TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

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 (1899-07-01)
Ground Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena
Capacity 30,150
President Peter Hofmann
Chairman Frank Briel
Dr. Peter Görlich
Manager Julian Nagelsmann
League Bundesliga
2017–18 3rd
Website Club website

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, promotion to the Bundesliga

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–present: Growth of the club and Champions League football

Hoffenheim had a successful season in their debut in the Bundesliga, the top German division, as they went on record a 7th place finish, narrowly missing out on Europa League qualifying by six points.[1] The club's best players of the season were Vedad Ibišević and Demba Ba, who scored 18 and 14 respectively.[2] In the 2009–10 Bundesliga, the club had a less successful season, recording a finish outside of the top 10, finishing 11th.[3] The club eventually went on to finish in 11th place for the next two consecutive seasons.[4][5] In the 2012–13 Bundesliga, the club came very close to suffering relegation, after they a 16th place finish, meaning they would have to play in the relegation play-offs to survive; the club went on to beat their opponents Kaiserslautern by a scoreline of 5–2 on aggregate, with their talent Roberto Firmino scoring two goals in the first match.[6][7][8] In the 2013–14 Bundesliga, the club had a very strange statistics; being the third best goalscoring team in the league, but also the worst defensive team, scoring 72 goals and conceding 70.[9] The club's best goalscorer of the season, also their best assist provider, was Roberto Firmino, scoring 16 goals and providing 12 assists, with the player winning the Bundesliga Breakthrough Player of the Season award.[10][11][12] In the 2014–15 Bundesliga, the club came very close to qualifying for the Europa League, with just two points separating them from Borussia Dortmund, who were in 7th place, despite the 8th place finish, Hoffenheim still had a goal difference of –6 in the 2014–15 season.[13] In the 2015–16 Bundesliga, the club once again came close to suffering relegation, with just one point separating them from the relegation play-offs.[14]

In the 2016–17 season, new coach Julian Nagelsmann took over,[15] beginning to recruit several very significant players, including Andrej Kramarić, Kerem Demirbay and Sandro Wagner.[16][17][18][19] Initially into the season, the club was in a struggling form, with four draws in the first four games of the season,[20] before a rise in form rose the club to third place in the league by the end of October.[21] On 4 April 2017, the club beat Bayern Munich by a scoreline of 1–0, one of the most important wins in the club's history.[22] On 21 April 2017, the club confirmed that they would play European football next season following a 1–1 draw with Köln.[23] Following a 4th place finish in the 2016–17 Bundesliga, Hoffenheim confirmed Champions League football for the 2017–18 season.[24] The club were eventually drawn to play five-time European champions Liverpool in the play-off round.[25][26] The club lost the first leg tie by a scoreline of 1–2, before a 4–2 loss in the second leg confirmed Hoffenheim's elimination from the tournament, as the club lost 3–6 on aggregate.[27][28] Due to their elimination from the play-off stages, the club would continue playing European football in the Europa League group stages, however, the club would suffer elimination from the tournament as they would finish rock-bottom of their group.[29]

In the 2017–18 Bundesliga season, Hoffenheim had a successful season, finishing third, automatically qualifying for next year's UEFA Champions League.[30]


Current squad

As of 31 August 2018[31]

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

No. Position Player
1 GK Oliver Baumann
2 DF Joshua Brenet
3 DF Pavel Kadeřábek
4 DF Ermin Bičakčić
6 MF Håvard Nordtveit
7 MF Lukas Rupp
8 MF Dennis Geiger
9 FW Reiss Nelson (on loan from Arsenal)
10 MF Kerem Demirbay
11 MF Florian Grillitsch
13 MF Leonardo Bittencourt
15 DF Kasim Nuhu
16 DF Nico Schulz
17 MF Steven Zuber
18 MF Nadiem Amiri
19 FW Ishak Belfodil
21 DF Benjamin Hübner (vice-captain)
No. Position Player
22 MF Kevin Vogt (captain)
23 MF Felipe Pires
24 DF Justin Hoogma
25 DF Kevin Akpoguma
26 FW David Otto
27 FW Andrej Kramarić
28 FW Ádám Szalai
32 MF Vincenzo Grifo
33 GK Alexander Stolz
34 FW Joelinton
36 GK Gregor Kobel
37 MF Robin Hack
38 DF Stefan Posch
41 DF Alfons Amade
42 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
MF Bruno Nazário (at Guarani until 31 December 2018)
MF Robert Žulj (at Union Berlin until 30 June 2019)
No. Position Player
FW Antonio Čolak (at HNK Rijeka until 30 June 2019)
FW Philipp Ochs (at AaB until 30 June 2019)

Reserve team

Women's team


First team

Head coach Julian Nagelsmann[32]
Assistant coach Alfred Schreuder
Athletics coach Christian Weigl
Rehab coach Otmar Rösch
Goalkeeper coach Michael Rechner

Reserve team

Head coach Marco Wildersinn
Assistant coach Andreas Ibertsberger
Athletics coach Markus Zidek
Goalkeeper coach 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.[33]

Interwetten betting company has agreed to be the stadium's betting partner for TSG Hoffenheim from August 2017, to 2020.[34]


Criticism of the club

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.[35]

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.


The club's honours:


Recent managers

Recent managers of the club:[36]

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

Recent seasons

The recent season-by-season performance of the club:[37][38]

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 5th
2003–04 5th
2004–05 7th
2005–06 4th
2006–07 2nd↑
2007–08 2. Bundesliga II 2nd↑
2008–09 Bundesliga I 7th
2009–10 11th
2010–11 11th
2011–12 11th
2012–13 16th
2013–14 9th
2014–15 8th
2015–16 15th
2016–17 4th
2017–18 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 Liverpool 1–2 2–4 3–6
UEFA Europa League GS Braga 1–2 1–3 4th
Ludogorets Razgrad 1–1 1–2
İstanbul Başakşehir 3–1 1–1

UEFA club coefficient ranking

As of 16 August 2017[39]
124 FK Partizan12.875
125 1. FC Köln12.685
125 TSG 1899 Hoffenheim12.685
127 Atalanta B.C.12.116
128 FC Zorya Luhansk11.906

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.[40]


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  • Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9
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