is a football (soccer) club from Switzerland.
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About FC Basel
Fussball Club Basel 1893, widely known as FC Basel, is a Switzerland Association football club based in Basel. They are one of the most successful clubs in Swiss football, having won the Swiss Super League 14 times, the third most for any Swiss club. They were most successful in the late 1960s and 1970s, winning the title a total of seven times between 1967 and 1980. The 1980s saw hard times for Basel as they had an absence from European competition for many years and they were relegated in 1987. In the 2000s Basel returned to the top of Swiss football; winning their first title for 22 years in 2002 and another five titles in 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, and 2011.
They have competed in UEFA every season since 1999–2000. In the 2001–02 season the club reached the UEFA Intertoto Cup final, losing to Aston Villa F.C., in the 2002/03 season they qualified for the Second Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League and in the 2005–06 season they reached the Quarter-Finals of the UEFA Europa League. They have been in the Champions League more times than any other Swiss club (a total of 4 times) and are the first and only Swiss club to have ever qualified directly for the Champions League group-stages.
The early years
FC Basel was started by an advertisement on 12 November 1893 that appeared in the Basler national newspaper requesting that a football team be formed and that anyone that wished to join should meet up the next Wednesday at 8:15. So, on 15 November 1893, FC Basel was born in the city of Basel, Switzerland. One of the early Captain (association football) was Joan Gamper, who later founded FC Barcelona in La Liga. FC Basel did not have much of an early footballing success; it took them 40 years to win their first trophy, winning the Swiss Cup in 1933 when they defeated arch-rivals and reigning cup-holders Grasshopper-Club Zürich 4–3, in what is now considered to be one of the best cup finals in Swiss football history. They also won the cup in 1947 when they beat FC Lausanne-Sport, who also finished runners-up the previous year, 3–0. Basel won their first Swiss Super League 1952/1953 football season in Switzerland, with club legend René Bader as manager. They finished three points above BSC Young Boys.
Rise and fall
Basel won their first trophy of the new decade in 1963; with Czechoslovakian manager Jiří Sobotka at the helm, Basel stormed to Swiss Cup glory by overcoming Grasshopper-Club Zürich 2–0 in the final. But, FCB (which is pronounced "Eff Cee Bee" in Swiss German) came to prominence in the late 1960s under the management of Helmut Benthaus and with quality players such as René Hasler, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Karl Odermatt. Benthaus' first league win as Basel manager was in 1966/1967 football season in Switzerland, finishing a single point above FC Zürich. A cup final victory over FC Lausanne-Sport also came later in the season. This led to Basel qualifying to play in the UEFA Champions League, for the first time, European Cup 1967–68. Basel were knocked out of the tournament in the First Round, however, by Danish 1st Division Akademisk Boldklub. Basel's next league win came 1968/1969 football season in Switzerland, when they once again finished just one point above the runners-up, who this time were FC Lausanne-Sport. This meant that Basel could embark on another European adventure, but they, once again, failed to overcome the first hurdle, who were Celtic F.C. of Scottish Premier League. In the 1969/1970 football season in Switzerland, Basel won the league by one point over FC Lausanne-Sport, once again. The UEFA Champions League was a little kinder to Basel European Cup 1970–71, as they reached the Second Round, losing to AFC Ajax, after defeating Russian Premier League FC Spartak Moscow in the First Round. Basel did not retain their title 1970/1971 football season in Switzerland despite finishing with the same amount of points as the winners, Grasshopper-Club Zürich, who won it on head-to-head. After a trophy-less season, Basel then won two league titles in-a-row, 1971/1972 football season in Switzerland and 1972/1973 football season in Switzerland. They also won the Swiss League Cup in 1973. In Europe, Basel failed to impress, once again, European Cup 1972–73, as they were sent crashing out at the first stage by Hungarian National Championship I Újpest FC but in the European Cup 1973–74 they excelled; eliminating Úrvalsdeild Knattspyrnufélagið Fram and Club Brugge K.V. of Belgian First Division, before narrowly exiting in the Quarter-Finals to Celtic F.C. 5–6 on aggregate. Despite Basel's improvement on the UEFA, they did not retain the league for another four years, but they did manage to lift the Swiss Cup in 1975, beating FC Winterthur 2–1 extra time. Basel's long awaited title-win came 1976/1977 football season in Switzerland as they triumphed over Servette FC in a playoff. This meant that Basel returned to play in the UEFA Champions League but they were defeated in the First Round, once more, by FC Wacker Innsbruck of Austrian Football Bundesliga, after showing so much promise on their last European outing. After the success of the 1976/77 season, Basel endured two seasons of below-par performances and mid-table finishes until glory returned in 1979/1980 football season in Switzerland, as Basel won the Swiss Super League title through the playoff. However, head coach Helmut Benthaus left in 1982 and in the following seasons, Basel's final league positions started to drop until their relegation into the Swiss Challenge League 1987/1988 football season in Switzerland. Several managers came and went at St. Jakob Stadium between then and when Basel finally returned to Swiss Super League 1994/1995 football season in Switzerland, under Claude Andrey. Basel avoided relegation by three points in their first season back at the top-flight, but Andrey left and was replaced by Karl Engel. Engel led Basel to a fifth-place finish in 1995/1996 football season in Switzerland and a solid mid-table finish in 1996/1997 football season in Switzerland, but he was sacked after a poor start to the 1997/1998 football season in Switzerland, in which Basel finished second-bottom. Jörg Berger then took over, but lasted only a year in charge before Christian Gross came. Gross' appointment went hand-in-hand with the financial backing that had just been put into the club and it was not long until Basel returned to the top.
