Hertha BSC Berlin


Hertha, founded in 1892, is the most popular Berlin based club and the flagship of Berlin soccer.

It was actually founded by four teenagers in the Wedding district as BFC Hertha 92. Since they were not yet of age, they had to get their uncle to be the Club president. They took their name from a steamship called Hertha, whose smokestack happened to be painted blue and white.

By 1905, the first major success: winning the city championship. Despite continued success, the club was still financially poor, and their ground was sold out from under them. (Guess that made them "homeless".) In 1920 however, they merged with Berliner Sport Club. This new squad was built around goalkeeper Paul Gelhaar and wonderful forward Hannes Sobek. In 1925, they made their appearance in the German semi-finals, losing in overtime to FSV Frankfurt. Next season, they got to the championship, losing 4-1 to Fürth. 1926/27/28/29 they were again in the finals, losing all. Finally in 1930, they edged Holstein Kiel 5-4, with Hans Ruch scoring the winner in the 87th minute, The next year they defended their title, when Sobek scored twice as they beat 1860 München 3-2. However, they were to be edged out by Minerva Berlin in the league the following year, and were unable to defend their title.

Hertha would end up as the 2nd ranked team on points of the Weimar era, 1920-33, behind only 1.FC Nünberg. In the 3rd Reich, results were not as strong for Hertha, as they ranked only 21st, with only 3 Gauliga titles to show. The post-WWII years saw mostly mediocre results, but a spurt at the end of the 1950s allowed them to sneak into the new league that would take Germany to footballing heights.

As founding member of the Bundesliga, Hertha was again a power in the 1970s, highlight being reaching the semifinals of the UEFA Cup in 1979. Things started downhill then, eventually leading to several years of Bundesliga exile.

Bottom was reached in 1986, when Hertha fell out of the 2.Liga and dropped down to the Amateur Oberliga Berlin. Attendance dribbled down to an average below 1,800, from a club that had averaged 44,000 back in 1971. To make matters worse, Hertha crashed in the promotion rounds, and the Oberliga had to be repeated. Hertha popped back into the Bundesliga in 1990, but in that horrible season, they finished dead last. Berlin was once again plunged into darkness. In fact, with the collapse of the GDR, BFC Dynamo quickly became a non-factor as well. This probably made berlin the largest city in the world without 1st division representation. Perhaps the sole highlight was in 1993, when the amateur squad reached the finals of the DFB Cup, losing 0-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Finally, the "run" ended in 1997, when Hertha managed 3rd in the 2.Liga, and gained promotion.

With Hertha now back in the Bundesliga, and major financial backing, fans and the media looked for this Berlin club to regain it's status as a powerhouse. Hertha did manage a decade of generally respectable Bundesliga results, but in the end were back to the elevator.

The 1998-99 season turned out to be a wonderful surprise for Hertha. The team got off to a decent start, and battled all the way, qualifying for the Champions League. Michael Preetz won the scoring title, becoming the first Hertha player ever to do so. The next season was expected to be even better, but the team never seemed to live up to potential in the league. Nevertheless, they qualified for the UEFA Cup, and had a nice run in the Champions League. Combine that with an average attendance of some 55,000, Berlin soccer was back on top. Hertha seemed to have justified the optimism with several decent finishes, although the ambition to challenge for the title looks still a bit remote. Those decent squads have been built around Brazilian playmaker Marcelinho, who may turn out to be the best Brazilian ever to never pull on the yellow jersey. When he was let go, the club began to flounder again. Once again, the great potential was unrealized, and the Berlin fans continued to suffer...In 2009, coach Lucien Favre put together a squad that displayed minimalist football, but seemed to grind out results. They led the table at times, and certainly challenged for the title and Champions League. But in the end, they were bitchslapped by last place Karlsruhe on the final week, and missed an opportunity for 2nd. A good season, at least for the Berlin fans. However, 2010 proved to be an absolute disaster. The club and fans were expecting a title run, but instead they sucked and finished a sensational dead last. They immediately bounced back, but found the going rough, eventually losing the relegation playoff with Fortuna Dčsseldorf. After another one year stay in the 2.Liga, they were back. This time at least, they were decent. Whether Berlin starts climbing again is doubtful.

