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Odense Boldklub (also known as Odense BK or the more commonly used OB) is a Danish professional football club based in the town of Odense. The club has won three Danish championships and five Danish Cup trophies. OB play in the Danish Superliga and their home field is TRE-FOR Park in Odense on Funen. OB's clubhouse is located in Ådalen near Odense River.
OB were founded on 12 July 1887 as Odense Cricketklub, with cricket the only sport. In 1889, football and tennis departments were included in the club, and it changed name to the present Odense Boldklub. The club were then located in Munke Mose (The Monks bog) in Odense. OB moved to Ådalen in 1968, where the club still trains today.
In 1916, OB won the province championship for the first time and qualified to the semi-final of the Danish championship. They lost this match 3–9 to later champions B.93 from Copenhagen.
When the Danish championship was reorganized after the Occupation of Denmark during World War II, OB were placed in the third best league, then named the Danish 3rd Division. After good help from the top goalscorers Svend Jørgen Hansen and Jørgen Leschly Sørensen, the club were quickly promoted to the best league. Svend Jørgen Hansen became OB's first Danish national team player in 1942, while Jørgen Leschly Sørensen was sold to the professional Italian team Atalanta in 1949.
In 1951, OB won their first medals, when the club won silver after runaway champions Akademisk Boldklub. Following the early success, it went down hill for the club. OB were relegated to the second-tier Danish 2nd Division in 1955, and the team had a hard time regaining its position in the top of Danish football. Despite promotions to the Danish 1st Division in 1957 and 1966, the club didn't succeed to permanently stay in the top-flight until the promotion in 1975.
It didn't help that the local rivals from B 1909 and B 1913 stayed in the top of the 1st Division in this period, where B 1909 won the 1959 and 1965 Danish championships. The intense local rivalry culminated in 1973, when 28,000 spectators watched the 2nd Division match between De Stribede and De røde (B 1909) on Odense Stadion. The match is still the spectator record for an OB home game.
In 1974, the club were in their first Danish Cup final, where the team lost 5–2 to Vanløse IF. Per Bartram from OB were awarded the title as Cup Fighter.
In 1975, OB was once more promoted to the 1st Division. This time the club had the players to be a top team in the best league under the reign of coach Richard Møller Nielsen. Just two years later, OB won their first Danish championship in the 1977 season. OB's midfielder Allan Hansen was the top goalscorer in the 1st Division and he was awarded as 1977 Danish Player of the Year, a double triumph he repeated in 1981.
The championship win meant that OB played their first European matches in 1978. They competed in the 1978 European Cup, where they lost in the first round to PFC Lokomotiv Sofia from Bulgaria.
In 1980, they won bronze and the Danish championship was won for the second time in 1982. As Ricard Møller Nielsen's OB team were one of the dominating teams in Danish football in this period, B 1909 finished last in the 1982 1st Division, and were relegated to the 2nd Division. This made OB the best team of the Funen region. In 1983 OB took the cup to win their – so far – only The Double (with the 82' championship).
The team's success was built on many talented Danish players, counting 1982 Danish 1st Division Talent of the Year Keld Bordinggaard. The most prolific OB player of the era was goalkeeper Lars Høgh, who was a constant part of the team from 1977 to 1999 as he played a club record of 817 total matches for the first team.
In 1989, the club won the Danish championship again ahead of defending champions Brøndby IF under new manager Roald Poulsen. The profiles of Roald Poulsen's team included, apart from Lars Høgh, the midfielder Ulrik Moseby, the big defender Johnny Hansen, and the young forward Per Pedersen, who became the most expensive OB player sold, when he was bought by English team Blackburn Rovers for £2.3 million in 1997.
1991 was a special year for OB. They won the Danish Cup final against AaB after two goalless matches, extra time and penalty shootout. As the national arena Idrætsparken were under reconstruction in 1991, the final was played home at Odense Stadion. The cup success wasn't matched in the league, now known as the Danish Superliga. After the main tournament of the 1991–92 season, OB was relegated to the Qualifying League.
They finished in second place of the 1992 Qualifying League, and OB were back in the Superliga for the 1992–93 season. In that season, the club won silver medals after F.C. Copenhagen and they won their third Danish Cup trophy in 1993.