Return of the glory days
|Basel's famous 2002/03 team|
When St. Jakob-Park was opened in 2001, success returned. In 2002 FCB won the Double (Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup) and reached the final of the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the following season they were the second Swiss team to ever play in the UEFA Champions League. Their first game was in the Second Qualifying Round against MŠK Žilina of Slovakia. They won 4–1 on aggregate. In the next round they faced Scotland giants Celtic F.C. In the first leg at Celtic Park the home side won 3–1, but in the second leg at St. Jakob-Park, FCB came away with a famous 2–0 victory. This meant Basel progressed on the away goals rule after a 3–3 aggregate draw. In the First Group Stage, FCB were drawn into Group B with Valencia CF, Liverpool F.C. and FC Spartak Moscow. On Matchday One, Basel defeated Spartak 2–0 at home. Then on Matchday Two, FCB travelled to Anfield where they managed to draw 1–1 against Liverpool. After a great start to the group stage, FCB were brought back down to earth when they were defeated 6–2 by Valencia at the Estadio Mestalla. They bounced back, however, and held Valencia to a 2–2 draw in the next fixture. Basel were now sitting in second place in the group but they would still need to win at least one of their last two games and hope that Liverpool would not pick up more than two points to secure that place. In Matchday Five, Liverpool lost 1–0 to Valencia and FCB won 2–0 against Spartak at the Luzhniki Stadium. Basel's place in the last 16 was all but secured, although they still had to make sure they did not lose to Liverpool in the last game of the first group stage. On the last Matchday Basel were winning 3–0 at half-time through goals from Julio Hernán Rossi, Christian Eduardo Giménez and Timothée Atouba. The second half was a different story, though, and Liverpool fought back to draw 3–3. This was still enough for FCB to qualify for the Second Group Stage. In the last 16, Basel faced Manchester United F.C., Juventus F.C. and Deportivo de La Coruña. They had a poor start, losing back to back games against Manchester United at home and Juventus away. FCB then faced Deportivo in a double-header, with the home side winning 1–0 in both games. Arguably two of FCB's greatest games came next as they held Manchester United to a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford and claimed a 2–1 victory over Juventus at St. Jakob-Park. Despite picking up the same number of points as second placed Juventus, Basel crashed out on goal difference. Basel finished second in the Swiss Super League that season and won the Swiss Cup after beating Neuchâtel Xamax 6–0 in the final.
After being the surprise package in UEFA in the UEFA Champions League 2002–03, Basel could not bring this form into the UEFA Cup 2003–04 as they were eliminated by Newcastle United F.C. in the second round after defeating Malatyaspor in the previous round.
The club did go on to achieve some success in the UEFA Cup 2004–05, though, as they were dropped into the UEFA Europa League after being eliminated by F.C. Internazionale Milano in the Qualification Stage of the UEFA Champions League. After they defeated Russian side FC Terek Grozny in the First Round they faced considerabley tougher opponents Feyenoord, FC Schalke 04, Ferencvárosi TC and Heart of Midlothian F.C. in the Group Stage. They drew 1–1 away to Schalke, were defeated 2–1 at home by Hearts, beat Ferencváros 2–1 at Stadium Puskás Ferenc and won 1–0 against Feyenoord at home. They finished third in the group on seven points and qualified for the Round of 32 where they were defeated 2–0 on aggregate by Lille OSC. Basel also won the Swiss Super League during the 2004–05 campaign.
Basel's biggest signings of the 2005–06 season were defenders Daniel Majstorović and Kōji Nakata who were brought in to replace Patrick Müller, who was set to sign for Olympique Lyonnais, and the retiring Murat Yakin. Forward Eduardo Adelino da Silva was signed after a successful loan spell but Argentina goalscorers Christian Eduardo Giménez and Julio Hernán Rossi left the club.