Full Name Berliner Sport-Club Hertha 1892 e.V.
City Berlin (Berlin). Pop: 3,388,434 (2002)
Address Hanns-Braun-Straße, Friesenhaus 2, 14053 Berlin
Phone: (030) 3009280
Colors Blue horizontal stripes on white shirt, blue pants. (The traditional colors are with vertical stripes black and blue.)
Stadium Olympiasatdion. Capacity: 76,243 (all seater).
Yep, the famed "1936-Olympics-Hitler-built-it-Jesse Owens-showed 'em-etc" stadium. Still perhaps Germany's most famous, this stadium has had huge crowds. In older days, it was the site for the Championship finals, usually drawing over 100,000 fans. It was not unusual for Hertha to also draw humongous crowds in the earlier Bundesliga days. The stadium has been revamped, reducing capacity, but Hertha can still pack them in. (e.g. averaging 54,000 in 98)The stadium is also host for the DFB Cup finals. A renovation was completed for the 2006 World Cup.
Tickets Priced between 8-45 euros. Given the large size of the stadium, you should be able to get seats unless there's a huge match. Bear in mind though Hertha's popularity is high with the successful return of the Bundesliga to Berlin, so the best ones will probably be taken.
Supporters A lot. Some 200 recognized fan clubs. In past years, Hertha would draw 90,000 for big matches. Expect to see a stadium full of blue and white. Averaged about 40,000 in 2004.
Friends 1.FC Union Berlin, Karlsruher SC. Also "anyone playing against Schalke". There was a fan friendship with Wuppertaler SV back in 2.Liga days.
Foes Schalke is unpopular. This goes back to the 60's when Schalke benefitted from a DFB decision to expand the Bundesliga when they should have been relegated, but Hertha got the book thrown at them for alleged financial inproprieties.
Heroes Some 25 German internationals, but few top notch. Erich Beer was capped 24 times in the 70s. Forward Hans Sobek from the champions of the 30s. For the centennial in 2003, fans voted the all-time Hertha team: Kiraly; Müller, Sverisson, Kliemann, Friedrich; Rekdal, Marcelinho, Beer; Kruse, Preetz, Sobek.
Zeroes Hugely popular Sebastian Deisler was considered one of Germany's most promising players in the late 1990s, but then transferred to Bayern. Bernd Patzke was capped 24 times for Germany but he, Tasso Wild and Zoltan Vargas accepted money to throw games in the Bundesliga Skandal.
Beer Krombacher is the official sponsor. But they're outsiders from a town near Siegen! Berlin has many fine regional beers, for example, Berliner-Kindl-Jubiläums-Pilsner has been recommended. You should try the Berliner-Weisse-Kindl, which is a wheat beer with a touch of raspberry syrup. Sounds a bit strange, but it is a refreshing summer drink. Schultheiss-Pilsner has it's fans as well.
Pub Grub No alcohol allowed in the stadium, so "do your drinking in front". There is non-alcoholic Grotejahn Alkoholfrei beer, but you've been warned not to try it :)
Among places to check out is Holst Am Zoo, a pub on Kurfürstendamm owned by an ex-Hertha president.
The Net The official site is www.herthabsc.de , which also has English and Chinese versions. There are many fan pages. One good one is Robin Rachel's Hetha Inside, at www.hertha-inside.de

Recent History:
2013-14 (II)    Bundesliga              11th
2012-13 (II)    2.Liga                  1st
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga		16th
2010-11 (II)    2.Liga                  1st
2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga              4th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
2006-07 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
2005-06 (I)     Bundesliga              6th
2004-05 (I)     Bundesliga              4th
2003-04 (I)     Bundesliga              12th
2002-03 (I)     Bundesliga              5th
2001-02 (I)     Bundesliga              4th
2000-01 (I)     Bundesliga              5th 
1999-00 (I)     Bundesliga              6th 
1998-99 (I)     Bundesliga              3rd
1997-98 (I)     Bundesliga              11th
1996-97 (II)    2.Liga                  3rd
1995-96 (II)    2.Liga                  14th
1994-95 (II)    2.Liga                  11th
1993-94 (II)    2.Liga                  11th
1992-93 (II)    2.Liga                  5th
1991-92 (II)    2.Liga                  3rd
1990-91 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1989-90 (II)    2.Liga                  1st 
1988-89 (II)    2.Liga                  13th
1987-88 (III)   Am.Oberliga Berlin      1st
1986-87 (III)   Am.Oberliga Berlin      1st
1985-86 (II)    2.Liga                  17th
1984-85 (II)    2.Liga                  14th
1983-84 (II)    2.Liga                  11th
1982-83 (I)     Bundesliga              18th
1981-82 (II)    2.Liga                  2nd
1980-81 (II)    2.Liga Nord             3rd
1979-80 (I)     Bundesliga              16th
1978-79 (I)     Bundesliga              14th
1977-78 (I)     Bundesliga              3rd
1976-77 (I)     Bundesliga              10th
1975-76 (I)     Bundesliga              11th 
1974-75 (I)     Bundesliga              2nd
1973-74 (I)     Bundesliga              8th 
1972-73 (I)     Bundesliga              13th
1971-72 (I)     Bundesliga              6th 
1970-71 (I)     Bundesliga              3rd 
1969-70 (I)     Bundesliga              3rd 
1968-69 (I)     Bundesliga              14th
1967-68 (II)    Regionalliga Berlin     1st 
1966-67 (II)    Regionalliga Berlin     1st 
1965-66 (II)    Regionalliga Berlin     1st
1964-65 (I)     Bundesliga              14th    license revoked
1963-64	(I)	Bundesliga		14th

1990-91	(I)	Bundesliga		18th
1991-92	(II)	2.Liga			3rd
1992-93	(II)	2.Liga			5th
1993-94	(II)	2.Liga			11th
1994-95	(II)	2.Liga			11th
1995-96	(II)	2.Liga			14th
1996-97	(II)	2.Liga			3rd
1997-98	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1998-99	(I)	Bundesliga		3rd
1999-00	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
2000-01	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga		4th
2002-03	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
2003-04 (I)	Bundesliga		12th
2004-05 (I)	Bundesliga		4th
2005-06 (I)	Bundesliga		6th
2006-07 (I)	Bundesliga		10th
2007-08 (I)     Bundesliga		10th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga		4th
2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga		18th
2010-11 (II)    2.Liga			1st
2011-12 (I)	Bundesliga

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany