

Success in the 1950s and entry to the Bundesliga

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 FIFA 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 Fußball-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

1. FCK won a second German Cup in 1996, but that victory was soured since the team was relegated to 2. Fußball-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, SL 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 anonymous 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 soccer 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

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 SK, 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.

Milan Sasic lasted almost the entire 2008–09 season but was dismissed on 4 May 2009 after run of poor results in the 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.

Recent seasons





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

- Fußball-Bundesliga: List of German football champions, List of German football champions, 1990–91 Fußball-Bundesliga, 1997–98 Fußball-Bundesliga
- 2. Fußball-Bundesliga: 1996–97 2. Fußball-Bundesliga, 2009–10 2. Fußball-Bundesliga
- DFB-Pokal: 1989–90 DFB-Pokal, 1995–96 DFB-Pokal
- DFB-Supercup: DFB-Supercup
- DFB-Pokal: Runners-up: 1961, 1972, 1976, 1981, 2003
- UEFA Cup: Semi-final: 1982, 2001
- UEFA Champions League: Quarter-final: 1999
- Westkreis-Liga (I) champions: 1909
- South West Cup winners: 1979, 1997, 2008

Youth

- German Under 19 championship (football): 1992
- German Under 19 championship runners-up: 1984, 1991, 1993
- German Under 17 championship (football): 1983
- German Under 17 championship runners-up: 1992

Stadium

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 that requires some stamina to scale if you take in an FCK match.

The stadium has a capacity of 49,780 and was a 2006 FIFA 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.

2006 FIFA World Cup matches at the Fritz Walter Stadion

- Australia 3–1 Japan
- Italy 1–1 United States
- Paraguay 2–0 Trinidad and Tobago
- Saudi Arabia 0–1 Spain
- Italy 1–0 Australia

Club culture



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.

Kaiserslautern also has friendly ties to Kilmarnock FC after playing them in the UEFA Cup in the 1999–2000 season

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Out on loan



1. FC Kaiserslautern II squad

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Manager: Alois Schwartz



Famous players and contributors




Kaiserslautern has sent more than twenty players to the national side, including five who played on West Germany national football team's 1954 FIFA World Cup "1954 FIFA World Cup Final" side: Horst Eckel, Werner Kohlmeyer, Werner Liebrich, Fritz Walter and Ottmar Walter.

Former players


Famous players

- Halil Altıntop
- Andrija Anković
- Michael Ballack
- Mario Basler
- Andreas Brehme
- Hans-Peter Briegel
- Andreas Buck
- Thomas Dooley
- Youri Djorkaeff
- Michael Dusek
- Horst Eckel
- Gerald Ehrmann
- Jan Eriksson
- Marco Haber
- Tamas Hajnal
- Ronnie Hellström
- Demir Hotić
- Marian Hristov
- Miroslav Kadlec
- Samir Kamouna
- Miroslav Klose

- Harry Koch
- Werner Kohlmeyer
- Pavel Kuka
- Stefan Kuntz
- Werner Liebrich
- Roger Lutz
- Olaf Marschall
- Werner Melzer
- Lucien Mettomo
- Michael Mifsud
- Torbjörn Nilsson
- Jörgen Pettersson (footballer)
- Josef Pirrung
- Hany Ramzy
- Ratinho
- Marco Reich
- Thomas Riedl
- Axel Roos

- Wynton Rufer
- Oliver Schäfer
- Michael Schjønberg
- Dietmar Schwager
- Mark Schwarzer
- Ciriaco Sforza
- Ervin Skela
- Jeff Strasser
- Igli Tare
- Bill Tchato
- Klaus Toppmöller
- Martin Wagner (footballer)
- Fritz Walter
- Ottmar Walter
- Roman Weidenfeller
- Tim Wiese
- Ferydoon Zandi
- Aki Riihilahti

Former managers


Memorable matches



1. FC Kaiserslautern 7–4 Bayern Munich

- Date: 20 October 1973

After 56 minutes, FC Bayern Munich led 1:4. But within 180 seconds, 1. FCK strikers Toppmöller and Pirrung had made the score 3:4, and ten minutes from the end of the game, Pirrung scored the 4:4. The Betzenberg erupted when Diehl scored the 5:4 for the Red Devils in the 84th minute, and Laumen added two late goals to make it 7:4. This game is considered to be the finest Betzenberg comeback ever.

1. FC Kaiserslautern 5–0 Real Madrid

- Date: 17 March 1982

After losing the first game with 1:3, 1. FCK had to win with 2:0 at least. After 17 minutes already, Friedhelm Funkel had scored two goals. The Spaniards, who also featured German star sweeper Uli Stielike saw San Jose and Cunningham sent off before the 40th minute. Eilenfeldt and Geye made the score 5:0, only interrupted by the third Real player sent off (Pineda).

1. FC Kaiserslautern 3–1 FC Barcelona

- Date: 6 November 1991

After surprisingly winning the German Championship, 1. FCK played the European Cup I. Barça convincingly won the first game 2:0. In the first half, 1. FCK striker Demir Hotic scored two goals, and in the 76th minute, the Fritz Walter Stadium erupted, after Bjarne Goldbaek scored the 3:0. But in injury time, a desperation cross by Ronald Koeman found José Maria Bakero. The small striker took a header from nearly outside the box, which somehow went in.




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