As Swiss champions, Basel entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round against Fußball-Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen. Basel won the first leg 2–1 at St. Jakob-Park but lost 3–0 at the Weserstadion in the second leg, the aggregate 4–2 in Werder's favour. Basel were then dropped into the UEFA Europa League where they met NK Široki Brijeg of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the First Round. Basel sealed a 6–0 aggregate win and were drawn into Group E alongside RC Strasbourg, A.S. Roma, Red Star Belgrade and Tromsø IL club Roma at the Stadio Olimpico where the Serie A club won 3–1. In the Round of 32 FCB came up against AS Monaco FC who they beat 2–1 on aggregate after a 1–1 stalemate in Monaco and a 1–0 victory for Basel in Switzerland. As Basel progressed to the last 16 they played against Strasbourg once again. FCB won the first leg 2–0 and drew 2–2 in the second leg, winning 4–2 overall. In the Quarter-Finals the club came up against Middlesbrough F.C.. FCB won 2–0 at home and looked certain to progress as they travelled to the Riverside Stadium. This was not the case, however, as Middlesbrough fought back to win the match 4–1 and the tie 4–3.
On 26 February 2006, FC Basel broke their own club record of 52 unbeaten league games in the St. Jakob-Park. The new record is 59, but the streak ended there on the final day of the season with a last-minute goal by Iulian Filipescu of FC Zürich, knocking Basel out of contention and giving FC Zürich their first national championship since 1980–81. A sixtieth straight home league match undefeated would have made Basel champions once again, but the final score was 1-2 in favour of FC Zürich, this resulted in riots and property damage by hooligans of both the FCB and their rival after the match (see 2006 Basel Hooligan Incident for more details).
Various signings involving FCB took place during the 2006–07 Swiss Super League season. The most notable of these were the replacement of local hero Pascal Zuberbühler, who departed for West Bromwich Albion F.C., with Argentina national football team international Franco Costanzo and the signing of Delron Buckley on loan from Borussia Dortmund. Zdravko Kuzmanović left the club during the Winter break for ACF Fiorentina.
FC Basel's European campaign started in the first qualifying stage of the UEFA Europa League when they beat Kazakhstan side FC Tobol 3–1 on aggregate. In the second round they played against Liechtensteiner team FC Vaduz, narrowly progressing on the away goals rule after a 2–2 aggregate draw. They were then put up against Macedonia (country) FK Rabotnički. Basel won 6–2 at St. Jakob-Park and 1–0 at the National Arena Philip II of Macedon to qualify for the group stages where they faced tough opposition, Blackburn Rovers F.C. of England, AS Nancy of France, Feyenoord of The Netherlands and Wisła Kraków of Poland. Basel's first game came against Feyenoord at home. They came away with a respectable 1–1 draw. Their next group match was at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers. Basel played reasonably well but shaky defending became their downfall. AS Nancy, at home, were their next opponents and the match ended in a 2–2 draw. Basel's last group game was against Wisła Kraków at the Wisła Stadium. FCB needed a win to qualify but their poor European campaign came to an end after losing 3–1 despite taking an early lead through Mladen Petrić.
Basel won the Swiss Cup after beating FC Lucerne 1–0. The winning goal came from the penalty spot through Daniel Majstorović in the 93rd minute.
FCB finished in second place in the Swiss Super League, just one point behind winners FC Zürich. This was despite the club defeating FC Zürich in all three of their meetings in that league campaign.
At the beginning of the 2007–08 season FC Basel strengthened their team by signing Switzerland national football team internationals Marco Streller from VfB Stuttgart, Benjamin Huggel from Eintracht Frankfurt and David Degen on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Fans' favourite Mladen Petrić joined Borussia Dortmund in a big-money deal and influential defender Boris Smiljanić returned to his former club Grasshopper-Club Zürich. Highly rated Switzerland Under-21 defender Beg Ferati arrived at St. Jakob-Park in January from feeder club FC Concordia Basel on a three-and-a-half year contract. He was joined by veteran striker Vratislav Lokvenc from FC Red Bull Salzburg and exciting midfielder Marko Perović (footballer born 1984) from Red Star Belgrade who also arrived during the Winter break.
Basel were drawn against Bosnia and Herzegovinan minnows FK Sarajevo in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League, a tie that Basel won 8–1 on aggregate. In the next round Basel faced a considerably tougher opponent in the form of SV Mattersburg of Austria. Nonetheless, Basel finished the tie off with a 4–0 away win after a 2–1 victory at St. Jakob-Park. Basel were then drawn into a 'death group' of Group D alongside SK Brann, NK Dinamo Zagreb, Hamburger SV and Stade Rennais F.C., all of which were ranked within the top 3 of their own leagues at the start of the stage. Basel won their first UEFA Europa League group game against Stade Rennais F.C. at home 1–0 thanks to a Marco Streller header. Their next game was away to NK Dinamo Zagreb in which Basel earned a valuable away point thanks to on form goalkeeper Franco Costanzo who kept the game at 0–0 for 90 minutes. They then faced SK Brann at St. Jakob-Park where they won 1–0 through a Carlos Alberto Alves Garcia free-kick and were highly praised for playing attractive and flowing football. Basel then went to Germany to face Hamburger SV at the HSH Nordbank Arena where they were fortunate to escape with a 1–1 draw. The goals came courtesy of captain Ivan Ergić and Hamburger SV's Ivica Olić. Basel then faced Sporting Clube de Portugal in the last 32 after qualifying 2nd in the group alongside 1st placed Hamburger SV and 3rd placed SK Brann. Sporting Lisbon finished third in their group in the UEFA Champions League, which is why they were dropped into the UEFA Europa League. The first leg took place on 13 February in Lisbon where the first choice goalkeeper, Franco Costanzo, was injured and Basel lost 2–0. The second leg did not fair any better for Basel. Franco Costanzo remained injured and Basel lost 3–0 on 21 February in Basel, resulting in the knock out of the UEFA Europa League.
