What’s amazing about the DFB Cup

ONEAll children under the age of ten have never experienced a German football champion other than Bayern Munich. In April 2012, Borussia Dortmund won the silver trophy. Since then, the battle for the Bundesliga title has been boring. It is different in the DFB Cup, which got its name from the German Football Association. In the same period, Bayern only won the golden trophy five times. In addition, Wolfsburg, Dortmund twice and Frankfurt could celebrate. Another team will be added this Saturday: Freiburg and Leipzig will play in the final.

Tobias Rabe

Responsible editor for Sport Online.

The excitement is just one of the reasons why players, coaches and spectators think the DFB Cup is so great. That there are different winners is due to the format of the competition. In the Bundesliga, 18 teams meet twice. There are 34 games. If there’s a defeat, it’s not that bad. The one who has collected the most points in the end wins the championship, even if some games are lost.

No team can afford that in the DFB Cup. After a defeat, you are eliminated. It happened for Bayern in the second round of this season. If a match is a draw after 90 minutes, there is 30 minutes of overtime. If there is still no winner, there is a penalty shootout. Frankfurt showed how dramatic it can be in the Europa League final on Wednesday. This is also an exciting competition in the same format.


Image: FAZ

It is also nice that all teams in Germany can play in the DFB Cup. Each region has its own cup competition. All teams play in these tournaments, including those from small towns. The winner of a region qualifies for the DFB Cup, where 64 teams start each season. The lots are drawn before each round. The unknown teams hope they can play against Bayern or Dortmund, which they otherwise only see on television.

In these duels, viewers often talk about David versus Goliath. They remember a story from the Bible. There the great Goliath fought with equipment against the small, poor David. The result seemed clear. But David took a stone, threw it, and defeated by his skill the giant.

It’s the same in the DFB Cup. The famous professionals do not always win, sometimes the unknown players win too. Some of them have other jobs because they can not make much money in the small clubs. A postman, baker or gardener can play against Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer and Robert Lewandowski. And it can theoretically all children, although it is not enough to play football as a profession later on.

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Viewers love stories like this and they cross their fingers for the outsiders. When a surprise happens, many people remember it for a long time. Years ago, Bayern Munich lost in the first round to TSV Vestenbergsgreuth. Hardly anyone had heard of this team before. But now the name is known all over Germany.

Many also like the DFB-Pokal, because the final in Berlin is the traditional season finale in Germany. It’s a big party before the summer holidays. Since 1985, the final has been held at the Olympic Stadium, which can accommodate nearly 75,000 spectators.

The game will also be broadcast on ARD TV. This means that everyone can watch it, even if parents do not pay for access to the expensive channels that show the Bundesliga. It starts at 8pm on Saturday. Because there is no school on Sundays, many children can also see live that from time to time there are other winners than Bayern Munich. Is not it amazing?

Even more answers to curious children's questions

Even more answers to curious children’s questions

An illustrated selection of articles from our column “How Do I Explain It to My Child?” is published by Reclam.

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