Thorsten Fink / FOTO: HSV.DE

Hamburg's pre-season match / PHOTO: HSV.DE

Hamburg SV / FOTO: HSV.DE

A great club in difficult times. Hamburg won the European Cup in 1983 and are the only side never to have been relegated out of the Bundesliga since its foundation in 1953, but they are currently going through the worst patch in 125 years of history. They finished 15th in the 2011/12 season, just five points above the playoff zone, their lowest position ever.

Glorious 70s and 80s

With the third best historic record in Germany, Hamburg have won the Bundesliga six times, plus three Cups and two League Cups, one European Cup and one Cup Winners Cup. Their golden period was the 70s and 80s, when the likes of Kaltz, Magath and Hrubesch helped put the club on the football map.

Downward spiral

The club that shares football passions in the city with Sankt Pauli has gone somewhat downhill since. They haven’t won the league since 1983, and mid table finishes are more the norm, with relegation often a more likely destiny than the championship title. They haven’t managed a top five finish since 2008/09.

Fink in charge

Last season was especially tough for Hamburg fans. After a dreadful start, the club sacked manager Michael Oenning and offered the job to former player Thorsten Fink, until then in charge of Basel. The team managed to avoid the indignity of the playoffs by just five points, and will be looking for vast improvements in the season ahead.

Four new faces have been brought in: Artem Rudnevs, Maximilian Beister and renowned goalkeeper Rene Adler. Meanwhile, Romeo Castelen, Mladen Petric, David Jarolim, Mickael Tavares, Sören Bertram and Paolo Guerrero have all departed.

Other sports

Like FC Barcelona, Hamburg is not just a football club. It also features badminton, baseball, cricket, ice hockey, golf, handball, field hockey, athletics, rugby, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair sports. With 70,920 members it is the third biggest sports club in Germany, topped only by Bayern Munich and Schalke 04.

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