Sport-Club Freiburg e.V. is a German football club from the city of Freiburg im Breisgau in the south-west corner of Baden-Württemberg.
The club has usually bounced back and forth between the top-2 divisions of league-football in Germany. Presently Freiburg plays in 1.Bundesliga, earning its latest promotion 6 years back.
SC Freiburg played its home-games from 1953 up to 2021 at the Dreisamstadion, named after the Dreisam River which flows through the city. Last year, the club moved onto the brand-new Europa-Park Stadion, the naming rights being bought in a sponsorship deal by the theme-park, with a capacity of 34,700.
SC Freiburg – Sponsored by Cyber Bet
The origins of SC Freiburg are traced back to a pair of clubs based in the city, namely Freiburger Fußballverein 04 and FC Schwalbe Freiburg, both being founded in 1904. In the next few years both underwent name changes; the former becoming Union Freiburg in 1906 and the latter into Sportverein Freiburg 04 in 1909.
Three years later in 1912, Union Freiburg and Sportverein Freiburg 04 merged together to form Sport-Club Freiburg, the present name of the club. During the same period, the mythical griffin-head was incorporated into the club and the iconic symbol remains a part of its crest to this day.
The Early Decades
Following the devastation of World War I, SC Freiburg was unable to field a team and temporarily joined in with KSG Freiburg in 1918. The next year it associated itself with FT 1844 Freiburg to form the football department of the sports club and the partnership lasted until 1928.
From the 1928/29 season, Freiburg featured in the top-division and competed in Bezirksliga Württemberg-Baden. With the Nazi Party gaining political power in 1933, it became part of the Gauligen structure and played in Gauliga Baden from which it was relegated in the inaugural 1933/34 campaign.
After the end of World War II, many football clubs were forced to adopt new names in Allied-occupied Germany to dissociate from its recent Nazi past. Therefore the club had become VfL Freiburg for the next few years until in 1950 the French authorities allowed it reclaim the old name SC Freiburg.
By this time, Freiburg was competing in the Amateurliga Südbaden, which was part of the 3rd division in the West German football-league structure, without any real success. It managed to win the division-title in the 1964/5 season but was unable to secure promotion to the 2nd tier.
Reaching the Top-Flight
SC Freiburg remained in Amateurliga Südbaden until 1977/78. Freiburg crucially won the title that season and thereby won a direct promotion to 2.Bundesliga while the other top-5 teams went into Oberliga Südbaden, the new 3rd division and the rest dropped in to Verbandsliga Südbaden, the newly introduced 4th tier.
Freiburg finished in the top-half of 2.Bundesliga South in its first two seasons and was able to remain in the 2nd tier when it was trimmed down to single nationwide league for the 1983/84 campaign. As a result the competition became tougher and it could only manage a 15th place finish.
For the next 3 years, Freiburg grew into a more consistent mid-table side that finished inside the top-half without getting close to a promotion. However, the 1985/86 season would prove to be a very testing one although the club managed to avoid relegation and finished just 2 points above the drop-zone in 16th position.
The club hovered in mid-able for the next 5 years, managing to stay away from the drop-zone sometimes by narrow margins yet at the same time being unable to move closer to promotion. Achieving a 5th place finish at the end of the 1988/89 season was its best finish during this period.
Following the reunification of Germany, the 1991/92 season of 2.Bundesliga was split into 2 regional divisions of 12 teams, which would later be divided into two groups each for promotion and relegation. Freiburg made considerable improvement and took 3rd place in the promotion-group of 2.Bundesliga South.
In 1992/93, the 2.Bundesliga was assimilated into a single division of 24 teams with the top-3 teams earning promotion and the bottom-7 teams being relegated. SC Freiburg resumed its solid form in the extended campaign and won the league-title to secure its first promotion to 1.Bundesliga.
The Rollercoaster Bundesliga Ride
SC Freiburg played its maiden 1.Bundesliga season in 1993/94 and narrowly survived relegation after finishing in 15th position, separated from the bottom-3 only on goal-difference. So it was a huge surprise when it ended the following 1994/95 campaign in 3rd place, earning itself a spot in the UEFA Cup.
