Munich - FC Augsburg stunned the Bundesliga in 2011/12 and 2012/13 by escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth. This season, they have progressed one step further, to the point where beating the drop is unlikely to be their primary target.

Two perfectly harmonious figures are playing the lead roles in Augsburg's impressive rise to eighth in the table this term: sporting director Stefan Reuter and coach Markus Weinzierl.

A winning combination


Since Reuter assumed responsibility for recruiting new players at the end of 2012, FCA have resembled a unit once again, just as they did under the architects of their promotion to the top flight, Andreas Rettig and coach Jos Luhukay. Reuter, who won the FIFA World Cup with West Germany in 1990, has brought stability to the Bavarian club by backing Weinzierl and allowing him to put his ideas into practice without interference.

As a result, Weinzierl has built an homogenous and organised team that has steadily improved and are now a match for anybody in the Bundesliga. Furthermore, two stars have been unearthed at the likeable Fuggerstädter: and .

Hahn was playing for non-league Kickers Offenbach as recently as 2012, but is developing at a rate of knots in the top flight. Altintop, meanwhile, is enjoying a new lease of life, having previously played in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt and FC Schalke 04. The future looks bright for two men both brought to the club by Reuter and nurtured by the ambitious and talented Weinzierl. The same goes for the club itself.

Player | Surprise package | Rookie | Striker | Coach | Goalkeeper | Transfers | Stopgap