FC Basel, the Wikipedia Preview

Posted on October 1, 2009

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Fulham takes on FC Basel in Europa League action today.  I know nothing about FC Basel, other than they’re Swiss.  This sounds like a perfect opportunity to fire up the trusty Wikipedia and get buried in an avalanche of knowledge.  After all, every stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet, and everyone has a story to tell.  So what stories does our new friend FC Basel have to tell us?

They have a similar league history to Fulham- FC Basel was a decent team in the 60’s and 70’s, but was relegated in the 80’s.  Like Fulham, they were recently promoted back to first level soccer and have enjoyed great success since then, winning several Swiss Super League titles.

They prove the Manchester City Axiom- according to the Wikipedia, sustained success as a soccer power only came about as a result of stronger and more consistent financial backing from their ownership.  I’ve never seen that happen before.

Despite being Swiss, their fans can turn on you- In 2006 FC Basel lost a home match at St Jakob Park for the first time since 2002, and the fans were not happy about it.  Supporters of both Basel and FC Zurich rioted, resulting in fans storming the field and causing property damage.  The event was significant enough to warrant its own separate Wikipedia page, menacingly titled “The 2006 Basel Hooligan Incident”, and contaning details such as road flares being thrown at an FC Zurich player.

FC Basel have hooligans- This isn’t a new thought- I still can’t get over how the Swiss have hooliganism.  Every time someone talks about Switzerland, it’s all about how the trains run on time, and everyone is polite and there’s no crime, and it’s pretty much what heaven will be like, complete with the tax loopholes.  And now I hear they have soccer violence?  I don’t know what to think anymore.

Pascal Zuberbuhler played for FC Basel- He is (or was) a backup Fulham goalkeeper.  Haven’t seen him for quite awhile.

It has famous fans- Ok, just one.  But that famous fan happens to be Roger Federer- THE Roger Federer!- who is not only tennis’ career leader in Grand Slam tournament wins, but also one big FC Basel fan.

Their stadium has its own train stop- St. Jakob-Park (literal translation- “Are You in Switzerland?”) is the 42,000 seat home of FC Basel.  It has its own stop on the light rail system, has several unique restaurants in it, and for unknown reasons is nicknamed “Joggeli”, which I think is pronounced like “Mowgli” from The Jungle Book, which might be a clue right there.

You can’t tell them apart from Barcelona- FC Basel’s kit shares the same color scheme and layout as the more famous kits sported by FC Barcelona.  So if you and a buddy play FC Basel/Barcelona in FIFA for the Xbox, watch which uniforms you select or you could be in for a long and confusing match.  Be prepared to say “Oh!  I thought that was…..” a lot.

They have no notable former players- I have checked.  Unless one of them owes you money on an unpaid gambling debt or is your long-lost biological father, there’s not much to see on the ex-players list.

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