ARE THEY ANY GOOD?
FC Zürich, aka FCZ, are the 4th most successful club in the land in terms of Championship victories, with 12 titles under their belt as well as 7 Swiss Cups in the trophy cabinet.
Their most recent success was winning the league in the 2008/09 season, finishing 6 points clear of Young Boys, but struggled in the 2009/10 season finishing in lowly 7th spot. From one season to the other their squad didn’t change dramatically, although they did lose Eric Hassli, scorer of 17 goals in 08/09, to long term injury. Their poor performance last season resulted in coach Bernard Challandes losing his job in April of 2010.
2009/10 was not an easy one to support FCZ in the league, but they did manage to get through to the Champions League group stages where they mostly got smashed by Milan, Real Madrid and Marseille although they did manage a 1-0 victory away at the San Siro thanks to a Hannu Tihinen goal. Hannu is now retired and an assistant director at the club.
Season 2010/11 was somewhat better for FCZ. They had a strong end to the season and took it to the last game of the season but were beaten by FC Basel to the Championship.
Where do they play?
I THOUGHT YOU’D NEVER ASK. THEY PLAY IN A FANTASTIC MODERN STADIUM, ASSUMING YOU ARE INTO WATCHING ATHLETICS. ATTENDING A FOOTBALL MATCH IN AN ATHLETICS STADIUM IS LIKE WATCHING TABLE TENNIS ON A GOLF COURSE. AS IF THIS WASN’T BAD ENOUGH THE STADIUM IS VASTLY OVER SIZED, ON A TYPICAL LEAGUE GAME AROUND 60% OF THE SEATS ARE EMPTY WHEN FCZ PLAY. THE LEITZIGRUND HAS A CAPACITY OF 25,000 FOR FOOTBALL.
Getting to the ground is easy as there are plenty of tramways and it is even quite walkable from the Zurich city center.
There have been attempts for FCZ to build their own stadium due to the unsuitability of the Letzigrund and even talk of them sharing the cost and building a new stadium on the site of GC’s old Hardturm stadium.
What’s it like to visit?
What do you think? You are not paying attention. It’s awful.
The football special stops at a train station that is a 5 minutes bus ride away, you will be able to enjoy the presence of a police escort as you travel through the Zurich suburb. Getting through the security and ticket control seems to take forever. Catering inside is not bad, there is a special Leiziwurst sausage and beer is sold in plastic cups with a two francs deposit you will get back when the cup is returned, although JCBT’s Måns has said “I use the cups for my toothbrush. It’s only two francs.”
As previously said, getting a seat is not a problem. The away end is right behind a goal where the impact of running tracks is at its worst. The FCZ fans sits right across. It is quite surreal to see a single section of the ground completely filled while the rest is empty apart from a few scattered hermits in the more expensive seats.
Who is their Manager / Head Coach?
Player to keep an eye out for?
No, I bet you didn’t know these crazy facts about FCZ:
The Leizigrund has a secret dark past. In 1996 Celine Dion sang here in front of a 75000 crowd.
According to Wikipedia: Until the 1930s, the club’s sporting remit also included rowing, boxing, athletics, and handball, but later focused solely on football.
In 2006 FCZ won the league in the dying moments of the match in a winner-takes-all match against FC Basel at St Jakob Park. After the match Basel fans rioted in what became known as the 2006 Basel Hooligan Incident.
Daniel Gygax is a huge FCZ fan and apparently used to drive a car decorated in FCZ flags when he was at Nuremberg. If they ever make an offer for him then expect him to be off.