Hamburger Sport-Verein, nicknamed the Dinosaur, or Der Dino, because of its age, is a sports club in Germany. However, as you know, we are not going to discuss its other sports and are going to focus our attention exclusive to its football branch. What is so special about this team? Well, several things, not least of which is the fact that it has consistently been at the top level of German football after WWI, with the only exception being their most unfortunate relegation to 2. Bundesliga in 2018.
It is not only the men’s football that is of the top quality – Hamburger SV also had a team in Women’s Bundesliga, and though it was eventually relegated, it stood proud for 9 years. The reason for relegation to Regionalliga was not the club’s ability, but its finances. The DFS is notoriously strict when it comes to finances and profitability of a team. We will show you the team’s predecessors and regale you with the tales of their achievements at home and abroad.
The entire, for the lack of a better term, bloodline of the club is nigh impossible to trace accurately. We shall be satisfied with staring our story with SC Germania. It was a third of one of the greatest teams in Germany, and it arose from a merger in 1887. We mention this club first as its date of “birth”, as it were, is taken by Hamburger SV in their official history.
The other two clubs that came together to form Hamburger SV were Hamburger FC and FC Falke Eppendorf. Not old as Germania, they are still both centenarians. The merger took place exactly one hundred years ago.
SC Germania was not interested in football as a sport at first, though the club has acquired, assimilated, and elevated it to significant heights. The first successes of Hamburger SV saw the light of day in 1923 when they became the national champions.
After the War
The tensions were still high after WWII, so it came as a bit of a surprise that the team was the first one to visit the USA in 1950, when they decimated their opponents (in a completely sportsmanlike way, of course).
Ten years later, they became German national champions for the second time. They were so good that they were selected to represent Western Germany in the European Cup that same year. In 1963, Bundesliga invited Hamburger SV to be one of the first 16 teams to compete in the league. They stayed in the league until 2018. Their first opponents were Preußen Münster, and the score was tied at 1-1.
Stadium and Rivals
The stadium where HSV can be found had several names over the year, but the one that has stuck was Volksparkstadion. Its capacity may not look like much by today’s standards with merely 57.000 people able to watch the games, but this was more than enough for the 1974 World Cup.
FC St. Pauli is one of the teams that share no love with HSV. In fact, it was not uncommon for the fan groups of the two teams to enter into a physical altercation. Another name that sticks out is Werder Bremen. The match between the two clubs is often called the Nordderby.