The friendly sees the teams from the two smallest places in their respective leagues face one another. SD Eibar’s stadium seats 6,300 fans. “For a town of 27,000 inhabitants, the third tier would be completely normal,” said club president, Alexa Aranzabal, about Eibar. However, with some luck, resourcefulness, team spirit and support from the stands, the team marched from the third tier in 2014 to La Liga.
On the pitch, Eibar may be able to compete with Real Madrid and Barcelone but, financially speaking, the small club have had to fight tooth and nail to maintain first tier status. Though the club was debt-free, Eibar had to raise an additional 2 million Euros to gain a license for La Liga and the hurdle was overcome in creative circumstances. The money was raised through crowdfunding. However, fans buying shares for 50 Euros was still not enough. Former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder, Xabi Alonso, came to the aid of the club who he had started his career at aged 18. His father was also Eibar’s head coach for three years. “I played for Eibar for so long. It was my duty to help them out,” stated the former World Cup winner.
It should be a good game when Oliver Baumann, Kevin Vogt and co. take on the ninth best team in Spain last season.
An overview of TSG Hoffenheim’s summer schedule:
1st July Start of training
8th-13th July TSG Training camp Garmisch
13th July (17:00 in Pöcking) TSG vs. SpVgg Unterhaching
21th July (17:00 in Eppingen) TSG vs. Queens Park Rangers
28th July (17:00 in Bruchsal) TSG vs. SC Heerenveen
29th July – 5th August TSG Training Camp Windischgarsten
11th August: First game of season at WIRSOL Rhein-Neckar-Arena; Friendly gegen SD Eibar