SV Werder Bremen is a German sports club best known for its association football team playing in Bremen, in the northwest German federal state of the same name which is also a town in itself. The club was founded on 4 February 1899 as Fußballverein Werder by a group of sixteen vocational high school students who had won a prize of sports equipment to set them on their way. They took their name from the seldom used regional German word for “river peninsula”, describing the riverside field on which they played their first football games. Werder Bremen has grown to 39,100 members.
Bremen have been a mainstay in the Bundesliga, top tier of the German football league system. Bremen have been crowned champions on four occasions and have won the DFB-Pokal on six occasions. Their most recent achievements in these competitions came in 2004, when they won an historic double. Bremen have also tasted European success, beating AS Monaco in the 1992 European Cup Winners' Cup Final, 2–0. Bremen also reached the final of the last edition of the UEFA Cup in 2009, before it was rebranded as the UEFA Europa League, where they met Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk. Shakhtar won the final 2–1 in extra time. During the early 2000s, Bremen was easily one of the best teams in the Bundesliga, but the two-year lack of European competition that followed soon after has diminished the team's standing somewhat, and they have struggled to find a consistent league form in recent years. However, despite the recent success of Hannover 96, Werder Bremen is still, historically, the most successful club in Northern Germany.
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