bundesliga

Borussia Mönchengladbach Fanzone: Getting to know the Bundesliga's toughest name

More than just “a German club”, Borussia Mönchengladbach are one of the most successful teams in the Bundesliga era. Their name may be a mouthful, but their play has often been savoury.

History

The fifth-biggest club in Germany in terms of membership (almost 80,000 members), Borussia Mönchengladbach were founded in 1900 - as the full name indicates: Borussia VfL 1900 Mönchengladbach e.V.

Borussia is the neo-Latin term for 'Prussia', the kingdom to which the city of Mönchengladbach belonged at the time of foundation. The club pulled up no trees until the 1970s, when Hennes Weisweiler's free-flowing side won five Bundesliga titles in ten years with a crop of brilliant home-grown youngsters – notably Günter Netzer, whose ownership of a city-centre nightclub was trumpeted as evidence of the club's devil-may-care approach – and engaged in a spectacular and spiteful long-distance rivalry, the original Klassiker, with Bayern Munich. Gladbach also won the UEFA Cup twice that decade and reached the 1977 European Cup final (losing to Liverpool), earning the nickname the Foals in the process as a nod to their insouciant attacking style.

Hennes Weisweiler is a Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bundesliga legend after winning the titles for half of the entire 1970s decade. - imago images / WEREK

Forced to sell players to balance the books, Borussia endured barren years in the 1980s and 1990s – the DFB Cup triumph in 1995 was one of the few the high points – and were relegated from the top flight in 1999. Another demotion followed eight years later, but the appointment of Lucien Favre in January 2011 turned the Foals from cannon fodder into European contenders. Several seasons of top-level European football have since followed – all the while staying true to the tradition of bringing through vibrant young players – with Dieter Hecking stabilising the club after Favre's surprise departure in 2015.

Honours

5x Bundesliga (1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, 1977)
3x DFB Cup (1960, 1973, 1995)
2x UEFA Cup (1975, 1979)
Bundesliga 2 champions (2008)
Supercup (1977)

Coach

The new face in the Borussia-Park dugout is 42-year-old Marco Rose. The Leipzig native enjoyed a modest playing career as a defender with VfB Leipzig, Hannover (where he won the Bundesliga 2 title) and Mainz. On retiring in 2010 he became assistant coach of the Mainz reserves before taking over the first team at Lokomotive Leipzig in 2012.  After only a year in his hometown he took charge of the U16s at Red Bull Salzburg, working his way up to the first team in 2017 after lifting the UEFA Youth League. He won the Austrian Bundesliga in his first season before completing a domestic double in 2018/19, ahead of his move to Gladbach.

Marco Rose is the new young face in charge of Borussia Mönchengladbach. - imago images / Jan Huebner

Star man

Thorgan Hazard was the big name in the Gladbach squad but the winger has now left for the other Borussia in Dortmund. It creates space for last season’s top scorer Alassane Plea to take a leading role in 2019/20. The 25-year-old scored eight goals in his first 11 Bundesliga games, finishing with a total of 12 as Gladbach finished fifth. With captain Lars Stindl struggling with injuries and Raffael the wrong side of 30, Plea could now form a potent partnership with new signing Breel Embolo.

Watch: Plea's maiden Bundesliga hat-trick, at Werder Bremen

Last season

The Foals never found themselves outside of the European places in 2018/19 and were in fact the closest challenges to leaders Dortmund for long periods around the turn of the year. It also saw them claim a memorable scalp against Bayern, winning 3-0 at the Allianz Arena. The second half of the season was more up and down as they struggled to put together a run of results. Nevertheless, they remained fourth going into the final day but came up just short of a return to the UEFA Champions League.

The stadium

The Borussia Park replaced the storied, much-loved and utterly outdated Bökelberg Stadium in 2004, when Borussia competitively inaugurated their new home with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Dortmund. Although the arena has a maximum capacity of 59,724 spectators, there is a limit of 54,010 for the Bundesliga due to a redesign of the South Stand.

In any case, the Borussia Park is a thoroughly modern stadium, with top-class views from all angles and an impressive green-white-black lighting system. The facilities inside are as swish as anywhere in Germany, while standing tickets start as cheaply as €14.50. While all of that makes it well worth a visit, the centrepiece is the noise: Gladbach fans are as passionate as any in the land, with the famed Nordkurve (North Stand) whipping up a quite a din every other week.

Watch: Inside Borussia Park

The city

Known commonly as Gladbach since its foundation in the 14th century, the city has long served as a crossing point between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. That long, imperial history means plenty of stately buildings: the Dyck Castle (Schloss Dyck) and Rheydt Castle (Schloss Rheydt) in particular are famed for their beautiful gardens. The current name of Mönchengladbach came about in 1960 as a change from Münchengladbach to avoid confusion with the city of Munich (München).

Elsewhere, art lovers will enjoy perusing the collections of the Abteiberg Museum in the centre of town (before stopping for a coffee in the picturesque Alter Markt), while animal lovers are encouraged to pay the Odenkirchen Zoo (boasting bisons and racoons aplenty) a visit. The city also hosts the Rheindahlen Military Complex, former home to the British Armed Forces in Germany, although we're not sure we should recommend that you get too close. Maybe visit the famed Water Tower (Wasserturm) instead.

Getting there

Mönchengladbach does have an airport, but it is used primarily for local aviation and flying lessons. Dusseldorf and Cologne-Bonn airport are the two major hubs in the region with daily flights across Europe and to North America, and are within an hour of Mönchengladbach by train. The city is also well serviced by two main stations (Mönchengladbach HBF and Rheydt HBF), with regular trains from Cologne, Dusseldorf and Dortmund. For a greater variety of flights from North America and beyond, Frankfurt airport is Germany's busiest and just over two hours away from Mönchengladbach thanks to frequent, direct high-speed train services.

- DFL

Getting to the Borussia Park

Located to the west of the city, the Borussia Park complex houses the stadium, training grounds and administrative buildings. The easiest way to get to the Borussia Park on a matchday is via shuttle bus: line 017 runs from Mönchengladbach HBF to the stadium in around 15 minutes. That service is well signposted inside the station and available from three hours before kick-off until two hours after full-time. From Rheydt HBF, there's a shuttle bus that departs for the Borussia Park every five minutes – you can pick that up from opposite platform four on a Bundesliga Matchday.

If you're driving to the Borussia Park, enter Am Nordpark 400 into your sat-nav; there are over 10,000 parking places in the vicinity of the stadium (costing €5 per car per day), but there is no pick-up or drop-off point. In that instance, your best bet is to drop your guests at one of the main stations (Mönchengladbach HBF or Rheydt HBF) for the shuttle bus. There is also space for 1,000 bicycles (this is Germany, after all), and a taxi rank at the Aachener Straße/Am Nordpark entrance.

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.

- Borussia Mönchengladbach

Buy the kit

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