As the Danish Football Association (DBU) restructured the Superliga before the 1995–96 season, and introduced a league format of 33 games spanning a full year, OB won bronze once more. Even though the team had many profiles and good players, the team lacked stability and in the 1997–98 season, OB ended last with six season victories and were relegated to the second best league, the Danish 1st Division.
The club were runaway winners of the 1999 1st Division, and returned to the Superliga for the 1999–00 season. OB won the 2002 Danish Cup with a 2–1 victory against F.C. Copenhagen at Parken Stadium. Since their promotion 1999, OB's best league performance has been the second place, and silver medals, in the 2008–2009 season. In 2006 OB ended third, and awarded bronze medals, the first medals in ten years. Furthermore the club had fourth place finishes in 2003, 2004 and 2007.
In the season 06/07 OB unlucky ended up on a fourth place in the league, after a close race in the last rounds. OB won the Danish Cup defeating F.C. Copenhagen 2–1, which gave OB the possibility to qualify for the UEFA Cup for the second season in a row.
In the season 07/08 OB once again ended on a fourth place, which gave a chance to qualify to the UEFA Cup through the Intertoto Cup. On the 19th and 26 July 2008 they played the English Premiership side Aston Villa in the third round of the Intertoto Cup, for the right to play in the second round of the UEFA Cup. OB managed a 2–2 home draw on the 19th but a 1–0 away defeat on the 26th, so missed out 2–3 on aggregate to Aston Villa.
OB finished second in the 08/09 season which led to a two games Genoa in the UEFA Europa League. First game at Stadio Luigi Ferraris resulted in a 3–1 defeat and the home game gave a 1–1 draw. The next season 09/10 OB once again finished second in the league. After a fantastic start of the season the club disappointingly did not take the first place, due to a string of lost and drawn games in the spring of 2010.
OB have been drawn to take on Scottish Motherwell F.C. in the 4th qualifying round of the 2010/11 Europa League.
In the 1994–95 UEFA Cup, OB reached beyond the first round in a European tournament for the first time in club history. The team beat several opponents and most famously defeated Spanish club Real Madrid to reach the quarterfinal of the tournament.
In the first round, OB won both the home and away game 3-0 against Estonian FC Flora Tallinn. In the second round they drew 1–1 in the away game against Northern Irish club Linfield and won home 5–0, including two long range goals by defender Steen Nedergaard. In the third round, the played German team 1. FC Kaiserslautern, where OB managed a 1–1 draw in Germany, and with a 0–0 draw at home, OB advanced due to the away goals rule.
In the fourth round, the opponent was Spanish club Real Madrid, which at that time had Danish national team captain Michael Laudrup on the team. The first match was played at a sold-out Odense Stadion, and OB surprisingly scored on a corner kick in the first half. In the second half, Real Madrid quickly scored two goals, but OB managed to come back into the game, when they equalized to 2–2. Shortly before full time, Real Madrid scored to 2–3, which was the final result of the game.
Due to the away goals rule, OB needed to win with a margin of two goals to advance to the quarter-finals. Ulrik Pedersen scored for a 1–0 lead to OB, and with a good goalkeeping by Lars Høgh, OB kept Real Madrid from scoring. With a goal by Morten Bisgaard shortly before stoppage time, OB achieved the needed 2–0 victory, and advanced to the quarter-final. OB's victory attracted attention in great parts of Europe and in Denmark the event was named The Miracle in Madrid.
In the quarter-final, OB met Italian team Parma FC. In the first game away in Parma, OB and Lars Høgh almost prevented the Italians from scoring, but Steen Nedergaard committed a penalty which Parma converted and thus won the game 1–0. The second leg in Odense ended a 0–0 draw, which meant the end of OB's European adventure.
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
OB in Europe
Odense won 7–0 on aggregate.
Villarreal won 5–0 on aggregate.
Odense won 3–1 on aggregate.
Odense won 2–2 on aggregate and away goal.
Odense won 6–1 on aggregate.
Odense won 3–2 on aggregate.
Odense won 5–0 on aggregate.
Odense won 5–1 on aggregate.
Sparta Prague won 4–3 after penalty shootout.
Odense won 4–1 on aggregate.
Aston Villa won 3–2 on aggregate.
Odense won 7–3 on aggregate.
Genoa won 4–2 on aggregate.
Odense won 5–3 on aggregate.
Odense won 3–1 on aggregate.
Odense won 5–4 on aggregate.
Villareal won 3–1 on aggregate.
(As of 18 July 2011), Source: Bert Kassies website