TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Logo TSG Hoffenheim.svg
Full name Turn- und Sportgemeinschaft
1899 Hoffenheim e.V.
Nickname(s) Die Kraichgauer (From Kraichgau region),
achtzehn99 (1899)
Founded 1 July 1899; 119 years ago (1899-07-01)
Ground Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena
Ground Capacity 30,150
President Peter Hofmann
Chairman Frank Briel
Dr. Peter Görlich
Manager Julian Nagelsmann
League Bundesliga
2017–18 3rd
Website Club website
Current season

Turn- und Sportgemeinschaft 1899 Hoffenheim e.V., or simply TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (pronounced [teː ʔɛs ɡeː ˈʔaxt͡seːnˈhʊndɐt ˈnɔʏ̯nʔʊntˈnɔʏ̯nt͡sɪç ˈhɔfn̩haɪ̯m]) is a professional German association football club based in Hoffenheim, a village of Sinsheim municipality, Baden-Württemberg, inside the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. A fifth division side in 2000, the club made a remarkable advance to the German football league system top tier Bundesliga in 2008 with the financial backing of alumnus and software mogul Dietmar Hopp.


The modern-day club was formed in 1945, when gymnastics club Turnverein Hoffenheim (founded 1 July 1899) and football club Fußballverein Hoffenheim (founded 1921) merged. At the beginning of the 1990s, the club was an obscure local amateur side playing in the eighth division Baden-Württemberg A-Liga. They steadily improved and by 1996 were competing in the Verbandsliga Nordbaden (V).

Around 2000, alumnus Dietmar Hopp returned to the club of his youth as a financial backer. Hopp was the co-founder of software firm SAP and he put some of his money into the club. His contributions generated almost immediate results: in 2000 Hoffenheim finished first in the Verbandsliga and was promoted to the fourth-division Oberliga Baden-Württemberg. Another first-place finish moved the club up to the Regionalliga Süd (III) for the 2001–02 season. They finished 13th in their first season in the Regionalliga, but improved significantly the next year, earning a fifth-place result.

Hoffenheim earned fifth and seventh-place finishes in the next two seasons, before improving to fourth in 2005–06 to earn their best result to date. The club made its first DFB-Pokal appearance in the 2003–04 competition and performed well, advancing to the quarter-finals by eliminating 2. Bundesliga sides Eintracht Trier and Karlsruher SC and Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen before being put out themselves by another 2. Bundesliga side, VfB Lübeck.

Negotiations to merge TSG Hoffenheim, Astoria Walldorf, and SV Sandhausen to create FC Heidelberg 06 in 2005 were abandoned due to the resistance of the latter two clubs, and the failure to agree on whether the new side's stadium should be located in Heidelberg or Eppelheim. Team owner Hopp clearly preferred Heidelberg, but could not overcome the resistance of local firm Wild, which had already reserved the site of the planned stadium for its new production facilities.

2006–2008 – Major investments and promotion

In 2006, the club sought to improve its squad and technical staff by bringing in players with several years of Bundesliga experience, most notably Jochen Seitz and Tomislav Marić, and young talents like Sejad Salihović, while signing manager Ralf Rangnick, who managed Bundesliga teams such as SSV Ulm 1846, VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96 and Schalke 04, to a five-year contract. The investment paid off in the 2006–07 season with the club's promotion to the 2. Bundesliga after finishing second in Regionalliga Süd.

The 2007–08 season was Hoffenheim's first season in professional football. After a weak start with three losses and only one draw in the first four games, the team's performance improved remarkably and Hoffenheim climbed from 16th place on matchday four to second place on matchday 23. The team managed to defend their place until the end of the season, having scored 60 points after matchday 34. As a result of their second-place finish they received automatic promotion to the Bundesliga, the highest tier in German football, after just playing in the 2. Bundesliga for one season.

2008 – Bundesliga

Hoffenheim against Borussia Dortmund in August 2011

The 2008–09 season was Hoffenheim's first season in the German top division. With the performance of midfielder Sejad Salihović and strikers Vedad Ibišević, Demba Ba and Chinedu Obasi, Hoffenheim managed to climb to the top of the table quickly, winning the unofficial "Herbstmeister" (Autumn-Champion) title with 35 points after 17 matchdays. Ibišević scored a total of 18 goals in 17 matches, being the Bundesliga's leading goal scorer after the first half of the season. Hoffenheim's fast and offensive playing style (42 goals in 17 matches) was praised by the German and international press, with experts even believing that Hoffenheim could win their first championship in their first year playing top flight football. Hoffenheim, however, suffered a devastating blow during the winter break when Ibišević tore an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) during a training match against Hamburger SV; he was unable to play for the second half of the season. Hoffenheim was now deprived of their biggest offensive threat and additionally had to deal with a fair number of other injuries and suspensions. As a result of their heavily debilitated squad, the club failed to build on their successful first half of the season, and after failing to record a win in 12 consecutive matches, Hoffenheim was dislodged from the top, eventually finishing seventh with 55 points and a goal difference of +14, nonetheless a respectable result for a newly promoted team.

