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|Full name||Football Club Basel 1893|
|Nickname(s)||FCB, Bebbi, RotBlau|
|Founded||15 November 1893|
|Ground||St. Jakob-Park, Basel|
for international matches
|League||Swiss Super League|
|2013–14||Swiss Super League, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
|Full name||Football Club Basel 1893|
|Nickname(s)||FCB, Bebbi, RotBlau|
|Founded||15 November 1893|
|Ground||St. Jakob-Park, Basel|
for international matches
|League||Swiss Super League|
|2013–14||Swiss Super League, 1st|
|Website||Club home page|
Football Club Basel 1893 (German: Fussball Club Basel 1893) widely known as FC Basel or just Basel, and sometimes referred to as FC Basle in English, is a Swiss football club based in Basel. They are one of the most successful clubs in Swiss football, having won the Swiss Super League 17 times, the second most for any Swiss club. Besides their current dynasty, they were most successful in the late 1960s and 1970s, winning the title a total of seven times between 1967 and 1980. The 1980s saw hard times for Basel as they had an absence from European competition for many years and they were relegated in 1987. In the 2000s Basel returned to the top of Swiss football; winning their first title for 22 years in 2002 and won a further eight titles in the years 2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. FC Basel have also won the Swiss Cup 11 times.
They have competed in European competition every season since 1999–2000. In the 2001–02 season, the club reached the UEFA Intertoto Cup final, losing to Aston Villa; in the 2002–03 season they qualified for the Second Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League; and in the 2005–06 season, they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. They have been in the Champions League more times than any other Swiss club — a total of six times — and are the only Swiss club to have ever qualified directly for the Champions League group stages.
In the 2011–12 season, FC Basel produced some outstanding results in the Champions League. After a 1–1 away draw against S.L. Benfica, FC Basel tied away 3–3 and then won at home 2–1 against Manchester United, which saw them progress to the knockout phase. Here they were defeated by Bayern Munich on aggregate despite a 1–0 home win. The 2012–13 season saw them scale greater heights as the RotBlau advanced as far as the semi-finals of the Europa League, but there they were beaten by eventual cup winners Chelsea. However directly in the following season, Basel did avenge that defeat with two straight wins during the 2013–14 Champions League. They notched up a surprising 2–1 away win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and followed this up with a 1–0 home win in the return fixture at St. Jakob-Park, though Basel ultimately were eliminated in the group stage. The following year, Basel progressed to the last 16 from a group that included European giants Real Madrid and Liverpool courtesy of a 1-1 away draw at Anfield in their final group match.
|This article or section may be slanted towards recent events. (July 2009)|
The club FC Basel was started by an advertisement which appeared on 12 November 1893 in the Basler national newspaper requesting that a football team be formed and that anyone who wished to join should meet up the following Wednesday at 8:15 in the restaurant Schuhmachern-Zunft. The advert had been placed by Roland Geldner, who was later elected as first President. Eleven men attended the meeting, these being: Emil Abderhalden, Max Born, Josef Ebinger, Max Geldner, Wilhelm Glaser, Jean Grieder, Ferdinand Isler, Wilhelm Oser, Lucien Schmoll, Richard Strub und John Tollmann. Therefore Fussball Club Basel was founded on 15 November 1893. The club colors from the first day on were red and blue.
FC Basel's first game was on 26 November 1893 against itself, an internal match between two ad hoc formed FCB teams against each other. Two weeks later FCB had their first official appearance, in a game against a team formed by students from the high school gymnastic club. FCB won 2–0. In the early days, the clubs team played only friendly matches, for example the local derby against BSC Old Boys (founded as FC Old Boys Basel in 1894) and also against Grasshopper Club Zurich (founded in 1886). One of the early club captains was Hans Gamper, who later founded FC Barcelona in Spain.
Basel did not compete in the first (unofficial) Swiss football championship which was held 1897–1898. However, they did contest in the second Serie A championship which was organized by the Swiss Football Association. The series A was divided into three regional groups, East, Central (with FCB) and West. The winner of each group qualified for the finals. Basel did not qualify for the finals and did not compete in the championship the following year, but have not failed since then. FC Basel did not have much of an early footballing success; it took them 40 years to win their first trophy.
At the beginning of the 1932–33 season the Austian ex-international footballer player Karl Kurz took over as club trainer. There were eight teams in Group 1 of the 1932–33 Nationalliga. Basel finished their season in second position in the table, with seven victories from 14 games. The play-off game between the second placed teams from both groups was played in Basel in the Stadion Rankhof, but the home team lost 3–4 to Servette FC Genève. In the Swiss Cup Basel advanced to the Final, which was played in the Hardturm in Zürich. Basel won the final 4–3, and thus their first ever national title, as they defeated arch-rivals and reigning cup-holders Grasshopper Club Zürich, in what is still considered to be one of the best cup finals in Swiss football history.
During the following five season Basel played in the midfield of the Nationliga, not having much to do with the championship or having to worry about relegation. But the 1938–39 Nationalliga did not mean well with them. With just five wins and with twelve defeats, they finished in the last position in the league table and were relegated.
