TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
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 (1 July 1899)
Ground Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena
Ground Capacity 30,150
Chairman Jochen A. Rotthaus
Frank Briel
Manager Huub Stevens
League Bundesliga
2014–15 8th
Website Club home page
Current season

Turn- und Sportgemeinschaft 1899 Hoffenheim e.V., or simply TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (pronounced [teː ʔɛs ɡeː ˈʔaxt͡seːnˈhʊndɐt ˈnɔʏ̯nʔʊntˈnɔʏ̯nt͡sɪç ˈhɔfənhaɪ̯m]) is a German association football club based in Hoffenheim, a village of Sinsheim municipality, Baden-Württemberg. 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 German Cup appearance in the 2003–04 competition and performed well, advancing to the quarterfinals 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, FC 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 by signing Ralf Rangnick, former manager of Bundesliga teams 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 German tier in 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 strikers Vedad Ibišević, Demba Ba and Chinedu Obasi the newly promoted 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, experts even believed Hoffenheim could win their first championship in their first year playing top flight football. However, Hoffenheim suffered a devastating blow during the winter break when Ibišević tore an anterior cruciate ligament during a training match against Hamburg. Because of the serious injury Ibišević 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 Hoffenheim failed to build on their successful first half of the season. After not winning in 12 consecutive matches, Hoffenheim was dislodged from the top, even dropped out of the top five, eventually finishing seventh with 55 points and a goal difference of +14 – still 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. Indeed, Hoffenheim enjoyed success at the beginning of the season and remained 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 on a disappointing eleventh place with 42 points and a goal difference of +2. 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 FC Bayern Munich for a reported fee of €17 million. Immediately after the transfer had been completed, Hoffenheim Coach Ralf Rangnick resigned and was then 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 eleventh 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 of the season, 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 Greuther Fürth at home. Stanislawski was sacked and replaced by Markus Babbel who led the team to the third eleventh place in succession.

Going into the 2012–13 season Hoffenheim signed goalkeeper Tim Wiese, back then a member of the national team along with Spanish U21-player Joselu and Swiss international Eren Derdiyok. The club, however, suffered a catastrophic start with three losses out of the first three games. The results slightly improved after the start but the club then lost the last six games before winter break and stood at rank 16 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 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 rank 16 and the relegation play-offs by winning 2–1 at Borussia Dortmund. In the relegation play-offs Hoffenheim defeated 1. FC Kaiserslautern with an aggregate score of 5–2, winning 3–1 at home and 2–1 away and therefore retained its spot for the upcoming season.

In the 2013–14 season they 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.


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 not possible to that of now-defunct Scottish side Gretna and German clubs VfL Wolfsburg, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, as those teams also received large financial support by companies. VfL Wolfsburg is wholly owned and supported by automobile manufacturer VW, Bayer 04 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 Borussia Dortmund.[1]

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.


For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2014 and List of German football transfers winter 2014–15.

Current squad

As of 24 August 2015[2]
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
3 Czech Republic DF Pavel Kadeřábek
4 Bosnia and Herzegovina DF Ermin Bičakčić
5 Switzerland DF Fabian Schär
6 Germany MF Sebastian Rudy
8 Poland MF Eugen Polanski
9 Chile FW Eduardo Vargas
10 France MF Jonathan Schmid
11 Sweden MF Jiloan Hamad
12 Germany DF Tobias Strobl
13 Germany GK Jens Grahl
14 Norway MF Tarik Elyounoussi
15 Germany DF Jeremy Toljan
16 Switzerland MF Pirmin Schwegler
No. Position Player
17 Switzerland MF Steven Zuber
18 Germany MF Nadiem Amiri
19 Germany FW Mark Uth
20 South Korea DF Kim Jin-su
21 Germany DF Nicolai Rapp
22 Germany FW Kevin Kurányi
25 Germany DF Niklas Süle
30 Germany FW Philipp Ochs
31 Germany FW Kevin Volland
32 Germany DF Benedikt Gimber
33 Germany GK Alexander Stolz
38 Germany MF Kai Herdling
40 Brazil FW Joelinton

