Hoffenheim gripped by cup fever

Hoffenheim is experiencing cup fever once again as the German Cup quarter final with Greuther Fürth looms. Here we take a trip down memory to the last time the club reached the DFB Pokal quarter finals.

It was the longest trail of caravans, buses and coaches ever seen on the Rhine-Neckar autobahn. On February 28th 2008, 71 buses carrying roughly 4,000 Hoffenheim fans travelled to the Westfalen Stadium to support 1899 Hoffenheim, then a 2. Bundesliga team, in their German Cup quarter final against Borussia Dortmund.

It was one of the most exciting days in Hoffenheim's history. “Even we were surprised by the sheer scale of our support. To have that many buses was fantastic”, recalls fan representative Mike Diehl. “People who wanted to use buses for trips that day were out of luck, since we had taken pretty much all of them.” Hoffenheim actually had more fans supporting them that day than there are inhabitants in the town itself. “It's a quantum leap for the team and my players all appreciate the fans' support”, said then manager Ralf Rangnick.

The team had never played in front of 55,000 people, but were by no means overawed by the occasion. “It took us a little while to come into the game and forget about the occasion. But after 20 minutes we were focused”, said Francisco Copado after the match. The game ended in a valiant 3-1 defeat to the black and yellows, but there was a moral victory to be celebrated by Hoffenheim on account of the wonderful support of their fans. A victory this coming Wednesday would put TSH into the cup semi-finals for the first time in its history. That really would be a piece of history worth being a part of.

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