GGFN Advent Calendar | Day 8 – Borussia Mönchengladbach’s glory years

Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day eight, as we remember the eight titles won by Borussia Mönchengladbach during their golden years.

Borussia Mönchengladbach are one of the largest and most recognisable names in German football. However, if one were to remove the 1970s from existence, then Gladbach would only be able to boast about lifting two DFB-Pokal titles across their 123-year history.

This would, undoubtedly, paint the club in a very different colour. The 1970s saw Gladbach reach the levels of dominance only ever achieved by Bayern Munich on the domestic stage, while the decade is also remembered for their two continental successes, almost rounded off with Europe’s greatest prize.

However, their story begins in the 1960s. With the aim of reaching the Bundesliga, the club put their faith in a multitude of youngsters, as players like Jupp Heynckes and Bernd Rupp were given the chance to prove their quality. As the new initiative came into action, Gladbach’s average squad age became 21.5, and they earned the nickname Die Fohlen as well as promotion to the Bundesliga.

On top of this, the carefree and attractive style of football often on display at the the Bökelbergstadion, saw the club set the foundations for their later success. After years of cementing their name in Germany’s top flight, the 1969/70 season gave the club their maiden Bundesliga title.

Finishing four points clear of Bayern at the top of the table, Gladbach were far from done. They reclaimed the Meisterschale the following season, and despite a few bumpy years, the 1974/75 campaign saw the Foals achieve Bundesliga silverware as well as European glory, defeating FC Twente in the UEFA Cup final.

A trophy they would claim for a second time seven years later in the 1978/79 season also marked the end of their dominance. Three Bundesliga titles in succession from 1975 to 1977 also saw the club fall on the domestic stage.

However, five Meisterschale’s, two UEFA Cups, and one DFB-Pokal is not a bad way to spend ten years, and it could have been so much better. Defeat to Liverpool in the 1976/77 European Cup final saw club football’s greatest prize narrowly evade their laden trophy cabinet as they finally reached their zenith.

With just one DFB-Pokal title since, the success of the 1970s have certainly never returned to Gladbach, but who is to say it will never happen again?

GGFN | Will Shopland

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