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
Germany GK Marvin Schwäbe (at VfL Osnabrück)
Croatia GK Marko Marić (at Lechia Gdańsk)
Brazil DF Gabriel Silva (at Grêmio)
Austria DF Christoph Martschinko (at FK Austria Wien)
Germany DF Kevin Akpoguma (at Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Peru MF Junior Ponce (at Universidad San Martín)
Serbia MF Filip Malbašić (at Lechia Gdańsk)
Brazil MF Guilherme Biteco (at Ceará SC)
No. Position Player
Brazil MF Felipe Pires (at FSV Frankfurt)
Brazil MF Bruno Nazário (at Cruzeiro)
Germany FW Joshua Mees (at SC Freiburg)
Germany FW Janik Haberer (at VfL Bochum)
South Korea FW In-Hyeok Park (at FSV Frankfurt)
Croatia FW Antonio Čolak (at 1. FC Kaiserslautern)
Hungary FW Ádám Szalai (at Hannover 96)


Head coach Netherlands Huub Stevens
Assistant coach Netherlands Alfred Schreuder
Assistant coach Germany Armin Reutershahn
Athletics coach Germany Christian Weigl
Athletics coach Germany Nicklas Dietrich
Goalkeeper coach Germany Michael Rechner
Rehabilitation coach Germany Otmar Rösch
Injury-prevention coach Germany Christian Neitzert

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim II

As of 8 June 2015[3]

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

No. Position Player
Germany GK Ricco Cymer
Germany GK Dominik Draband

Austria DF Stefan Posch
Germany DF Leon Fesser
Germany DF Pelle Jensen
Germany DF Luca Dähn
Germany DF Jesse Weippert
Germany DF Kingsley Schindler
Germany DF Nico Rieble
Germany DF Alexander Rossipal

Germany MF Marcus Mann
United States MF Russell Canouse
No. Position Player
Poland MF Robert Janicki
Germany MF Jannick Dehm
Turkey MF Erdal Öztürk
Turkey MF Bahadır Özkan
Germany MF Nicolas Sessa
Tunisia MF Ahmed Sassi
Germany MF Maximilian Waack
Germany MF Benjamin Trümner

Germany FW Felix Lohkemper
Switzerland MF Kemal Ademi
Turkey FW Barış Atik
Germany FW Lucas Röser


  • Marco Wildersinn (Head Coach)
  • Andreas Ibertsberger (Assistant Coach)
  • Steffen Krebs (Goalkeeper Coach)
  • Thomas Klimmeck (Athletics Coach)


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.[4]

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 is lovingly called "TSG Hoppenheim" by their fans in honour of benefactor Dietmar Hopp.


The club's honours:


Recent managers

Recent managers of the club:[5]

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 present Netherlands Huub Stevens
1 July 2016 Germany Julian Nagelsmann
* Served as caretaker coach.

Recent seasons

The recent season-by-season performance of the club:[6][7]

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.

TSG Hoffenheim Women

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.[8]

Current squad

As of October 2015
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Croatia GK Martina Tufekovic
2 Germany DF Lena Weiss
4 Germany DF Kristin Demann
5 Germany DF Michaela Specht
6 Germany FW Silvana Chojnowski
7 Switzerland MF Martina Moser
8 Germany MF Christine Schneider
11 Hungary FW Dóra Zeller
12 Germany MF Stephanie Breitner
13 Germany DF Isabella Hartig
14 Germany FW Lina Bürger
15 Germany FW Leonie Keilbach
No. Position Player
16 Austria FW Nicole Billa
17 Germany MF Emily Evels
18 Germany MF Anne Fühner
19 Germany MF Judith Steinert
20 Germany MF Theresa Betz
21 Germany DF Leonie Pankratz
22 Germany MF Katharina Kiel
26 Germany DF Sophie Howard
27 Germany GK Friederike Abt
32 Germany DF Tamar Dongus
33 Germany FW Fabienne Dongus


Season Division Tier Position
2007–08 Verbandsliga Baden V 1st↑
2008–09 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg IV 1st↑
2009–10 Regionalliga Süd III 1st↑
2010–11 2. Bundesliga II 3rd
2011–12 2. Bundesliga 2nd
2012–13 2. Bundesliga 1st↑
2013–14 Bundesliga I 9th
2014–15 Bundesliga 6th
Promoted Relegated


  1. [1], "Shit has hit the fan", 16 August 2011.
  2. "Squad First team". TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved 28 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Kader U23" (in German). TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved 28 February 2015. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena (German) weltfussball.de, accessed: 18 September 2011
  5. 1899 Hoffenheim .:. Trainer von A-Z (German) weltfussball.de, accessed: 18 September 2011
  6. Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv (German) Historical German domestic league tables
  7. Fussball.de – Ergebnisse (German) Tables and results of all German football leagues
  8. "TSG Hoffenheim Women" (in German). TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Retrieved 6 October 2015. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links