Groundhopper Guide to FC Cologne

Carter Lawson · Profile
Groundhopper Guide to FC Cologne

Here is our Groundhopper’s Guide to FC Köln, or Cologne in English.

With a proud history and large fanbase, the club hasn’t been at its best recently, but it’s located in a beautiful city and surrounded by other big Fußball clubs.

Location: Cologne, Germany

Contacts:, +49 221 | 260 11 221, #effzeh

Nicknames: Die Geißböcke (The Billy Goats), refers to the clubs mascot Hennes

FC Cologne History

Cologne was originally founded as Kölner BC in 1901, when a group of men left their gymnastics club to create a club specifically focused on football. They competed in the Zehnerliga West prior to WWI, and in 1920 they reached the league final before falling to their rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach.

They would go on to to play in the Gauliga Mittelrhein in 1933, one of the 16 top flight levels created when the Third Reich reorganized German football. In 1943 SpVgg Sülz 07 and Kölner BC merged to create Kriegspielgemeinschaft VfL 99/Sülz 07 a powerful side that would go on to win the league title prior to war breaking out in Germany.

Following this merger and the war, 1. FC Köln began to play in the Oberliga West and by 1954 they had won their first divisional championship. During the remainder of the 50s and the early 60s they would win several more divisional titles and would reach the DFB-Pokal final.

In 1963 the Bundesliga was formed and FC Köln was selected as one of the original founding members, and would win the very first season of the competition. In 1967 FC Köln would also win their first DFB-Pokal. To start the 70s, FC Köln reached the DFB-Pokal final 3 years in a row, but failed to win any of them, including a loss to rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1973.

In 1977, FC Köln would have their most successful season, capturing a Bundesliga title as well as a DFB-Pokal, making them one of only four clubs to win a domestic double in the Bundesliga era.

In the 1980s and early 90s, FC Köln reached the DFB-Pokal 3 times only managing to win once. They would also lose the UEFA Cup Final in 1986 and would finish runners-up in the Bundesliga in 1989 and 90. They losses would mark the end of a dominant period for the club.

The poor run of form would continue into the late 90s when the club was relegated for the first time in 1998. Since this time, the club has become a sort of yo-yo club, bouncing between the first and second divisions.

In 2014 the club reached the Bundesliga for the first time since the 2010-11 season and 3 years later they would finish high enough in the league to qualify for the Europa League, their first appearance in a European competition in 25 years. Unfortunately, the team was relegated the next season and did not make it out of the Europa League group stage. They would gain a promotion the next season, and they have remained in the Bundesliga since.

2022-23 SEASON: 11th in the Bundesliga, 2nd round DFB-Pokal

2023–24 SEASON: Bundesliga

Köln ultras in the Südkurve

FC Cologne Rivalries

FC Köln shares their main rivalry with Mönchengladbach, which is known as the Rhine derby due to both clubs regional ties. Things really kicked off in 1964 when FC Köln’s manager Hennes Weisweiler, who the FC Köln mascot is named after, left the club for Mönchengladbach, although he would later return to the club. Between 1970 and 1978 every league title was won by either Cologne, Mönchengladbach or Bayern Munich. This period in the 1970s was the best for both clubs, and for the rivalry in general. This rivalry was first played in 1961 and still exists to this day. Mönchengladbach still holds a slight edge in the overall record with 54 victories to Cologne’s 31.

Women’s Team

1. FC Köln Frauen was formed in 2009 after FFC Brauweiler Pulheim dissolved their club to join Köln. The club finished 3rd in their first season in 2. Bundesliga, and they achieved promotion to the Bundesliga in 2015. Since then they have bounced between division 1 and 2.

RheinEnergieSTADION, home stadium of FC Köln

FC Cologne Stadium

FC Köln plays their home games at Müngersdorfer Stadion, which has a capacity of 50,000 and is named after the neighborhood where it is located. The stadium has hosted games in the World Cup, and will host some in the UEFA Euros 2024, as well.

FC Cologne Tickets

Tickets can be purchased with a membership card through the club’s website, however the club does has a high demand for tickets so it may be more difficult than other Bundesliga clubs. Visit FC Köln’s ticket page to learn more.


Written By Carter Lawson
Carter Lawson, Content and Social Media Director · Profile

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