|Basel's 2007–08 title-winning squad.|
FC Basel won the Swiss Cup for the second consecutive season after beating second-tier side AC Bellinzona 4–1 at St. Jakob-Park on 6 April 2008. Eren Derdiyok gave Basel the lead in the first half before AC Bellinzona equalised through Christian Pouga in the second. Daniel Majstorović restored the lead for Basel with a header and Switzerland national football team Marco Streller and Benjamin Huggel scored one goal each to make the final scoreline 4–1 in Basel's favour.
Basel won the Swiss Super League for the first time since 2005 on 10 May 2008 at St. Jakob-Park after a 2–0 win over title threats BSC Young Boys. It was the last game of the season and Basel only needed a point from the match to win the Championship but if BSC Young Boys won then they would be champions, exactly the same situation as the end of the 2005/06 season, only it was between Basel and FC Zürich then. The painful memories of losing the league on the last day of the season in 2006 seemed to spur FCB on as they took an early lead through Valentin Stocker before Marco Streller wrapped up the victory with the second.
This rounded off a highly successful season for Basel as they conquered on the domestic front, winning both the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup, and reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League.
Prior to the 2008–09 season, FCB added to their squad by signing defenders Behrang Safari from Malmö FF and David Abraham (footballer) from Gimnàstic de Tarragona, and midfielders Jürgen Gjasula and Marcos Gelabert from FC St. Gallen. Fans' favourite Daniel Majstorović left the club for AEK Athens F.C and Kōji Nakata returned to the J. League with Kashima Antlers, while Vratislav Lokvenc and David Degen's loan deals were not re-newed. Ivan Ergić resigned from being Captain (association football) before the start of the season, and Franco Costanzo was unveiled as the new captain a day before the season kicked off.
Basel played their opening game of the season in Bern on 18 July 2008 against BSC Young Boys, which they won 2–1 with goals coming from substitutes Marko Perović (footballer born 1984) and Benjamin Huggel after Eudi Silva de Souza put the home side ahead.
Basel entered the UEFA Champions League in the Second Qualifying Round and were drawn against IFK Göteborg of Allsvenskan. The first leg was on 30 July 2008 at Ullevi and finished 1–1. Benjamin Huggel put Basel ahead before Thomas Olsson equalised for the home team. The second leg took place on 6 August at St. Jakob-Park; with Basel coming from behind twice to win 4–2. Pontus Wernbloom put Göteborg ahead on 19 minutes before Benjamin Huggel equalised soon after. Early in the second half Robin Söder restored Göteborg's lead but Basel fought back, with Scott Chipperfield equalising. Then Basel got a penalty due to a supposed hands ball in the box. Replays showed that the referee had made the wrong decision. The penalty was scored and eventually led to the victory. Basel then faced Vitória S.C of Portuguese Liga in the Third Qualifying Round. The first leg at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, on 13 August ended honours even, in a 0–0 draw. The second leg took place on 27 August at St. Jakob-Park where Valentin Stocker gave Basel an early lead on 11 minutes before João Alves was fouled in the penalty area by François Marque and João Fajardo dispatched the spot-kick, just four minutes later to draw Vitória level. In the second half, the away side started well but Eren Derdiyok gave FCB a 2–1 lead which they hung on to, to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Group Stages.
FCB were drawn into Group C alongside FC Barcelona, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Sporting Clube de Portugal. Basel lost their opening game 2–1 at St. Jakob-Park on 16 September against FC Shakhtar Donetsk. Fernandinho put the Ukraine ahead on 25 minutes before Jádson doubled their lead just before half time. David Abraham (footballer) scored a late consolation goal for the home team. Sporting Clube de Portugal were the opponents on Matchday 2 (1 October) and despite defending well and causing a few scares at the other end of the park, Basel were defeated 2–0 at the Estádio José Alvalade. On Matchday 3 (22 October), FC Barcelona visited Basel and came away with a 5–0 win, but a fortnight later it was a different story as FCB came away with a respectable 1–1 draw at the Camp Nou, with Eren Derdiyok scoring a late equaliser after Lionel Messi put Barça
ahead. On 26 November Basel travelled to Ukraine, to play Shakhtar, where they were thrashed 5–0. Basel then faced Sporting at home on the final Matchday (9 December) and were defeated 1–0.
