Based in Germany’s sunniest and warmest city, SC Freiburg has been a fertile breeding ground for top-class footballers down the years. Let bundesliga.com introduce you to the league’s Black Forest outfit.
Founded in 1904, Freiburg earned promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time at the end of the 1992/93 season under then head coach Volker Finke, who was at the helm from 1991 to 2007, making him the longest-serving head coach ever in German football.
Nicknamed Die Breisgauer on account of their geographical location in the eponymous region of the country, they have been something of a yo-yo team in recent years, suffering relegation three times but bouncing back up straight away on two occasions. Among their many famous former sons, current Germany coach Joachim Löw is arguably the most notable and to this day remains the club's all-time leading scorer with 81 goals in 252 appearances spread across three spells.
Bundesliga 2 champions (1992/93, 2002/03, 2008/09, 2015/16)
Is there a more charismatic coach anywhere in world football? Born and raised in Freiburg, Christian Streich cycles to work, encourages his players to vote and is unashamedly open and direct in voicing his opinion – in his trademark thick Black Forest accent - on a range of topics, from football to the environment and politics.
That should not distract from his ability on the touchline, however. Streich is currently the longest serving manager in the Bundesliga, having taken over in 2011, and has worked wonders at a club with one of the smallest budgets in the top flight. Famed for bringing through talented youngsters, Vincenzo Grifo, Max Kruse and Maximilian Philipp are just a few of the stars to have benefited from his guidance.
There can be little doubt about this one: Nils Petersen. Previously often used as a highly effective supersub, the forward took full advantage of a long-term injury to Florian Niederlechner in 2017/18 to establish himself as Freiburg's leading man. The former Bayern Munich attacker scored 15 times last term to play a vital role in the club's Bundesliga survival, and even earned a place in Germany's provisional 2018 FIFA World Cup squad ahead of Bayern's Sandro Wagner.
Watch: Petersen's stunning 45-yard strike against Dortmund in 2017/18
The Black Forest club were plagued by inconsistency in 2017/18. While their home form was generally solid, including victories over RB Leipzig and Hoffenheim, as well as draws with Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen, Streich's men struggled on the road, ending up with the second-worst away record in the division with just nine points all season.
The main problem was a lack of goals, and had it not been for Petersen's finishing they would likely be in the second tier now. Die Breisgauer flirted with relegation towards the end of the season, but a crucial 3-2 win over Cologne on Matchday 32 was decisive, with a 2-0 triumph over Augsburg on the last day of the campaign securing them 15th place.
Freiburg's Schwarzwaldstadion was opened in 1955 and underwent several reconstructions in the 1990s, increasing capacity in each of the terraces to its present limit of 24,000 (10,000 standing), making it one of the smallest in the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, the most recent census recorded Freiburg's population at just over 220,000, meaning one in every ten people is present at every home game.
Proud of its reputation as being Germany's greenest city, the stadium produces 250,000 kwh of electricity each year thanks to the solar panels installed on the roof. A new, larger arena (34,700 capacity) is to be even more environmentally friendly and is set to open in the outskirts of the city in time for the 2020/21 season at the latest.
A quaint university city nestled in the south-west corner of Germany, Freiburg has a unique appeal that inevitably charms anyone who visits. With its rolling hills and the warmest climate in the country, there are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you entertained, from hiking to mountain biking and skiing in the winter, while there is also a wide selection of excellent locally-produced wines.
The city's proximity to France, which is less than 30 minutes away by car, has influenced its gastronomy: the Flammenkuchen – Freiburg's version of Tarte flambée - is a must. By the way, the Black Forest gateau hails from this area so this is the place to try it. Enjoy a typically generous doorstep-sized slice as a welcome treat alongside an afternoon coffee.
Freiburg doesn't have a commercial airport but there are several nearby that serve the city. Flights from most major European destinations arrive at Basel/Mulhouse airport, which is under an hour away, while Strasbourg and Baden-Baden are also very close by. Public transport to and from Freiburg is also excellent, with regular train and bus services arriving at the 'Hauptbahnhof' in the heart of the city, including high-speed long-distance trains from as far away as Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Zurich, which all have major international airports.
Getting to the Schwarzwald-Stadion
Freiburg is famed for being a bike-friendly city, and the stadium's picturesque location along the bank of the Dreisam river means many fans arrive on two wheels on matchdays. If you have enough time fancy a stroll, simply follow the river eastwards until you see the stadium. Otherwise, take tram line 1 from the main station towards Littenweiler and get off at Römerhof.
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 Freiburg jersey from the official club shop.