Oliver Baumann: ''Only if we're united''
''Dear fans and friends of TSG Hoffenheim,
I'm not just writing to you as Oliver Baumann, but also - on behalf of all my teammates - as the captain of TSG. It is important for us as a team to say thank you for your support. Because we know that we haven't made it easy for you in view of our performances this season. We have put in so much effort, tried a lot of things - but for a long time now it has not been reflected in the results. We even went through a run of 14 games without a win this season, which I found shocking too. Five months without picking up three points - we know how much you fans have suffered. And I can tell you: no one was more annoyed by this failure than us players. It was and is all the more important for us to feel your support and solidarity even in this difficult phase, despite all the understandable frustration you may have.
Together, we turned the corner against Hertha BSC, and we were rewarded for all of our work and commitment both on and off the pitch. It was a great feeling to be able to celebrate with you loyal fans in the PreZero Arena afterwards. Moments like this are the reason we all play football. There is nothing better. But we all know that the 3-1 win can only be seen as a stepping stone. We have a long way to go, but we all share the same goal: to remain in the Bundesliga. Let's all pull together - all of us in the region. Let's turn the PreZero Arena into a fortress. We can feel it when the whole stadium is behind us, when you push us on. Just like against Hertha.
I've been wearing the TSG jersey for almost nine years, and in this time, I've experienced unbelievable things and been able to celebrate great successes. We've been to Anfield together, we've travelled across Europe, we've hosted the best of the best in the Champions League here in our home stadium. This club has given us all unforgettable moments. No one can take that away from us. But memories won't get us points. We have to get to grips with the reality of our situation, which is at least as precarious as it was in the spring of 2016. Back then, we all made a pledge to each other: all for one! All for survival. I feel this fighting spirit now, too. And I know that you feel the same.
Hoffenheim has long been more than my sporting home, I have built a house here in the region, my heart is attached to the club - and I know how much it means to the people here. You can believe me when I say: we will do everything we can to put smiles back on your faces. But we will need you, we will need to feel your support in the phases when things are not going so well, when there are setbacks. We are in the middle of a relegation battle, every point counts. The good thing is that we have the power within ourselves to get through this predicament. Just like in 2013, just like in 2016, when I was part of this team. Only if we're united.
Nine games to go. Together we can do it. I believe in us. And I believe in you.
Zamme simma Hoffe.
Oliver Baumann's letter also appears as an editorial in the April edition of SPIELFELD magazine.