On 16 April 2009, FCB were eliminated from the Swiss Cup 2008–09 in the Semi-Final after losing 3–2 on penalties to BSC Young Boys. The score was 0–0 after 90 minutes and extra time.
Despite remaining in first or second position for most of the season, Basel finished in third place behind FC Zürich and BSC Young Boys. On 24 May 2009, Basel lost 4–1 against Grasshopper-Club Zürich, meaning that they could no longer win the Swiss Super League and that FC Zürich were crowned champions. Three days later, on 27 May FCB lost 3–0 to Young boys, therefore also surrendering the Vice-Championship. On 27 May Christian Gross was sacked from his role as FC Basel manager after ten years in the job.
Germany Thorsten Fink was appointed as Basel's new manager on 9 June 2009. The new manager let several players go by not extending their contracts. These were Ronny Hodel, Jürgen Gjasula, Ivan Ergić and Eduardo Adelino da Silva. Star striker Eren Derdiyok was also sold to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and Eduardo Rubio returned to C.D.S.C. Cruz Azul after his loan was not made permanent. A number of players were brought into the first team from the under-21 squad to replace them, however, and a number of other new players were signed; the highest profile being Alexander Frei from Borussia Dortmund. Others included Turkey Çağdaş Atan from FC Energie Cottbus, Ghanaian Samuel Inkoom from Asante Kotoko, Massimo Colomba from rivals Grasshopper-Club Zürich and Brazilian Antônio da Silva (footballer) on loan from Asrnel fc.
Basel entered the Europa League in the second qualifying round and were drawn against Andorrans FC Santa Coloma. The first leg at St. Jakob-Park ended 3–0 in Basel's favour, with Serkan Şahin, Marco Streller and Federico Almerares getting on the score sheet. The second leg at Estadi Comunal d'Aixovall ended in Basel emerging 4–1 victors, and 7–1 winners on aggregate. Streller (2), Marcos Gelabert and Almerares scored the goals the second time around. FCB were then drawn against Knattspyrnufélag Reykjavíkur of Iceland in the third qualifying round. The first leg took place at KR-völlur on 30 July, and ended in a 2–2 draw. Early goals from Gudmundur Benediktsson and Grétar Sigurdsson gave the home side a 2–0 lead, before Scott Chipperfield and Almerares drew Basel level. The second leg in Switzerland ended 3–1 to Basel, meaning they won 5–3 on aggregate and progressed to a two-legged play-off against FK Baku of Azerbaijan. Alexander Frei (2) and Xherdan Shaqiri scored for FCB and Björgólfur Takefusa scored for the Icelanders. At the Tofik Bakhramov Stadium in Baku, Fernando Nestor Pérez put the locals 1–0 ahead just after half time. Basel turned it around, however, and won by three goals to one when they scored three goals in six minutes, coming from Streller (2) and Benjamin Huggel. The second leg at home ended with Basel winning 5–1 on the night and 8–2 on aggregate, meaning that they qualified for the Europa League group stage. Almerares, Gelabert, Frei, Shaqiri and Orhan Mustafi all contributed with Basel's goals while Felipe Almeida Félix scored for the away side.
FCB were then drawn into Group E alongside A.S. Roma (Serie A), Fulham F.C. (Premier League) and PFC CSKA Sofia (Bulgarian A Professional Football Group). Basel started the group off with an impressive 2–0 win over Roma at home – Carlos Alberto Alves Garcia and Federico Almerares bagging the goals on 17 September 2009 – before narrowly losing their second match 1–0 in a tight encounter with Fulham F.C. at Craven Cottage on 1 October. Their third match took place on 22 October and was against PFC CSKA Sofia at the Vasil Levski National Stadium. Frei scored two goals there to send Basel home with a 2–0 win. They also won the return leg, on 5 November 3–1. Frei again bagged two goals, with Gelabert scoring the other. Todor Yanchev scored for the visitors. After this, they lost 2–1 to Roma away, leaving their fate hinging on the final match against Fulham at home. In a close game, the English club narrowly won by three goals to two, sending Basel crashing out and finishing in third place.
In domestic affairs, Basel sweeped the board; despite a poor start to the season (at one point they sat in ninth place), FCB came back to win the title on the last day of the season against favourites BSC Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse. Young prospect Valentin Stocker and club legend Scott Chipperfield gave Basel the goals in the 2–0 win on 16 May.
On 9 May, FC Basel won an outstanding 6–0 victory over FC Lausanne-Sport, with Stocker scoring twice, and Shaqiri, Zoua, Chipperfield and Huggel also getting onto the scoreboard. The win secured FC Basel's tenth Cup win.