The 1941–42 season was Basel's third season in the 1st League (second flight of Swiss football) after relegation. Eugen Rupf was player-coach for his second year. Basel finished their season as winners of group East. In the play-offs against group West winners Bern, the away tie ending with a goalless draw and Basel won their home tie 3–1 to achieve Promotion. In the Swiss Cup five home games, a coin toss in the quarter-final and a replay in the semi-final was needed to qualify for the final. The final against Grasshopper Club ended goalless after extra time and a replay was required here too. In the replay, in the Wankdorf Stadion against the Nationalliga champions, Basel led at half time through two goals by Fritz Schmidlin, but two goals from Grubenmann a third from Neukom gave the Grasshoppers a 3–2 victory.
After just three season in the top flight of Swiss football Basel suffered relegation again. But achieved immediate re-promotion in the 1944–45 season.
Anton Schall (another Austrian ex-international) became the club trainer. Basel finished the Nationalliga A season in fourth position, with twelve victories from 26 games, scoring a total of 60 goals. Top league goal scorers were Traugott Oberer (13) and René Bader (10). Basel won the cup for the second time as they beat Lausanne Sports (who had also been runners-up the previous year) 3–0 in the final at the Stadion Neufeld in Bern. Paul Stöcklin scored two goals and René Bader scored the other one.
At the beginning of the 1952–53 season René Bader took over the job as club trainer from Ernst Hufschmid who had acted as trainer the previous five years. Bader acted as player-manager and Willy Dürr was his assistant, Dürr stood at the side line when Bader played. Basel won their first league title in 1953 and ended the season four points ahead of BSC Young Boys. Basel won 17 of the 26 games, losing only once, and they scored 72 goals conceding 38. Josef Hügi was the teams top league goal scorer.
The Czechoslovakian manager Jiří Sobotka was the club manager at this time, he taken the job over from Jenő Vincze the year before. Basel finished the championship in sixth position. Heinz Blumer was Basel's top scorer this season with 16 goals, Karl Odermatt their second best goal scorer with 14. The Wankdorf Stadium hosted the Swiss Cup Final on 15 April 1963 and Basel played against favorites Grasshopper Club Zürich. Two goals after half time, one by Heinz Blumer and the second from Otto Ludwig gave Basel a 2–0 victory and their third Cup win in their history. Peter Füri played in all games except the Final because he became ill.
As explained above, Basel won their first trophy of the new decade in 1963, but, FCB (which is pronounced "Eff Cee Bee" in Swiss German) didn't come to prominence until the late 1960s under the management of Helmut Benthaus and with quality players such as René Hasler, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Karl Odermatt.
In 1967 Benthaus achieved his first league win with Basel. During this season he acted as player-manager, he taken over the job trainer from Georges Sobotka at the beginning of the previous season. There were 14 teams contesting in the championship and Basel finished just one point clear of FC Zürich. Basel won 16 of the 26 games, drawing eight, losing only twice and they scored 60 goals conceding just 20. Roberto Frigerio was the teams top goal scorer with 16 league goals, Helmuth Hauser second best goal scorer with 14.
In the Swiss Cup final Basel's opponents were Lausanne-Sports. In the former Wankdorf Stadium on 15 May 1967, Helmut Hauser scored the decisive goal via penalty. The game went down in football history due to the sit-down strike that followed this goal. After 88 minutes of play, with the score at 1–1, referee Karl Göppel awarded Basel a controversial penalty. (André Grobéty had pushed Hauser gently in the back and he let himself drop theatrically.) Subsequent to the 2–1 for Basel the Lausanne players refused to resume the game and they sat down demonstratively on the pitch. The referee had to abandon the match. Basel were awarded the cup with a 3–0 forfait.
Basel had won the double for the first time in the clubs history.
The league title 1966–67 led to Basel qualifying to play in the European Cup for the first time in 1967–68. However, Basel were knocked out of the tournament in the First Round by Danish side Akademisk Boldklub. Basel's next league win came in the 1968–69 Nationalliga A season as they once again finished just one point above the runners-up, this time Lausanne Sports. This meant that Basel could embark on another European adventure, but again they failed to overcome the first hurdle, this time it was Celtic of Scotland.
In the 1969–70 season, Basel won the league by one point over Lausanne Sports, once again. The European Cup was a little kinder to Basel in 1970, as they reached the Second Round, losing to AFC Ajax, after defeating Soviets Spartak Moscow in the first round. Basel did not retain their title the next season despite finishing with the same amount of points as the winners, Grasshopper Club Zürich, who won it on head-to-head. After a trophy-less season, Basel then won two league titles in-a-row, in 1972 and '73. They also won the League Cup in 1973. In Europe, Basel failed to impress, once again, in 1972, as they were sent crashing out at the first stage by Hungary's Újpesti Dózsa SC but in the 1973–74 season they excelled with the Peruvian legend Teofilo Cubillas in their ranks, eliminating Icelanders Fram Reykjavík and Club Brugge of Belgium, before narrowly exiting in the quarter-finals to Celtic 5–6 on aggregate. Despite Basel's improvement on the European stage, they did not retain the league for another four years, but they did manage to lift the Swiss Cup in 1975, beating FC Winterthur 2–1 after extra time.
