Andre Breitenreiter still has plenty of work ahead of him after leading Hannover back into the Bundesliga. - © gettyimages / Alexander Koerner
Andre Breitenreiter still has plenty of work ahead of him after leading Hannover back into the Bundesliga. - © gettyimages / Alexander Koerner
Bundesliga

Promoted Hannover earmark a return to Europe as long-term goal

It may seem like an eternity, yet it was little over four years ago that Hannover were welcoming Anji Makhachkala to the HDI-Arena for a compelling last-32 UEFA Europa League tie.

Over the space of 20 months, the likes of Levante, Helsingborg, Standard Liege, Twente, Copenhagen and Club Bruges all paid Lower Saxony a visit. Atletico Madrid provided one of the most spectacular evenings of the lot, only eight months after Hannover had eliminated Sevilla from the competition.

How times change. Last season, Sevilla reached the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League, while Hannover were playing host to Arminia Bielefeld and 1860 Munich in Germany's second tier.

The euphoria still ringing in Hannover ears, the Lower Saxony club have wasted no time in getting prepared for life back in the big time either, with Michael Esser, Matthias Ostrzolek, Julian Korb, Tom Baller, Pirmin Schwegler and Yousef Emghanes all being introduced to their new surroundings before the summer break.

"When there are 1,000km between your home and your new club, then you need a bit of time to get used to the change," explained Hannover sporting director Horst Heldt. "We don't have this time because our team needs to be functioning straight away."

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