In the 2009–10 season, Hoffenheim improved their squad by signing midfielders Maicosuel and Franco Zuculini, as well as experienced defender Josip Šimunić. Alumnus Hopp expected a position within the top five and a qualification for the UEFA Europa League at the end of the season, and indeed Hoffenheim enjoyed success at the beginning of the season, remaining in the top five for several weeks. However, the club again suffered from a large number of injuries and suspensions in the second half of the season and only won four of the 17 matches. The club finished in a disappointing 11th place with 42 points and a goal difference of +2. Head coach Ralf Rangnick was criticised in public for the poor results of his team, yet his contract was extended for two more years in May.

On 1 January 2011, Hoffenheim sold Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo to league rivals Bayern Munich for a reported fee of €17 million. Immediately after the transfer had been completed, Rangnick resigned and was replaced by Marco Pezzaiuoli, who had been Rangnick's assistant before. Rangnick had disapproved the transfer in the weeks before since Hoffenheim was in reach of the top five and had reached the quarter-finals of the 2010–11 DFB-Pokal. Like in the previous season, the club finished the 2010–11 season 11th and below expectations.

Hoffenheim signed former FC St. Pauli manager Holger Stanislawski in the summer of 2011 for the upcoming season. After a promising start to its 2011–12 campaign, the team's performance deteriorated, losing most matches away from home and eventually even losing the quarter-final of the 2011–12 DFB-Pokal to second division club SpVgg Greuther Fürth at home. Stanislawski was sacked and replaced by Markus Babbel, who led the team to its third-straight 11th-place finish.

Heading into the 2012–13 season, Hoffenheim signed goalkeeper Tim Wiese—then a member of the German national team—along with Spanish under-21 player Joselu and Swiss international Eren Derdiyok. The club, however, suffered a catastrophic start with three losses out of its first three games. The results later slightly improved, but the club then lost its last six games before the winter break and stood 16th in the table by mid-December, which would have qualified the club for the relegation play-offs against the third-placed team of the second division. Babbel was replaced by interim manager Frank Kramer, who himself was later replaced by Marco Kurz in January. Kurz was sacked in April as the club even dropped to 17th place in the table, which would have caused direct relegation to the second division. New manager Markus Gisdol eventually secured a 16th-place finish by winning 2–1 at Borussia Dortmund, with Salihović scoring two late penalties to secure a relegation play-off matches, thus ultimately saving Hoffenheim from relegation.[1] Through relegation play-off Hoffenheim defeated 1. FC Kaiserslautern 5–2 on aggregate, winning 3–1 at home and 2–1 away, and thereby retaining its spot in another Bundesliga season.[2]

In its 2013–14 season, Hoffenheim surprised the league by playing offensive football, scoring 72 goals yet conceding 70 goals. These values placed Hoffenheim as the third-best offensive team and the second-worst defensive team in the league. The club finished ninth, avoiding any troubles regarding relegation as in the season before.

In the 2017-18, they finished third and qualified for the Champions League Group Stage for the first time in its history, making the its town, Hoffenheim, the smallest town to ever participate in UEFA Champions League.


Dietmar Hopp's financial support, which transformed Hoffenheim from a local amateur club into a competitive Bundesliga club, has been strongly criticized by other clubs, fans and some in the German press. The main points of criticism are the club's lack of "tradition" and a proper fan base as the club is a historically insignificant side from a village of just 3,300 inhabitants. This situation is similar to that of now-defunct Scottish side Gretna and German clubs VfL Wolfsburg, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, as those teams also received large financial support by companies; Wolfsburg is wholly owned and supported by automobile manufacturer Volkswagen, Bayer Leverkusen by pharmaceutical company Bayer and RB Leipzig by Red Bull. Despite this, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg are nonetheless different from Hoffenheim because of their long history as football clubs founded by the factory workers themselves, and have been successful chiefly through their own merits rather than outside funding.

