Eintracht Frankfurt

Rich in German footballing tradition, Eintracht Frankfurt, as the name suggests (Eintracht means ‘unity’), was established through the merger of several former sports club. First, two clubs that had formed in 1899, ‘Kickers’ and ‘Victoria’, merged in 1911 to form the ‘Frankfurt Football Club (Kickers-Victoria) of 1899’.

Then when the club was reformed after the First World War, it merged again with Frankfurt’s athletics club to form the ‘Eintracht Frankfurt Athletics and Sports Club of 1861’. In 1927, the athletics section split away again, with football then coming under the ‘Eintracht Frankurt Sports Club of 1899’.

German champions
Eintracht Frankfurt achieved their greatest domestic success to date by winning the German championship in 1959.

With the German league still structured at that time on a regional basis and the ultimate national champions decided by an end-of season inter-champions tournament, Eintracht beat local rivals Kickers Offenbach 5-3 in the final in Berlin.

European success
The following year, Eintracht became the first German team to reach a European Cup Final.

Alas, in the final in Glasgow, they were trounced 7-3 by the then unbeatable Real Madrid.

Founder member of the Bundesliga
In 1963, Eintracht Frankfurt was one of the founding members of the national league, the Bundesliga. The club managed to stay in the top flight for the next 33 years, before finally being relegated in 1996.

Cup winners
During that time, Eintracht won the German FA Cup on four occasions, in successive years in 1974 and 1975, and again in 1981 and 1988. In 1980, the club achieved its greatest success so far, by winning the UEFA Cup, beating Borussia Mönchengladbach in the final.

A missed title and relegation
In 1992, the club lost its last game of the season at already relegated Hansa Rostock and thus missed out by 2 points on the Bundesliga title, which ultimately went to VfB Stuttgart. Following their first ever relegation from the Bundesliga in 1996, Eintracht then became very much a yo-yo club.

Promotion and relegation
They won promotion back to the top-flight in 1998. In the next two seasons, they just managed to stay up, winning their battle against relegation on the very last day. But in 2001, they were relegated again.

Financial problems
The footballing side of the club was reorganised at this time into a separate limited company, but in 2002 financial problems almost saw them have their professional football licence withdrawn. A year later, however, they were promoted again and at the end of the 2003/4 season again stayed up on goal difference, only to go down again a year later.

Back in the top flight
After just one year in the second flight, they bounced back and – at the time of writing (October 2005) – are again in the top tier of German football … albeit languishing in the relegation zone!

Pictures on this page courtesy of Eintracht Frankfurt / Andreas Wolf.

Eintracht Frankfurt official website (German only)

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