Paderborn are back in the Bundesliga for only the second time in their history. - © DFL
Paderborn are back in the Bundesliga for only the second time in their history. - © DFL
bundesliga

Paderborn Fanzone: Getting to know the Bundesliga's smallest club

Pader-who? As one of the smallest clubs in the Bundesliga you could be forgiven for not knowing who they are. Yet. Chances are, however, that newly promoted Paderborn will win over countless neutrals as they return to the top flight for 2019/20.

History

Founded in 1907 as Arminia Neuhaus, it wasn't until 1985 that the club became more recogniseable in its current form thanks to a merger between TuS Schloss Neuhaus and FC Paderborn. It was rebranded in 1997 as Sport Club Paderborn 07, the name it holds today.

The club's first major achievement after years playing in Germany's regional leagues was promotion to Bundesliga 2 at the end of the 2013/14 season. Although that campaign ultimately ended in relegation from the top flight, one of the highlights was midfielder Moritz Stoppelkamp scoring from 82 metres out to seal a 2-0 win over Hannover - the longest-distance goal ever scored in the Bundesliga. A street near the stadium was subsequently renamed in his honour and is now known as Stoppelkamp-Allee.

Paderborn suffered successive demotions and spent two seasons in the third division (2016/17 and 2017/18) before making it back to the big time for the 2019/20 campaign.

Watch: Stoppelkamp's astonishing 82-metre goal

Honours

Promotion to the Bundesliga (2014, 2019)

Coach

Steffen Baumgart was an established Bundesliga striker in his day, scoring 29 goals in 225 top-flight matches for Hansa Rostock and Wolfsburg, among others. He began coaching after hanging up his boots in 2009, taking over at Paderborn in April 2017 and leading the club to successive promotions from the third division back into the Bundesliga. Paderborn finished as runners-up to Cologne in the second division last term.

Steffen Baumgart has guided Paderborn to consecutive promotions since taking charge in April 2017. - imago images / Matthias Koch

Star man

Paderborn lost two of the cornerstones of their promotion-winning team over the summer as Philipp Klement (VfB Stuttgart) and Bernard Tekpetey (Fortuna Düsseldorf) moved on, having scored a combined 26 of the team's 76 goals (34 per cent) between them.

However, all is not lost given the continued presence of creative danger-man-in-chief Sebastian Vasiliadis. Still just 21, the attacking midfielder registered six goals and 10 assists season, with his combination of close control, dribbling and ability to thread killer passes through defences set to play a crucial role in Paderborn's bid to stay up.

Sebastian Vasiliadis' distinctive hair colour - not to mention his attacking style of play - make him easy to spot on a football pitch. - Thomas Starke/Bongarts/Getty Images

Last season

Paderborn did not much look like promotion candidates in the first half of the 2018/19 season, with Baumgart's men struggling for consistency. Although they took points of fellow top-three hopefuls Holstein Kiel, Union Berlin and eventual champions Cologne - including a 5-3 thrashing of the latter - they were in seventh place over the winter break as too many draws (seven) and defeats (four) left the side six points off the promotion pace.

The team kicked into gear in the back straight, however, defeating Cologne once again en route to earning more points than any other side in the Rückrunde (32) with 10 wins, two draws and five defeats. A big reason for that was turning their Benteler-Arena into a fortress where they earned 63 per cent of their total points all for the season (36 of 57). Paderborn eventually finished second, level on points with Union Berlin but granted automatic promotion thanks to their superior goal difference.

The stadium

Paderborn's Benteler-Arena home is the smallest in the Bundesliga in the 2019/20 season, providing room for just 15,000 spectators, of which 5,800 are seated.

The stadium was officially opened with a match against Borussia Dortmund in July 2008 and was rebranded under its current moniker in June 2012.

Like the majority of German clubs, Paderborn like to do their bit for the environment and encourage supporters to arrive by bicycle, offering 2,000 stations for bikes to be locked at - more than any other club in the Bundesliga.

Paderborn's home may be the smallest in the Bundesliga, but it was a fortress for the team in 2018/19. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

The city

Originally founded in 777, Paderborn suffered 85 per cent destruction during World War II bombing raids. Although reconstructed and modernised during the post-war years, the city retains some of its history including its 13th-century cathedral and crypt, which dates back to 1100 AD.

There are a number of museums and galleries dedicated to keeping the city's history alive, in addition to countless charming cafes and restaurants. For the more outdoor-minded visitor, a trip to the nearby Egge mountains offers miles of hiking trails.

Getting there

Although there is an airport in Paderborn it is a small one and aside from daily routes to Frankfurt and Munich, only offers seasonal flights to popular tourist locations abroad (primarily in Greece and Turkey).

As the city is situated in the well-populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia, public transport is excellent and there are regular trains to nearby Dortmund (approximately one hour away).

- padersprinter.de

Getting to the Benteler-Arena

If arriving by car, exit the A33 at Paderborn-Elsen and continue towards  Detmold / Bad Lippspringe. After about 500 metres, turn right at the roundabout towards the stadium.

If coming by bus, lines 6 and 68 will take you right to the doorstop. Simply get off at the Arena / Alme Aue stop. Match tickets are valid on public transport two hours before kick-off and two hours after full time.

For those looking to make use of one of the 2,000 spaces for bikes, there are bike paths throughout the city and it should only be a 20-minute ride from the centre to 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.

- SC Paderborn 07

Buy the kit

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