Basel's long awaited title-win came in 1977 as they triumphed over Servette FC in a playoff. This meant that Basel returned to play in the European Cup but they were defeated in the first round, once more, by Wacker Innsbruck of Austria, after showing so much promise on their last European outing. After the success of the 1976–77 season, Basel endured two seasons of below-par performances and mid-table finishes until glory returned in 1980, as Basel won the Nationalliga A title through the playoff. However, manager Helmut Benthaus left in 1982 and in the following seasons, Basel's final league positions started to drop until their relegation into the Nationalliga B in 1988. Several managers came and went at St. Jakob Stadium between then and when Basel finally returned to Nationalliga A in 1994, under Claude Andrey. Basel avoided relegation by three points in their first season back at the top-flight, but Andrey left and was replaced by Karl Engel. Engel led Basel to a fifth-place finish in his first season in charge and a solid mid-table finish in 1997, but he was sacked after a poor start to the 1997–98 campaign, in which Basel finished second-last. Jörg Berger then took over, but lasted only a year in charge before Christian Gross came. Gross' appointment went hand-in-hand with the financial backing that had just been put into the club and it was not long until Basel returned to the top.
As the St. Jakob-Park was opened on 15 March 2001, success returned. Basel finished the 2000–01 season in fourth position in the league.
The Club's main aim for the 2001–02 season was to win the Swiss Nationalliga A championship title. The second aim was to win the cup title. The team was only changed in a few positions. Biggest signing for the new season were Scott Chipperfield, who came from Wollongong Wolves, and Christian Eduardo Giménez, who was signed from Lugano. Pascal Zuberbühler returned from a one year loan with Bayer Leverkusen. Brought up from their reserve team Marco Streller was given a professional contract. Streller was to play his League debut in St. Jakob-Park being substituted in during the 66th Minute on 11 July 2001 in the 3–1 home win against Servette. Unluckily in the last minute of the game he scored an own goal. It was to remain his only game for Basel in this period, because he was loaned to feeder club FC Concordia Basel for the rest of the season. But Basel's success and Streller's success would evolve parallel during the following years.
The season started some what difficult, but Basel ended the qualification round leading the league table by five points at the winter break. The Championship round began in February and with ten wins and just one defeat in the first eleven games, Basel pulled away at the top of the table to win the championship three games before the end of the season. This was their first championship title after 22 years of waiting. In fact they achieved the double, winning the Swiss Cup Final during extra time against the Grasshoppers thanks to a hands penalty scored by Murat Yakin. Basel also reached the final of the UEFA Intertoto Cup.
In the 2002–03 season, Basel were the second Swiss team to ever play in the modern Champions League. Their first game was in the second qualifying round against MŠK Žilina of Slovakia. They won 4–1 on aggregate. In the next round, they faced Scottish giants Celtic. In the first leg at Celtic Park, the home side won 3–1, but in the second leg at St. Jakob-Park, Basel came away with a famous 2–0 victory. This meant Basel progressed on the away goals rule after a 3–3 aggregate draw. In the first group stage, Basel were drawn into Group B with Valencia CF, Liverpool, and Spartak Moscow. On Matchday One, Basel defeated Spartak 2–0 at home. Then on Matchday Two, they travelled to Anfield in Liverpool, where they managed to draw 1–1 against Liverpool. After a great start to the group stage, Basel were brought back down to earth when they were defeated 6–2 by Valencia at the Estadio Mestalla. They bounced back, however, and held Valencia to a 2–2 draw in the next fixture. Basel were now sitting in second place in the group but they would still need to win at least one of their last two games and hope that Liverpool would not pick up more than two points to secure that place. In Matchday Five, Liverpool lost 1–0 to Valencia and FCB won 2–0 against Spartak at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Basel's place in the last 16 was all but secured, although they still had to make sure they did not lose to Liverpool in the last game of the first group stage. On the last matchday, Basel were winning 3–0 at half-time through goals from Julio Hernán Rossi, Christian Eduardo Giménez, and Thimothée Atouba. The second half was a different story, though, and Liverpool fought back to draw 3–3. This was still enough for FCB to qualify for the next round. In the last 16, Basel faced Manchester United, Juventus, and Deportivo de La Coruña. They had a poor start, losing back to back games against Manchester United at home and Juventus away. FCB then faced Deportivo in a double-header, with the home side winning 1–0 in both games. Arguably two of FCB's greatest games came next as they held Manchester United to a 1–1 draw at Old Trafford and claimed a 2–1 victory over Juventus at St. Jakob-Park. Despite picking up the same number of points as second placed Juventus, Basel crashed out on goal difference. Basel finished second in the Swiss Super League that season and won the Swiss Cup after beating Neuchâtel Xamax 6–0 in the final.
The Club's main aims for the 2003–04 season were to regain the league title and, as cup holders, to retain their cup title. The third aim was to remain in the UEFA Cup as long as possible. During pre-season Basel won the Uhrencup and the Alpen Cup. After being the surprise package in Europe in the 2002–03 season, Basel could not bring this form into the UEFA Cup in 2003–04 as they were eliminated by Newcastle United in the second round after defeating Malatyaspor in the previous round.
