America's Steve Cherundolo is the most iconic Hannover player of the modern era. - © imago sportfotodienst
America's Steve Cherundolo is the most iconic Hannover player of the modern era. - © imago sportfotodienst
60 years of Bundesliga

Bundesliga club-by-club historical guide: Hannover


Hannover have enjoyed 29 seasons of Bundesliga football since the division's inception 60 years ago and boast the original Captain America in Steve Cherundolo. 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.

Hannover 96
Years in Bundesliga:
 30 (1964-74, 1975/76, 1985/86, 1987-89, 2002-16, 2017-19)
Most appearances: Steve Cherundolo (302)
Most goals:
Hans Siemensmeyer (72)
Youngest player:
Valmir Sulejmani (17 years, 10 months, 12 days)

Champions in 1938 and 1954, Hannover were one of the first teams to gain promotion to the Bundesliga, joining for the second campaign in 1964/65 and finishing fifth – their best position until fourth in 2010/11. They remained for a decade and also enjoyed a lengthy spell between 2002 and 2016, but have also spent long periods outside of the Bundesliga, with a total of 27 campaigns in the second tier, where they currently find themselves.

They reached the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds twice in the 2010s, while their only major honour in the last half a century was the 1991/92 DFB Cup, which saw them become only the second second-tier club to lift the trophy after seeing off five Bundesliga clubs in Bochum, Borussia Dortmund, Karlsruhe, Werder Bremen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Ron-Robert Zieler was part of Germany's 2014 World Cup-winning squad. - Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Hannover are perhaps best known abroad as the adopted home of ‘Captain America’ Steve Cherundolo, who made 415 competitive appearances for the club and holds their record for most games in the Bundesliga. He’s the only person to have gone to three World Cups (2002, 2006 and 2010) as a Hannover player. The Reds also hold two notable unwanted Bundesliga records, as the only team to score three own goals in a single game (5-3 loss to Gladbach in December 2009) and the earliest sending-off for two yellow cards, given to Mame Biram Diouf after 12 minutes in October 2013.

Although known as the Reds, Hannover’s official club colours are actually black, white and green. This confusion dates back the early 20th century and a time when three clubs in the city – spelled Hanover in English – all had black, white and green as their club colours. It was then agreed that HSC Hannover would get to play in black, white and green, Arminia Hannover would be in blue, and Hannover 96 in red.

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