It’s the last chance for Hertha Berlin to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga and a wave of “schadenfreude” across the league.
Despite its big ambitions, the “Big City Club” is 1-0 down and needs to win the second leg of its playoff against Hamburger SV in Hamburg to stay in the top tier.
Hertha’s fall in fortune has come despite backer Lars Windhorst’s investment of 374 million euros ($395 million) in the club since 2019. It was Windhorst who boldly declared Hertha should be competing among the best teams in Europe.
But morale at Hertha is low after losing its last three games and missing three clear opportunities to avoid the dreaded playoff.
Hamburg’s 1-0 win in Berlin’s Olympiastadion last week in the first leg was its fifth consecutive victory including its last games in the second division.