Created on 03-12-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern versus TSG Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena on Friday evening is a genuine premiere, as the clubs will meet competitively for the very first time. However, the pair have crossed swords once before, a friendly in August 1999 when the nation’s most successful club visited the then fifth-tier outfit and won 4-1 in the inaugural match at the Dietmar Hopp stadium in Hoffenheim.
There are no survivors from that match in Jürgen Klinsmann’s squad, but fully seven current FCB pros have previously faced this season’s surprise package in years gone by, with an almost unbroken record of success for the Munich men.
The majority of the players in question are Bayern youth products, who featured against Hoffenheim in FCB’s third division south reserve team between 2001-2 and 2006-7. The teams met on 12 occasions, the Bayern second string winning five, drawing six and losing just once.
Rensing out in front
No current senior star appeared in the solitary FCB defeat (0-1 in September 2005), not even Michael Rensing, who leads the way with eight matches against TSG (3 wins, 5 draws). The keeper is followed by Andreas Ottl on four matches (3 wins, 1 draw), the midfielder boasting a goal to his name too. Philipp Lahm (1 win, 2 draws) and Christian Lell (3 draws) have each faced TSG three times, with Bastian Schweinsteiger rounding off the list on two matches (both draws).
Bayern’s only losers to Hoffenheim are Lucio and number two keeper Hans Jörg Butt. In 2003-4, the pair travelled with Bayer 04 Leverkusen to third-division TSG in the DFB Cup Round of 16 but lost 3-2, despite Lucio finding the net.
For their part, Hoffenheim boast a clutch of players who took on the Bayern reserves in the third division south just two years ago. Eight stars (Salihovic, Copado, Teber, Paljic, Haas, Kirschbaum, Janker, Seitz) and current assistant coach Tomislav Maric clashed with Bayern II in 2006-7, finishing with a draw – and a defeat.