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DFB-Pokal
DFB-Pokal
Founded 1935
Region Flag of Germany Germany
Number of teams 64
Tournament information
Current champions RB Leipzig (2nd title)
Most successful team(s) Bayern Munich (20 titles)
Football current event Current
Website Official website

The DFB-Pokal (IPA) or DFB Cup is a German knockout football cup competition held annually. Sixty-four teams participate in the competition, including all clubs from the Bundesliga and the 2. Bundesliga. It is considered the second-most important club title in German football after the Bundesliga championship. The DFB-Pokal is run by the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (English: German Football Association). The competition runs from August until June. The winner qualifies for the DFL-Supercup and the UEFA Europa League unless the winner already qualifies for the UEFA Champions League in the Bundesliga.

The competition was founded in 1935, then called Tschammer-Pokal. The first titleholder were 1. FC Nuremberg. In 1937 Schalke were the first team to win the double. The Tschammer-Pokal was suspended in 1945 due to World War II and disbanded following the demise of Nazi Germany. In 1952–53, the cup was reinstated as the DFB-Pokal, named after the Deutscher Fußball-Bund and was won by Rot-Weiss Essen. Bayern Munich have won the most titles, with 20 wins and being the most recent winner.

Format[]

The competition format has varied considerably since the inception of the Tschammer-Pokal in 1935.

Participation[]

The DFB-Pokal begins with a round of 64 teams. The 36 teams of the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, along with the top four finishers of the 3. Liga are automatically qualified for the tournament. Of the remaining slots 21 are given to the cup winners of the regional football associations. The three remaining slots are given to the three regional associations with the most men's teams. They may assign the slot as they see fit but usually give it to the runner up in the association cup. As every team is entitled to participate in local tournaments which qualify for the association cups every team can in principle compete in the DFB-Pokal. Reserve teams like Borussia Dortmund II are not permitted to enter.

Seeding[]

The pairings for the DFB Cup are not entirely random as the teams are split into two pots of 32 teams each. One pot contains all the amateur teams including teams from the 3. Liga and the teams just being promoted to the 2. Bundesliga. The other pot contains the teams from the Bundesliga and the teams of the 2. Bundesliga who have not just been promoted. Therefore, in the first round of the cup each professional team plays an amateur team. Since 1982, the amateur generally plays at home when facing a professional team.

For the second round the teams are again divided into two pots according to the same principles. This time the pots don't have to be of equal size though, depending on the results of the first round. Amateur teams get paired with professional teams until one pot is empty. The remaining teams are then drawn from the nonempty pot with the team first drawn playing at home.

For the remaining rounds other than the final the teams are drawn from one pot. Since 1985 the final has been held in the Olympic Stadium in Berlin every year.

Match rules[]

Extra time will be played if the scores are level after 90 minutes with a penalty shootout following if needed.

History[]

Historically the number of participants in the main tournament has varied between four from 1956 until 1960 and 128 from 1973 through 1982 resulting in tournaments of two to seven rounds. Since the inception of the Bundesliga in 1963 all clubs from the Bundesliga are automatically qualified for the DFB-Pokal as are all clubs from the 2. Bundesliga since its inception in 1974. Reserve sides for most of the time were allowed to participate in the DFB-Pokal but have been excluded since 2008.

The final has been held at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin every season since 1985. Before 1985, the host of the final was determined on short notice. In the decision, the German Football Association took into consideration the ease with which supporters of both finalists could reach the site.

Originally the cup games were held over two times 45 minutes with two times 15 minutes extra time in case of a draw. If the score was still level after 120 minutes the game was replayed with the home field right reversed. In the 1939 Tschammer-Pokal the semi-final between SV Waldhof Mannheim and Wacker Wien was a draw three times before the game was decided by lot. The German Football Association decided to hold a penalty shootout if the replay was another draw after a similar situation arose in the 1970 cup, when the match between Alemannia Aachen and SV Werder Bremen had to be decided by lot after two draws.

