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Stuttgart
logo
Full name Verein für Bewegungsspiele
Stuttgart 1893 e. V.
Nickname(s) Die Roten
Die Schwaben
Founded 9 September 1893
Ground Mercedes-Benz Arena,
Stuttgart
(Capacity: 41,000)
President Germany Erwin Staudt
Manager Germany Horst Heldt
Coach Switzerland Christian Gross
League Bundesliga
2008–09 Bundesliga, 3rd
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart, is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, the capital of Baden-Württemberg. The club is best known for its football team, which has participated in all but two Bundesliga seasons. The team has won the national championship five times in total—most recently in the 2006–07 season—and the DFB-Pokal (German cup) three times.

The football team plays its home games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, situated in the Cannstatter Wasen sports complex. It is famous for its talented reserve team, VfB Stuttgart II, which currently plays in the 3rd Liga, two divisions below the first team, in the highest division allowed for a reserve team.

VfB Stuttgart is a membership-based club and with 45.037 (as of: January 2009), VfB is the largest sports club in the state and the fifth largest in the country. In addition to the successes of the professional, amateur and youth football teams, athletes from the club's athletics department have won numerous titles and medals. The club also has departments for fistball, hockey, table-tennis and football referees. These five departments only compete at amateur level. The club also maintains a social department, the VfB-Garde.

Contents

History

Foundation to WWII

VfB Stuttgart 1912.png

Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed through the 2 April 1912 merger of predecessor sides Stuttgarter FV and Kronen-Club Cannstatt following a meeting in the Concordia hotel in Cannstatt. Each of these clubs was made up of school pupils with middle class roots [1] who learned new sports such as rugby union and football from English pioneers.

FV Stuttgart

Historical logos of predecessor sides Stuttgarter FV 93 and Kronen-Club Cannstatt.

Stuttgarter Fußballverein was founded at the Zum Becher hotel in Cannstatt on 9 September 1893.[2] FV were initially a rugby club, playing games at Stöckach-Eisbahn before moving to Cannstatter Wasen in 1894. The rugby club established a football section in 1908. The team drew players primarily from local schools, under the direction of teacher Carl Kaufmann, and quickly achieved its first success; in 1909 they were runners-up to FSV 1897 Hannover in the national rugby final, losing 6-3.[3] Rugby was soon replaced by football within the club, as spectators found the game too complicated to follow.

In 1909 FV joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband (Southern Germany Football Association)[4], playing in the second tier B-Klasse. In their second season FV won a district final against future merger partner Kronen-Klub Cannstatt before being defeated by FV Zuffenhausen in the county championship that would have seen the side promoted. They eventually advanced to the senior Südkreis-Liga in 1912.

Kronen-Klub Cannstatt

Cannstatter Fußballklub was formed as a rugby club in 1890 and also quickly established a football team. This club was dissolved after just a few years of play and the former membership re-organized themselves as FC Krone Cannstatt in 1897 to compete as a football-only side.[5] The new team joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband (SFV) as a second division club and won promotion in 1904. Cannstatt possessed their own ground, which still exists today as the home of TSV Münster.

Following the 1912 merger of these two clubs, the combined side played at first in the Kreisliga Württemberg and then in the Bezirksliga Württemberg-Baden, earning a number of top three finishes and claiming a title there in 1927. The club also made several appearances in the final rounds of the SFV in the late 20s and early 30s.

1933–1945

In 1933 German football was re-organized under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight divisions called Gauligen. Stuttgart played in the Gauliga Württemberg and enjoyed considerable success there, winning division titles in 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1943 before the Gauliga system collapsed part way through the 1944–45 season. The club had an intense rivalry with Stuttgarter Kickers throughout this period.

VfB's Gauliga titles earned the team entry to the national playoff rounds, with their best result coming in 1935 when they advanced to the final where they lost 4–6 to defending champions Schalke 04. After a third place result at the national level in 1937, Stuttgart was not able in subsequent appearances to advance out of the preliminary rounds.

1950s championships

After the war VfB continued to play first division football in the Oberliga Süd, capturing titles there in 1946, 1952, and 1954. The team also made regular appearances in the German championship rounds emerging as national champion in 1950 and 1952, and finishing as runner-up in 1953. In the 1950s, the club also twice won the German Cup (1954 and 1958). The team which won four titles in eight years was led by Robert Schlienz who had lost his left arm in a car crash. No player from Stuttgart had been selected for the team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup though.

