1. Fußball-Club Köln 01/07 e. V., commonly known as simply 1. FC Köln or FC Cologne in English (German pronunciation: [ʔɛf ˈtseː ˈkœln]), is a German association football club based in Cologne. It was formed in 1948 as a merger of the clubs Kölner Ballspiel-Club 1901 and SpVgg Sülz 07. Köln play in the Bundesliga, the highest league of German football. The club's nickname Die Geißböcke ("The Billy Goats") refers to the club's mascot, a male goat named Hennes after the veteran FC player and (later) manager Hennes Weisweiler. The first Hennes was donated by a circus entrepreneur as a Cologne carnival joke. The current mascot is Hennes VIII, and has been since 24 July 2006. Another nickname for the club, more common locally due to its ambiguity, is FC (often written as Effzeh), a common German abbreviation for football clubs. Characteristic for the dialect spoken around Cologne, this is pronounced "EF-tsay", in contrast to the Standard German pronunciation of the abbreviation where the second syllable is emphasized ([ʔɛf ˈtseː]). Like many of Germany's other professional football clubs, 1. FC Köln is part of a larger sports club that also includes that participate in other sports, i.e. handball, table tennis and gymnastics. 1. FC Köln had around 75,000 members as of October 2015, making it the fourth largest club in Germany.
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