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.
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.
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 in the second division 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.
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)
Pal Dardai is a former Hertha captain, their record appearance holder in the Bundesliga and the third-longest serving coach in their history – and he’s back for a second spell in charge. The 45-year-old had originally left the job at the end of 2018/19 and taken up a position within the academy, but after failed stints from Ante Covic, Jürgen Klinsmann, Alexander Nouri and Bruno Labbadia, the Old Lady once again turned to their faithful companion in January 2021 and have now handed the Hungarian a deal through to the end of 2021/22.
Bringing a touch of Samba flair to Berlin, 22-year-old Brazilian Matheus Cunha makes Hertha tick. His 11 goal contributions in 2020/21 accounted for almost a quarter of the team’s total in the Bundesliga, despite the fact he missed seven matches. He led the squad for shots and chances created, while his trickery meant he was the third-most fouled player in the league. When he plays well, so does the Old Lady.
Watch: All of Cunha’s goals in 2020/21
2020/21 really didn’t go to plan for Hertha. After finishing 10th the previous campaign despite going through four coaches, they were then looking to push on under Labbadia and with a raft of new signings to bolster the squad. But just after the midway point in the season, they were 14th and only two points above the play-off spot after a heavy 4-1 defeat at home to Werder Bremen. Labbadia was dismissed and Dardai brought back. The goal then was all about survival, and despite at one point slipping into the precarious play-off position, a late-season rally that saw them go eight games unbeaten – as well as playing their final six matches in the space of 20 days – and ensured they live to fight another day in the Bundesliga.
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 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.
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.
Despite its status as Germany’s capital and largest city, Berlin has few intercontinental flights. Berlin Brandenburg Airport finally opened in late 2020 but is primarily a hub for low-cost European airlines. United Airlines are currently the only US carrier to offer direct year-round flights to Berlin from Newark, although this is expected to change as travel restrictions are eased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Frequent and cheap flights, however, make connections in Europe simple for distant travellers. Berlin is also connected to Munich and Frankfurt, Germany’s main international airports, by regular flights and high-speed ICE train services.
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.
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. ESPN provides 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 DAZN hosting one match per week.
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.
German clubs in Europe in 2022/23
All fixtures and results of the eight Bundesliga teams competing across the UEFA Champions, Europa and Conference League.
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