Its fair to say Kevin Keegan’s three seasons in the Bundesliga were quite eventful. He managed to win the German title, the Ballon d’Or twice, play in the European Cup final against Nottingham Forest and release a top-10 smash hit.
It was a golden period for the German team as well under the rigid, systematic approach of Yugoslav Branko Zebec. The addition of the target-man Hrubesch allowed Keegan to flourish – to some extent Hrubesch-Keegan was Toshack-Keegan revisited. With the imaginative Magath prompting behind these two, HSV now possessed one of the most lethal forward lines in the league.
Central to it all though was the little man from the north of England, a scampering dribbler with a bubble-perm taking on and beating Europe’s best. As much as anyone else, Keegan was the catalyst for HSV’s rise.
Yet, in his typically forward-thinking way, he was already pondering the next step. As it had been for his Liverpool career back in 1977, the European Cup final would be a curtain call for Keegan at HSV. Although it did not end in glory, 'Mächtig Maus' had made himself part of Hamburg folklore.
Described as "arguably the first English football superstar to attract the modern media spotlight", Kevin Keegan made his name in the red of Liverpool before moving to Hamburg in the summer of 1977 for a fee of £500,000 having just won the European Cup and League title with the Merseysiders. Eventual success at Hamburg translated into individual recognition for Keegan, who picked up consecutive European Footballer of the Year awards for 1978 and 79. With Keegan top scoring and a huge hit with fans, Hamburg won their first Bundesliga title for 19 years in 1979, and reached the European Cup final the following year, losing to Nottingham Forest.
Hamburger Sport-Verein is one of the country's oldest, most well known, and best performing clubs, with the unique distinction of having played continuously in the top-flight since the Bundesliga's foundation in 1963.
The club was a real force domestically and in Europe in the late seventies and early eighties. Inspired by the arrival of Kevin Keegan and Felix Magath they appeared in two European cup finals in this period, winning at the second attempt against a very gifted Juventus in 1983.