In 1971–72 and 1972–73 the matches were held over two legs. The second leg was extended by two times 15 minutes if the aggregate was a draw after both legs. In case the extension brought no decision a penalty shootout was held.

When in 1977 the final 1. FC Köln vs. Hertha BSC had to be replayed this led to great logistic difficulties. In the aftermath the DFB decided not to let cup finals to be replayed in the future instead holding a penalty shootout after extra time. Eventually this change was extended to all cup games in 1991.

International Qualification[]

Since 1960, the winner of the DFB-Pokal qualified for the European Cup Winners Cup. If the Cup winner qualified for the European Club Champions Cup, the losing finalist moved into the European Cup Winners Cup.

After the season 1998–99, the winner of the DFB-Pokal moved into next season's UEFA Europa League (called the UEFA Cup until 2009). If the winner qualifies through the Bundesliga for the Champions League, the losing finalist gets the spot. If both finalists qualify for the Champions League, the best placed team of the Bundesliga which is not already qualified for at least the Europa League gets the spot.

Tschammerpokal[]

The first German cup was held in 1935. It was then called von Tschammer und Osten Pokal, or Tschammerpokal for short, named after Reichssportführer (Sports Chief of the Reich) Hans von Tschammer und Osten. The first final was contested between the two most successful clubs of that era, the 1. FC Nuremberg and Schalke 04, with Nuremberg winning 2 – 0. After the last Tschammerpokal was held in 1943 the cup was not held for almost 10 years, being re-introduced by the German Football Association in 1952 under its current name DFB-Pokal. In 1965, the original trophy, Goldfasanen-Pokal, was substituted by the trophy which is still awarded today, because the original reminded DFB President Peco Bauwens of the Nazi era.

Giant killing[]

Originally, the DFB-Pokal was a competition open to clubs from the top divisions of German football only. This continued after the establishment of the Bundesliga in 1963. Semi-professional and amateur clubs could only enter the competition from 1974 onwards, when it was enlarged. Up until 2008, only the top two divisions of German football, the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, were fully professional but from 2008, with the establishment of the 3. Liga, the third tier also became fully professional.

From the start, the new match ups Bundesliga versus amateurs, most usually third division clubs, became a source of surprises. Often titled the "mother of all cup sensations" (Die Mutter aller Pokalsensationen), was Hamburger SV's second round loss to VfB Eppingen in 1974, the first instance of an amateur side knocking out a Bundesliga club. It took until 1990 for a fourth division side to achieve the same, when SpVgg Fürth took Borussia Dortmund out of the competition. Further milestones were the reserve side of Hertha BSC, Hertha BSC II, reaching the cup final in 1993, a first for a third division club and a reserve team. In 1997 Eintracht Trier proved too strong for both the UEFA Cup and Champions League winners, knocking FC Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund out of the competition. In 2000, the 1. FC Magdeburg became the first fourth division side to eliminate two Bundesliga clubs in one season.

Surprise results in the cup attract a strong media covarage in Germany and, at times, abroad. When TSV Vestenbergsgreuth took out FC Bayern Munich in 1994, who were coached by Giovanni Trapattoni at the time, La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on its front page "Club di dilettanti elimina Trapattoni" (Amateur club eliminate Trapattoni).

Records[]

Having won 20 titles, Bayern Munich has been the most successful team in the cup since they won their fourth title in 1969. Fortuna Düsseldorf established a record for consecutive German Cup match victories (18 straight victories between 1978 and 1981, taking the trophy in 1979 and 1980). Schalke 04 holds the record for the biggest win in a DFB-Pokal final. They won 5–0 against Kaiserslautern in 1972 and 5–0 against Duisburg in 2011.