On 16 August 2011, the club released a statement regarding complaints of a loudspeaker that was strategically placed under away fans during a home game against Borussia Dortmund. The loudspeaker was designed to drown out the noise of the away fans cheers and chants during the game. It is reported that the speaker was placed by the groundskeeper and the club denies any involvement saying he acted alone. It is also reported that the loudspeaker was used during other games not just the home game against Dortmund.[3]

In a later statement, the club admitted that the disruptive sound assembly has been used at least five times, although club officials claim to have no knowledge of these measures.

Reserve team

With the rise of the first team, the club's reserve side, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim II, started to climb through the ranks, too. It entered the Verbandsliga Baden in 2001 and won promotion to the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg in its second season there. After seven seasons in the Oberliga, the team won promotion to the Regionalliga Süd after a league title in 2010. With the disbanding of the Regionalliga Süd in 2012, Hoffenheim II became part of the new Regionalliga Südwest.


Current squad

As of 3 July 2018[4]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Germany GK Oliver Baumann
2 Netherlands DF Joshua Brenet
3 Czech Republic DF Pavel Kadeřábek
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Ermin Bičakčić
6 Norway MF Håvard Nordtveit
7 Germany MF Lukas Rupp
8 Germany MF Dennis Geiger
10 Germany MF Kerem Demirbay
11 Austria MF Florian Grillitsch
13 Germany MF Leonardo Bittencourt
16 Germany DF Nico Schulz
17 Switzerland MF Steven Zuber
18 Germany MF Nadiem Amiri
19 Algeria FW Ishak Belfodil
20 Austria MF Robert Žulj
21 Germany DF Benjamin Hübner (vice-captain)
No. Position Player
22 Germany MF Kevin Vogt (captain)
23 Brazil MF Felipe Pires
24 Netherlands DF Justin Hoogma
25 Germany DF Kevin Akpoguma
26 Germany FW David Otto
27 Croatia FW Andrej Kramarić
28 Hungary FW Ádám Szalai
30 Germany FW Philipp Ochs
32 Italy MF Vincenzo Grifo
33 Germany GK Alexander Stolz
34 Brazil FW Joelinton
36 Switzerland GK Gregor Kobel
37 Germany MF Robin Hack
38 Austria DF Stefan Posch
41 Germany DF Alfons Amade
42 Austria MF Christoph Baumgartner

Players out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Croatia FW Antonio Čolak (at HNK Rijeka until 30 June 2019)
Brazil MF Bruno Nazário (at Atlético Paranaense until 31 December 2018)

Reserve team


Head coach Germany Julian Nagelsmann[5]
Assistant coach Netherlands Alfred Schreuder
Athletics coach Germany Christian Weigl
Rehab coach Germany Otmar Rösch
Goalkeeper coach Germany Michael Rechner

Second team

Head coach Germany Marco Wildersinn
Assistant coach Austria Andreas Ibertsberger
Athletics coach Germany Markus Zidek
Goalkeeper coach Germany Steffen Krebs


Before being promoted to the 1. Bundesliga in 2008, the club played in Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion which was built in 1999 with a capacity of 5,000 (1,620 seats).

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim made their loftier ambitions clear in 2006 when the club's management decided to build the new 30,150 seat Rhein-Neckar-Arena suitable for hosting Bundesliga matches. The stadium was originally to be built in Heidelberg before the selection of a site in Sinsheim.

They opened their first season in the 1. Bundesliga at the 26,022 capacity Carl-Benz-Stadion in Mannheim and played their first match in their new stadium on 31 January 2009.[6]

Interwetten betting company has agreed to be the stadium's betting partner for TSG Hoffenheim from August 2017, to 2020.[7]

Club culture

Hoffenheim opens its home matches with "Engel" by Rammstein, and after every home goal "Sieben Tage lang" by Bots is played.


The club's honours:


Recent managers

Recent managers of the club:[8]