1963 Bundesliga

Due to international competition that led to disappointing results in the 1958 and 1962 World Cup, DFB introduced a single professional league in 1963. Stuttgart's consistently good play throughout the 1950s earned them a place among the sixteen clubs that would make up the original Bundesliga. The club, as an amateur organisation and due to proverbial Swabian austerity, hesitated to spend money, and some players continued to work in an everyday job. Throughout the balance of the decade and into the mid-70s the club would generally earn mid-table results. One of the few stars of the time was Gilbert Gress from Strasbourg.

In 1972–1973 the team qualified for the UEFA Cup for the first time and advanced to the semi-finals of the 1974 tournament where they were eliminated by eventual winners Feyenoord Rotterdam (1–2, 2–2).

1975–2000 era of president MV

VfB Stuttgart was in crisis in the mid 1970s, having missed new trends like sponsorship. Attempts to catch up with new levels of professionalism by spending money failed. Towards the end of the 1974–75 season, with the team in imminent danger of being relegated to Second Bundesliga, local politician Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder was elected as new president. Yet, a tie in the final game meant that VfB would be ranked 16th and lose its Bundesliga status. The first season in second league, considered the worst in its history, ended with VfB being ranked 11th, having even lost a home game against local rival SSV Reutlingen in front of only 1200 spectators.

With new coach Jürgen Sundermann and new talents like Karlheinz Förster and Hansi Müller, the team around Ottmar Hitzfeld scored hundred goals in 1976–77 and thus returned to top flight play after just two seasons.

The young team was popular for offensive and high-scoring play, but suffered from lack of experience. At the end of 1977–78, the VfB was ranked 4th, but the average attendance of over 53,000 set the league record until the 1990s. They made another UEFA Cup semi-final appearance in 1980 and delivered a number of top four finishes on their way to their first Bundesliga title – the club's third national title – in 1984, now under coach Helmut Benthaus.

In 1986, VfB lost the German Cup final 2–5 to Bayern Munich. In the 1989 UEFA Cup Final, they fell to Napoli (1–2, 3–3) where Diego Maradona was playing at the time.

In 1991–92, the club clinched its fourth title, in one of the closest races in Bundesliga history, finishing ahead of Borussia Dortmund on goal difference. Internationally, they had been eliminated from UEFA Cup play that season (1991–92) after losing their second round match to Spanish side Osasuna (2–3). As national champions, the club qualified to play in the UEFA Champions League in 1992–93, but was eliminated in the first round by Leeds United after a tie-breaking third match in Barcelona which was required due to coach Christoph Daum having substituted a fourth non-German player in game two.

VfB did not qualify for any European competition again until 1997, by way of their third German Cup win, with coach Joachim Löw. They enjoyed a measure of success on their return, advancing to the 1998 European Cup Winners' Cup final in Stockholm, where they lost to Chelsea in what was the penultimate year of the competition. Only one player of the magic triangle, captain Krassimir Balakov, remained after Giovane Elber and Fredi Bobic left. Löw's contract was not renewed, he was replaced by Winfried Schäfer who in turn was sacked after one season.

However, Stuttgart's performance fell off after this as the club earned just mid-table results over the next two seasons despite spending money on the transfer market and for veterans like Balakov.

2000–2007 The post-MV-era return to success

Due to high debts and the lack of results, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder finally resigned from VfB in 2000 to take over offices at DFB, UEFA and FIFA. New president Manfred Haas had to renegotiate expensive contracts with players that seldom appeared on the field anyway. As in 1976, when MV had taken over, the team had to be rebuilt by relying on talents from the youth teams. The VfB has Germany's most successful program in the de:Deutsche Jugendmeisterschaft (Fußball).

Coach Ralf Rangnick had started a restructuring of the team that won the UI Cup, but the resulting extra strain of the UEFA cup participation ended in barely escaping from relegation in 2001 by clinching 15th spot. Rangnick was replaced by Felix Magath.

With players like Andreas Hinkel, Kevin Kurányi, Timo Hildebrand or Alexander Hleb earning themselves the nickname the young and wild, the club soon re-bounded and finished as Bundesliga runners-up in the 2002–03 season.

Champions League 2003–04

Thus, VfB qualified for their second Champions League appearance and, beating Manchester United and Rangers once and Panathinaikos twice, they advanced out of group play to the first knock out round where they were eliminated by their old nemesis Chelsea (0–1 and 0–0) (see also UEFA Champions League 2003-04).

They continued to play as one of the top teams in the country, earning fourth and fifth place Bundesliga finishes, and again taking part in the UEFA Cup, but without great success. In addition, coach Magath and several players left for stronger clubs: Kevin Kurányi for Schalke 04, Philipp Lahm for Bayern Munich and Aliaksandr Hleb for Arsenal.

