Translation (German): "Fall Champion" in the Bundesliga.
Hoffenheim is a small village north of Stuttgart, with a paltry population of four thousand people or so. Known to no one except for the Lord above and a gentleman called Dietmar Hopp, this hamlet lived most of its existence amidst a general sense of obscurity. Until the latter (who Viggu should be glad to know) decided to take its football team under his wing. Long and short of it.. it did nt exist in the national eye before this century and today the football team leads the Bundesliga in its first year.
A page torn outta a fairy tale? Sure, and some.
Dietmar Hopp is a rich man today. And unlike Allen Stanford or Vijay Mallya, he actually played the game he loves. Returning to his club, years later, a wealthy man.. the sixty-something man made smart moves in the trading circles.. while still nurturing young talent within. The "folklore" goes, he hired these players into his company.. to ensure their interest. When you are playing the fifth division, I think it helps to have a job. Each season, the team climbed up the ranks.. one at a time, almost surreally if you look at their ascent in the record books. In 2006, they hired Ralf Rangnik as their coach.. a move, well paid off.. as two years on, they burst onto the national league, after just one season in the second division. The club's pockets are pretty deep, considering the league they play in.. and yet, they have no international stars they traded in. Halfway through the season, they lead the mighty Munich, even.
Four thousand people, one village club. Herbstmeisters! Brace yourself for goose bumps if you plan to see this team play.