This week sees our pre-season preparations step up a level as we take on 1. FC Nurnberg in Germany on Friday afternoon.
While games on German soil have been plentiful over our history, the opposition will be a new name. So, to get you up to speed, here is everything you need to know about a club that holds a special place in their nation’s footballing history.
1. FC Nurnberg were formed in 1900 and currently ply their trade in the second tier of German football. A major force before the creation of the Bundesliga in the 1960s, they have won nine top-tier titles and four German Cups - the most recent in 2006/07.
Nurnberg play at Max-Morlock Stadion, which opened in 1928 and has hosted their games since 1963. Named after the club’s legendary striker who represented his hometown team for 24 years, the 50,000-capacity venue hosted the 1967 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final between Bayern Munich and Rangers and five games at the 2006 World Cup, including England’s 2-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago.
The glory days
In the early part of their history, Nurnberg went unbeaten in 104 official matches between 1918 and 1922, leading them to be nicknamed Der Club. They would claim five league titles during the 1920s, and despite seeing their dominance slip in the years leading up to World War II, they remained a contender for league and cup honours on either side of the conflict.
Spearheaded by Morlock's goals [above], the 1960s again brought success for the club, as they won the league in 1961, gaining entry to the European Cup which saw them reach the quarter-finals before succumbing to Eusebio’s Benfica. The following season saw a run to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, and their only Bundesliga crown arrived in 1967/68, but incredibly they were relegated 12 months later following a hasty squad overhaul.
Since then, Nurnberg have regularly flirted between the top two tiers of German football, being relegated on nine occasions. In the mid-1990s they even dipped into the third division, however the following decade saw them twice finish sixth in the Bundesliga, and play in the UEFA Cup as a consequence of their 2007 German Cup success.
Their most recent top-flight campaign came in 2018/19, and last season saw them finish eighth in the 2. Bundesliga.
A familiar face to Premier League fans will be centre-back Christopher Schindler [above], who represented Huddersfield Town for five years and scored the winning penalty in the shootout that took the Terriers into the top-flight in 2017. Mats Møller Dæhli also featured in the division for Cardiff City having graduated from Manchester United’s academy, and has 33 caps for Norway.
Strikers including London-born Kwadwo Duah and Christophe Daferner have been recruited following the departure of last season’s top scorer Nikola Dovedan, while fellow frontman Erik Shuranov is a current German under-21 international.
Pascal Kopke is another attacker, whose father and Nurnberg legend Andreas was in goal for Germany during their Euro 96 triumph, saving Gareth Southgate’s spot-kick in the semi-final.
Links with Arsenal
Recent departure Konstantinos Mavropanos spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign on loan at the club from us, making 12 appearances, following in the footsteps of Havard Nordtveit who made 20 appearances on loan from the Gunners in 2009/10.
Academy product Martin Angha, who featured twice for our first-team, also made the switch between teams in the summer of 2013 and spent a year at Max-Morlock Stadion.
You can watch our game against Nurnberg on Arsenal.com or the official app - find out how.
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.