The 114th season of the 2010–11 Swiss Super League began on 19 July 2010. Stefan Wessels, Marcos Gelabert, Antonio Da Silva, Carlos Alberto Alves Garcia "Carlitos" and Serkan Sahin left the club. Four players from the under-21 squad, the brothers Taulant and Granit Xhaka, Mattias Baron and Janick Kamber, were brought up to the first team. Yann Sommer returned from his spell on loan to Grasshopper Club Zürich and Gilles Yapi Yapo (BSC Young Boys) and Fwayo Tembo (Étoile Sportive du Sahel) were bought to complete the new squad. FC Basel’s first game was on 20 July at home against FC Zürich which resulted with a 3–2 win.
Basel entered the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, drawn against Debreceni VSC they won both games (2–0, 3–1). In the play-offs to the Champions League they are drawn against FC Sheriff Tiraspol. In the first leg they defeated Tiraspol 1–0 before winning 3–0 on the road. Basel entered the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League group stage in group E.
The 115th season of the 2011–12 Swiss Super League began on 16 July 2011. Thorsten Fink started the season as Manager of the first team. His Assistant was Heiko Vogel and Fitness Coach was Nikola Vidović. On 13 October 2011, Fink left the club and signed a contract with Hamburger SV to manage the club through to 2014. As replacement his assistant Vogel was signed as caretaker Manager until the winter break. Vogel's first three games in charge of the team were the Swiss Cup fixture on 15 October, which ended in a 5:1 away win against FC Schötz, the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League Group C fixture on 18 October 2011, a 0:2 home defeat against S.L. Benfica, and the 1:0 away win in the Super League against FC Zürich. Basel historically qualified for the knockout phase of the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League with 2-1 win over Manchester United F.C. on 7 December 2011. That sent Manchester United down to the 2011-12 UEFA Europa League for the first time in Sir Alex Ferguson's reign. On 12 December it was announced that Vogel had signed as Coach (sport) and manager . On 22 February 2012, Basel defeated FC Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Round of 16 stage in the UEFA Champions League. They won with a score of 1-0, scoring in the 86' minute of the game.
Supporters and rivalries
FC Basel is known for having a big and loyal local following. When polls are conducted about the most passionate club football fans, FC Basel's fans usually make the top 20 if not top 10 in the world, resulting in what is by far the highest average attendance in Switzerland with around 30,000 fans attending every home game and with the new extension being built that number is expected to rise to around 40,000. The fans have also made themselves a name in numerous international matches in recent years.
Arguably, its most famous internationally recognisable fan is tennis star Roger Federer. The current World No. 3 is a Basel native and has supported the club since his youth. In one interview Federer said if he were not as good of a tennis player as he is today, he would have without a doubt tried to play football. He went on to say that if he was successful in the beautiful game, he would have loved to play for FC Basel.
In November 2010 their supporters caused the game against FC Luzern to be stopped after they threw hundreds of tennis balls onto the pitch. This was in protest at the kick off times being moved to accommodate a tennis tournament on the TV schedule.
The city of Basel and the city of Zürich have a long-standing rivalry. Therefore, FC Basel's most traditional and fiercest rivals are Grasshopper-Club Zürich and FC Zürich. In the past few seasons, the rivalry between FC Zürich and Basel and has been fueled by FC Zürich's league championship wins, which were won very narrowly over Basel. Supporters from both sides have caused trouble in the past years. The worst incident happened in May 2006. FC Basel had won the league in the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons and were set to make it three in a row if they won or drew against Zürich at home on the last day of the 2005/06 season. But if Zürich won, they would get the title. Zürich took the lead after a late goal from Iulian Filipescu and consequently won the match and the league. After the final whistle, players and fans from both teams started fighting on the pitch and in the stands. This incident has fueled hatred and bitterness between fans from FC Zürich and FC Basel. There is a controversy about which rivalry is bigger, the one with Grasshopper-Club Zürich or FC Zürich. But it usually depends on the success of these teams. Thus there is a peculiar situation in Switzerland between the three clubs that the more successful team on the football pitch at a certain time period is usually considered the bigger rival as well. For the past few years the success of both FC Basel and FC Zürich means their rivalry is considered the most fierce.