The Super League season started impeccably, Basel won the first thirteen matches straight off. They completed the first half of the season undefeated, with seventeen wins and one draw. Basel remained in top position right up until the end of the season, thus achieving their championship aim. In the club's history this was their tenth championship title. During the season, Marco Streller scored 13 goals in 16 games, thus gathering the interest of a handful of Bundesliga clubs including VfB Stuttgart.
The club's biggest signing in advance of the 2004–05 season was Kléber from Hannover 96. However Timothée Atouba, Mario Cantaluppi and Marco Streller left the club. During the winter break, they signed Patrick Müller from RCD Mallorca.
As reigning champions, Basel were favourites to retain their league title and as Swiss champions, they entered the Champions League in the third qualifying round. They were drawn against Internazionale, however, and lost 5–2 on aggregate, subsequently dropping into the UEFA Cup. In the first round of the UEFA Cup, Basel defeated the Russian side Terek Grozny 3–1 on aggregate. In the Group Stage, they faced considerabley tougher opponents, being drawn in Group E with Feyenoord, Schalke 04, Ferencvárosi TC, and Hearts. They finished third in the group on seven points and qualified for the Round of 32, where they were defeated 2–0 on aggregate by Lille OSC.
In the domestic league, the season started difficultly; of the first four home matches, only two were won. Nevertheless, Basel moved to the top of the league table and one of the season's highlights was the 8–1 home win against Grasshopper Club Zürich, in which Christian Giménez scored four goals. Basel completed their 17 home league games undefeated, winning 13 and drawing four. They won the league title ten points ahead of their nearest rivals.
Basel's biggest signings of the 2005–06 season were defenders Daniel Majstorović and Kōji Nakata, who were brought in to replace Patrick Müller, who was set to sign for Olympique Lyonnais, and the retiring Murat Yakin. Forward Eduardo was signed after a successful loan spell but Argentinian goalscorers Christian Giménez and Julio Hernán Rossi left the club.
As Swiss champions, Basel entered the Champions League third qualifying round against German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen. Basel won the first leg 2–1 at St. Jakob-Park but lost 3–0 at the Weserstadion in the second leg, the aggregate 4–2 in Bremen's favour. Basel were then dropped into the UEFA Cup, where they met NK Široki Brijeg of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the first round. Basel sealed a 6–0 aggregate win and were drawn into Group E alongside RC Strasbourg, Roma, Red Star Belgrade, and Tromsø. FCB lost the first group match 2–0 against Strasbourg at home but won 2–1 away to Red Star, giving themselves an opportunity to progress to the next round if they won their next game against Tromsø. They did in a seven-goal thriller, winning 4–3 and securing third place. The last match of the group was against Italian club Roma at the Stadio Olimpico, where the Serie A club won 3–1. In the Round of 32, FCB came up against AS Monaco, who they beat 2–1 on aggregate after a 1–1 stalemate in Monaco and a 1–0 victory for Basel in Switzerland. As Basel progressed to the last 16, they played against Strasbourg once again. FCB won the first leg 2–0 and drew 2–2 in the second leg, winning 4–2 overall. In the quarter-finals the club came up against Middlesbrough. FCB won 2–0 at home and looked certain to progress as they travelled to the Riverside Stadium. This was not the case, however, as Middlesbrough fought back to win the match 4–1 and the tie 4–3.
On 26 February 2006, Basel broke their own club record of 52 unbeaten league games in St. Jakob-Park. The new record is 59, but the streak ended there on the final day of the season with a last-minute goal by Iulian Filipescu of FC Zürich, knocking Basel out of contention and giving Zürich their first national championship since 1980–81. A 60th straight home league match undefeated would have made Basel champions once again, but the final score was 1–2 in favour of Zürich. This resulted in riots and property damage between hooligans of both the FCB and their rival supporters after the match (see 2006 Basel hooligan incident for more details).
Various signings involving FCB took place during the 2006–07 Swiss Super League season. The most notable of these were the replacement of local hero Pascal Zuberbühler, who departed for West Bromwich Albion, with Argentina international Franco Costanzo and the signing of Delron Buckley on loan from Borussia Dortmund. Zdravko Kuzmanović left the club during the Winter break for Fiorentina.
FC Basel's European campaign started in the first qualifying stage of the UEFA Cup, when they beat Kazakh side FC Tobol 3–1 on aggregate. In the second round they played against Liechtensteiner team FC Vaduz, narrowly progressing on the away goals rule after a 2–2 aggregate draw. They were then put up against Macedonians FK Rabotnički. Basel won 6–2 at St. Jakob-Park and 1–0 at the Skopje City Stadium to qualify for the group stages where they faced tough opposition, Blackburn Rovers, AS Nancy, Feyenoord, and Wisła Kraków. Basel's first game came against Feyenoord at home. They came away with a respectable 1–1 draw. Their next group match was at Ewood Park against Blackburn . Basel played reasonably well but shaky defending became their downfall. Nancy, at home, were their next opponents and the match ended in a 2–2 draw. Basel's last group game was against Wisła Kraków at the Wisła Stadium. FCB needed a win to qualify but their poor European campaign came to an end after losing 3–1 despite taking an early lead through Mladen Petrić.
