bundesliga

Hertha Berlin Fanzone: Getting to know the Old Lady from the capital

Although not the only football club in Germany's capital city, Hertha Berlin have enjoyed arguably the greatest success, so let bundesliga.com give you a lowdown on the Old Lady.

History

Hertha can trace their history back to 1892, their name and blue-white colours coming from a steamship taken by one of the new club’s founding members. The beginning was tough for the then BFC Hertha 92, where membership numbers once fell as low as four, but they did create history in 1910 against Southend United as they became the first continental European club to beat a semi-professional English team.

The club recovered well from both World Wars, and by the 1950s was one of the dominant teams in the Berlin Oberliga. Their title in 1962/63 ensured they were Berlin’s representative in the newly formed Bundesliga and saw them move to their new home at the Olympiastadion. Their first Bundesliga stay lasted only two years though as they were relegated for a bribery scandal. The 70s saw prolonged top-flight success with three third-place finishes and a second place in 1974/75. The 80s was a decade of yo-yoing between the Bundesliga and third tier for the Old Lady.

Current sporting director Michael Preetz is Hertha’s all-time top scorer. - AFP/Getty Images

Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the club proved itself popular with East Germans. So much so that 11,000 came to watch Hertha play Wattenscheid just two days after the wall came down. BSC finally re-established itself as a Bundesliga club in 1997, spending over a decade at the top table before back-to-back relegations and promotions between 2009 and 2013. A regular in the UEFA Cup/Europa League during the noughties, the club’s greatest continental achievement was reaching the semi-finals of the 1978/79 UEFA Cup, losing on away goals to Red Star Belgrade. They have twice reached the final of the DFB Cup, while the club’s reserves famously contested the final against Bayer Leverkusen in 1993.

Honours

2x German championship (1930, 1931)
3x Bundesliga 2 champions (1990, 2011, 2013)
2x DFB League Cup (2001, 2002)
18x Berlin championship (1906, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1944, 1957, 1961, 1963)
12x Berlin Cup
(1920, 1924, 1928, 1929, 1943, 1958, 1959, 1966, 1967, 1976, 1987, 1992, 2004)
5x Intertoto Cup group winner
(1971, 1973, 1976, 1978, 2006)

Coach

Ante Covic succeeds Pal Dardai after the club’s all-time appearance holder’s four-and-a-half-year spell in charge came to an end. Like his predecessor, Covic has been promoted from within the club, having coached the youth teams and the reserves for the last six years. Born in Berlin to Croatian parents, like Bayern Munich boss Niko Kovac, Covic also had a playing career at Hertha and won seven caps for Croatia’s U21s.

Reserve team coach Ante Covic succeeds Pal Dardai in charge of the Hertha first team. - imago/Picture Point

Star man

Ondrej Duda made a slow start to life at Hertha following his arrival from Legia Warsaw in 2016 but burst onto the scene in 2018/19. The Slovakia international scored a club-best 11 Bundesliga goals, including one in the 2-0 win over Bayern, as well as providing five assists as the Old Lady finished mid-table. Now armed with a new contract, the 24-year-old looks set to be a leading figure in the new Covic era.

Watch: Duda and Hertha stun Bayern

Last season

Hertha enjoyed an excellent start to their 2018/19 campaign, hovering around the top six in part thanks to that historic win over Bayern. They spent new year comfortably inside the top half of the table before the wheels came off somewhat in 2019. Just five wins in 17 Rückrunde games saw the Old Lady slip into the bottom half of the table, but never in any danger. The capital club also enjoyed a run to the last 16 of the DFB Cup where they took Bayern to extra-time.

The stadium

Hertha have played at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium – the Olympiastadion – since their maiden Bundesliga season in 1963. The ground was built for the 1936 Olympic Games in the city and currently holds 74,475 spectators. The stadium also hosts the DFB Cup final each May. In previous years when Hertha have not been in the Bundesliga, they have often played home games away from the Olympiastadion at smaller grounds in Berlin, such as the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, the Poststadion and previously at the “Plumpe” Stadion am Gesundbrunnen before its demolition. The club are looking to move into a newly built, smaller stadium inside the Olympic Park or elsewhere in the city by 2025.

Watch: Inside the Olympiastadion

The city

The capital of Germany, Berlin is the nation’s largest city and one of its most diverse. It therefore has a little something for all the 30+ million tourists who visit each year.

An icon of the city and Germany itself, the Brandenburg Gate is the place to have your selfie to make sure your friends know you were in Berlin. The 220 ft tall Siegesäule Victory Column sits opposite the iconic Reichstag (Germany’s parliament), while the 4.7-acre Holocaust Memorial is also just around the corner.

While most of the Berlin Wall was torn down with reunification in the 1990s, small sections do still exist, and guided tours are an excellent way to see those remnants and understand the political struggle it represented.

On lighter notes, the Rathaus Schöneberg is the site of John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, while the “KaDeWe” is the largest department store in continental Europe.

The Brandenburg Gate is a symbol of Berlin and Germany. - AFP/Getty Images

Berlin’s nightlife and music scene are also legendary, so it’s always well worth checking out in advance what’s on during your visit. For those who prefer a quieter time, the city has vast expanses of greenspace, with the Tiergarten being one of the largest and most popular. The Zoologischer Garten also dates back to 1844 and is Europe’s most visited zoo.

Berlin is simply a city for everyone. Take the time to research exactly what interests you most – Berlin will have something for you.

Getting there

Despite its status as Germany’s capital and largest city, Berlin has few intercontinental flights. Tegel and Schönefeld airports serve the capital, but they are primarily hubs for low-cost European airlines. United Airlines are currently the only US carrier to offer direct year-round flights to Berlin from Newark. Frequent and cheap flights, however, make connections in Europe simple for distant travellers. Berlin Brandenburg Airport will soon open as the city’s sole airport, with intercontinental flights expected to increase. Berlin is also connected to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany’s main international airports, by regular high-speed ICE train services.

- DFL

Getting to the Olympiastadion

Hertha’s home is served by regular U-Bahn and S-Bahn train services from the city centre. The station Olympia-Stadion is served by the U2, while Olympiastadion is served by the S3 and S9. All lines cross the centre of Berlin, and extra services are provided on matchdays. As with all German football matches, possession of a match ticket allows free use of local public transport to and from the stadium.

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.

- Hertha BSC

Buy the kit

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

Fan clubs in the USA

There are no official Hertha fan clubs in the USA yet, but a number can be found across Europe in London, Budapest, Marbella, Copenhagen and Dalarö, Sweden.