Football in Berlin

There are two main professional football clubs in Berlin namely, Hertha BSC and FC Union Berlin. These two teams play in the first tier and second tier league in Germany respectively.

Hertha BSC are based in Charlottenburg and the club is also known as Die Alte Dame (“the old lady”). This 126 year old professional club competes in the top tier of the German Bundesliga and is positioned in 10th place this season. Its current stadium is the Olympiastadion with a capacity of 74,475 seats. Hertha is a two time German Champion, three times 2. Bundesliga, and two time league cup winner. This team does have its fair share of accolades and would be a great team to watch if you are visiting the city of Berlin. Hertha normally opt for the classic 4-4-2 with emphasis on the left wing due to the likes of Salomon Kalou – their top scorer with 12 goals.

Pascal Köpke, son of world-class goalkeeper Andreas Köpke, just signed for Hertha BSC. In order to get an impression for what the club is like it would be informative to hear about it from the perspective of a professional player. When asked about his decision to make the move to the club he said that he ‘knew from the start that Hertha was the place for me and that I wanted to move here.’ In terms of a footballer’s life and how one finds the city amenable Pascal went on ‘I’ve visited the city with my girlfriend quite a few times when we’ve had the time to on weekends. We met up with Davie and his girlfriend and went to restaurants and cafés. We really like the city – there’s so much to do and to discover here.’

Hertha is not the only football club that is based in Berlin. Köpenick is home to FC Union Berlin and they play at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei, which literally means ‘Stadium at the old forester’s house.’ Allegedly, the first ever music performance at the stadium was done by Linkin Park in 2015 where they performed in front of 35,000 fans. This is quite extraordinary since the stadium capacity on match-day is 22,012 while the capacity for concerts is said to be 27,000. FC Union Berlin play in the second tier of German professional football and are well known for their chant ‘Eisern Union’ – ‘Iron Union’ in English. The Eisern Union is also the affectionate nickname for the club since it was a working class club initially. Originally, FC Union Berlin had blue kits that resembled the clothing of factory workers and the team had been once referred to as the ‘Schlosserjungs’ or ‘metalworker-boys.’

Berliner FC Dynamo is also a club from Berlin that has enjoyed immense success in the past. It is the record holder for most consecutive championships in East Germany with a whopping total of 10 from 1979 through to 1988. Despite its remarkable success the Berliner now battle in the fourth tier of German regional football. As a result ticket prices are very cheap where VIP spots cost a mere €50. On the bright side, the team’s average age is a young 25, meaning that there is a lot of potential to rise above the tiers and challenge some tougher titles in the near future.