Finals[]

Tschammer-Pokal[]

Year Winner Runner Up Result Date Venue Attendance
1935 1. FC Nuremberg Schalke 04 2–0 08/12/35 Düsseldorf 55,000
1936 VfB Leipzig Schalke 04 2–1 03/01/37 Berlin 70,000
1937 Schalke 04 Fortuna Düsseldorf 2–1 09/01/38 Cologne 72,000
1938 Rapid Wien FSV Frankfurt 3–1 08/01/39 Berlin 38,000
1939 1. FC Nuremberg Waldhof Mannheim 2–0 08/04/40 Berlin 60,000
1940 Dresdner SC 1. FC Nuremberg 2–1 aet 01/12/40 Berlin 60,000
1941 Dresdner SC Schalke 04 2–1 02/10/41 Berlin 65,000
1942 1860 Munich Schalke 04 2–0 15/11/42 Berlin 80,000
1943 First Vienna Luftwaffen-SV Hamburg 3–2 aet 31/10/43 Stuttgart 45,000

DFB-Pokal[]

Year Winner Runner Up Result Date Venue Attendance
1952–53 Rot-Weiss Essen Alemannia Aachen 2–1 01/05/53 Düsseldorf 40,000
1953–54 VfB Stuttgart 1. FC Köln 1–0 (a.e.t.) 17/04/54 Ludwigshafen 60,000
1954–55 Karlsruher SC Schalke 04 3–2 21/05/55 Braunschweig 25,000
1955–56 Karlsruher SC Hamburger SV 3–1 05/08/56 Karlsruhe 25,000
1956–57 Bayern Munich Fortuna Düsseldorf 1–0 29/12/57 Augsburg 42,000
1957–58 VfB Stuttgart Fortuna Düsseldorf 4–3 (a.e.t.) 16/10/58 Kassel 28,000
1958–59 Schwarz-Weiss Essen Borussia Neunkirchen 5–2 27/12/59 Kassel 20,000
1959–60 Borussia Mönchengladbach Karlsruher SC 3–2 05/10/60 Düsseldorf 50,000
1960–61 Werder Bremen 1. FC Kaiserslautern 2–0 13/09/61 Gelsenkirchen 18,000
1961–62 1. FC Nuremberg Fortuna Düsseldorf 2–1 (a.e.t.) 29/08/62 Hannover 41,000
1962–63 Hamburger SV Borussia Dortmund 3–0 14/08/63 Hannover 68,000
1963–64 1860 Munich Eintracht Frankfurt 2–0 13/06/64 Stuttgart 45,000
1964–65 Borussia Dortmund Alemannia Aachen 2–0 22/05/65 Hannover 55,000
1965–66 Bayern Munich Meidericher SV 4–2 04/06/66 Frankfurt am Main 62,000
1966–67 Bayern Munich Hamburger SV 4–0 10/06/67 Stuttgart 67,000
1967–68 1. FC Köln VfL Bochum 4–1 09/06/68 Ludwigshafen 60,000
1968–69 Bayern Munich Schalke 04 2–1 14/06/69 Frankfurt am Main 60,000
1969–70 Kickers Offenbach 1. FC Köln 2–1 29/08/70 Hannover 50,000
1970–71 Bayern Munich 1. FC Köln 2–1 (a.e.t.) 19/06/71 Stuttgart 71,000
1971–72 Schalke 04 1. FC Kaiserslautern 5–0 01/07/72 Hannover 61,000
1972–73 Borussia Mönchengladbach 1. FC Köln 2–1 (a.e.t.) 23/06/73 Düsseldorf 69,000
1973–74 Eintracht Frankfurt Hamburger SV 3–1 (a.e.t.) 17/08/74 Düsseldorf 52,000
1974–75 Eintracht Frankfurt MSV Duisburg 1–0 21/06/75 Hannover 43,000
1975–76 Hamburger SV 1. FC Kaiserslautern 2–0 26/06/76 Frankfurt am Main 61,000
1976–77 1. FC Köln Hertha BSC 1–1 (a.e.t.)
1–0 replay
28/05/77
30/05/77
Hannover 54,000
35,000
1977–78 1. FC Köln Fortuna Düsseldorf 2–0 15/04/78 Gelsenkirchen 70,000
1978–79 Fortuna Düsseldorf Hertha BSC 1–0 (a.e.t.) 23/06/79 Hannover 56,000
1979–80 Fortuna Düsseldorf 1. FC Köln 2–1 04/06/80 Gelsenkirchen 56,000
1981 Eintracht Frankfurt 1. FC Kaiserslautern 3–1 02/05/81 Stuttgart 71,000