Halfway through the disappointing 2005–06 season, Giovanni Trapattoni was sacked and replaced by Armin Veh. The new coach was designated as a stop-gap due to having resigned from Hansa Rostock in 2003 to focus on his family and having no football job since 2004 except coaching his home team Augsburg for a season. Supported by new manager Horst Heldt, Veh could establish himself and his concept of focusing on promising inexpensive players rather than established stars. Team captain Zvonimir Soldo retired, and other veterans left the team that slipped to ninth place and did not qualify for European competition for the first time in four years.

Bundesliga champions 2006–07

Despite early-season losses and ensuing criticism in 2006–07, including a 3–0 loss at home to Nuremberg, Veh managed to turn the collection of new players like Mexicans Pável Pardo, and Ricardo Osorio, and Brazilian Antônio da Silva and fresh local talents, including Mario Gómez, Serdar Tasci and Sami Khedira, into a strong contender that led the league on 12 November 2006 for the first time in two years. Stuttgart established themselves among the top five and delivered a strong challenge for the Bundesliga title by winning their final eight games. In the penultimate week on 12 May 2007, Stuttgart beat VfL Bochum 3–2 away from home, took the Bundesliga lead from Schalke 04 and secured a spot in the 2007-08 UEFA Champions League. After trailing 0–1 in the final match of the season against Energie Cottbus, Stuttgart came back to win 2–1 and claim their first Bundesliga title in 15 years. The victory celebrations in Stuttgart (250,000 people) even topped those of Germany's third place win over Portugal in the 2006 World Cup.

In addition, VfB had their first ever chance to win the double as they also reached the final of the German Cup for the first time since their victory there ten years former. Their opponents in the cup final in Berlin were Nuremberg, a team that had beaten them twice by 3 goals in regular season, 3–0 and 4–1, but last had won the cup in 1962. With the game level at 1–1 in the first half, Stuttgart's scorer Cacau was sent off. Nuremberg gained a 2–1 lead early in the second half, but the ten men of VfB managed to fight back and equalize. In the second half of extra time, with both teams suffering from exhaustion and the humid conditions, Nuremberg scored the winning goal.

Champions League 2007–08

The 2007–08 UEFA Champions League draw on August 30, 2007 paired the German champions with Spanish giants Barcelona, French champions Lyon and Scottish Old Firm side Rangers. Like in the 2003–04 Champions League season, Stuttgart's 2007–08 European campaign started with a match at Glasgow's Ibrox Park against Rangers. It ended in a 2–1 defeat. The second match at home against Barcelona was lost, too, 0–2, as well as the 3rd match, against Lyon at home, with the visitors coming out 2–0 winners from 2nd half strikes. Five defeats and just one win (over Rangers) meant the early exit on the European stage. In the league they managed to become 6th after a poor start. New Germany star Mario Gómez scored 19 goals.

Subsequently, UEFA Cup qualification was ensured in the summer by succeeding in the UEFA Intertoto Cup 2008.

2008-09 season

The 2008-09 season, like the one before it, came off to a bad start. After matchday 14 in November, VfB was only 11th in the table. As a result, Armin Veh was sacked and replaced by Markus Babbel. After exiting the German FA Cup after a thrashing 1-5 defeat to FC Bayern Munich in January, things improved considerably and the team ended up third, with 2nd place just being missed after a loss to Bayern Munich on the last matchday. That meant the chance of making the Champions League again.

Internationally, VfB mastered the group stages of the UEFA Cup 2008-09, but lost to Cup defenders FC Zenit Saint Petersburg in the round of the last 32 in February.

2009-10 season: returning to the Champions League

VfB went into the season with Mario Gomez gone, but Pavel Pogrebnyak arriving from FC Zenit and Aliaksandr Hleb returning (on loan from FC Barcelona).

On the European level, VfB started the season with a huge success by qualifying for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2009-10. VfB entered that competition for the third time in six years (after 2003 and 2007) by defeating Romanian side FC Timisoara in the UCL qualification "play-off round" on August 18 and 26, 2009. VfB were drawn into Group G against Spanish side Sevilla, Scottish champions Rangers and Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni. VfB were also drawn against Rangers in their previous two Champions League Group Stage appearances.

