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Verein fÃ¼r Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 E. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart (German pronunciation: [faÊŠÌ¯ Ê"É›f beË ËÊƒtÊŠtÉ¡aÊt]), is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg. The club is best known for its football team which is part of Germany's first division Bundesliga, missing only two seasons of play since the top tier of the German football league system was established in 1963. VfB Stuttgart has won the national championship five times, most recently in 2006â"07, the DFB-Pokal three times and also UEFA Intertoto Cup three times (record).
The football team plays its home games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in the Neckarpark which is located near the Cannstatter Wasen where the city's Oktoberfest celebration takes place. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II currently plays in the 3. Liga, which is the highest division allowed for a reserve team. The club's junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record 10 times and the Under 17 FuÃŸball-Bundesliga 6 times.
A membership-based club with 45,636 members (as of September 2011), VfB is the largest sports club in Baden-WÃ¼rttemberg and the fifth largest in Germany. It has departments for fistball, hockey, track and field, table-tennis and football referees, all of which compete only at the amateur level. The club also maintains a social department, the VfB-Garde.
Foundation to WWII
Verein fÃ¼r Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed through 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 who learned new sports such as rugby union and football from English expatriates such as William Cail who introduced rugby in 1865.
Stuttgarter FuÃŸballverein was founded at the Zum Becher hotel in Stuttgart on 9 September 1893. FV were initially a rugby club, playing games at StÃ¶ckach-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 6â"3. Rugby was soon replaced by football within the club, as spectators found the game too complicated to follow.
In 1909, FV joined the SÃ¼ddeutschen FuÃŸballverband (South German Football Association), 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 SÃ¼dkreis-Liga in 1912.
Cannstatter FuÃŸballklub 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. The new team joined the SÃ¼ddeutschen FuÃŸballverband (SFV) as a second division club and won promotion in 1904. Krone possessed their own ground, which still exists today as the home of TSV MÃ¼nster.
Following the 1912 merger of these two clubs, the combined side played at first in the Kreisliga WÃ¼rttemberg and then in the Bezirksliga WÃ¼rttemberg-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 1920s and early 1930s.
1930s and 1940s
In 1933, the VfB moved to Neckar Stadium, site of its current ground. German football was re-organized that same year under the Third Reich into sixteen top-flight divisions called Gauligen. Stuttgart played in the Gauliga WÃ¼rttemberg and enjoyed considerable success there, winning division titles in 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1943 before the Gauliga system collapsed part way through the 1944â"45 season due to World War II. 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 4â"6 to defending champions Schalke 04, the dominant side of the era. After a third-place result at the national level in 1937, Stuttgart was not able to advance out of the preliminary rounds in subsequent appearances.
Successes through the 1950s
After the war, VfB continued to play first division football in the Oberliga SÃ¼d, capturing titles in 1946, 1952, and 1954. They made regular appearances in the German championship rounds, emerging as national champions in 1950 and 1952, finishing as runner-up in 1953, and winning two German Cups in 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. Despite these successes, no player from the Stuttgart roster had a place on the team that won the 1954 FIFA World Cup.
Due to disappointing results in international competition including the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cup, and in response to the growth of professionalism in the sport, the German Football Association (Deutscher FuÃŸball Bund or DFB) replaced the regional top flight competitions with a single nationwide professional league in 1963. Stuttgart's consistently good play through the 1950s earned them a place among the sixteen clubs that would make up the original Bundesliga. As an amateur organisation, and due to proverbial Swabian austerity, the club hesitated to spend money, and some players continued to work in an everyday job. Throughout the balance of the decade and until the mid-1970s the club would generally earn mid-table results. One of the few stars of the time was Gilbert Gress from Strasbourg.
In 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 (1â"2, 2â"2).
1975â"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 1974â"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 JÃ¼rgen Sundermann and new talents like Karlheinz FÃ¶rster and Hansi MÃ¼ller, the team around Ottmar Hitzfeld scored hundred goals in 1976â"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 1977â"78, the VfB was ranked fourth, 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 â" the club's third national title â" in 1984, now under coach Helmut Benthaus.
In 1986, VfB lost the German Cup final 2â"5 to Bayern Munich. In the 1989 UEFA Cup Final, with JÃ¼rgen Klinsmann in their ranks, they lost out to Napoli (1â"2, 3â"3) where Diego Maradona was playing at the time.
