Hamburg's proud permanence in the Bundesliga could continue, if the resurgent form of Lewis Holtby holds true.
The former Bruchweg Boy – the lead singer in Mainz's boyband-like brigade with Andre Schürrle on drums and Adam Szalai on guitar, which took the Bundesliga by storm in 2010/11 – Holtby appeared destined for a star-studded career.
That season proved to be merely a one-hit wonder, though, as the trio who celebrated every goal as Mainz finished fifth and qualified for the UEFA Europa League with a boyband-like performance split up at the season's end. Holtby returned to his original record label Schalke, for whom he furthered his solo career and earned a move to Tottenham Hotspur in England's Premier League.
A Fritz Walter gold medallist for his excellence at U19 level, Holtby earned his place as the only German representative on UEFA's Team of the Tournament alongside the likes of Thiago Alcantara, Marco Verratti, David De Gea and Alvaro Morata at the 2013 UEFA European U21 Championship.
His solo effort against Freiburg on Matchday 31 lacked the boyband celebration, but it could otherwise have come right out of his 2010/11 scrapbook. The agility, close control and – above all – cool finish were there as Holtby almost single-handedly gave an entire region reason to believe.
"Everything's possible," Holtby told bundesliga.com. "My determination and belief is always there. It's not over until it's over. I just take it game by game, and I want to stay in the league with this club. Believe me, I trust in that."
Hamburg and Holtby have done a Houdini before, and while the last surviving founding member of the Bundesliga stares into the abyss, extinction of the last standing dinosaur has yet to be sanctioned.
Holtby is back, just in time to save an endangered species once again.