Stadium

The home ground of VfB Stuttgart is the Mercedes-Benz Arena which was originally built in 1933. It lies close to the River Neckar on Bad Cannstatt's Mercedes-Straße near the new Mercedes-Benz Museum and Mercedes-Benz factory. After being renovated several times, the stadium can hold a maximum capacity of 55,896 spectators (50,000 for international matches). Unlike most other Bundesliga stadiums, the former Neckarstadion retains the traditional athletic track around the playing field despite intentions to convert it into a football-only stadium. As for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion was one of the venues for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, hosting five preliminary round matches, a First Knockout Round match (England vs. Ecuador) and the third place play-off (Germany vs. Portugal). From the 2008–09 season, the stadium will be renamed the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, starting with a pre-season friendly against Arsenal on July 30, 2008.[6]

Rivalries, friendships and cooperations

The longest rivalry of VfB is the city rivalry with Stuttgarter Kickers (Die Roten/Reds against Die Blauen/Blues). However, the respective first teams of the two clubs haven't played each other since Kickers were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga in 1992. Thus, this derby has increasingly been overtaken in importance by the Baden-Württemberg-Derby between VfB and Karlsruher SC, KSC, for short. In this derby, old Badenian-Württembergian animosities are played out. The rivalry with Bavarian side FC Bayern München (Süd-/South Derby) is mainly one-sided, as VfB fans are angry at Bayern for buying some of Stuttgart's best players and coaches in recent years, such as Giovane Elber, Felix Magath and Mario Gómez.

A fan friendship has developed in recent years with Energie Cottbus, which went as far as the two fan groups celebrating VfB's German Championship 2007 together after Stuttgart's win over Cottbus on the last matchday.

Regional friendships exist between VfB and the South Württemberg side SSV Reutlingen (little brother of VfB) as well as with North Württembergers SpVgg Ludwigsburg.

In 2005, a cooperation treaty between VfB and Swiss Super League side FC St. Gallen was signed, especially with regard to the youth sectors of both clubs.

Honours

National

Regional

International

Youth

Trivia

  • The merger that created VfB was held in the Concordia hotel in Bad Cannstatt, a district of the city of Stuttgart.
  • VfB are nicknamed "the Reds" for their team colours, featuring a red chest ring on white jerseys. Local rivals Stuttgarter Kickers, wearing blue and white, are "the Blues".
  • Reserve goalkeeper Alexander Stolz has achieved cult status with Stuttgart's fans by playing drums for the official recording of the club's anthem, 'Stuttgart für immer' (Stuttgart Forever), by German pop group Silbermond

Club management

  • Dieter Hundt, chairman, entrepreneur
  • Erwin Staudt, CEO & president since 26 June 2003
  • Horst Heldt, general manager, former Bundesliga player (since 1990, for VfB 2003-2005)

Players

As of February 1, 2010. For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2009, and List of German football transfers winter 2009–10.

Current squad

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Germany GK Jens Lehmann
3 Mexico DF Ricardo Osorio
4 Netherlands DF Khalid Boulahrouz
5 Germany DF Serdar Tasci
6 Germany DF Georg Niedermeier
7 Germany MF Martin Lanig
9 Romania FW Ciprian Marica
12 Germany GK Alexander Stolz
13 Germany MF Timo Gebhart
14 Germany MF Patrick Funk
15 Côte d'Ivoire DF Arthur Boka
16 Germany MF Sebastian Rudy
17 France DF Matthieu Delpierre (captain)
18 Germany FW Cacau
No. Position Player
19 Germany MF Roberto Hilbert
21 Italy DF Cristian Molinaro (on loan from Juventus)
22 Germany MF Matthias Schwarz
23 Belarus MF Aliaksandr Hleb (on loan from FC Barcelona)
24 Germany GK Sven Ulreich
26 Germany MF Daniel Didavi
27 Germany DF Stefano Celozzi
28 Germany MF Sami Khedira
29 Russia FW Pavel Pogrebnyak
31 Germany FW Alessandro Riedle
32 Serbia MF Zdravko Kuzmanović
35 Germany MF Christian Träsch
38 Austria MF Clemens Walch
39 Germany FW Julian Schieber

Players out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
25 Brazil MF Élson (at Hannover 96 until June 2010)
No. Position Player
Cameroon MF Georges Mandjeck (at 1. FC Kaiserslautern until June 2010)

