Yet that was how it transpired for the club from southwest Bavaria, as Markus Winzierl's side punched well above their weight to finish just a point off qualifying for Europe for the first time in their history in only their third ever season in the Bundesliga. bundesliga.com runs the rule over ten months that put Augsburg on the footballing map..
Quite simply, 2013/14 was an astonishing season for die Fuggerstädter. After narrowly avoiding relegation in each of the last two years, the aim of Weinzierl's side was survival, but thanks to an incredible team spirit, superb organisation and some talented individuals, Augsburg finished as high as eighth, missing out on European football on the season's final day. They went eight games undefeated away from home between 9 November 2013 and 29 March 2014, beating the likes of Hamburger SV and Borussia Mönchengladbach, before inflicting FC Bayern München's first Bundesliga loss in over 18 months. They then won their final three games of the season but were eventually pipped to the final Europa League spot by 1. FSV Mainz 05.
Few would argue that Andre Hahn was the standout player for Augsburg in 2013/14, nor that he was the league's most improved player overall. Playing for third-tier side Kickers Offenbach as recently as late 2012, he played 32 times for Augsburg this term, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists. His sensational form earned him a transfer to UEFA Europe league participants Gladbach and a first cap for Germany recently.
The key area for improvement for next term will be scoring goals. Augsburg managed 47 in 34 games in 2013/14, but only 17 per cent of those were scored by strikers, with their top-scoring forward, netting three times. By contrast, 68 per cent of their goals were scored by midfielders, bagging an impressive haul of ten to add to the 12 scored by winger Hahn.
"If I played like this every week I'd be playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona," said Altintop after the 2-0 win over 1899 Hoffenheim on Matchday 13, in which the Turkey international scored both goals, his fourth and fifth of the season.
On Matchday 31 FC Bayern München, newly-confirmed Bundesliga champions for the 23rd time, rolled into the SGL Arena, whereupon Augsburg produced an incredible display to send the Reds back to the Bavarian capital nursing a 1-0 loss. Pep Guardiola was made to taste defeat as a Bundesliga coach for the first time and Bayern's run of 53 games unbeaten, which stretched back to October 2012, was ended.