After a 28 year hiatus, Eintracht Braunschweig, one of the founding members of the Bundesliga are back again and everybody knows it.
Based in lower Saxony, the place where allegedly football was played in Germany for the first time, their fans can finally look forward to welcoming the likes Bayern Munich and local rivals Hannover 96.
Although Braunschweig won the title in 1967, their only national title till date, they have been languishing in the second and third divisions since the mid 1980’s.
A last-minute free-kick from Damir Vrancic at Ingolstadt secured their promotion to the Bundesliga, when only five years ago, they were facing the prospect of fourth tier football.
When Braunschweig was facing the prospect of fourth-tier football in 2008, Torsten Lieberknecht was the man who stood up and helped them stay up.
Having played for the club from 03-07, he was then promoted to youth team manager, where he was doing a marvellous job, when he was appointed as first team coach.
With just three games remaining and he helped the side clinch 10th-place, which was enough for a place in the newly formed nationwide third division.
On the back of their performance, Braunschweig slowly but steadily marched their way to the top.
After winning the third-division in 2011, they went one step further last year by securing promotion to the Bundesliga, a feat which surprised even the coach, who stated that his aim for the season would be to stay in league and not get relegated.
Although they haven’t been in the first division for so long, Braunschweig still have a storied history, which includes being one of the founding members of the German Football Federation in 1900, which culminated with the club being asked to take part in the newly-formed Bundesliga in 1963.
Even with all this, the club is perhaps, best known, as the first to introduce jersey sponsorship to the league in 1973, when Braunschweig sported the logo of the alcoholic drink Jaegermeister, which became an instant hit with the fans in Germany.
Whilst Braunschweig do not have a great deal of money, what they do have is a strong fan base, as was evident in their opening game against Werder Bremen, when, even after a loss, the fans stayed back to sing and dance and celebrate their return to the Bundesliga.
In addition to that, they have amidst their ranks, a talented manager and a certain Congolese striker, Domi Kumbela, whose 19 goals were a huge part of their promotion to the Bundesliga.
And although their overall budget is about the same as what Bayern Munich paid Borussia Dortmund for Mario Goetze last season, their fans hope that their indomitable spirit will take them through.
The coach Lieberknecht, proudly proclaimed: "We in Braunschweig try to contribute more to the romantic part. But we have something in our chests and we want to surprise,"
Romance often ends in heartbreak in football, but Eintracht Braunschweig aren't about to a couple of defeats spoil the joy of returning to the Bundesliga after 28 years in the wilderness.
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