At the beginning of the 2007–08 season Basel strengthened their team by signing Switzerland internationals Marco Streller from VfB Stuttgart, Benjamin Huggel from Eintracht Frankfurt, and David Degen on loan from Borussia Mönchengladbach. Fans' favourite Mladen Petrić joined Borussia Dortmund in a big-money deal and influential defender Boris Smiljanić returned to his former club of Grasshopper Club Zürich. Highly rated Switzerland Under-21 defender Beg Ferati arrived at St. Jakob-Park in January from feeder club FC Concordia Basel on a three-and-a-half year contract. He was joined by veteran striker Vratislav Lokvenc from Red Bull Salzburg and exciting midfielder Marko Perović from Red Star Belgrade, who also arrived during the Winter break.
Basel were drawn against Bosnian minnows FK Sarajevo in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Cup, a tie that Basel won 8–1 on aggregate. In the next round, Basel faced a considerably tougher opponent in the form of SV Mattersburg of Austria. Nonetheless, Basel finished the tie off with a 4–0 away win after a 2–1 victory at St. Jakob-Park. Basel were then drawn into a 'death group' of Group D alongside SK Brann, Dinamo Zagreb, Hamburger SV and Rennes, all of which were ranked within the top three of their own leagues at the start of the stage. Basel won their first UEFA Cup group game against Rennes at home 1–0 thanks to a Marco Streller header. Their next game was away to Dinamo Zagreb in which Basel earned a valuable away point thanks to on form goalkeeper Franco Costanzo who kept the game at 0–0 for 90 minutes. They then faced Brann at St. Jakob-Park, where they won 1–0 through a Carlitos free-kick and were highly praised for playing attractive and flowing football. Basel then went to Germany to face Hamburg at the HSH Nordbank Arena, where they were fortunate to escape with a 1–1 draw. The goals came courtesy of captain Ivan Ergić and Hamburg's Ivica Olić. Basel then faced Sporting Clube de Portugal in the last 32 after qualifying second in the group alongside first placed Hamburg and third placed Brann. Sporting finished third in their group in the Champions League, which is why they were dropped into the UEFA Cup. The first leg took place on 13 February in Lisbon, where the first choice goalkeeper, Franco Costanzo, was injured and Basel lost 2–0. The second leg did not fair any better for Basel. Costanzo remained injured and Basel lost 3–0 on 21 February in Basel, resulting in the knock out of the UEFA Cup.
Basel won the Swiss Cup for the second consecutive season after beating second-tier side AC Bellinzona 4–1 at St. Jakob-Park on 6 April 2008. Eren Derdiyok gave Basel the lead in the first half before Bellinzona equalised through Christian Pouga in the second. Daniel Majstorović restored the lead for Basel with a header and Swiss internationals Marco Streller and Benjamin Huggel scored one goal each to make the final scoreline 4–1 in Basel's favour.
Basel won the Swiss Super League for the first time since 2005 on 10 May 2008 at home after a 2–0 win over title threats BSC Young Boys. It was the last game of the season and Basel only needed a point from the match to win the Championship but if Young Boys won, then they would be champions, exactly the same situation as the end of the 2005/06 season with FC Zürich. The painful memories of losing the league on the last day of the season in 2006 seemed to spur FCB on as they took an early lead through Valentin Stocker before Marco Streller wrapped up the victory with the second.
This rounded off a highly successful season for Basel as they conquered on the domestic front, winning both the Swiss Super League and Swiss Cup, and reaching the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.
Prior to the 2008–09 season, FCB added to their squad by signing defenders Behrang Safari from Malmö FF and David Abraham from Gimnàstic de Tarragona, and midfielders Jürgen Gjasula and Marcos Gelabert from FC St. Gallen. Fans' favourite Daniel Majstorović left the club for AEK Athens F.C. and Kōji Nakata returned to the J. League with Kashima Antlers, while Vratislav Lokvenc and David Degen's loan deals were not re-newed. Ivan Ergić resigned from being club captain before the start of the season, and Franco Costanzo was unveiled as the new captain a day before the season kicked off.
Basel played their opening game of the season in Bern on 18 July 2008 against BSC Young Boys, which they won 2–1 with goals coming from substitutes Marko Perović and Benjamin Huggel after Eudis put the home side ahead.
Basel entered the Champions League in the Second Qualifying Round and were drawn against IFK Göteborg of Sweden. The first leg was on 30 July 2008 at Ullevi and finished 1–1. Benjamin Huggel put Basel ahead before Thomas Olsson equalised for the home team. The second leg took place on 6 August at St. Jakob-Park; with Basel coming from behind twice to win 4–2. Pontus Wernbloom put Göteborg ahead on 19 minutes before Benjamin Huggel equalised soon after. Early in the second half Robin Söder restored Göteborg's lead but Basel fought back, with Scott Chipperfield equalising. Then Basel got a penalty due to a supposed hands ball in the box. Replays showed that the referee had made the wrong decision. The penalty was scored and eventually led to the victory. Basel then faced Vitória S.C. of Portugal in the Third Qualifying Round. The first leg at Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, on 13 August ended honours even, in a 0–0 draw. The second leg took place on 27 August at St. Jakob-Park where Valentin Stocker gave Basel an early lead on 11 minutes before João Alves was fouled in the penalty area by François Marque and João Fajardo dispatched the spot-kick, just four minutes later to draw Vitória level. In the second half, the away side started well but Eren Derdiyok gave FCB a 2–1 lead which they hung on to, to qualify for the UEFA Champions League Group Stages.
