The DFL - League Cup ( officially since 2005 Premiere League Cup until 2004 DFB - League Cup) was a 1997-2007 existing football competition in Germany, as well one-week mini- tournament before the start of the Bundesliga season in the period from mid- July to early August was discharged.

Although it was the third most important title in the national club football after winning the German championship and the DFB Cup, the athletic significance of the competition was low. Financially, however, said since 2005 officially premiere after his title sponsor Premiere League Cup and has prize money totaling 5.2 million euro event for the participating clubs was quite attractive.

A former League Cup competition already existed in the 1972 season / 73rd Winner of this unique bridging the extended summer break due to the Olympic Games in Munich discharged tournament was the Hamburg SV.

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League Cup Competition 1972/73 due to the Olympic Games

In the 1972/73 season for the first time a League Cup Competition was held. By that time held the tournament due to the Olympic Games in Munich extended to mid-September summer break should be bridged. The 32 teams participating in the competition were divided into eight regional preliminary round groups that played off their winners in a meeting held during the summer break return round, which qualified for the quarter-finals. After the subsequent League Cup winners Hamburger SV first against Eintracht Braunschweig and then against FC Schalke 04 prevailed during taking place over the rest of the season quarter and semi-finals, he defeated in the final on June 6, 1973 Borussia Mönchengladbach 4-0.

Reintroduction in 1997

Predecessor of today's League Cup were the DFB - Supercup, which was played from 1987 to just before start of the season between the German champion and the DFB Cup winner, and from 1986 held as an unofficial warm-up tournament during the summer break in smaller towns the " football Province" Fuji - Cup. Since the Fuji - Cup pushed forward over time in a dimension that had not yet reached the official Supercup of the DFB, a clause was the DFB first introduced, which laid down that cup winner and champion will not be invited simultaneously to Fuji 's Cup Tournament so as to avoid premature Supercup game. For the 1997/1998 season, the two competitions were eventually replaced by the DFB - League Cup newly created.

The first tournament started right with a surprise, as the Karlsruher SC in the preliminary round favorites Bayer 04 Leverkusen with 2-2 after 90 minutes and defeated 6-5 on penalties. In the semifinals, then the KSC but failed at the Cup Winners VfB Stuttgart. The second semi-final decided champions FC Bayern Munich 2-0 Borussia Dortmund for themselves, so that the first League Cup final against VfB Stuttgart Bayern Munich was. In the BayArena in Leverkusen viewers saw a varied final, in which the recently impersonated from Stuttgart to Munich Giovane Élber contributed a goal against his former club and thus the most successful club by a 2-0 victory in the final of the first season title and the first League Cup title ever secured.

After Bayern Munich also decided in the next three years, the competition itself, prevented 2001 Hertha BSC fifth League Cup success of Bavaria, as they defeated the defending champion and newly minted Champions League winner in the semifinals 1-0, and at the same time for the first defeat of Munich in the League Cup competition ever made ​​. Hertha BSC eventually won the final against champions FC Schalke 04 4-1 and thus secured his first title since 1931. During 2002, was the final pairing Hertha BSC against Schalke 04, and again to put the Berlin 4-1 and defended by the title.

In autumn 2007 DFL president Reinhard Rauball announced, mainly due to deadlines in summer 2008 no longer discharge the competition.

Unofficial successor competitions

Decided in 2008 association boards of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund ( League and Cup finalist from the previous season ) to revive the Supercup in place of the League Cup. The application for the alignment of this Match was rejected by the DFL. Therefore, the Supercup took place in 2008 only in the unofficial framework as T-Home Supercup held, Dortmund won 2-1. In 2009, the League Cup did not take place because the DFL only wanted to clarify a possible increase in the First and Second Bundesliga before a reform of the League Cup. After agreement between champions VfL Wolfsburg and Werder Bremen Cup Winners therefore the Supercup was played in a game in the Wolfsburg Volkswagen Arena to the Volkswagen SuperCup again. Bremen won 2-1. Since 2010, the DFL - Supercup is again officially discharged.

Also in 2009, was before the season started for the first time the Telekom Cup (2009 present as T - Home Cup, from 2010 to 2012 as Liga Total! Cup), an unofficial invitational tournament with four teams (similar to the Fuji - Cup before 1997 ) under sponsorship of Deutsche Telekom, discharged, held annually since then. Unlike the League Cup a decision only partially placement in the last Bundesliga season on participation and the game time is only twice each for 30 minutes. Nevertheless, the tournaments in the media are often referred to as League Cup ( successors ).


On the German League Cup champions, the runner-up, the next top three clubs in the final table of the Premier League in the previous season and the DFB Cup winners club participated. There was the Cup Winners' Cup in the top five of the final table, also participated in the sixth. Teams that competed in the Intertoto Cup, were allowed to also participate in the last few years at the League Cup.

In 2007, the Master of the 2nd Bundesliga participate in the Premiere League Cup. Thus, the space for the Fifth the first division fell away.

It was played in the knockout system with two group matches, two semi-finals and a final. Champion and cup winner intervened only in the semi-finals. Was the DFB Cup winner and champion, moved in its place, the loser of the Cup final. In the case of tie after the regulation time it came to an immediate penalty shootout.

In spring 2007 league debate on the amendment of the game mode and the discharge time point were the part of the German Football employed, whereby the League Cup would come into stronger competition with the DFB Cup, but these were not implemented.

"If we think that we have to play the League Cup with, for example, four rounds and a final during the Christmas season, we will do that. As in previous years, as an event before the season, we would like the League Cup in 2008 rather not continue. "

The finals at a glance


Records (1997-2007)


Venues were once mostly cities with traditional football clubs, but only in the third division or lower were playing ( for example, Jena, Aue, Osnabrück, Dessau, Aalen or Koblenz ). The endgame has been mostly held in a second division or smaller Erstligastadion.

From 2005, respectively, and the final in Leipzig Central Stadium found the two preliminary round games in Düsseldorf's LTU arena, the two semi-finals in their respective home stadiums of the German master or cup winners (or the Cup Final loser if league and cup are the same) instead.


The winner of the competition received after the final presented as a trophy to the League Cup. The re-entry of the competition in 1997 by the jewelry studio Tom Munsteiner created in Stipshausen in the Hunsrück trophy is designed as a hexagon, which is the subdivision of a soccer ball in a stylized form. Complement the surroundings of in the middle of the ten- pound Cup six Brazilian rock crystals symbolize the six teams that play competition with each other. On the outer clustered around the mountain crystals around the edge are the name and emblem of the club winning teams, as well as the logo of the football league.


After the preliminaries in 2006 only 23 195 and to the semi-finals only 27,650 or 40,000 spectators found their way into the stadiums, criticized Karl -Heinz Rummenigge, the small audience interest in the League Cup:

"This competition is not attractive, so can not endure. [ ... ] Since the audience lowers the thumb, you have to worry much. Over the time of the quality. The fans see him as meaningless Aufgalopp in the preparation. And not as a big hit. "

Rummenigge also proposed a relocation of the League Cup to Asia in order to market the FC Bayern Munich and the whole Bundesliga there better.

Plans to expand the League Cup during the 2008 season to 16 teams and a game misconduct, which includes the entire summer break, came in the DFB and the second division clubs to criticism. The DFB feared a devaluation of the DFB Cup, while the second division clubs asked for an extension to all professional clubs.