Hansa Rostock
F.C. Hansa Rostock Logo.svg
Full nameFußballclub Hansa Rostock e. V.
Nickname(s)Hansa, Hanseaten, Kogge,
Hansa-Kogge, Ostseestädter
Founded28 December 1965; 57 years ago (1965-12-28)
GroundOstseestadion, Rostock
ChairmanRobert Marien
ManagerAlois Schwartz
League2. Bundesliga
2022–232. Bundesliga, 13th of 18
WebsiteClub website
Current season

FC Hansa Rostock (German: [ʔɛf ˈt͡seː ˈhanza ˈʁɔstɔk]) is a German association football club based in the city of Rostock, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The club is also called as "the cog" because of its club crest. They have emerged as one of the most successful clubs from the former East Germany after German reunification and have made several appearances in the top-flight Bundesliga. With 21,416 club members, the club is one of the largest sports clubs in Germany.

After being in the Bundesliga for ten years, from 1995 to 2005, Rostock suffered a steady decline. In 2012, the club was relegated to the 3. Liga for the second time and only managed to regain its place in the 2. Bundesliga in 2021.


Historical chart of Hansa league performance
Historical chart of Hansa league performance

The club was originally founded on 1 November 1954 as the multi-sport sports club SC Empor Rostock. The football squad, however, could not be recruited from local enterprise sports communities (German: Betriebssportgemeinschaft, BSG) like the squad of the handball section, so a transfer of BSG Empor Lauter's squad from Lauter to Rostock was considered. The area around Lauter, near the Czech border, was well represented in East German football by competitive sides including Wismut Aue, Fortschritt Meerane and Motor Zwickau, so the footballers of BSG Empor Lauter were delegated to Rostock, over the futile protests of the team's local supporters. Then SED First Secretary in Bezirk Rostock Karl Mewis and SED functionary Harry Tisch were instrumental in the relocation of BSG Empor Lauter to Rostock.[1][2] Karl Lewis was allegedly the initiator of the relocation.[3] This was not an uncommon occurrence in the 1950s of East German football, where clubs were regularly renamed, re-structured, dismantled or shuffled from city to city at the direction of well-placed communist officials. The new club would be sponsored by the fishing combine VEB Fischkombinat Rostock.

The wholesale transfer of the Lauterers to Rostock part way through the 1954–55 season led to the disappearance of that association from play. A new club was formed in 1956 as BSG Motor Lauter and on 1 August 1990, it took up the tradition of the original side to play as Lauterer Sportverein Viktoria 1913.

Play in Rostock

A match between SC Empor Rostock and SC Dynamo Berlin at the Ostseestadion in 1957.
A match between SC Empor Rostock and SC Dynamo Berlin at the Ostseestadion in 1957.

Newly formed SC Empor Rostock took the place of the former Lauter-based club in first division play in November 1954. They finished second the next season, but in 1956 plunged to 14th place and were relegated. They quickly bounced back, rejoining the DDR-Oberliga in 1958, before going on to become a very competitive side with a series of three vice-championships to their credit from 1962 to 1964, as well as several appearances in the final of the FDGB Pokal. The re-organization of East German sports in 1965 led to the association's football department becoming independent as Fußball Club Hansa Rostock, which was designated as one of the country's 10 dedicated football club intended to groom talent for the development of a strong East Germany national team. The new club's name acknowledged Rostock's history as one of the major trading centres of northern Europe's Hanseatic League. FC Hansa Rostock would be sponsored by the maritime combine VEB Kombinat Seeverkehr und Hafenwirtschaft.[4] And the club would be patronaged by the SED First Secretary of Bezirk Rostock as well as future Free German Trade Union Federation chairman and Politburo member Harry Tisch.[5][6]

By the 1970s, the club was consistently finishing in the lower half of the league table and was relegated to the second division DDR-Liga for a single season on three occasions late in the decade. They returned to form in the 1980s and as the football leagues of West Germany and East Germany were merged in 1990 after the re-unification of the country, Rostock won its first national championship in the final season of East German football, played out in the transitional NOFV-Oberliga. This is their only top flight title to date in play in East Germany or the unified Germany.

