Werder Bremen: Getting to know the Bundesliga’s northernmost club
Following Hamburg’s historic relegation, Werder Bremen are now the Bundesliga’s northernmost club, but there is plenty in the city to keep you warm and entertained, as bundesliga.com explains.
Werder Bremen took their name from the area of the northern Germany city where the club first commenced training in 1899, the Stadtwerder, an island surrounded by the river Weser. Their Weserstadion dominates the landscape and has been the scene of much drama, both domestic and European. Victory over Diego Maradona’s Napoli in the UEFA Cup in 1989 was a particular highlight while Champions League football became a regular fixture in the early stages of the new millennium.
Despite skirting with relegation in recent years, Bremen are now into their 54th Bundesliga season, and 38th straight campaign in Germany’s top flight.
4x German champions (1965, 1988, 1993, 2004)
6x DFB Cup winners (1961, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009)
3x Supercup winners (1988, 1993, 1994)
1x UEFA European Cup Winners’ Cup winners (1992)
1x Bundesliga 2 champions (1981)
Florian Kohfeldt took charge of Bremen in October 2017 and, heading into 2018/19, his side had yet to lose a single game on home turf. It is a record which is bound to topple eventually, but it illustrates the job he has done in warming the Werder hearts on the Weser once again. Twelve games without a defeat is Bremen’s best home record in 12 years, since they were coached by Thomas Schaaf – man whose path at the club is no dissimilar to Kohfeldt’s.
Formerly coach of Bremen’s youth teams, Kohfeldt was promoted to the head coach position after over 17 years at the club, and he is now closing in on two decades with the northern Germany outfit.
Max Kruse has been given the captain’s armband following the departure of Zlatko Junuzovic, and it was not a casual decision either. Having hit double figures in four of his last six Bundesliga season, the 30-year-old German forward has matured into a player who can also inspire those around him, with more assists than goals to his name in 2017/18.
Bremen’s 37th consecutive season in the Bundesliga started as a struggle, and the alarm bells were echoing in November when they still had not won a single game, losing six and drawing five. A 4-0 victory over northern rivals Hannover sparked them into life, and wins over Stuttgart and at Borussia Dortmund followed, although they only really found top gear only in 2018. After losing to champions Bayern in their first fixture of the new year, Kohfeldt’s men were beaten only three more times as they even threatened to sneak into contention for a place in Europe.
The Weserstadion, situated in the eastern part of the city, on the banks of the River Weser, not only fits in to the surrounding landscape, it also has a zero impact on the environment thanks to the solar panels which supply its entire energy needs from 16,000 square metres of panelling. Built in 1909, with just one wooden stand, constant redevelopment down the years saw it reach its current form in 2011, with a capacity of 42,100. Given its location, it offers the rather unique option of arriving via one of the various boat shuttles situated along the River Weser. Not only its location on the banks of the River Weser gives the Weserstadion character. The stadium is also home to the ‘Wuseum’, telling the story of the club and containing the trophies won over the years, including the Bundesliga and DFB Cup from 2004.
Located in northern Germany, one of Germany’s few city states Bremen is serviced by its own international airport while enjoying excellent north-south railway connections. The River Weser leads out to the North Sea, meaning the city is also a thriving port. Bremen’s most famous monument is the Stadtmusikanten, or town musicians. They take their name from a fairy tale written by the Grimm Brothers. A bronze statue has a hen stood atop a car, on top of a dog, who has clambered a donkey. Don’t forget to touch the front hooves of the donkey as it is said to bring good luck.
Performing arts is not just the duty of Werder Bremen but the city is also home to its very own Shakespeare Company. Located on the south side of the River Weser, the 1983-founded theatre group has performances of Shakespeare plays throughout the year with guest performances also in the English language.
Bremen has its own airport, which is well linked with various major and low-cost airlines flying domestically and internationally. Access to the city centre is by a regular tram service, although it is also within walking distance. The city’s central railway station is on the main line south from Hamburg and is therefore well linked with the North Rhine-Westphalia area, where lines cross west and east.
The Weserstadion stands on the banks of the river Weser, just over a mile east of Bremen’s historic city centre and a little further the central railway station: a walk from the old city centre should take less than half an hour, along the northern bank of the river. Alternatively, a tram service also serves the stadium. Tram 3 towards Weserwehr from the Domsheide in the city centre takes about 7 minutes to reach the ‘Weserstadion’ stop. From the central station, take tram 10 and change to tram 3 where the lines cross (St-Jürgen-Straße).
Tickets for Bremen’s home games can be bought via the official club website HERE.
Watch on TV
If you can’t make it to the stadium, Bundesliga matches are broadcast around the world. FOX Sports and Univision provide coverage in the United States, while BT Sports are the exclusive broadcaster in the United Kingdom. In Germany, Sky Sports show the majority of matches, with Eurosport hosting one match per week.
Buying the kit
You can get your own Bremen jersey from the official club shop.
Stateside fan clubs
Bremen has a fan club in New Jersey – NJ Bremen FC in Rumson, NJ, one in Kansas City and another in Atlanta, GA.