In 1991â"92, Stuttgart 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 (1991â"92) after losing their second round match to Spanish side Osasuna (2â"3). As national champions, the club qualified to play in the UEFA Champions League in 1992â"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 LÃ¶w. 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 Ã‰lber and Fredi Bobic left. LÃ¶w's contract was not renewed, he was replaced by Winfried SchÃ¤fer 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.
2000â"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 German Football Association, UEFA, and FIFA. New President Manfred Haas had to renegotiate expensive contracts with players who 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 German youth Championship.
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 KurÃ¡nyi, 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 2002â"03 season. In July 2003 Erwin Staudt became the new president of the club.
Champions League 2003â"04
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 (0â"1 and 0â"0) (see also 2003â"04 UEFA Champions League).
Stuttgart 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 another clubs: Kevin KurÃ¡nyi for Schalke 04, Philipp Lahm for Bayern Munich, and Alexander Hleb for Arsenal.
Halfway through the disappointing 2005â"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 2006â"07
Despite early-season losses and ensuing criticism in 2006â"07, including a 3â"0 loss at home to 1. FC Nuremberg, Veh managed to turn the collection of new players like Mexicans PÃ¡vel Pardo, and Ricardo Osorio, and Brazilian AntÃ´nio da Silva and fresh local talents, including Mario GÃ³mez, 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 Bochum 3â"2 away from home, took the Bundesliga lead from Schalke 04, and secured a spot in the 2007â"08 UEFA Champions League. After trailing 0â"1 in the final match of the season against Energie Cottbus, Stuttgart came back to win 2â"1 and claim their first Bundesliga title in 15 years. The victory celebrations in Stuttgart (250,000 people) even topped those of Germa
ny's third place win over Portugal in the 2006 FIFA 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, 3â"0 and 4â"1, but last had won the cup in 1962. With the game level at 1â"1 in the first half, Stuttgart's scorer Cacau was sent off. Nuremberg gained a 2â"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.
2007 to present: roller coaster rides
Champions League 2007â"08
The 2007â"08 UEFA Champions League draw on 30 August 2007 paired the German champions with Spanish giants Barcelona, French champions Lyon and Scottish Old Firm side Rangers. Like in the 2003â"04 Champions League season, Stuttgart's 2007â"08 European campaign started with a match at Glasgow's Ibrox Park against Rangers. It ended in a 2â"1 defeat. The second match at home against Barcelona was lost, too, 0â"2, as well as the third match, against Lyon at home, with the visitors coming out 2â"0 winners from two-second half strikes. Five defeats and just one win (over Rangers) meant the early exit on the European stage. In the league, they managed to finish in sixth place after a poor start. New German national team star Mario GÃ³mez scored 19 goals.
Subsequently, UEFA Cup qualification was ensured in the summer by succeeding in the UEFA Intertoto Cup 2008.
Post-championship seasons 2008â"12
The 2008â"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 1â"5 defeat to Bayern Munich in January, things improved considerably and the team ended up third, with second place just being missed after a loss to Bayern on the last matchday. That meant the chance of making the Champions League again.
Internationally, VfB mastered the group stages of the 2008â"09 UEFA Cup, but lost to Cup defenders Zenit Saint Petersburg in the round of the last 32 in February.
Stuttgart went into the 2009â"10 season with Mario GÃ³mez leaving for Bayern Munich, just as Pavel Pogrebnyak arrived from Zenit Saint Petersburg and Alexander Hleb returning on loan from Barcelona.
On the European level, Stuttgart started the season with a huge success by qualifying for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League 2009-10. Stuttgart entered that competition for the third time in six years (after 2003 and 2007) by defeating Romanian side FC Politehnica TimiÈ™oara in the Champions League qualification "play-off round" on 18 and 26 August 2009. VfB were drawn into Group G against Spanish side Sevilla, Scottish champions Rangers, against whom they had also been drawn against in their previous two Champions League Group stage appearances, and Romanian champions Unirea Urziceni. With two wins (one each against Rangers and Unirea), three draws (one each against all opponents) and a loss (to Sevilla) they managed second spot in the group, thus qualifying for the round of the last 16, where they had to face title holders Barcelona in late winter. After a superb home game against BarÃ§a which Stuttgart, however, did not manage to win (1â"1), they were eliminated in a 4â
"0 rout at the Camp Nou.