FCB were drawn into Group C alongside FC Barcelona, FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Sporting Clube de Portugal. Basel lost their opening game 2–1 at St. Jakob-Park on 16 September against Shakhtar. Fernandinho put the Ukrainians ahead on 25 minutes before Jádson doubled their lead just before half time. David Abraham scored a late consolation goal for the home team. Sporting Lisbon were the opponents on Matchday 2 (1 October) and despite defending well and causing a few scares at the other end of the park, Basel were defeated 2–0 at the Estádio José Alvalade. On Matchday 3 (22 October), Barcelona visited Basel and came away with a 5–0 win, but a fortnight later it was a different story as FCB came away with a respectable 1–1 draw at the Camp Nou, with Eren Derdiyok scoring a late equaliser after Lionel Messi put Barça ahead. On 26 November Basel travelled to Ukraine, to play Shakhtar, where they were thrashed 5–0. Basel then faced Sporting at home on the final Matchday (9 December) and were defeated 1–0.
Despite remaining in first or second position for most of the season, Basel finished in third place behind FC Zürich and Young Boys. On 24 May 2009, Basel lost 4–1 against Grasshopper Club Zürich, meaning that they could no longer win the Swiss Super League and that FC Zürich were crowned champions. Three days later, on 27 May FCB lost 3–0 to Young boys, therefore also surrendering the Vice-Championship. On 27 May Christian Gross was sacked from his role as FC Basel manager after ten years in the job.
German Thorsten Fink was appointed as Basel's new manager on 9 June 2009. Basel let several players go, not extending the contracts with Ronny Hodel, Jürgen Gjasula, Ivan Ergić and Eduardo. Star striker Eren Derdiyok was sold to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, and Eduardo Rubio returned to Cruz Azul. A number of players were brought up into the first team from the under-21 squad and a number of new players were signed, Alexander Frei from Borussia Dortmund, Çağdaş Atan from Energie Cottbus, Samuel Inkoom from Asante Kotoko, Massimo Colomba from Grasshopper and Antônio da Silva on loan from Karlsruher SC.
Basel entered the Europa League in the second qualifying round. They qualified for the Group stage and were drawn into Group E alongside A.S. Roma (Italy), Fulham (England) and CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria). Basel finished in third place.
In domestic affairs Basel swept the board, despite a poor start to the season, and won the title on the last day of the season against favourites BSC Young Boys at the Stade de Suisse. Young prospect Valentin Stocker and club legend Scott Chipperfield gave Basel the goals in the 2–0 win on 16 May. Marco Streller was the league's top scorer with 21 goals.
On 9 May, FC Basel won the 2009–10 Swiss Cup final with outstanding 6–0 victory over FC Lausanne-Sport, Stocker scoring twice, and Shaqiri, Zoua, Chipperfield and Huggel scoring the others. The win secured FC Basel's tenth Cup win to date.
The 114th season of the Swiss Super League began on 19 July 2010. Stefan Wessels, Marcos Gelabert, Antonio Da Silva, Carlos Alberto Alves Garcia "Carlitos" and Serkan Sahin left the club. Four players from the under-21 squad, the brothers Taulant and Granit Xhaka, Mattias Baron and Janick Kamber, were brought up to the first team. Yann Sommer returned from his spell on loan to Grasshopper Club Zürich and Gilles Yapi Yapo (BSC Young Boys) and Fwayo Tembo (Étoile Sportive du Sahel) were bought to complete the new squad. FC Basel's first game was on 20 July at home against FC Zürich which resulted with a 3–2 win.
Basel entered the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League in the third qualifying round, drawn against Debreceni VSC they won both games (2–0, 3–1). In the play-offs to the Champions League they are drawn against FC Sheriff Tiraspol. In the first leg they defeated Tiraspol 1–0 before winning 3–0 on the road. Basel entered the 2010–11 UEFA Champions League group stage in group E.
The 115th season of the Swiss Super League began on 16 July 2011. Thorsten Fink started the season as Manager of the first team. His Assistant was Heiko Vogel and Fitness Coach was Nikola Vidović. Thorsten Fink named Marco Streller as new team captain. On 13 October 2011, Fink left the club and signed a contract with Hamburger SV to manage the club through to 2014. As replacement his assistant Vogel was signed as caretaker Manager until the winter break. Vogel's first three games in charge of the team were the Swiss Cup fixture on 15 October, which ended in a 5:1 away win against FC Schötz, the Champions League Group C fixture on 18 October 2011, a 0:2 home defeat against Benfica, and the 1:0 away win in the Super League against FC Zürich. Basel historically qualified for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League with 2–1 win over Manchester United on 7 December 2011. That sent Manchester United down to the UEFA Europa League for the first time in Alex Ferguson's reign. On 12 December it was announced that Vogel had signed as head coach and manager. On 22 February 2012, Basel defeated FC Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Round of 16 stage in the UEFA Champions League. They won with a score of 1–0, scoring in the 86' minute of the game but lost in the return leg 7–0 thus eliminating them.
