bundesliga

Augsburg Fanzone: Getting to know one of Bavaria's other Bundesliga clubs

Now a regular presence in the Bundesliga, Augsburg have become known as obdurate opponents with a propensity to overachieve. No longer just the league's 'other' Bavarian club, let bundesliga.com give you the lowdown on Bayern Munich's closest rivals.

History

The club was founded on 8 August 1907 as FC Allemania and it was not until 1969 that its present name, Football Club Augsburg, came into being after a merger with local side TSV 1847 Schwaben Augsburg.

They bounced around the regional divisions for decades, struggling with debt until a group of investors came to the club's aid in 2001. That brought greater stability and allowed Augsburg to establish longer-term plans. Such strategic thinking paid off in 2006, when the Fuggerstädter – a nickname derived from the city's famous Fugger family – were promoted to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in 23 years.

Just five years later, Dutch coach Jos Luhukay led Augsburg to the Bundesliga for the first time. They have remained in the top flight ever since, and even qualified for the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League after Luhukay's successor, Markus Weinzierl, guided the side to a sensational fifth-placed league finish.

Former coach Markus Weinzierl (r.) oversaw Augsburg's incredible fifth-place Bundesliga finish in 2015. - imago/ActionPictures

Honours

Bundesliga 2 runners-up (2010/11)

Coach

A familiar face in the Bundesliga, Swiss coach Martin Schmidt took over from Manuel Baum in April 2019. The former Mainz and Wolfsburg boss came in to guide the club to safety during the final six games of the season. A vastly experienced tactician with over 100 Bundesliga under his belt, the 52-year-old is a very safe pair of hands at the Augsburg helm.

Martin Schmidt arrived in Augsburg in April 2019 to settle the ship. - imago images / Schüler

Star man

Philipp Max and Michael Gregoritsch are all cornerstones of this Augsburg side but there is no doubt that Alfred Finnbogason is the leading light. After signing on loan from Spanish side Real Sociedad in 2016, the Iceland striker scored seven times in 14 outings to send Augsburg scrambling – ultimately successfully - to secure him to a permanent deal.

He has maintained that average of a goal every two games throughout his spell at the club and it is testament to his quality that despite missing 16 matches due to a various injuries last season, the 30-year-old still struck 10 times – as well as registering one assist - in just 18 league outings. A real fox-in-the-box, Augsburg's hopes of avoiding the drop again will largely depend on Finnbogason's form.

Watch: Finnbogason hit a hat-trick on his return from injury

Last season

The hope of pushing on from 2017/18’s 12th-place finish under Baum failed to materialise into performances on the pitch in 2018/19 as Augsburg struggled at the bottom of the table. They ended 20 of the 34 Matchdays in either 14th or 15th place and were constantly looking over their shoulders at the drop zone.

Despite a three-game unbeaten run in March that included a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund, the writing was on the wall for Baum as he was dismissed with six games remaining. Martin Schmidt recorded the club’s only back-to-back wins all season with his first two matches in charge, including a 6-0 thrashing of VfB Stuttgart, which was enough to see Augsburg over the line to safety.

The stadium

The WWK Arena was completed in July 2009 after a 20-month construction project. It has a capacity of 30,660 (19,556 seating, 8,000 standing), but the architects' designs were such that it can still be expanded to 50,000 in a second phase of building if desired.

A complex system that harnesses the earth's natural geothermal energy provides the stadium's power, making it the first CO2-neutral arena in the world, saving approximately 750 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.

The technical aspects of Augsburg's home aside, the steep stands give the venue a compact feel and help create a spine-tingling atmosphere on matchdays, with the noise echoing around the ground. German broadsheet newspaper the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung even once labelled the stadium "The Anfield of the B17 highway" due to its unique atmosphere.

Watch: A look around the WWK Arena

The city

Founded in 15BC, the city of Augsburg is a rare and special treat for history buffs, offering a huge selection of sights, sounds, tours and relics. Its location in southern Germany meant it became a major trading post en route to Italy, with the wealthy Fugger family (see the club's nickname above) rising to prominence as bankers.

They donated the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing estate in the world, which is one of several buildings still standing. The Fuggers' own palaces have been restored and are well worth a visit, as is the town hall, which dates back to 1620. The centre also has a generous smattering of quaint restaurants and coffee shops to help you digest the weight of history all around you, while the city's Botanical Gardens provide the ultimate spot to unwind.

Getting there

Although Augsburg does have a small airport of its own, it has very little commercial traffic, so the closest major transport hub is Munich, with frequent flights to and from all major European and international destinations arriving and departing daily. Memmingen Airport is also used by low-cost airlines as an alternative to Munich and is only an hour’s drive from Augsburg

Augsburg is approximately 50 miles to the west of Munich, so is reachable in approximately an hour by car, or in 45 minutes if travelling by train. Public transport leaves from Munich main station (Hauptbahnhof) and arrives in the centre of Augsburg.

- DFL

Getting to the WWK Arena

On home matchdays there a special tram service, Stadion-Linie 8, which departs every five minutes from the central station (Hauptbahnhof) starting two hours before kick-off. The journey from the central station only takes around 20 minutes. All match tickets are valid for travel on public transport (bus and tram) run by Augsburg’s transport operator (AVG) within zones 10 and 20 (three hours before and after the game). This does not apply to regional trains and buses run by Augsburg’s transport association (AVV).

If you are arriving by car from the west or east on the A8 (Stuttgart-Munich), exit Augsburg-West (towards Augsburg Landsberg) to join the Bundesstraße 17. Stay on the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA).

If coming on the B2 (Donauwörth-Augsburg) from the north, exit onto the Bundesstraße 17 towards Landsberg. Follow the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA). If coming from the south on the Bundesstraße 17 (Landsberg-Augsburg), follow the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA).

Buying tickets

Tickets can still be bought via the official club website HERE.

Can’t make it? Watch here:

If you can’t make it to the stadium, Bundesliga matches are broadcast around the world. FOX Sports and Univision provide coverage in the United States, while BT Sports are the exclusive broadcaster in the United Kingdom. In Germany, Sky Sports show the majority of matches, with Eurosport hosting one match per week.

- FC Augsburg

Buy the kit

You can get your own Augsburg jersey from the official club shop.