Stability has been the name of the game for Freiburg after their first Bundesliga promotion in the 1990s, with Volker Finke and Christian Streich both entrusted with record spells as coach.
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.
Years in Bundesliga: 24 (1993-97, 1998-2002, 2003-05, 2009-15, 2016-present)
Most appearances: Christian Günter (302)
Most goals: Nils Petersen (69)
Youngest player: Dennis Aogo (17 years, nine months, 13 days)
For the majority of their existence, the club we now know as SC Freiburg wasn’t even the biggest in its hometown of Freiburg im Breisgau, in Germany’s far southwest. It wasn’t until the 1970s in Bundesliga 2 that they finally usurped Freiburger FC as top dogs and have been above them in the pyramid since 1978/79.
The big turning point in Freiburg’s history was the 1991 appointment of Finke as coach. He took them up to the Bundesliga for the first time in 1993, although they were close to becoming one of the Bundesliga’s also-rans, only avoiding immediate relegation on goal difference. But they went on to finish third in their second top-flight campaign, claiming a famous 5-1 win over Bayern Munich and still having a chance of winning the title with two games to go. It remains their best-ever finish to a season.
Finke would remain in his post until 2007 for what is still the longest tenure of any coach in German professional football at 16 years, although he is set to lose that crown to Frank Schmidt early in 2023/24. He was with Freiburg for three promotions and three relegations and took them into Europe for the first time ever. Members even tried to force an extraordinary general meeting to try and make the club reverse their decision to part ways. Robin Dutt was his successor and brought Freiburg back up in his second season and established them in the Bundesliga again over another two years before leaving for Bayer Leverkusen. Marcus Sorg took over for 2011/12 but only lasted until December. That led to the appointment of assistant Streich, who initially didn’t want the main job as he didn’t enjoy the limelight. But he too has gone on to shape an era at Freiburg.
The club stuck with him after going down again in 2015, but he brought them straight back up as Bundesliga 2 champions ahead of RB Leipzig and has turned them into a fixture on the Bundesliga landscape now. The past two years in particular have been among the biggest in the club’s history, with finishes of sixth and fifth – both times narrowly missing out on a first-ever UEFA Champions League qualification – and reaching the DFB Cup final for the first time in 2022. Streich’s over 4,000 days at the helm have also seen the move from the club’s home of almost 70 years, the Dreisamstadion, to their modern new Europa-Park Stadion.