Basel's biggest signings ahead of the 2012–13 season were Gastón Sauro who transferred in from Boca Juniors, Mohamed Salah from El Mokawloon SC and Marcelo Díaz who came from Universidad de Chile. Díaz was transferred to Basel in a US$4 million deal and signed a four-year contract.
Basel's 2012–13 Swiss Super League season began on 13 July 2012 with the away tie against Servette FC. The season started suboptimum, only four wins but six draws and one defeat during the first eleven games. On 15 October 2012 Manager Heiko Vogel was sacked by the club and replaced by Murat Yakin. At the end of the first half of the season Basel were in second position in the domestic league table. In the second half of the season Basel acquired enough points to finish the season three points ahead of Grasshoppers and to win their fourth title in a row.
As Swiss champions, Basel entered the UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round and were drawn against Estonian club Flora Tallinn winning 5–0 on aggregate. In the third round they were drawn against Norwegian club Molde FK winning 2–1 on aggregate. However in the Playoff round Basel lost both games against CFR Cluj from Romania (being knocked out 3–1 on aggregate). The team thus qualified for the 2012–13 UEFA Europa League group stage and were drawn in Group G along with Sporting Clube de Portugal, K.R.C. Genk and Videoton FC. They finished in second place in the table and thus continued after the winter break in the knockout phase round of 32.
During the winter break Basel announced that they had signed Serey Die from Sion on a three and a half year contract, Endogan Adili from Grasshoppers Zürich also on a three and a half year contract and Raúl Bobadilla on a contract until 2017. It was also announced that they had signed Mohamed Elnenny on a loan contract lasting up until the end of June 2013.
In the knockout phase round of 32 Basel were drawn against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. Basel won 3–1 on aggregate. In the round of 16 they were drawn against Zenit St. Petersburg and despite being the underdogs they qualified for the quarter-finals by winning 2–1 on aggregate. Here Basel were drawn against Tottenham Hotspur, whom they beat 4–1 on penalties after a 4–4 aggregate draw to progress to the semi-finals. The draw for the semi-final matched the against reigning UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea. Both games in the tie ended with a defeat, 1-2 in Basel 1-3 in London. Despite these two defeats Basel's European aims were achieved. In fact the season can be described as a very successful one, probably their most successful ever.
Basel's priority aim for the season is to win the league championship for the fifth time in a row. Their biggest signings at the beginning of the season were two players who had already played for the club before, Behrang Safari, who returned from RSC Anderlecht, and Matías Delgado who was signed on a free transfer from al-Jazira Club. Another main signing was Ivan Ivanov who transferred in from Partizan to replace Aleksandar Dragović who transferred to Dynamo Kyiv.
Basel's 2013–14 Swiss Super League season began on 13 July 2013 with the away tie against FC Aarau which was won 3–1. They start in the 2013–14 Swiss Cup first round on 17 August with the away game against BSC Old Boys. Basel's 2013–14 UEFA Champions League season started on 30 July 2013 in the third qualifying round with the tie in St. Jakob-Park against Maccabi Tel Aviv,which they won 4-3 on aggregate. In the first match of the main group stage, Basel notched up a surprising 2-1 away win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and followed this up with a 1-0 home win in the return fixture at St. Jakob-Park. Despite these two astonishing results they only finished in third position in the league table and thus they qualified for the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League round of 32.There, they fought Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv and went on to defeat RB Selzburg 2-1 on aggregate. They would face Valencia CF in the Round of 8.
On 28 May 2014 Basel announced that Paulo Sousa was to become their trainer for the new season an that he had signed a three year contract. His assistants are Ignacio Torreño, Victor Sanchez and Manuel Cordeiro (all three were brought in by Sousa). Basel's priority aim for the new season is to win the league championship for the sixth time in a row. Basel's 2014–15 Swiss Super League season began on 19 July with the away tie against FC Aarau. In the Swiss Cup Basel's clear aim is to regain the title, in the previous two seasons they ended as runners-up. They start in the 2014–15 Swiss Cup first round on 23 August with the away tie against CS Italien (GE). Basel enter the Champions League in the group stage. Their initial aim is to remain in the competition and reach the knockout phase which they successfully achieved on the 9th of December on a controversial night in which Lazar Marković, a Liverpool FC player was sent off with subjective interpretations.
FC Basel is known for having a big and loyal local following. When polls are conducted about the most passionate club football fans, FC Basel's fans usually make the top 200 if not top 100 in the world, resulting in what is by far the highest average attendance in Switzerland with around 30,000 fans attending every home game and with the new extension being built that number is expected to rise to around 40,000. The fans have also made themselves a name in numerous international matches in recent years.
FCB's most internationally famous fan is tennis star Roger Federer. Federer is a Basel native and has supported the club since childhood and appears in attendance of many Basel matches. In one interview Federer said if he were not as good of a tennis player as he is today, he would have without a doubt tried to play football. He went on to say that if he had been successful in the beautiful game, he would have loved to play for FC Basel.
In November 2010 their supporters caused the game against FC Luzern to be stopped after they threw hundreds of tennis balls onto the pitch. This was in protest at the kick off times being moved to accommodate a tennis tournament on the TV schedule.