They also captured the last East German Cup with a 1–0 win over FC Stahl Eisenhüttenstadt.[7]

United Germany and the Bundesliga

The January 1990 squad
The January 1990 squad

The club's timely success earned them a place in the Bundesliga alongside Dynamo Dresden when the top-flight Bundesliga was briefly expanded from 18 to 20 teams for the 1991–92 season to accommodate two former East German teams. Hansa, however, was unable to stay up and was relegated after falling just a single point shy of SG Wattenscheid 09. Three seasons of tempering in the 2. Bundesliga would return the club to the top flight for the 1995–96 season. In ten years spent in the Bundesliga, the team's best results were a pair of sixth-place finishes. In spite of frequent placings in the bottom-half of the league table, they would persist as the only former East German side able to consistently challenge the well-heeled clubs of the west. On 1 December 2002, Rostock became the first club to field six foreigners from the same country in a Bundesliga match (Rade Prica, Marcus Lantz, Peter Wibrån, Andreas Jakobsson, Magnus Arvidsson and Joakim Persson – all Swedes).

Hansa had a very poor first half in the 2004–05 season, earning only 1 win and 5 draws in 17 matches. They were unable to recover despite the late arrival of Finnish striker Jari Litmanen and at season's end were relegated, leaving the former GDR without a club in the top flight for the first time since re-unification. Like other East German teams, they were the victims of a harsh economic reality as the wealthier, well-established western sides bought up the most talented eastern footballers as their clubs struggled to survive financially: Rostock's Stefan Beinlich, Oliver Neuville and Victor Agali were just three players sent west in exchange for cash. After two years in the 2. Bundesliga, the club returned to the top-flight for the 2007–08 season, but was again relegated.

The club's poor form continued in 2009–10 and they finished third-last. With this season, a new promotion/relegation format accompanied the introduction of the 3. Liga and Rostock found itself in a playoff versus the third place third division club FC Ingolstadt. Hansa lost both legs of the contest and was sent down to the 3. Liga, while Ingolstadt won promotion to the 2. Bundesliga alongside the top two third tier teams which advanced automatically by virtue of their finishes. Their stay was a short one as they were sent back down after finishing bottom table in 2011–12.

Hansa Rostock drew an average home attendance of 11,433[8] in the 2016–17 3. Liga, the third-highest in the league.

Recent seasons

Season Division Tier Position
1984–85 DDR-Oberliga I 10th
1985–86 13th↓
1986–87 DDR-Liga II 1st↑
1987–88 DDR-Oberliga I 9th
1988–89 4th
1989–90 6th
1990–91 NOFV-Oberliga 1st
1991–92 Bundesliga 18th↓
1992–93 2. Bundesliga Ii 11th
1993–94 8th
1994–95 1st↑
1995–96 Bundesliga I 6th
1996–97 15th
1997–98 6th
1998–99 14th
1999–2000 6th
2000–01 15th
2001–02 14th
2002–03 13th
2003–04 9th
2004–05 17th↓
2005–06 2. Bundesliga II 10th
2006–07 2nd↑
2007–08 Bundesliga I 17th↓
2008–09 2. Bundesliga II 13th
2009–10 16th↓
2010–11 3. Liga III 2nd↑
2011–12 2. Bundesliga II 18th↓
2012–13 3. Liga III 12th
2013–14 13th
2014–15 17th
2015–16 10th
2016–17 15th
2017–18 6th
2018–19 6th
2019–20 6th
2020–21 2nd↑
2021–22 2. Bundesliga II 13th
2022–23 13th


After German reunification, the last regular DDR-Oberliga season was played in NOFV-Oberliga. During 1990–91 NOFV-Oberliga season, Hansa Rostock became the last East Germany champion.






DDR-Oberliga and FDGB-Pokal:


Current squad

As of 1 February 2023[9]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Germany GER Markus Kolke (captain)
4 DF Germany GER Damian Roßbach
5 DF Netherlands NED Rick van Drongelen (on loan from Union Berlin)
6 MF Germany GER Dennis Dressel
7 DF Germany GER Nico Neidhart
8 MF Germany GER Simon Rhein
9 FW Switzerland SUI Ridge Munsy
10 FW Bosnia and Herzegovina BIH Haris Duljević
11 MF Germany GER Morris Schröter
13 FW Germany GER Kevin Schumacher
14 MF Sweden SWE Svante Ingelsson
15 MF Sweden SWE Nils Fröling
16 DF United States USA Ryan Malone
17 MF South Korea KOR Lee Dong-gyeong
18 FW Netherlands NED John Verhoek
No. Pos. Nation Player
19 FW Germany GER Kai Pröger
20 MF Germany GER Lukas Scherff
22 FW Austria AUT Lukas Hinterseer
23 GK Germany GER Nils Körber
24 DF Philippines PHI John-Patrick Strauß
25 DF Germany GER Thomas Meißner
27 DF Togo TOG Frederic Ananou
28 MF Germany GER Maurice Litka
29 MF Luxembourg LUX Sébastien Thill
30 GK Germany GER Max Hagemoser
31 DF Germany GER Felix Ruschke
32 DF Germany GER Benno Dietze
34 DF Germany GER Lukas Fröde
39 FW Germany GER Pascal Breier

