While champions FC Bayern Munich and defending champions RB Leipzig have long since been eliminated from the DFB Cup, two second division teams and a third division team are still fighting for the coveted trophy. Tonight (8.45 p.m./ARD and Sky) there will be a semi-final without Bundesliga participation between 1. FC Saarbrücken and 1. FC Kaiserslautern. What is it about for the third division team from Saarland and the traditional club from the Palatinate?

The image

The FCK’s great successes were a long time ago. The club sensationally became German champions in 1998 and cup winners for the last time in 1996. This season, the Fritz Walter Club, which had since been promoted to the 3rd league, once again has the chance to polish up its sporting image. “It’s a final. One to reach a final,” said coach Friedhelm Funkel.

This also applies to Saarbrücken, which has already defeated Bayern and Eintracht Frankfurt in the current competition. Before the semi-final, coach Rüdiger Ziehl spoke of “a bonus game”, goalkeeper Tim Schreiber of “a little fairy tale”. For the FCS, the image is also at stake in another respect. If, after the quarter-finals in February, the semi-finals at the beginning of April had to be canceled due to heavy rain, the reputation of the third division team would be damaged again. In addition, you would lose home rights for the catch-up game.

Final in Berlin

May 25th, full Olympic Stadium and millions of spectators in front of the TV screens. Whoever wins on Tuesday will have the biggest stage in German club football in just under two months. FCK last made it to the final in Berlin 21 years ago. Saarbrücken has never been in the final, but four years ago it was a clear underdog in the semi-finals.

Chance for Europe

Via Berlin into international business? This is possible for Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern. The cup winners qualify directly for the Europa League and could face opponents like Tottenham Hotspur or Atlético Madrid as early as September. This option is of course also available for Fortuna Düsseldorf, which will be visiting Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen in the second semi-final on Wednesday (8.45 p.m./ZDF and Sky). Leverkusen has already secured participation in the Champions League.

Extra money

The semi-finalists received 3.45 million euros just for making it to the last four. Added up with the additional bonuses for the first rounds, the clubs already have a good 6.5 million euros in bonuses. What sounds like peanuts for Leverkusen in view of the approaching championship and premier class makes a big difference for the third division team from Saarbrücken. If you reach the final, an additional increase is possible.

Overview of the DFB Cup squad 1. FC Saarbrücken squad 1. FC Kaiserslautern