Freiburg′s fighting spirit should see them stay up | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 19.05.2015
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Freiburg's fighting spirit should see them stay up

It seems like every season Freiburg is fighting to stay up in the Bundesliga. This time around it's the same story, as Christian Streich's team hang in 14th place. But, the team has a prominent supporter.

The maths: Not much needed

A brief look at the Bundesliga table and it's obvious: Freiburg have got their fate in their own hands. In their final league game of the season against Hannover 96 on Saturday, they only need a point to stay in the first division next season. Then the team would be in 15th position, and no-one would be able to bump them into the relegation playoff.

"One more week in the tunnel," is how coach Christian Streich described it, after his team's surprise 2-1 win against Bayern Munich last weekend.

German national team coach Joachim Löw, who played for years for Freiburg and is still the club's top scorer, says he has a lot of respect for Streich as a coach. "With him, you can see that he is sticking to a plan," Löw told German newspaper "Bild" this week.

In the last three away games, Freiburg has managed three draws: against Schalke, Stuttgart and Hamburg. If they can do it again in Hannover, then that will be enough.

Joachim Löw in Freiburg's stadium

Joachim Löw, a nearby resident, is a regular guest in Freiburg's stadium

The mood: Stay humble

Freiburg's win last weekend against champions Bayern Munich will definitely have given the players a boost, according to Löw. After all, Christian Streich's team came back from 1-0 down against this season's champions half way through the game.

The coach showed himself again to have the midas touch too, after he brought on Nils Petersen as a substitute and the ex Bayern man scored two minutes later.

"We have to stay humble - that's the Freiburg mentality. I hope that will be rewarded in the end," Petersen said after the game.

Petersen seems to have taken on the motto that Streich keeps telling his team: don't let yourself get concerned, just keeping working at your game, then the success will come.

"We can't just start dreaming," Streich said. "We have to put in a good performance in Hannover and get a point. That's all we need to do. Only then will we stay up."

Freiburgs coach Christian Streich in Aktion

On the sidelines, Christian Streich is known for giving 100 percent all game

The prognosis: Freiburg will stay up

"They'll do it", says Löw. "In the last games of a season, strong nerves are what is called for and the Freiburg team have those."

He's right, too. In three of the last four seasons, the club from south-west Germany has got out of some tough situations at the end of the season. During the latter stages of their 2011/2012 campaign for instance, they were at the bottom of the table before Streich took over and Freiburg ended the season in 12th. The most important thing, arguably, is that the coach and players know that they have the club's support.

"We don't let ourselves get distracted, we just do our thing," says club boss Fritz Keller. It's likely that Freiburg will be doing their thing again next season in Germany's top flight - playing attractive football with a workmanlike approach and a comparitively low budget.

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