Now a regular presence in the Bundesliga, Augsburg have become known as obdurate opponents with a propensity to overachieve. No longer just the league's 'other' Bavarian club, let bundesliga.com give you the lowdown on Bayern Munich's closest rivals.
The club was founded on 8 August 1907 as FC Allemania and it was not until 1969 that its present name, Football Club Augsburg, came into being after a merger with local side TSV 1847 Schwaben Augsburg.
They bounced around the regional divisions for decades, struggling with debt until a group of investors came to the club's aid in 2001. That brought greater stability and allowed Augsburg to establish longer-term plans. Such strategic thinking paid off in 2006, when the Fuggerstädter – a nickname derived from the city's famous Fugger family – were promoted to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in 23 years.
Just five years later, Dutch coach Jos Luhukay led Augsburg to the Bundesliga for the first time. They have remained in the top flight ever since, and even qualified for the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League after Luhukay's successor, Markus Weinzierl, guided the side to a sensational fifth-placed league finish.
Bundesliga 2 runners-up (2010/11)
Born in the Munich area, Manuel Baum spent his entire playing career as a goalkeeper at lower league teams in and around the city before moving into coaching. He has a degree in sport science and cut his teeth on the touchline at third division side Unterhaching as assistant to Heiko Herrlich, who is now in charge at Bayer Leverkusen.
Baum's modern approach, flexibility and willingness to give young players a chance caught the eye of Augsburg, who recruited him as the head of their youth academy in 2014. A year later he was handed the reins of the reserve team, and when Dirk Schuster was dismissed as first team boss in December 2016 with Augsburg hovering just above the relegation zone, Baum was asked to step in as caretaker. Such has been his positive impact that he has remained in the job ever since.
Caiuby, Philipp Max and Michael Gregoritsch are all cornerstones of Baum's side but there is no doubt that Alfred Finnbogason is the leading light. After signing on loan from Spanish side Real Sociedad in 2016, the Iceland striker scored seven times in 14 outings to send Augsburg scrambling – ultimately successfully - to secure him to a permanent deal.
He has maintained that average of a goal every two games throughout his spell at the club and it is testament to his quality that despite missing 14 matches due to a calf injury last season, the 29-year-old still struck 12 times – as well as registering three assists - in just 22 league outings. A real fox-in-the-box, Augsburg's hopes of avoiding the drop again will largely depend on Finnbogason's form.
Watch: Finnbogasson hits a memorable Bundesliga hat-trick!
The primary aim of any team is to improve year-on-year and Augsburg have certainly done that. Last term was Baum's first full campaign in charge and he helped steer the club to 12th place with 41 points, one rung and three points better off than the previous season.
Consistency was the side's main shortcoming, as they only managed to win consecutive league games on two occasions. Nevertheless, Baum was satisfied with his troops, pointing to the fact that "it was a year of transition" given the departures of several experienced players, including captain Paul Verhaegh, Raul Bobadilla and Dominik Kohr. "I think we've got a very good mix of characters […] and I believe we've also become more unpredictable and much more flexible."
The WWK Arena was completed in July 2009 after a 20-month construction project. It has a capacity of 30,660 (19,556 seating, 8,000 standing), but the architects' designs were such that it can still be expanded to 50,000 in a second phase of building if desired.
A complex system that harnesses the earth's natural geothermal energy provides the stadium's power, making it the first CO2-neutral arena in the world, saving approximately 750 million tons of carbon dioxide each year.
The technical aspects of Augsburg's home aside, the steep stands give the venue a compact feel and help create a spine-tingling atmosphere on matchdays, with the noise echoing around the ground. German broadsheet newspaper the Frankfurt Allgemeine Zeitung even once labelled the stadium "The Anfield of the B17 highway" due to its unique atmosphere.
Founded in 15BC, the city of Augsburg is a rare and special treat for history buffs, offering a huge selection of sights, sounds, tours and relics. Its location in southern Germany meant it became a major trading post en route to Italy, with the wealthy Fugger family (see the club's nickname above) rising to prominence as bankers.
They donated the Fuggerei, the oldest social housing estate in the world, which is one of several buildings still standing. The Fuggers' own palaces have been restored and are well worth a visit, as is the town hall, which dates back to 1620. The centre also has a generous smattering of quaint restaurants and coffee shops to help you digest the weight of history all around you, while the city's Botanical Gardens provide the ultimate spot to unwind.
Although Augsburg does have a small airport of its own, it has very little commercial traffic, so the closest major transport hub is Munich, with frequent flights to and from all major European and international destinations arriving and departing daily.
Augsburg is approximately 50 miles to the west of Munich, so is reachable in approximately an hour by car, or in 45 minutes if travelling by train. Public transport leaves from Munich main station (Hauptbahnhof) and arrives in the centre of Augsburg.
Getting to the WWK Arena
On home matchdays there a special tram service, Stadion-Linie 8, which departs every five minutes from the central station (Hauptbahnhof) starting two hours before kick-off. The journey from the central station only takes around 20 minutes. All match tickets are valid for travel on public transport (bus and tram) run by Augsburg’s transport operator (AVG) within zones 10 and 20 (three hours before and after the game). This does not apply to regional trains and buses run by Augsburg’s transport association (AVV).
If you are arriving by car from the west or east on the A8 (Stuttgart-Munich), exit Augsburg-West (towards Augsburg Landsberg) to join the Bundesstraße 17. Stay on the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA).
If coming on the B2 (Donauwörth-Augsburg) from the north, exit onto the Bundesstraße 17 towards Landsberg. Follow the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA). If coming from the south on the Bundesstraße 17 (Landsberg-Augsburg), follow the B17 until the stadium exit (WWK ARENA).
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.
Buy the kit
You can get your own Augsburg jersey from the official club shop.