Together we are Hoffenheim


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Sandro Wagner: ”An opportunity to drive ourselves forward”

”I follow every TSG game and I’m still in touch with a good few of my teammates from my time at the club. The club has so much significance for the local region, as it has a really special way of doing things. Back in my playing days, I would spend a lot of time with my children in the Kraichgau. We’d be enjoying ourselves in one of the many great play-parks, and I remember how strangers would come up to me and say ‘thank you’ – and not so much for the sporting success as for the social benefits that Dietmar Hopp and TSG have achieved. It’s an important part of life in the local area. This applies to the youth performance centre, where a lot of wide-reaching work is done with children and young people. As a father of four and a supporter of youth football, I think that’s just magnificent. The battle against relegation can only be overcome together – and then we can draw strength from it to give ourselves a boost for the next few years, just as we did after staying up in 2016 and then going on to qualify for Europe. A relegation battle also serves as an opportunity to have a major rethink. It’s important to put trust into top people like Alex Rosen, who has been one of the top sporting directors in the league for a number of years and now has a great guy and former player by his side in Pirmin Schwegler. When we give them our backing to make changes and drive progress, then we’ll hit an upward trajectory again in the coming years, I’m one-hundred percent sure of that.”

Sarai Linder: from fan to player

“I remember going to a fan festival as a little kid twelve years ago and going around eagerly collecting autographs. I was so excited, I could hardly open my mouth to speak. I still have the signed jersey from that day hanging up at home. Not long after that, I had the chance to be one of the matchday mascots and run out onto the pitch at the stadium. I remember I really wanted to go alongside Chinedu Obasi, as he was my favourite player at the time. In the end I went  with David Alaba, which in retrospect wasn’t the worst choice. I used to go to the stadium with my family, but now I play for the club I love. The best teams in the country come to our doorstep every other week. I support the team every game and I really hope that we can avoid relegation. It’s not an easy situation for the players, but they have the quality to make it through. Maybe then, when the season draws to a close, we can have a joint celebration for the men staying in the league and the women qualifying for the Champions League.”


Benjamin Hübner: ”A lot of incredible moments”

“TSG is more than just a club for me. I celebrated the greatest successes of my career here and played a part in some club records. I have made many friends beyond the team and this region has become my second home. That’s why my heart bleeds when I see where we currently stand in the table. Not being able to play on the pitch now hurts especially. But I know the potential in the team and in this club and I am convinced that we will all celebrate staying in the league together this season. We owe many unique moments to this club. After this complicated season, with the really tough winless streak, staying in the Bundesliga would indeed be a great moment for me personally, albeit of a completely different kind. And maybe they’ll let me on the pitch again to celebrate with the boys and the fans in the stadium.”

Lutz Pfannenstiel: ”This club will always have my heart”

“Here in St. Louis, I’m separated from the Kraichgau by 7,500 kilometres and a six-hour time difference, but I still feel closely connected to Hoffenheim. TSG will always be the club that has my heart. For me, every visit to the office in Zuzenhausen or the arena in Sinsheim is like coming home, a family visit. The closeness of the people, the intimate relationship between them has left its mark on me. TSG was never a job, but always a vocation for me. In terms of content, I was always fascinated by the willingness of the club’s leaders to think ‘out of the box’, as you would say today. There is always a willingness to approach things differently, whether it is modern training methods, the personal development of young people or important ideas about sustainability and climate protection. This ‘more than a football club’ has always made TSG a special and particularly important part of the game for me. I was able to introduce and implement many of TSG’s ideas and approaches here as the manager at MLS club St. Louis CITY, ‘Hoffenheim reloaded’, so to speak. I’m very much looking forward to getting a taste of Bundesliga life in Hoffenheim again on my next visit home after the MLS season. Not just because I still keep in touch with a lot of people at the club, whether players, staff or manager, but also because I am convinced that this club belongs in the Bundesliga.”

Jörg Albrecht: ”A huge factor, both for the town’s image and economy”

“TSG is a huge factor for the town of Sinsheim, both for its image and economy. Having the club here also massively increases the recreational opportunities available. In my many conversations as Lord Mayor, I get a real sense of who benefits from TSG, and how many people join in the excitement surrounding the club. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the hotel industry, the restaurant business, or the countless people who are attached to TSG through a mini-job in the stadium, for example. People everywhere are worried. For me as Lord Mayor, it is of course great that the name of our city is now on the map, that every football fan knows Sinsheim and the Kraichgau. As mayor, it makes you proud to be able to go around the country and compete with the big cities as a small town. And of course the appearances in Europe were incredible. I will never forget the home game against Liverpool. Five, six thousand English fans in our city, great summer weather, everything peaceful and happy. ‘You’ll never walk alone’ being sung in Sinsheim – pure goosebumps.”

Kristian Baumgärtner: my friend, TSG

When the Dietmar Hopp Stadium was opened in 1999 with a friendly match against Bayern Munich, Kristian Baumgärtner was one of the players on the pitch. The former left winger played for Hoffenheim at the time and was part of the team that was later promoted to the Regionalliga. “Unfortunately, the game against Bayern was over for me after just five minutes because I broke my nose in a collision with Markus Babbel,” says “Baum”, as he is known in the Kraichgau. But even after the end of his active playing career, the Heidelberg-born footballer remained loyal to “his” TSG and joined the board of directors. He also works for the club and looks after the HOFFEXPRESS, which tours the Rhine-Neckar region. “Baum” knows what moves people in the local area. His personable nature makes him the best possible ambassador for the club. The 54-year-old, who was elected to the role of 1st chairman of the club in October 2021, follows every game with heart and passion. “The win against Hertha was hugely important. We won the first of ten finals, now the boys have to follow that up. I hope that win proves to be the catalyst for a top-class final stretch of the season.”

Maximilian Marterer: ”You always have to look forward”

“I have been following TSG closely for many years as I travel around the globe to play tennis, even though the time difference sometimes makes it difficult. I played for Grün-Weiss Mannheim for a long time and got a real sense of what TSG means to the region. The different clubs in the area pull together across all sports, and that’s what I really like about the Rhine-Neckar district. Even if the current situation on the pitch is not so good, as a Hoffenheim fan I remain confident. There is a lot of quality in the team. It’s all about showing it and gaining positive energy and inspiration from the success against Hertha. We have to build on that, there are still a lot of games to go and TSG will pull it off. As a tennis player, I often have to get through difficult situations, I know the feeling. It’s important not to let it intimidate you and not to let your head drop. You always have to look forward. Then you’ll be rewarded in the end.”

Sejad Salihović: fan favourite and saviour

“It was almost exactly ten years ago that TSG Hoffenheim were on the brink of the abyss, in fact we’d actually already started to fall. The situation in 2013 was hopeless, nobody gave us a chance when we were losing in Dortmund and needed two goals to get into the relegation play-off. BVB were in the Champions League final and had won the past two Bundesliga titles, they were one of the best teams in the world. But the football gods were on our side that day and we managed to claw our way back. The fact that I was able to play my part in that by scoring the two penalties is something that still makes me enormously proud. This club has progressed so much since then and has experienced the most incredible highlights. Together we were able to travel to Liverpool, Manchester and Lyon. Who would have thought it possible, back then in Dortmund, that TSG would be playing in the Champions League for the first time in the club’s history just five years later? I wouldn’t wish it on either the players or the fans to be in the situation we were in in 2013 again. But at the same time I am confident that it won’t come to that. As they say, ‘there’s life in the old dog yet’. Our team is strong enough to stay in the league and prove the critics wrong. They showed that against Hertha BSC and they will build on that in the coming weeks.”


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Together we are Hoffenheim

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