1982 Bayern Munich 1. FC Nuremberg 4–2 01/05/82 Frankfurt am Main 61,000
1983 1. FC Köln Fortuna Köln 1–0 11/06/83 Cologne 61,000
1984 Bayern Munich Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–1 (7–6 pen) 31/05/84 Frankfurt am Main 61,000
1985 Bayer Uerdingen Bayern Munich 2–1 26/05/85 West Berlin 70,000
1986 Bayern Munich VfB Stuttgart 5–2 03/05/86 West Berlin 76,000
1987 Hamburger SV Stuttgarter Kickers 3–1 20/06/87 West Berlin 76,000
1988 Eintracht Frankfurt VfL Bochum 1–0 28/05/88 West Berlin 76,000
1989 Borussia Dortmund Werder Bremen 4–1 24/06/89 West Berlin 76,000
1990 1. FC Kaiserslautern Werder Bremen 3–2 19/05/90 West Berlin 76,000
1991 Werder Bremen 1. FC Köln 1–1 (4–3 pen) 22/06/91 Berlin 73,000
1992 Hannover 96 Borussia Mönchengladbach 0–0 (4–3 pen) 23/05/92 Berlin 76,000
1993 Bayer Leverkusen Hertha BSC II 1–0 12/06/93 Berlin 76,000
1994 Werder Bremen Rot-Weiss Essen 3–1 14/05/94 Berlin 76,000
1995 Borussia Mönchengladbach VfL Wolfsburg 3–0 24/06/95 Berlin 75,700
1996 1. FC Kaiserslautern Karlsruher SC 1–0 25/05/96 Berlin 75,800
1997 VfB Stuttgart Energie Cottbus 2–0 14/06/97 Berlin 76,400
1998 Bayern Munich MSV Duisburg 2–1 16/05/98 Berlin 75,800
1999 Werder Bremen Bayern Munich 1–1 (5–4 pen) 12/06/99 Berlin 75,841
1999–2000 Bayern Munich Werder Bremen 3–0 06/05/00 Berlin 76,000
2000–01 Schalke 04 Union Berlin 2–0 26/05/01 Berlin 73,011
2001–02 Schalke 04 Bayer Leverkusen 4–2 11/05/02 Berlin 70,000
2002–03 Bayern Munich 1. FC Kaiserslautern 3–1 31/05/03 Berlin 70,490
2003–04 Werder Bremen Alemannia Aachen 3–2 29/05/04 Berlin 71,682
2004–05 Bayern Munich Schalke 04 2–1 28/05/05 Berlin 74,349
2005–06 Bayern Munich Eintracht Frankfurt 1–0 29/04/06 Berlin 74,349
2006–07 1. FC Nuremberg VfB Stuttgart 3–2 aet 26/05/07 Berlin 74,220
2008 Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund 2–1 aet 19/04/08 Berlin 74,244
2009 Werder Bremen Bayer Leverkusen 1–0 30/05/09 Berlin 72,244
2010 Bayern Munich Werder Bremen 4–0 15/05/10 Berlin 72,954
2011 Schalke 04 MSV Duisburg 5–0 21/05/11 Berlin 75,708
2012 Borussia Dortmund Bayern Munich 5–2 12/05/12 Berlin 75,708
2013 Bayern Munich VfB Stuttgart 3–2 01/06/13 Berlin 75,420
2014 Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund 2–0 aet 17/05/14 Berlin 76,197
2014–15 VfL Wolfsburg Borussia Dortmund 3–1 30/05/15 Berlin 75,815
2015–16 Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund 0–0 (4–3 p) 21/05/16 Berlin 74,322
2016–17 Borussia Dortmund Eintracht Frankfurt 2–1 27/05/17 Berlin 74,322
2017–18 Eintracht Frankfurt Bayern Munich 3–1 19/05/18 Berlin 74,322
2018–19 Bayern Munich RB Leipzig 3–0 25/05/19 Berlin 74,322
2019–20 Bayern Munich Bayer Leverkusen 4–2 04/07/20 Berlin 0
2019–20 Borussia Dortmund RB Leipzig 4–1 13/5/21 Berlin 0
2021–22 RB Leipzig SC Freiburg 1–1 (4–2 p) 21/05/22 Berlin 74,322

