FC Basel 1893 (Fussball Club Basel 1893), widely known as FC Basel or just Basel, and sometimes referred to as FC Basel in English or FCB, is a Swiss football club based in Basel. They are one of the most successful clubs in Swiss football, having won the Swiss Super League 20 times, the second most for any Swiss club.
Besides their current dynasty, they were most successful in the late 1960s and 1970s, winning the title a total of seven times between 1967 and 1980. The 1980s saw hard times for Basel, as they were absent from European competition for many years and suffered relegation in 1987. In the 2000s, Basel returned to the top of Swiss football, winning their first title for 22 years in 2002 and going on to win the title nine more times over the next 13 seasons. Basel have also won the Swiss Cup 11 times.
Basel have competed in European competition every season since 1999–2000. In the 2001–02 season, the club reached the UEFA Intertoto Cup final, losing to Aston Villa; in the 2002–03 season, they qualified for the Second Group Stage of the UEFA Champions League; and in the 2005–06 season, they reached the quarter-finals of the UEFA Cup. As of recent they are in the round of 16 of the champions league facing Manchester City. They have been in the Champions League more times than any other Swiss club — a total of six times — and are the only Swiss club to have ever qualified directly for the Champions League group stages.
In the 2011–12 season, Basel produced some outstanding results in the Champions League. After a 1–1 away draw against Benfica, Basel tied away 3–3 and then won at home 2–1 against Manchester United, which saw them progress to the knockout phase. Here they were defeated by Bayern Munich on aggregate despite a 1–0 home win. The 2012–13 season saw them scale greater heights as the RotBlau advanced as far as the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League, but there they were beaten by eventual champions Chelsea. During the following season, however, Basel avenged that defeat with two-straight wins during the 2013–14 Champions League group stage. They notched up a surprising 2–1 away win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and followed this up with a 1–0 home win in the return fixture at St. Jakob-Park, though Basel ultimately were eliminated in the group stage. The following year, Basel progressed to the last 16 from a group that included European giants Real Madrid and Liverpool courtesy of a 1–1 away draw at Anfield in their final group match, but were then eliminated by Porto.
Ricky van Wolf