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Anything is possible in the DFB Cup, where “small” doesn’t mean you can’t dream big. That holds true for the small clubs that ruffle the feathers of the big favourites and for those lucky young fans who get the chance to carry the ball out onto the pitch. Kick-off for the first round of the cup is on 11 August.
Imagine being the one who places the ball into play at kick-off. It’s a young fan’s dream that will again come true for one 8–12-year-old at every match in this season’s DFB Cup – from the first main round right through to the grand final in Berlin on 25 May next year. One of the lucky youngsters last season was eight-year-old Oliver Preuß from Solingen, who was the ERGO match-ball carrier at the final game between RB Leipzig and Eintracht Frankfurt. A moving experience for young Oliver and his parents alike – and a day that would go down in their family history.
A premiere in DFB Cup: Jewish club reaches first round
TuS Makkabi Berlin will also be making history when the new season kicks off as the first club with Jewish roots ever to reach round one of the DFB Cup. The fifth-division club with its multicultural squad qualified after securing the title of the Berlin State Cup. Next up, they’ll be facing Bundesliga giant VfL Wolfsburg.
Makkabi’s captain, Doron Bruck, reflected on the special significance of his team’s success, and rightly so: “It’s something historic for the club that we’ve come this far for the first time. Especially with the history that we have here. Seventy-five years ago, the club was banned.” The meaning of their feat goes way beyond the borders of Berlin.
Sporting drama guaranteed
A whole host of meaningful stories are sure to come out of the 2023/24 season of the DFB Cup as well. In the first-round matches from 11–14 August, 64 teams will have their hopes set on reaching the next stage. Sporting drama is guaranteed, especially when teams tipped as favourites crash out unexpectedly. After all, the DFB Cup is a competition alive with emotion – and really big dreams.
Text: Lothar Grimm
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