Performance by club[]

Club
Winners
Runners-up
Winning Years
Bayern Munich
20
4
1957, 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020
Werder Bremen
6
4
1961, 1991, 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009
Schalke 04
5
7
1937, 1972, 2001, 2002, 2011
Borussia Dortmund
5
5
1965, 1989, 2012, 2017, 2021
Eintracht Frankfurt
5
3
1974, 1975, 1981, 1988, 2018
1. FC Köln
4
6
1968, 1977, 1978, 1983
1. FC Nürnberg
4
2
1935, 1939, 1962, 2007
VfB Stuttgart
3
3
1954, 1958, 1997
Hamburger SV
3
3
1963, 1976, 1987
Borussia Mönchengladbach
3
2
1960, 1973, 1995
Fortuna Düsseldorf
2
5
1979, 1980
1. FC Kaiserslautern
2
5
1990, 1996
Karlsruher SC
2
2
1955, 1956
Dresdner SC
2
1940, 1941
1860 Munich
2
1942, 1964
Bayer Leverkusen
1
3
1993
RB Leipzig
1
2
2022
Rot-Weiss Essen
1
1
1953
VfL Wolfsburg
1
1
2015
KFC Uerdingen 05
1
1985
Hannover 96
1
1992
1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig
1
1936
Kickers Offenbach
1
1970
Rapid Wien
1
1938
Schwarz-Weiss Essen
1
1959
First Vienna
1
1943
MSV Duisburg
4
Alemannia Aachen
3
VfL Bochum
2
Hertha BSC
2
Borussia Neunkirchen
1
Energie Cottbus
1
Fortuna Köln
1
FSV Frankfurt
1
SC Freiburg
1
Hertha BSC II
1
Luftwaffen-SV Hamburg
1
Stuttgarter Kickers
1
Union Berlin
1
Waldhof Mannheim
1

East German Cup (1949–91)[]

East Germany also had its own national cup: the FDGB Cup, the cup of the Freie Deutsche Gewerkschaftsbund, the association of the East German trade unions. It was introduced in 1949 and awarded annually until 1991 after German reunification in 1990 led to the merger of the football leagues of the two Germanys.

Women's German Cup[]

Since 1981 women's football clubs have competed for the Frauen DFB Pokal. An East German women's cup was also held from 1987 to 1991.

Media coverage[]

In Australia the DFB-Pokal was broadcast by Setanta Sports until the 2009–10 season.

In the United Kingdom, selected ties are broadcast by ESPN for the 2012–13 season.

In the United States of America, the DFB-Pokal is broadcast on ESPN 3.

External links[]

DFB-Pokal
DFB-Pokal seasons

2014–15 · 2015–16 · 2016–17 · 2017–18 · 2018–19 · 2019–20 · 2020–21 · 2021–22 · 2022–23 · 2023–24 ·

DFB-Pokal finals

2016 · 2017 · 2018 · 2019 · 2020 · 2021 · 2022 · 2023 · 2024 ·

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