When Dennis Geiger put on the TSG Hoffenheim jersey for the first time in 2009, nobody would have probably expected him to play for the Kraichgau club for 14 years. With the midfielder's contract set to run out in the summer, it looked as though his time in Hoffenheim would come to an end. But Geiger extended his contract, rejecting other offers in the process. "At 24, I'm at the peak age for a footballer and could have moved on a free transfer after an almost injury-free season. That does of course appeal, it would have been the moment to do something different. I gave it a lot of thought; on some days, I even fretted about it. In the end, I had to choose between two different offers and it also wasn't easy for me, but I listened to my heart and chose Hoffenheim out of conviction. A few weeks later, I can say that it was the right choice."
Last season, Hoffenheim's No. 8 battled against relegation from the Bundesliga for the first time – a situation he needed time to get used to: "I tried to get away from football in my free time, to talk or think about other things and not to watch every match. But it's of course not easy when a direct competitor is playing. I have to pay the team a huge compliment: in the home stretch of the season, we won every match that we had to win."
The Mosbach native is well aware that last season did not live up to TSG Hoffenheim's expectations. Nonetheless, Geiger knows that European football cannot be TSG's goal every season. "I didn't extend my contract here to battle against relegation each season. That is neither my nor TSG Hoffenheim's expectation. However, we must move away from the notion that we can play in the Europa League or the Champions League each year. We don't have this strength as a club and as a team. There are simply other calibres in the league. It bothers me a bit that many people think we have to qualify for Europe every year. If we have a good season and everything goes right, then we can set our sights on the international berths. But in a normal season, 10th position is more realistic than fifth or sixth."
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