Hertha Berlin's DFB Pokal semifinal is 'important' for the city - Pal Dardai
Hertha Berlin coach Pal Dardai believes the club's qualification for their first DFB Pokal semifinal in 35 years is a momentous occasion for the city.
Hertha last reached this stage of the competition in 1981, when they suffered a 1-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt, who went on to win the trophy that year.
The capital club have not come close since then to reaching the final, which has been contested in Berlin for the past 31 years.
However, they made it to this season's last four with a hard-fought 3-2 win at second-tier club Heidenheim on Wednesday and will host Borussia Dortmund in the semifinal in April.
After the final whistle, Hertha, who are one step away from contesting their first ever DFB Pokal final at their Olympiastadion, dressed in shirts with "next please" written on them.
Dardai told ARD: "I only wish for one thing. No matter who the opponent will be, I want to play them in Berlin, in our stadium. We'll see how important it is for our city."
Hertha forward Vedad Ibisveic, who arrived at the club last summer, helped his team reach the semifinals by scoring a brace.
"We want to make it to the final by all means," he said.
And in kicker, Dardai added: "What will I do on May 21 [the day of the final]? I'll be in the stadium!"
"Borussia Dortmund are the perfect opponent," daily newspaper Tagesspiegel commented. "They are a high, but manageable hurdle."
Despite sitting third in the Bundesliga, Hertha have sold out the Olympiastadion only once this season -- for the goalless draw against Dortmund last weekend -- and have only managed to fill the stadium to an average of two-thirds, the worst record in Germany's top flight.
Tagesspiegel reported earlier this week that the city of Berlin's younger generation most follow other clubs rather than Hertha, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Dortmund more popular than the local side.