SC Freiburg had a great year, finishing second in the Bundesliga over the winter and establishing themselves as a top team. The reasons are diverse. Coach Streich enjoys it, but also warns.
Christian Streich paused for a moment. “It’s amazing what we experienced,” said the “Freiburg” coach. I’ll just add a little later. “I wish it would stay that way, but it won’t.”
The joke wouldn’t be a joke if he didn’t point a pointed finger at the euphoria with which Freiburg bid farewell to the Bundesliga at the World Cup break. He wanted to “enjoy” the situation now, he said after the game against “Union Berlin” (4-1). Then he wanted to “practice not to put too much pressure on yourself because you think it should stay that way.”
jump to second place
An incredible year for the residents of Breisgau ended with a jump to second place in the Bundesliga. After reaching the final of the DFB Cup for the first time, an emotional trip to Berlin with tens of thousands of fans and qualifying for the Europa League in the second half of last season, many wondered if SC could maintain this level.
The 23 mandatory games so far this season, of which only three have been lost, have shown that he can. Freiburg are wintering in two cup competitions, have established themselves as the league’s top team and enter the new year as Bayern’s number one chasers.
Continuity as a formula for success
The reasons are diverse. The word that comes up again and again in SC’s success story is continuity. Even in “difficult times – battles of surrender and bitter defeats – many important people stood their ground,” Streich said. This was the only way to “progress successively”.
Coach, sporting director Jochen Sayer, sporting director Clemens Hartenbach and financial director Oliver Lecki, for example, have worked closely together for many years, but leave their respective areas to their own devices. The chairman of the supervisory board, Heinrich Breit, has never talked to him about football, but he also does not want to talk to him about finances, Streich said. “This is a symbol of how work is done here,” emphasized the 57-year-old man.
On the pitch, these icons include long-standing top performers such as World Cup driver Christian Gunther or midfield driver Nicolas Höfler. They’ve also evolved, Streich said. “I wish we could freeze them and they wouldn’t age anymore,” he joked. Vincenzo Grifo, who was neither happy at Hoffenheim nor at Mönchengladbach, but has now scored nine goals in his third consecutive Bundesliga season at SC, is also one of them. Or centre-back Philipp Lienhart.
The rookies hit
In addition, Ritsu Doan and Michael Gregoric, who cheated in the summer, as well as the returning Matthias Gunter, who, like Gunter, is going to the World Cup with the German team, hit the ground running. “We complement each other very well, we’re really good friends off the pitch,” captain Guenther told DAZN of the special team spirit in Freiburg.
Who, interacting with their fans, create an atmosphere that many probably wouldn’t expect after moving from the venerable Dreisam Stadium to the new and less romantic Europa-Park Stadium. “A very, very great story” going into the winter break with this sense of accomplishment, forward Gregoric said after a day of celebration against Union. If Streich Streich and Freiburg stay on the mat, there could be some more beautiful chapters in the new year.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:221114-99-509953/2