Managers/coaches

Name Period Honors
Germany Grünwald 1920
England Edward Tom Hanney (1889–1964) July 1, 1924 - January 1927 Württemberg/Baden champions 1927
Hungary Lajos Kovács (b. 1894) September 1927 - December 31, 1929 Württemberg champions 1929/30
Germany Emil Friz (1904–1966) January 1, 1930 - June 15, 1930
Germany Karl Preuß June 15, 1930–1933
Germany Willi Rutz (1907–1993) July 1933 - 1934
Germany Emil Gröner (b. 1892) 1934–1935
Germany Fritz Teufel (b. 1910) 1935 - June 30, 1936 German championship runners-up 1935,
Gauliga Württemberg champions 1935
Germany Leonhard "Lony" Seiderer (1895–1940) July 1, 1936 - June 30, 1939 Gauliga Württemberg champions 1937, 1938
Germany Karl Becker (1902–1942) March 1939 - April 1939
Germany Josef Pöttinger (1903–1970) May 1, 1939 - October 1939
Germany Fritz Teufel July 1, 1945 - June 30, 1947 Oberliga Süd champions 1946
Germany Georg Wurzer (1907–1982) July 1, 1947 - April 30, 1960 German champions 1950, 1952, Runners-up 1953,
Oberliga Süd champions 1952, 1954, German Cup 1954, 1958
Germany Kurt Baluses (1914–1972) May 1, 1960 - February 24, 1965
Germany Franz Seybold (1912–1978) February 25, 1965 - March 7, 1965
Germany Rudi Gutendorf (b. 1926) March 8, 1965 - December 6, 1966
Germany Albert Sing (b. 1917) December 7, 1966 - June 30, 1967
Germany Gunther Baumann (1921–1998) July 1, 1967 - June 30, 1969
Germany Franz Seybold Juli 1, 1969 - June 30, 1970
Yugoslavia Branko Zebec (1929–1988) July 1, 1970 - April 18, 1972
Germany Karl Bögelein (b. 1927) April 19, 1972 - June 30, 1972
Germany Hermann Eppenhoff (1919–1992) July 1, 1972 - December 1, 1974
Germany Fritz Millinger December 2, 1974 - December 13, 1974
Germany Albert Sing December 14, 1974 - June 30, 1975
Hungary István Sztani (b. 1937) July 1, 1975 - March 31, 1976
Germany Karl Bögelein April 1, 1976 - June 30, 1976
Germany Hans-Jürgen Sundermann (b. 1940) July 1, 1976 - June 30, 1979 Bundesliga runners-up 1979
Germany Lothar Buchmann (b. 1936) July 1, 1979 - June 30, 1980
Germany Hans-Jürgen Sundermann July 1, 1980 - June 30, 1982
Germany Helmut Benthaus (b. 1935) July 1, 1982 - June 30, 1985 German champions 1984
Croatia Otto Barić (b. 1932) July 1, 1985 - March 4, 1986
Germany Willi Entenmann (b. 1943) March 5, 1986 - June 30, 1986 German Cup runners-up 1986
Germany Egon Coordes (b. 1944) July 1, 1986 - June 30, 1987
Netherlands Arie Haan (b. 1948) July 1, 1987 - March 26, 1990 UEFA Cup runners-up 1989
Germany Willi Entenmann March 27, 1990 - November 19, 1990
Germany Christoph Daum (b. 1953) November 20, 1990 - December 10, 1993 German champions 1992
Germany Jürgen Röber (b. 1953) Dezember 15, 1993 - April 25, 1995
Germany Jürgen Sundermann April 26, 1995 - June 30, 1995
Austria Rolf Fringer (b. 1957) July 1, 1995 - August 13, 1996
Germany Joachim Löw (b. 1960) August 14, 1996 - June 30, 1998 German Cup 1997, Cup Winners' Cup runners up 1998
Germany Winfried Schäfer (b. 1950) July 1, 1998 - December 4, 1998
Germany Wolfgang Rolff (b. 1959) December 5, 1998 - Dezember 31, 1998
Germany Rainer Adrion (b. 1953) January 1, 1999 - May 2, 1999
Germany Ralf Rangnick (b. 1958) May 3, 1999 - February 23, 2001
Germany Felix Magath (b. 1953) February 24, 2001 - June 30, 2004 Bundesliga runners-up 2003
Germany Matthias Sammer (b. 1967) July 1, 2004 - June 3, 2005
Italy Giovanni Trapattoni (b. 1939) June 17, 2005 - February 9, 2006
Germany Armin Veh (b. 1961) February 10, 2006 - November 23, 2008 German champions 2007, German Cup runners-up 2007
Germany Markus Babbel (b. 1972) November 23, 2008 - December 6, 2009
Switzerland Christian Gross (b. 1954) December 6, 2009 - incumbent

Prominent and important Coaches

Bundesliga Position

References

External links








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