Start End Manager
1979 1982 Germany Helmut Zuber
1982 1982 Germany Meinard Stadelbauer
1982 1984 Germany Rudi Ebel
1984 1985 Germany Klaus Keller
1986 1989 Germany Helmut Jedele
1989 1990 Germany Gerhard Boll
1990 1992 Germany Egon Ludwig
1992 1994 Germany Hans Schreiner
1994 1998 Germany Roland Schmitt
1998 1998 Germany Alfred Schön
1998 14 March 1999 Germany Raimund Lietzau
15 March 1999 30 Sept 1999 Germany Günter Hillenbrand
31 Aug 1999 12 March 2000 Germany Riko Weigand
2000 30 June 2000 Germany Alfred Schön
1 July 2000 19 Nov 2005 Germany Hans-Dieter Flick
19 Nov 2005 23 Dec 2005 Germany Roland Dickgießer*
10 Jan 2006 21 May 2006 Germany Lorenz-Günther Köstner
24 May 2006 30 June 2006 Germany Alfred Schön*
1 July 2006 1 Jan 2011 Germany Ralf Rangnick
2 Jan 2011 30 June 2011 Germany Marco Pezzaiuoli
1 July 2011 9 Feb 2012 Germany Holger Stanislawski
10 Feb 2012 3 Dec 2012 Germany Markus Babbel
3 Dec 2012 31 Dec 2012 Germany Frank Kramer*
1 Jan 2013 2 April 2013 Germany Marco Kurz
2 April 2013 26 October 2015 Germany Markus Gisdol
26 October 2015 10 February 2016 Netherlands Huub Stevens
11 February 2016 present Germany Julian Nagelsmann
* Served as caretaker coach.

Recent seasons

The recent season-by-season performance of the club:[9][10]

Season Division Tier Position
1999–00 Verbandsliga Nordbaden V 1st↑
2000–01 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg IV 1st↑
2001–02 Regionalliga Süd III 13th
2002–03 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2003–04 Regionalliga Süd 5th
2004–05 Regionalliga Süd 7th
2005–06 Regionalliga Süd 4th
2006–07 Regionalliga Süd 2nd↑
2007–08 2. Bundesliga II 2nd↑
2008–09 Bundesliga I 7th
2009–10 Bundesliga 11th
2010–11 Bundesliga 11th
2011–12 Bundesliga 11th
2012–13 Bundesliga 16th
2013–14 Bundesliga 9th
2014–15 Bundesliga 8th
2015–16 Bundesliga 15th
2016–17 Bundesliga 4th
2017–18 Bundesliga 3rd
Promoted Relegated
  • With the introduction of the Regionalligas in 1994 and the 3. Liga in 2008 as the new third tier, below the 2. Bundesliga, all leagues below dropped one tier. In 2012, the number of Regionalligas was increased from three to five with all Regionalliga Süd clubs except the Bavarian ones entering the new Regionalliga Südwest.

European record

Hoffenheim made their debut in European competition in 2017, qualifying for the play-off round of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League play-offs. Their first match was on 15 August 2017, losing the first leg of the play-offs 2–1 to Liverpool.


Season Competition Round Club Home Away Result
2017–18 UEFA Champions League PO England Liverpool 1–2 2–4 3–6
UEFA Europa League GS Portugal Braga 1–2 1–3 4th
Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad 1–1 1–2
Turkey İstanbul Başakşehir 3–1 1–1

UEFA club coefficient ranking

As of 16 August 2017[11]
Rank Team Points
124 Serbia FK Partizan 12.875
125 Germany 1. FC Köln 12.685
125 Germany TSG 1899 Hoffenheim 12.685
127 Italy Atalanta B.C. 12.116
128 Ukraine FC Zorya Luhansk 11.906

Women's team

The women's team started playing in 2006–07 and rushed through the lower leagues. The women's team plays in Dietmar-Hopp-Stadion and is currently coached by Jürgen Ehrmann.[12]


  1. ^ Hoffenheim, TSG 1899. "Salihovic brace makes impossible possible  » achtzehn99". www.achtzehn99.de. » achtzehn99. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Hoffenheim's Miracle in Dortmund and Augsburg's Great Escape". bundesligafanatic.com. 18 May 2013. Retrieved 1 May 2016. 
  3. ^ [1], "Shit has hit the fan", 16 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Squad First team". TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved 12 August 2017. 
  5. ^ http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/bundesliga/startseite/644994/artikel_nagelsmann-uebernimmt-sofort-in-hoffenheim.html
  6. ^ Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena (in German) weltfussball.de, accessed: 18 September 2011
  7. ^ "Interwetten partners with Hoffenheim – Slotsday". Slotsday. 2017-08-12. Retrieved 2017-08-21. 
  8. ^ 1899 Hoffenheim .:. Trainer von A-Z (in German) weltfussball.de, accessed: 18 September 2011
  9. ^ Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (in German) Historical German domestic league tables
  10. ^ Fussball.de – Ergebnisse (in German) Tables and results of all German football leagues
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ "TSG Hoffenheim Women" (in German). TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 

External links

  • Official website (in German)
  • Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv historical German domestic league tables (in German)
  • TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Weltfussball.de (in German)
  • TSG 1899 Hoffenheim II at Weltfussball.de (in German)
  • / TSG 1899 Hoffenheim at Vkontakte
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