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW Germany GER Theo Martens (at Greifswalder FC until 30 June 2023)



A study published in 2007 by Sportfive reported Hansa's fanbase to be the seventh largest in Germany, involving up to two million supporters.[10] According to another study published in 2008 by Allensbach Institute, Hansa is the most popular German football club in the New Länder and the most popular club of the former GDR in reunited Germany.[11] Hansa Rostock's official anthem is "FC Hansa, wir lieben Dich total" ("Hansa FC, We Totally Love You"), recorded in 1995 by East German band Puhdys. Hansa struggles with hooliganism, estimating up to 500 supporters to be leaning towards violence.[12] The club itself as well some fans' associations are anxious to curtail these in several ways.[13] In 2005, the club successfully sued three streakers who disrupted their 2003 match against Hertha BSC to recoup the 20,000 they were fined by the German Football Association (DFB) for failing to maintain adequate security at their ground.


The original Ostseestadion was built in 1954, with the participation of several hundred citizens of Rostock who helped for free. The first international match in the Ostseestadion of East Germany was on 26 September 1956. In 2001, the stadium was refurbished and modified to accommodate 30,000 spectators.

Reserve team

The club's reserve team, F.C. Hansa Rostock II, has played as high as Regionalliga level, last playing in the Regionalliga Nord in 2009–10. The team currently plays in the tier five NOFV-Oberliga Nord. It first reached Oberliga level in 1992 and has won three league championships at this level, in 2000, 2005 and 2012.[14][15]

In 1998, 2005 and 2006, it also won the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Cup, the local cup competition in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and qualified for the first round of the DFB-Pokal through this but never advanced past the first round.

Further reading

See also


  1. ^ Hesse-Lichtenberger, Ulrich (2003). Tor!: The Story of German Football (3rd ed.). London: WSC Books Ltd. pp. 225–226. ISBN 095401345X.
  2. ^ Mike, Dennis; Grix, Jonathan (2012). Sport under Communism – Behind the East German 'Miracle' (1st ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan (Macmillan Publishers Limited). p. 138. ISBN 978-0-230-22784-2.
  3. ^ Ehlers, Matthias (18 June 2009). "Die Retortenschlacht". 11 Freunde (in German). Berlin: 11FREUNDE Verlag GmbH & Co. KG. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  4. ^ Oelmaier, Tobias (28 December 2015). "Jubiläum – Hansa Rostock wird 50". deutschlandfunkkultur.de (in German). Cologne: Deutschlandradio. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  5. ^ Mike, Dennis; Grix, Jonathan (2012). Sport under Communism – Behind the East German 'Miracle' (1st ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan (Macmillan Publishers Limited). p. 138. ISBN 978-0-230-22784-2.
  6. ^ MacDougall, Alan (2014). The People's Game: Football, State and Society in East Germany (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-1-107-05203-1.
  7. ^ Hesse, Uli (3 June 2016). "The last days of football in East Germany". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 3 June 2016.
  8. ^ "3. Liga 2016/2017 – Attendance".
  9. ^ "F.C. Hansa Rostock – Profi Mannschaft Spieler Übersicht" (in German). F.C. Hansa Rostock. Retrieved 16 October 2021.
  10. ^ 11Freunde.com. "Marktstudie: Köln mischt die Bundesliga auf".
  11. ^ FC-Hansa.de. "Hansa bleibt beliebtester Fußballverein in Ostdeutschland".
  12. ^ "Kampf um die Nummer eins". Der Tagesspiegel.
  13. ^ "Rostock, wir haben ein Problem". Der Spiegel.
  14. ^ Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (in German) Historical German domestic league tables
  15. ^ F.C. Hansa Rostock II at Fussball.de (in German) Tables and results of all German football leagues