TSG Hoffenheim

Traditionally a gymnastics oriented club, TSG saw the light in the 1990s and finally decided to move to the superior sport of football, and began a quick climb up the ladder into respectability - but not without jealousy and contraversy.

The club was founded in 1899 as TV Hoffenheim, with about 20 members who hung out in the local pubs "Zum Engel" and "Zum Rössel". Unfortunately, when they weren't drinking, they wasted all their time jumping up and down like most gymnasts. They were tolerated by their "big-city" brethren from Sinsheim, and funds donated from them enabled the club to get a flag. Luckily a soccer club, FV Hoffenheim was founded in 1921. Nevertheless, they toiled in obscurity until WWII. The two merged in 1945 to become TSG.

Despite a few decent amateur seasons, things weren't particularily successful. By 1990, the club was in tatters, as they had just been relegated into the dumps of the A-Klasse. But it was then then that a home-town-boy-made-good entered the picture. Dietmar Hopp had played for the blue and whites as a youth, before he went on to bigger and better things: namely he was co-founder of international software giant SAP. He got involved with the club "after a 27 year absence". His legendary phone-call to the club president ("Things can't continue this way. I want to help.") started a climb back into respectability and the best years of TSG football.

However, unlike many rich sponsors, Hopp has been more concerned with a long term devlopment plan to move Hoffeheim up the ladder. The club has generally not made spectacular purchases of players, but rather attempted to build from the ground up, and especially strengthen the youth system. By 2006, the club was ready for some "bigger moves", but again, the money was first spent on structure rather than players: Ralf Rangnick, a head coach with Bundesliga experience, was chosen to lead the team into the 2.Liga. Overall, the goal was to move the club into the Bundesliga, and the stunning fact was that they were able to make it in only two years!

At the start of the 1st Bundesliga season, Hoffenheim took the Bundesliga by storm. The squad played aggressive attacking football and soon topped the table, holding it at winterbreak. But then in a meaningless friendly, sensational striker Vedad Ibisevic (18 goals in 17 games) suffered a season ending injury, and at the restart, Hoffenheim was going nowhere. They did put in a final spurt to finish a respectable 7th, and certainly played attractive football.

Over the next couple of years, Hoffenheim drifted as new coaches failed to find the correct formula that ralf Rangnick had brought, and Hopp's money was spent wastefully. Hopp then turned off the money spigot, and Hoffenheim began to slide. In 2012, they only survived by winning the relegation playoff. However, a new young coach, markus Gisdol, started bringing in youth players, and Hoffenheim surprised in 2014 by being quite respectable, and playing attractive football to boot.

Full Name Turn -und Sportgemeinschaft Hoffenheim 1899 e.V.
City Sinsheim (Baden-Württemberg). Pop: 35,000 (2004). The village of Hoffenheim has about 3,300 folks, and is a couple of miles north. You might consider this club actually the flagship for Heidelberg.
Address Silbergasse 45, 74889 Sinsheim-Hoffenheim
Phone: (0 7261) 40220
Colors Blue jersey, white shorts, blue socks.
Stadium Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion. Capacity: 5,000 (1,620 seats).
Built in 1999 by TSG's no.1 fan, has floodlights and an artificial turf practice field next door. Well, actually, a new stadium, the Rhein-Neckar-Arena (capacity: 30,500) was built in 2009 in nearby Sinsheim. In the first Bundesliga season, Hoffenheim played in nearby Mannheim until the new stadium opened.
Tickets 7 euros for standing - 12.50 for Main seating (2005). VIP tickets 70 euros.
Supporters Averaged about 1,800 in Regionalliga (2004). But in the Bundesliga, all their matches were sell-outs.
Friends SAP, Bayer Aspirin, Volkswagen...
Foes Just about all the fans of "traditional" clubs, mainly because they're jealous of Hoffenheim's money.
Heroes Dietmar Hopp He played for the club as a youth, and is the main reason they're even on the map.
Beer Eichbaum and Heidelberger
Pub Grub Inside the stadium is the "Fair Play" restaurant.
The Net Official site: www.tsg-hoffenheim.de

Recent History:
2013-14 (I)     Bundesliga                      9th
2012-13 (I)     Bundesliga                      11th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga			16th
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga                      11th

2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga                      11th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga                      7th 
2007-08 (II)    2.Liga                    	2nd 
2006-07 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                2nd 
2005-06 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                4th 
2004-05 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                7th 
2003-04 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                5th 
2002-02 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                5th 
2001-02 (III)   Regionalliga Süd                13th
2000-01 (IV)    Oberliga Baden-Wurttemberg      1st 

1999-00 (V)     Verbandsliga Nordbaden          1st 
1998-99 (V)     Verbandsliga Nordbaden          2nd 
1997-98 (V)     Verbandsliga Nordbaden          3rd 
1996-97 (V)     Verbandsliga Nordbaden          9th 
1995-96 (VI)    Landesliga Nordbaden   
1994-95 (VI)    Landesliga Nordbaden
1993-94 (V)     Landesliga Nordbaden
1992-93 (V)     Landesliga Nordbaden
1991-92 (VI)    Bezirksliga                     1st
1990-91	(VII)	A-Liga				1st

(c) Abseits Guide to Germany : www.abseits-soccer.com