FC Basel is known throughout Switzerland for having the best youth system in the Swiss Super League. It is often compared to the youth systems of AFC Ajax, Celtic F.C. and Real Madrid C.F. . It has produced Swiss internationals such as Philipp Degen, Alexander Frei and Marco Streller. Also, in more recent times, young talents like the Ecuadorian international youngster Felipe Caicedo, Croatian Ivan Rakitić, Serbian Zdravko Kuzmanović and the Switzerland Yann Sommer along with Eren Derdiyok have risen through the ranks there. Some successful players who have come through the Basel youth system are:
- Ivan Rakitić
- Felipe Caicedo
- David Hasler
- José Gonçalves
- Zdravko Kuzmanović
- Massimo Ceccaroni
- David Degen
- Philipp Degen
- Eren Derdiyok
- Alexander Frei
- Fabian Frei
- Dominique Herr
- Gökhan Inler
- Adrian Knup
- Erni Maissen
- Xherdan Shaqiri
- Yann Sommer
- Valentin Stocker
- Marco Streller
- Hakan Yakin
which translates into English language as St. Jacob's Park. UEFA have awarded the stadium a 4-star rating, the highest rating that could be given to a stadium of that capacity. St. Jakob-Park was opened in 2001, holding an attendance of 33,433, originally, but the stadium was upgraded to 42,500 due to Switzerland being co-hosts of UEFA Euro 2008. After the Euro 2008 a number of seats were removed, thus creating more space between them, and the capacity is now 37,500 seats. The stadium is nicknamed "Joggeli" by the fans and has 2 restaurants called "Restaurant UNO" and "Hattrick's Sports Bar" and a shopping centre which opened on 1 November 2001. It also has parking space for 680 cars and has its own train station. St. Jakob-Park hosted 6 games during EURO 2008, including the opening game between Switzerland national football team and Czech Republic national football team and a semi-final between Germany national football team and Turkey national football team. The most interesting feature of the stadium is the translucent outer layer, which can be illuminated in different colours for impressive effects much like FC Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena.
Before the St. Jakob-Park stadium was built FC Basel played home games in the Landhof (in the Quarter Kleinbasel) and, following the 1954 World Cup, in the newly built St. Jakob Stadium which was on the same site as the current stadium. During the construction period of the St. Jacob-Park the FC Basel home games were played in Stadion Schützenmatte.
- FC Concordia Basel – FC Basel are the parent-club of local side Concordia who currently play in the Swiss Challenge League. Many of Basel's youth players, such as Patrik Baumann, Beg Ferati and Simone Grippo, have had loan spells there. Basel have also signed a number players from Concordia, like Louis Crayton and Murat Yakin. Miroslav König, Riccardo Meili, André Muff and Dominik Ritter are just a few ex-Basel players who have gone on to play for Concordia.
- FC Vaduz – FC Basel are also like a parent-club to Vaduz who are the most successful team in Liechtenstein. Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer previously spent time on loan at Vaduz. Ex-Basel players Tim Grossklaus, Orkan Avci, Damir Džombić and Bruno Sutter have played for Vaduz, Reto "Fussballgott" Zanni is currently playing for Vaduz. Also, Ex-Basel youth coach Heinz Hermann was a manager at Vaduz.
Colours and logo
FC Basel's traditional kit is a red and blue shirt, blue shorts with gold trim and blue socks with red trim. From this comes the nickname "RotBlau" which is Swiss German and German for Red and Blue (literally "RedBlue"). Their away kit is all neon yellow with black trim. FC Basel's kits are manufactured by Nike, Inc. and sponsored by Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company which is based in the city of Basel.
The famous "Blaugrana" colours of FC Barcelona are said to have originated from the "Rotblau" colours of FC Basel. FC Barcelona was founded by former FC Basel captain Joan Gamper. For the 2008/09 season, Basel changed their shirt to resemble the traditional Barcelona shirt (red and blue vertical stripes). Barcelona changed theirs to one half of the shirt red, the other blue, which happens to resemble the traditional FC Basel shirt.
FC Basel's current logo is a shield, the left half red and the right half blue. The shield is outlined with gold and in the centre in gold letters it says FCB which stands for "Fussballclub Basel" or "Football Club Basel". The logo is worn in the centre of the shirt opposed to on the traditional left-hand side. Like the colours of FC Basel, the logo has a striking resemblance to that of FC Barcelona in Spain. There are theories that suggest that the founder of FC Barcelona, being at one time the captain of FC Basel, reincorporated the logo of FC Basel on to that of FC Barcelona.
The resemblances seem clear, both logos seem to incorporate the shield design, as do most other clubs. But most notably is the FCB acronyms on both logos and the Red-Blue colours, outlined in gold. Also the football that lies on the left side of the FC Basel logo seems to be the exact shape, type and colour as that of the FC Barcelona Logo in the bottom centre. Because of this, many people tend to say that FC Basel was the inspiration in the process of founding FC Barcelona in Spain.