The city of Basel and the city of Zürich have a long-standing rivalry. Therefore, FC Basel's most traditional and fiercest rivals are Grasshopper Club Zürich and FC Zürich. In the past few seasons, the rivalry between FC Zürich and Basel and has been fueled by FC Zürich's league championship wins, which were won very narrowly over Basel. Supporters from both sides have caused trouble in the past years. The worst incident happened in May 2006. FC Basel had won the league in the 2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons and were set to make it three in a row if they won or drew against Zürich at home on the last day of the 2005/06 season. But if Zürich won, they would get the title. Zürich took the lead after a late goal from Iulian Filipescu and consequently won the match and the league. After the final whistle, players and fans from both teams started fighting on the pitch and in the stands. This incident has fueled hatred and bitterness between fans from FC Zürich and FC Basel. There is a controversy about which rivalry is bigger, the one with Grasshopper or FC Zürich. But it usually depends on the success of these teams. Thus there is a peculiar situation in Switzerland between the three clubs that the more successful team on the football pitch at a certain time period is usually considered the bigger rival as well. For the past few years the success of both FC Basel and FC Zürich means their rivalry is considered the most fierce.
FC Basel is known throughout Switzerland for having a good youth system. It has produced Swiss internationals such as Erni Maissen, Adrian Knup, Alexander Frei, Marco Streller, Philipp and David Degen. Since FC Basel moved into the St. Jakobs Park in 2001 they have strengthened their youth academy and many young talents like the Felipe Caicedo, Ivan Rakitić, Zdravko Kuzmanović, Xherdan Shaqiri and Yann Sommer along with Eren Derdiyok have risen through the ranks there. Since 2001 more than 40 successful players have risen through the Basel youth system and joined their first team, for example:
UEFA have awarded the stadium a 4-star rating, the highest rating that could be given to a stadium of that capacity. St. Jakob-Park was opened in 2001, originally holding a maximum attendance of 33,433. The stadium was expanded with a new stand (sector G) and upgraded to 42,500 due to Switzerland being co-hosts of UEFA Euro 2008. After the Euro 2008 a number of seats were removed, thus giving more space between them, and the capacity was reduced 37,500 seats. The stadium is nicknamed "Joggeli" by the fans and has 2 restaurants called "Restaurant UNO" and "Hattrick's Sports Bar" and a shopping centre which opened on 1 November 2001. It also has parking space for 680 cars and has its own train station. St. Jakob-Park hosted 6 games during EURO 2008, including the opening game between Switzerland and Czech Republic and a semi-final between Germany and Turkey. The most interesting feature of the stadium is the translucent outer layer, which can be illuminated in different colours for impressive effects, this effect was copied three years later for the new Bayern Munich stadium, the Allianz Arena.
Before the St. Jakob-Park stadium was built FC Basel played home games in the Landhof (in the Quarter Kleinbasel) and, following the 1954 World Cup, in the newly built St. Jakob Stadium which was on the same site as the current stadium. During the construction period of the St. Jacob-Park the FC Basel home games were played in Stadion Schützenmatte.
FC Basel's traditional kit is a red and blue shirt. Due to the fact that some of the founders were members of the "Basler Ruder-Club", whose colors were red and blue, they adopted those colours for their new club. FC Basel's outfit is completed by blue shorts with gold trim and blue socks with red trim. From this comes the nickname "RotBlau" which is Swiss German and German for "RedBlue". Their away kit is all white with two stripes down the middle, the left being red and the right being blue. FC Basel's kits were formerly manufactured by Nike, however in the summer of 2012 a new contract was formed with Adidas to produce the kits until 2017. The main sponsor is Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company which is based in the city of Basel. On the inside tag of the jerseys is inscribed "Rot isch unseri Liebi, Blau die ewigi Treui, Basel unseri Stadt." This roughly translates to "Red is our love, blue the eternal loyalty, Basel our city."
The famous "Blaugrana" colours of FC Barcelona are said to have originated from the "Rotblau" colours of FC Basel. FC Barcelona was founded by former FC Basel captain Joan Gamper. For the 2008/09 season, Basel changed their shirt to resemble the traditional Barcelona shirt (red and blue vertical stripes). Barcelona changed theirs to one half of the shirt red, the other blue, which happens to resemble the traditional FC Basel shirt.
FC Basel's current logo is a shield, the left half red and the right half blue. The shield is outlined with gold and in the centre in gold letters it says FCB which stands for "Football Club Basel" or "Fussballclub Basel". The logo is worn in the centre of the shirt opposed to on the traditional left-hand side. Like the colours of FC Basel, the logo has a striking resemblance to that of FC Barcelona in Spain. There are theories that suggest that the founder of FC Barcelona, being at one time the captain of FC Basel, reincorporated the logo of FC Basel on to that of FC Barcelona. The resemblances seem clear, both logos seem to incorporate the shield design, as do most other clubs. But most notably is the FCB acronyms on both logos and the Red-Blue colours, outlined in gold. Also the football that lies on the left side of the FC Basel logo seems to be the exact shape, type and colour as that of the FC Barcelona Logo in the bottom centre. Because of this, many people tend to say that FC Basel was the inspiration in the process of founding FC Barcelona in Spain.
Companies that FC Basel currently has sponsorship deals with include:
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.