Together with Bayern Munich, Borussia Mönchengladbach had to wait patiently for their arrival in the Bundesliga, but they made up for lost time to become one of the most successful clubs in German top-flight history.
Their last title win may be over 40 years ago, but not many clubs can boast a tradition as rich as Gladbach's - one which has made them one of the most renowned clubs in world football. bundesliga.com takes a closer look...
1) Founded over a pint
It may be a familiar story – at least in Germany – but Borussia Mönchengladbach were founded in a pub. Not literally, but that is where a group of keen footballers met to lay the foundations for the club by creating FC Borussia on 17 November 1899. A year later, the group decided to sign up in an official league under the name Borussia 1900, although it was not for a further ten years that they officially became the 30th club in the Westphalian city, under the name Borussia 1900 M.Gladbach.
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2) From Monks, to Munich, to Mönchengladbach
Borussia and Bayern Munich have been two of German football's biggest rivals, but did you know that their cities shared the same name until 1950? Indeed, Mönchengladbach used to be known as München Gladbach, often shortened to M. Gladbach. Since people were constantly confusing the two cities, it was decided on 20 December 1950 to alter the city's name to Mönchen Gladbach, which recognised the monks (German: Mönchen) who had settled there in 974.
3) Phoenix from the… gravel
Gladbach's first home grew from a gravel pit – literally. In March 1914, they bought an area of land named 'De Kull' in local dialect, in reference to the gravel. Work on building their first stadium was interrupted by the First World War, but the 'Westdeutsches Stadion' was finally completed in 1919. This grew and grew into the renowned Bökelbergstadion, a name given to it by a local journalist who created the neologism out of the venue's address – Bökelstraße – and the German word for stadium. It remained the Foals' stable until they moved to Borussia-Park in 2005.
On the subject of Foals – the club's nickname – this did not emerge from any equine link but rather due to their youthful squad, which included Jupp Heynckes and Bernd Rupp in the 1964/65 season. With an average age of just 21.5 years, the term 'Fohlenelf' – 'Foal 11' was coined by the local media, with two Rheinische Post reporters saying the team played "like a herd of young foals". This enthusiastic, youthful side succeeded in securing promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 – together with, you guessed it, Bayern.
5) Remember the name
Gerhard Elfert may not have earned the fame of Günter Netzer and Berti Vogts, his stable-mates at the time, but it was he who scored Gladbach's historic first goal in the Bundesliga against Borussia Neuenkirchen, on 14 August 1965. That was one of only eight he scored in his entire career, but it was a significant one, signalling the start of life in the top tier of German football for Gladbach, who ended that maiden campaign in 13th.
6) The golden seventies
The 1970s were a golden era for Gladbach with no fewer than five Bundesliga titles, all coming within the space of eight years between 1970 and 1977. This is when their rivalry with Bayern became as big as the two clubs themselves. Gladbach celebrated their first ever win over the Bavarians in the 1969/70 season, a campaign which almost logically concluded with their maiden Bundesliga crown as they clinched the title with a game to spare, ultimately finishing four points ahead of the men from Munich.
7) Shifting the goalposts
The fact goalposts are now made of aluminium and no longer wood goes back to an incident in Gladbach's Bundesliga clash with Werder Bremen on 3 April 1971. With the score tied at 1-1, Gladbach were pushing for a winner which would have kept them ahead of Bayern in the race for the title when Herbert Laumen, in attempting to get onto the end of a Netzer free-kick, got tangled in the net and, in an attempt to free himself, pulled so hard that the left post snapped, causing the encounter to be abandoned. Gladbach were informed soon afterwards that the game would not be replayed, with Bremen subsequently declared the winners. Part of that post is still on show in the club's museum to this day.
8) No can do
Not only did Gladbach shift the goalposts in terms of the material used for the goal frames, they were also the root cause of another rule change in world football, with fans banned from taking drinks in cans into stadiums after an incident at the Bökelbergstadion. Gladbach beat Italy's Inter Milan 7-1 in the European Cup, however the game was forced to be replayed since an Inter player was struck by a drinks' can thrown by one of the fans. The Foals drew the replay 0-0 after having lost 4-2 in Milan. Like the legendary post, the can is also now on display in the club's museum.
9) They'll never walk alone
During their 1970s' heyday, it was not rare for Gladbach to meet Liverpool in European club competitions, since the English club were enjoying similar success across The Channel. Rather than getting sick of the sight of each other, though, the two teams forged a sporting friendship which extended off the field. In 2010, for Gladbach's 110-year anniversary, the Reds paid the Borussia-Park a visit for a friendly match, while the Anfield Road club's famous anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone' is now also on the playlist ahead of Gladbach's home games.
While Liverpool can be considered the best of friends, the same cannot be said of Gladbach's local rivals Cologne. One of the Bundesliga's classic fixtures, the Rhine Derby between the Foals and the Billy Goats, as Cologne are known, is one of the most passionate affairs in the game.
10) A German team
Writing Borussia Mönchengladbach can be something of a challenge for the non-native, as one Scottish pub highlighted when the Foals were in town for a UEFA Champions League clash with Celtic in 2016. After three attempts to advertise their visit on a blackboard outside their pub, they decided just to call them 'A German Team'. Gladbach's social media department picked up on it and, to aid fans all over the world, changed their Twitter handle accordingly.
Former Italy number one goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was one very relieved prominent fan of the Bundesliga club, and he was delighted to pick up a new scarf as he finally got his tongue around the German Team's name.