Soccer - 1899 Hoffenheim Ascends to the First League

By: Emeli Dean

In 1899 the gymnastics club Hoffenheim was founded and 46 years later it was merged with the football club to the now known TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During the first years, the now 68-year-old Dietmar Hopp, was playing as striker for the club. Today, he is a very successful contractor for the largest European and world wide third largest software producer: the enterprise SAP AG, which was founded in 1972 among others by Dietmar Hopp.

To help the club to succeed in the world wide sport industry, the multimillionaire Hopp decided in the 90s to give them financial aid. He supported especially the encouragement of the up-and-coming sport in golf, hockey, handball and football. For the 100-year existence of the Hoffenheim club in 1999, the Dietmar Hopp Stadium was built with space for around 5000 spectators. The football pitch was inaugurated with a friendly game against FC Bayern Munich from the first division.

Already in 2001 the team achieved their first victory by ascending from the fifth division to the fourth division. Under the guidance of coach Hansi Flick the team did not had to wait long to ascent again in 2002 to the third division. Hansi Flick is now the assistance coach of the German National Team, working together at Joachim Low's side.

The former national player Karlheinz Forster took over the sportive management as consultant of the team in August 2005. After a home defeat against VfB Stuttgart II in November of the same year, Hansi Flick was fired even though his contract was actually valid until 2010. Lorenz-GÃ?nther Kostner stepped in for the job, but did not have a lot of success with the team neither so he resigned after only six months. And also Foster left just a little later.

The team stuck together and gave each other the strength to move forward. At the end of the season 2006/2007 they achieved a 4:0 victory against the Sportfreunde Siegen and climbed to the second division. Therefore Hopp decided to build a football-only stadium which is supposed to be ready in 2009. The 30.000 people holding stadium will be located in Sinsheim just 4 kilometers away from Hoffenheim.

This decision seems to be proved right after this last season 2007/2008. The team is on the increase and nothing appears to hold them back anymore. Just one year after they have entered the second division they are leaving it again to compete in the coming up season with the big teams of the first division. With a 5:0 victory against SpVgg Greuther FÃ?rth, the team has achieved the almost "marvelousness". Ten years ago nobody would have believed that the 1899 Hoffenheim will one day play with the FC Bayern Munich in the same division.

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