Hamburger SV, often referred to as HSV or Hamburg, was founded in 1887, making the football club one of the oldest in Germany. The team has several key distinctions, including being the only club to participate in every Bundesliga season since the league's formation in 1963 and having played in the top flight of the German league system since the end of the First World War.
Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Hamburg dominated their regional league, the Northern German football championship, winning it in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932 and 1933. After the war, the club was placed in the Oberliga Nord, which Hamburg won on 15 occasions between 1948 and 1963. On the back of these dominant performances, Hamburg were placed into the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963-64.
The late 1970s and 1980s is usually seen as the club's golden era. In 1975–76, Hamburg won the DFB Cup and the following season, they won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. At the end of the 1978–79 season, Hamburg became Bundesliga champions for the first time, finishing one point ahead of runners up Stuttgart. Further title wins in 1981–82 and 1982–83 added to the haul. In the process, the team went on an unbeaten run of 36 games, which remains a record. The 1982-83 season also saw the club win the European Cup, defeating Juventus in the final. Another DFB Cup win in 1986–87 brought this era of success to an end. Although the club has been unable to replicate this kind of success since, in recent seasons the club has become competitive once again, finishing in third place in 2005–06. Their city rivals are FC St. Pauli who currently reside in 2. Bundesliga while fellow Northern German club, Werder Bremen traditionally provide a derby day atmosphere when they meet.
Some of the legendary footballers to play for Hamburg throughout the club's history include Uwe Seeler, Felix Magath, Horst Hrubesch and Kevin Keegan.
The club currently plays home matches at the new Volksparkstadion, officially known as the Imtech Arena, The ground has a capacity of 57,000.