GGFN Advent Calendar | Day 14 – DFB-Pokal Heartbreak

Welcome back to the Get German Football News advent calendar. As the countdown to Christmas continues, so does our festive fun on day fourteen, as we remember the 14 sides to have reached the DFB-Pokal final but never lift the famous piece of silverware.

The DFB-Pokal is one of the most breathtaking cup competitions in the world. With drama, upsets, and quality riddled throughout the tournament every year, there truly is nothing like the Pokal. As seen this season, with eight sides ready to battle it out heading into the quarterfinals, only three Bundesliga sides remain in the competition.

Nevertheless, the final is not yet upon us, so let’s leave this season’s tournament there and recall the unfortunate sides to have never won the Pokal. To begin with, there are ten teams that have reached the tournament’s showpiece event once and fallen at the final hurdle.

Borussia Neunkirchen, Energie Cottbus, Fortuna Köln, FSV Frankfurt, Freiburg, Luftwaffen-SV Hamburg, Stuttgarter Kickers, Union Berlin, and Waldhof Mannheim are nine of the ten sides to have never lifted the Pokal despite making a final appearance. However, the last of the ten sides will be a little more unexpected.

Hertha Berlin II reached the final in 1993, something that Hertha’s senior squad had not managed to do in 14 years. It would have been an achievement made even more remarkable for the reserve squad to win the competition, given that the senior side have also never won the Pokal with two final appearances. Regardless, VfL Bochum are also the only other side to reach two finals without winning the tournament.

Nonetheless, there are two very ill-fated sides to this story. Alemannia Aachen reached three Pokal finals in 1952–53, 1964–65, and 2003–04 but were beaten on all three occasions, while MSV Duisburg found themselves in the showpiece event in 1965–66, 1974–75, 1997–98, and 2010–11 but came unstuck each time. With three and four final losses, respectively, both Aachen and Duisburg can consider themselves significantly unlucky.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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