Village team Hoffenheim make Bundesliga
BERLIN, May 18 (Reuters) - 1899 Hoffenheim completed a remarkable rise from the regional amateur leagues to the Bundesliga when they secured promotion with a 5-0 win against Greuther Fuerth on Sunday.
The team from Sinsheim, a village in south-western Germany, have been backed by Dietmar Hopp, the co-founder of software giant SAP, since the start of the 1990s when they were just another amateur club.
After a sure and steady rise to the third division, Hopp's money brought in former Schalke 04 boss Ralf Rangnick, as well as several former Bundesliga players.
Hoffenheim's current ground holds 5,000 fans but they are building a new 30,000-capacity ground, due for completion in 2009.
They went up to the second division this time last year and Sunday's victory secured promotion to the top flight at the first attempt, behind Borussia Moenchengladbach and Cologne.
Those three teams will replace the relegated clubs Nuremberg, Hansa Rostock and MSV Duisburg.