Greener grass

Missing home?

Written by: Patrick Gunn
Artwork by: Rob Palmer
A notepad and some pencils, which have been used to draw a picture of Robin Koch surrounded by lovehearts and a nice big 'tash on the front of his jumper

Every year, around Christmas time, I head to Freiburg. It’s a small university city in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) of Germany, renowned for its traditional architecture, imposing cathedral, annual Christmas markets, and — somewhat surprisingly — a football team boasting a brand new stadium, one of the best academies in the country, and European football for the first time since 2014.

You’d never guess it, wandering the quiet streets and perusing the traditional stores, but Freiburg has sneakily built a footballing culture to rival its opponents in Germany’s biggest cities. More importantly, unlike sides like Hoffenheim, bankrolled by controversial billionaire Dietmar Hopp, Freiburg have achieved their surprising success through more humble means.

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