Hoffenheim president backs Babbel in his Champions League ambitions

The 72-year-old club chief supports his coach’s target of a top-four finish for the coming campaign, whilst revealing he has high hopes for new signing Tim Wiese
Hoffenheim president Dietmar Hopp has backed Markus Babbel in his ambitions for Champions League qualification.

The club finished 11th in last season’s Bundesliga, 19 points adrift of Borussia Monchengladbach, who claimed the final qualifying spot for Europe’s elite club competition.

Despite being far off the pace of the top four last season, Babbel has expressed his desire for his side to compete for a place in the tournament in 2013, and his chairman was thrilled by his coach’s outlook.

When asked his thoughts on Babbel’s hopes for the season, he told Bild: "I like that mentality very much.

“It's like a business: you must have ambitious goals, and you'll be rewarded when they are reached, otherwise you will not succeed at all. However, if Babbel does not reach that goal, then he must live with it."

Hopp expressed his admiration for new goalkeeper Tim Wiese, and seemed to mark the player as one who could fuel their drive for the Champions League.

"I met Tim in the national team training camp and also learn that he has a very important role in the team," he added.

Wiese was signed on a free transfer from Werder Bremen in May, with the club reportedly beating the likes of Real Madrid and AC Milan to his signature.

He became Hoffenheim’s second major signing of the summer, after Eren Derdiyok joined from Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee.