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TSG Hoffenheim: Where did they come from?

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 25 Aug 2008

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TSG Hoffenheim surprisingly won their first ever games in the German Bundesliga and currently occupy the first place. But where did this team come from?

Although the official name, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, suggests that the team was founded in 1899, it was in fact only the gymnastics department to go that far back into history.

The football club itself was founded in 1921 and merged with the gymnastics club at the end of World War 2. The year, 1899, was included in the final name.

Hoffenheim spent most of its existence in the lower regions of German football. But in the nineties, they began their climb to the top. Starting the decade in the country’s 8th tier, TSG had moved up to the 5th level in 1999.

From there on, things went fast. Promotion to the Oberliga Baden-Württemberg was secured in 2000 and just one year later, TSG found their way into the 3rd tier Regionalliga Süd.

At this point it was time for a little breather as the club spent six seasons in that league, without ever finishing worse than 13th. In 2007, a second place finally earned them a spot in the 2. Bundesliga.

Not expected to impress in their first ever 2. Bundesliga season, TSG surprised all with a great second-place finish at only six points from winners Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Promotion was celebrated with a 5-0 win over SpVgg Greuther Fürth on the final day of the tournament.

To prepare for their first season in Germany’s top flight, TSG moved stadium’s from the Dietmar Hopp Stadion with a capacity of 5.000, to the 26.000 capacity Carl-Benz-Stadion of Mannheim, while they wait for their own new venue to be finished.

This new stadium, called the Rhein-Neckar-Arena, is planned to have no less than thirty thousand seats.

In the coming weeks, Hoffenheim face some tough tasks against clubs as Bayer Leverkusen, VfB Stuttgart and Borussia Dortmund. Time will tell whether TSG are a club to be reckoned with for the future, or even for this season.

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