The 1995/96 season was a more difficult proposition and it ended on 11th spot in the 1.Bundesliga table while getting knocked in the round of the UEFA Cup by Slavia Prague. In 1996/97, things turned to the worse and Freiburg finished on 17th spot and dropped back into 2.Bundesliga.
In 1997/98 Freiburg was able to get an immediate return to the top-tier by becoming runners-up of 2.Bundesliga. After returning to 1.Bundesliga for the 1998/99 campaign, Freiburg managed to retain its top-flight status and eventually finished 2 points above the relegation-zone in 12th place.
Freiburg had a slightly improved season in 1999/2000 even though it finished in 12th position yet again. In 2001/02, it made some serious progress by taking 6th position at the end of the campaign, lying just 8 points behind the champions FC Bayern, to earn a berth in the UEFA Cup once more.
This time Freiburg managed to reach the 3rd round of the UEFA Cup where it was narrowly beaten by eventual runners-up Feyenoord Rotterdam. But the extra fixtures took a toll on the club and it ended the 2001/02 league campaign in 16th position and therefore was relegated to the 2nd tier.
Yet again the club was able to secure an immediate promotion back to the top-flight by winning the 2.Bundesliga title in 2002/03. After surviving its initial season since making the return to 1.Bundesliga, Freiburg was again relegated back to the 2nd division after finishing the 2004/05 in 18th place.
The Present Age
In 2005/06, SC Freiburg managed to take 4th place in 2.Bundesliga, missing out on promotion by a couple of points. 2005/06 saw the club end in the same position, this time it trailed behind on goal-difference. It was unsuccessful at earning promotion once again in 2006/07 after finishing in 5th position.
Freiburg was finally able to return to the top-division after a 4-year absence when it ran home with the 2.Bundesliga title in 2008/09. Back in 1.Bundesliga for 2009/10, the club preserved its top-flight status before breaking into the top-half of the table, earning a 9th place finish in 2010/11.
The Streich Era
Halfway through 2011/12, Freiburg sacked its new manager Marcus Sorg with the club languishing at the foot of the table and replaced him with Christian Streich, who has remained at the job to this day. Streich rallied the team in the 2nd half of the season and salvaged a 12th place finish in the end.
Freiburg became regarded for its tenacity and team-spirit, the very same traits that was its identity back in the day. In his first full season in 2012/13, Streich guided his side to 5th place and qualified for the UEFA Europa League. The club also reached the semi-final of the DFB-Pokal for the first time, losing out to local rivals VfB Stuttgart.
The 2013/14 was much less enjoyable however, as Freiburg was knocked out of the UEFA Europa League in the group-stage despite being a relatively straightforward pool. The additional fixtures took a toll on domestic form and it finished down in 14th place in the 1.Bundesliga.
But the 2014/15 campaign turned out to be even worse as it ended the league-season in 17th place to get relegated to the 2nd tier. Nevertheless, the club hierarchy kept its faith in Christian Streich and Freiburg was able to secure another immediate return to the top-flight by winning the 2.Bundesliga in 2015/16.
Since then, Freiburg has ensured its presence in 1.Bundesliga for the next 7 seasons, its longest spell in the top-flight. In 2016/17 the club finished in 7th position and even got a qualifying berth in the UEFA Europa League.
But it did get a relegation scare in 2017/18 when it ended just 3 points above the bottom-3 in 16th position
2018/19 turned out to be another close shave but Freiburg managed to get out of the drop-zone and finish the season in 16th position.
In the Covid-19 interrupted 2019/20 campaign, Freiburg managed to get back into the top-half after a couple of difficult years to end up in 8th position.
Freiburg stayed in the mid-table for 2020/21 and finished the season in 10th place. In the recent 2021/22 campaign, Freiburg looked as though it would finish in the top-4 and earn its maiden entry to the UEFA Champions League. But losing the last two games of the season meant it fell to 6th spot and had to settle for the Europa League instead.
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