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FC Barcelona and Germany: 125 years of history

Even though only seven Germans have arrived at FC Barcelona over the last 50 years, there is no denying the long-standing links between the European country and the Club. On 29 November 1899, Hans Gamper and 11 others, amongst them the German Otto Maier, met at the Gimnàs Solé to create an association that would bear the badge and name of the city: FC Barcelona. Otto Maier would play for the Club until 1902. 

Another German, Eduard Schilling, played as a striker in FC Barcelona’s first ever match against a team of English expatriates on 8 December 1899.  

Haas and Gmelin, Club presidents  

In the first years of the Club, two Germans held the post of president of FC Barcelona: Pau Haas between 1902 and 1903 and Otto Gmelin from 1909 to 1910. Furthermore, in the first 60 years of the Club, Germany provided a handful of players – Udo Steinberg (1901-10), Friedrick Matthias (1906), Julius Müller (1908-10), Walter Rositzky (1911-13), Emyl Walter (1924-31) and Kurt Zaro (1956).  

Weisweiler, first German coach   

The relationship between Germany and Barça was reignited in the 1970s with the arrival of coach Hennes Weisweiler, who had won the UEFA Cup with Borussia Mönchengladbach the season before his arrival at Barça in 1975 when he became the first ever German coach at FC Barcelona.  

Unfortunately, Weisweiler’s time at the Club was not a huge success and he left Barça after just a year in charge of the team.  

Schuster and Lattek 

In 1980, German star Bernd Schuster arrived at the Club where he would remain until 1988. During that time the elegant midfielder coincided with the Club’s second ever German coach, Udo Lattek, who came to Barça after success with Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach. Lattek took over in 1981 before being released in March 1983.   

Since then, four more German players have had spells at the Club. Robert Enke (2002-03), Kevin-Prince Boateng (2019) and current players Marc-André ter Stegen (2014-…) and Ilkay Gündogan (2023-…).  New coach Hansi Flick is more than familiar with Barça’s current German contingent after having worked with them during his time as national team coach.  






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