Jupp Heynckes shone bright during Borussia Mönchengladbach's golden era. - © IMAGO / Sven Simon
Jupp Heynckes shone bright during Borussia Mönchengladbach's golden era. - © IMAGO / Sven Simon
60 years of Bundesliga

Bundesliga club-by-club historical guide: Borussia Mönchengladbach


A total of 57 clubs have had the honour of competing in the Bundesliga over its 60-year history – with Borussia Mönchengladbach one of the most decorated.

bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.

Borussia Mönchengladbach
Years in Bundesliga: 56 (1965-99, 2001-07, 2008-present)
Most appearances: Berti Vogts (419)
Most goals:
Jupp Heynckes (195)
Youngest player:
Marko Marin (18 years, 18 days)

The city of Mönchengladbach – often shortened to just Gladbach for ease – lies on the western border with the Netherlands and is a very unassuming place for one of the giants of German football. Borussia joined the Bundesliga the same season as Bayern Munich and would go on to create an intense rivalry with the Bavarians. Under legendary coach Hennes Weisweiler, he created a free-flowing team that encouraged individuals to flourish. After a 7-1 European Cup thrashing of Inter Milan in 1971, Sir Matt Busby said of Gladbach’s play: "Nobody in the world would’ve won against this team today. That was football in the highest perfection."

Watch: Gladbach - all you need to know!

Nicknamed the ‘Foals’ as a result, Gladbach were the first team to successfully defend their Bundesliga title (1969/70 and 1970/71) and the first to be champions five times, following a hat-trick between 1975 and 1977. The following season they set the record for the biggest win in Bundesliga history, thrashing Borussia Dortmund 12-0 on the final day of 1977/78. The Foals also won the UEFA Cup twice that decade and reached the 1977 European Cup final (losing to Liverpool). The team of that era included legends Wolfgang Kleff, Berti Vogts, Günter Netzer, Rainer Bonhof, Allan Simonsen and Jupp Heynckes. Gladbach and Bayern dominated the domestic scene to such an extent that 12 of Germany’s 22-man 1974 World Cup squad came from those two teams (plus Netzer, by then at Real Madrid), including eight of the 11 that beat the Netherlands in the final.

Although five-time champions, three-time DFB Cup and two-time UEFA Cup winners, Gladbach have been relegated twice since their last silverware but recovered in the last decade to become a regular again in European competition, including the Champions League. In 2011/12, a young Marco Reus became the first Gladbach player in 25 years to be named Germany’s Footballer of the Year. And their rivalry with Bayern has been reignited in that time as well, with no club coming anywhere near the 35 points Gladbach have taken off the record champions in the last 12 years prior to 2023/24. That includes 10 wins – double what any other team has managed.

Gladbach won all five of their Bundesliga titles in the 1970s. - imago

The club’s current home at Borussia-Park opened in 2004 and is one of German football’s most popular grounds to visit. Prior to that, they played their games at the fabled Bökelbergstadion. The club enjoyed many of its greatest moments there, but it was also the site of one of German football’s most famous and ultimately defining games in April 1971. When Borussia’s Herbert Laumen got caught in the net against Werder Bremen, the left post of the goal snapped. Since it couldn’t be repaired, the referee called off the game and it was eventually awarded as a 2-0 win to Bremen, despite the scoreline of 1-1. 

Watch: The broken post incident of 1971

As a consequence, clubs replaced their wooden goalframes with aluminium. The broken post is currently on display in the club museum.

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