FC Carl Zeiss Jena


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April 13, 1974 — FC CARL ZEISS JENA captain and striker PETER DUCKE, who paced the Thuringian club with five goals in six UEFA European Cup games and was named the German Democratic Republic’s Footballer of the Year for the 1970-71 season, hoists the German Free Trade Union Cup following the 3-1 defeat of Dynamo Dresden at the massive Zentralstadion in Leipzig.
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Although plaqued by financial difficulties the past few years and currently limping along following a 15th place finish in the German 3rd division last season, the fact remains FC CARL ZEISS JENA were once a very formidable side in the old Oberliga of the now-defunct Deutsche Demokratische Republik and a regular participant in Europe capable of competing with — and conquering — some of the continent’s most well-known teams such as Portugal’s Benfica of Lisbon, CF Valencia of Spain as well as Italian Serie A squad AS Roma.

The most glorious time for FC Carl Zeiss Jena would be the highly-successful stretch from 1963 to 1975 which saw the Thruingian team (known as SC Motor Jena until 1966) capture three Oberliga titles and finish in second place on a further six occasions.

FC Carl Zeiss Jena also claimed the Frei Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund Pokal (Free German Trade Union Cup) four times including a haul of three trophies in a nine-year stint from 1972 to 1980; perhaps most significantly, the East German club took part in European competitions 15 of 16 years thru the end of the 1983-84 football season.

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The squad of FC CARL ZEISS JENA pose for a photograph with the medals earned for having won the 1969-70 Oberliga title; this picutre marks the last time, in fact, the Thuringian club would ever win the elite football championship of the old Deutsche Demokratische Republic.
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Some consider the crowning achievement of FC Carl Zeiss Jena to be its arrival at the 1981 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup Final in Dusseldort, West Germany, although the D.D.R. kickers lost late 2-1 against Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi of the Soviet Union despite scoring first in the second half.

FC Carl Zeiss Jena did engage West German Bundesliga clubs twice in the UEFA Cup but lost after extra time to MSV Duisburg during the 1978-79 campaign and were beaten resoundly by Bayer Uerdingen during the 1986-87 season.

As one might expect, the Thuringian club contributed its share of players — 33 in all — to the national team of East Germany. Of the ten players with the most international caps in the history of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, exactly half spent at least a little time with FC Carl Zeiss Jena at some point in their careers. Defender KONRAD WEISE, who was in the East German Startelf against West Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup and later won the Olympic gold medal at Montreal in 1976, played 78 games recognized by FIFA as full internationals for the D.D.R. and is, accordingly, the club’s most decorated Laenderspieler.

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Deutsche Demokratische Republik attacker PETER DUCKE of FC Carl Zeiss Jena, who collected a bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Muinch and ultimately scored 15 goals in 68 full international matches over the course of his career for East Germany, steps around Holland defender WIM RIJSBERGEN of Feyenoord Rotterdam at the Parkstadion in Gelsenkirchen during the 1974 FIFA World Cup tournament in West Germany.
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Other accomplished internationals for FC Carl Zeiss Jena included striker EBERHARD VOGEL, the two-time Olympic bronze medalist and second-leading all-time scorer with 24 goals for Deutsche Demokratische Republik, as well as defender LOTHAR KURBJUWEIT, the two-time Olympic medalist who appeared with the East German Startelf against both West Germany at the 1974 FIFA World Cup and also for the 1976 Gold Medal Match with Poland in Montreal.

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