Companies that FC Basel currently has sponsorship deals with include:
- Novartis – Main Sponsor
- Nike, Inc. – Kit Manufacturer
- Volkswagen – Official Sponsor
- Pirelli – Official Sponsor
- Muba – Official Sponsor
- UBS AG – Official Sponsor
- Globus (company) – Official Sponsor
- Alcatel-Lucent – Official Sponsor
- Bâloise – Official Sponsor
- Europa-Park – Official Sponsor
- Crypto AG – Part Time Sponsor
- Highest stage reached in UEFA Champions League: Quarter-Finals (1973/74)
- Highest stage reached in UEFA Europa League: Quarter-Finals (2005/06)
- Biggest European home win: FC Basel 7–0 S.S. Folgore/Falciano (24.08.2000, UEFA Cup qualifying round second leg)
- Biggest European away win: Knattspyrnufélagið Fram 0–5 FC Basel (18.09.1973, European Champion Clubs' Cup first round first leg)
- Biggest European home defeat: FC Basel 0–5 FC Barcelona (22.10.2008, UEFA Champions League)
- Biggest European away defeat: Celtic F.C 5–0 FC Basel (09.10.1963, European Cup Winners' Cup preliminary round) Shakhtar Donetsk 5–0 FC Basel (26.11.2008, UEFA Champions League)
- Most league appearances: Massimo Ceccaroni (398)
- Most league goals: Josef Hügi (244)
- Record number of home games unbeaten: 59
- Highest home game attendance (St. Jakob Stadium): 60,000
- Highest home game attendance (St. Jakob-Park): 42,500
- Most cap (sport) foreign player: Teófilo Cubillas, 81 caps, Peru national football team
- Most capped Swiss player: Alexander Frei, 82 caps
- - Winners (14): 1952/1953 football season in Switzerland, 1966/1967 football season in Switzerland, 1968/1969 football season in Switzerland, 1969/1970 football season in Switzerland, 1971/1972 football season in Switzerland, 1972/1973 football season in Switzerland, 1976/1977 football season in Switzerland, 1979/1980 football season in Switzerland, 2001/2002 football season in Switzerland, Swiss Super League 2003-04, Swiss Super League 2004–05, Swiss Super League 2007–08, Swiss Super League 2009–10, Swiss Super League 2010–11
- Swiss Cup
- - Winners (10): 1933, 1947, 1963, 1967, 1975, 2002, 2003, Swiss Cup 2006-07, Swiss Cup 2007-08, Swiss Cup 2009-10
- Swiss League Cup
- - Winners (1): 1972 Swiss League Cup
- Coppa delle Alpi
- - Winners (3): 1969, 1970, 1981
- - Winners (12): 1969, 1970, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 2003, 2006, 2008, 2011
- Nissan Cup
- - Winners (1): 1985
- Basel Tournament
- - Winners (1): 1985 (Shared with Bayern Munich & FK Partizan)
- UEFA Champions League
- - 2nd Group Stage: UEFA Champions League 2002–03
- - Last 16: UEFA Champions League 2011-12 (Ongoing)
Out on loan
(on loan to FC Schaffhausen)(- ) : Also been in senior team squad.
The team has been put together out of members of the first team, the Under-21 and Under-18 teams, who are eligible to play in the 2011-12 NextGen series. Note: Results and dates can be found under 2011-12_NextGen_series Group_4.
The following players are listed by Basel's website as Ladies Team
NOTE: Early history is largely unknown.
- Percy Humphreys (1913–14)
- Max Breunig (1922–23)
- Gyula Kertész (1928–30)
- Gustav Putzendople (1930–32)
- Otto Haftel (1932)
- Karl Kurz (1932–33)
- Josef Haist (1933–34)
- Richard Dombi (1934)
- Alvin Riemke (1934–36)
- Heinz Körner (1936–37)
- Fernand Jaccard (1937–39)
- Walter Dietrich (1939)
- Max Galler (1939–40)
- Eugen Rupf (1940–43)
- Willy Wolf (1943–46)
- Max Barras (1946)
- Anton Schall (1946–47)
- Ernst Hufschmid (footballer) (1947–52)
- René Bader (1952–55)
- Willy Dürr (1955)
- Béla Sárosi (1955–57)
- Rudi Strittich (1957–58)
- René Bader (1958–59)
- Jenő Vincze (1959–61)
- Jiří Sobotka (1961–65)
- Helmut Benthaus (1965–82)
- Rainer Ohlhauser (1982–83)
- Ernst August Künnecke (1983–85)
- Emil Müller (1985)
- Helmut Benthaus (1985–87)
- Urs Siegenthaler (1987–90)
- Ernst August Künnecke (1990–92)
- Karl Odermatt and Bruno Rahmen (1992)
- Friedel Rausch (1992–93)
- Claude Andrey (1993–95)
- Karl Engel (footballer) (1995–97)
- Jörg Berger (1997–98)
- Guy Mathez (1998–99)
- Christian Gross (1999-09)
- Thorsten Fink (2009–11)
- Heiko Vogel (since October 2011)
FC Basel has a team in the Superleague Formula race car series where football teams lend their name to cars. GU-Racing International has operated the car for all seasons and Max Wissel has drove the car in all the races. FC Basel and Wissel have won 1 race, in the 2009 Superleague Formula season at Donington Park. The team have scored 3 other podiums in the series.