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TSG 1899 Hoffenheim is a Germanmarker football club based in Hoffenheimmarker, a suburb of Sinsheimmarker, Baden-Württembergmarker. In 2007 the club decided to adopt the use of the short form name 1899 Hoffenheim in place of the traditional TSG Hoffenheim. A fifth division side in 2000, the club made a remarkable advance to the 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 1990, 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 Heidelbergmarker or Eppelheimmarker. 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 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 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 2nd 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 1. Bundesliga, the highest German tier in football, after just playing in the 2. Bundesliga for one season.

2008 - Bundesliga

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 "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 and dropped out of the top five down to ninth place. At the end of the season the team however recovered and ended their negative streak with three wins and one draw in the last four games. Hoffenheim eventually finished 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 further improved their squad by signing strikers Maicosuel and Franco Zuculini, as well as experienced defender Josip Šimunić. The club has recently reached the top five of the table and the quarter finals of the German Cup, where they will face Werder Bremen in 2010.


For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2009.

Current squad

Out on loan






TSG 1899 Hoffenheim II



Before being promoted to the 1. Bundesliga in 2008, the club played in Dietmar-Hopp-Stadionmarker 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 30,000 seat Rhein-Neckar-Arenamarker suitable for hosting Bundesliga matches. The stadium was originally to be built in Heidelbergmarker before the selection of a site in Sinsheimmarker.

They opened their first season in the 1. Bundesliga at the 26,022 capacity Carl-Benz-Stadionmarker in Mannheimmarker and played their first match in their new stadium on 31 January 2009.


Notable Players

Former Coaches

Former Personnel

Recent seasons

TSG Hoffenheim

Year Division Position
1999–2000 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

TSG Hoffenheim II

Year Division Position
2000–01 Landesliga Nordbaden II (VI) 1st ↑
2001–02 Verbandsliga Nordbaden (V) 2nd
2002–03 Verbandsliga Nordbaden 2nd ↑
2003–04 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg (IV) 10th
2004–05 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg 8th
2005–06 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg 6th
2006–07 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg 8th
2007–08 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg 5th
2008–09 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg (V) 2nd
2009–10 Oberliga Baden-Württemberg


  • Grüne, Hardy (2001). Vereinslexikon. Kassel: AGON Sportverlag ISBN 3-89784-147-9
  • Das deutsche Fußball-Archiv historical German domestic league tables (in German)
  • European football club profiles and current team rosters (1899 Hoffenheim)
  • European football club profiles and current team rosters (1899 Hoffenheim II)

External links

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