In the 2009â"10 German Cup, they didn't proceed further than the last 16 either, losing to second-tier side Greuther FÃ¼rth. That defeat came in the course of a disappointing first half of the 2009â"10 Bundesliga season. As a consequence of slipping to 16th spot in December, young coach Markus Babbel was fired after matchday 15 and replaced by the more experienced Swiss Christian Gross. Under his tenure, VfB improved their situation domestically as well as internationally before the winter break. During that break, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Jan Å imÃ¡k, and Ludovic Magnin left the club; Cristian Molinaro was loaned out from Juventus. In the later half of the season, the team â" as in the 2008â"09 season â" had a fantastic, almost unbroken, winning streak. As the best team of that second (return) round of the Bundesliga, the Swabians under Christian Gross climbed into the upper half of the table and, after a sensational rally, eventually managed to qualify for European football next s
eason through the UEFA Europa League.
The 2010â"11 season was a mediocre one: After again spending the first half of the season almost always in the relegation zone (17th and 18th spot), with Christian Gross being fired and interim coach Jens Keller taking over for the rest of the first leg, Bruno Labbadia was hired as new coach in January and managed to save VfB from relegation. Eventually, the team finished 12th after a decent second-half performance. In July 2011 Erwin Staudt did not participate again in the election of the president and Gerd E. MÃ¤user was elected as president.
The following 2011â"12 season in the new year managed to constantly climb up the table; this was especially thanks to a long unbeaten streak in the Spring. Subsequently, VfB qualified for the 2012-13 UEFA Europa League. Especially important during the season were offensive midfielder Martin Harnik, who scored 17 goals, as well as winger Gotoku Sakai and forward Vedad IbiÅ¡eviÄ‡, who both came to Stuttgart in January 2012.
VfB Stuttgart's recent performance have left much to be desired. After barely avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga in the 2014-15 season, Stuttgart once again find themselves in an early relegation battle in the current 2015-16 season, having been unable to lift themselves out of the bottom three positions in the league table so far. Following Matchday 13, home vs Augsburg, and their second consecutive 4-0 loss, Stuttgart decided to terminate Alexander Zorniger and appointed JÃ¼rgen Kramny as their manager for an indefinite period.
With effect from 3 June 2013 Gerd E. MÃ¤user announced his resignation as president of VfB Stuttgart. On 2 July 2013 the supervisory board of the club named Bernd Wahler as the candidate for the presidential elections. On 22 July 2013 Wahler was elected by 97.4% of the votes cast.
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-StraÃŸe 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). 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). Since the 2008â"09 season, the stadium was named the Mercedes-Benz-Arena, starting with a pre-season friendly against Arsenal on 30 July 2008. The stadium recently went through extensive restructuring and rebuilding as it was being converted into a pure football arena. In 2011, the capacity was increased to 60,441.
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-WÃ¼rttemberg-Derby between VfB and Karlsruher SC, KSC, for short. In this derby, old Badenian-WÃ¼rttembergian animosities are played out. The rivalry with Bavarian side Bayern Munich (SÃ¼d-/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 Ã‰lber, Felix Magath and Mario GÃ³mez.
Regional friendships exist between VfB and the South WÃ¼rttemberg side SSV Reutlingen 05 (little brother of VfB) as well as with North WÃ¼rttembergers SpVgg Ludwigsburg. On a national level, supporters groups of VfB used to be closely connected with those of Energie Cottbus, 1. FC SaarbrÃ¼cken, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt. All of these supporter group friendships have been discontinued by today or are only maintained by few supporter groups. Current ultras friendships are with the ultras of SSV Reutlingen 05 and Cesena.
In 2005, a cooperation treaty between VfB and Swiss Super League side St. Gallen was signed, especially with regard to the youth sectors of both clubs.
Winners: 1950, 1952, 1984, 1992, 2007
Runners-up: 1935, 1953, 1979, 2003
Winners: 1954, 1958, 1997
Runners-up: 1986, 2007, 2013
German Super Cup:
Runners-up: 1997, 1998, 2005, 2014
Winners: 1945â"46, 1951â"52, 1953â"54
Runners-up: 1949â"50, 1952â"53, 1955â"56
2nd Bundesliga SÃ¼d:
Winners: 1926â"27, 1929â"30
Winners: 1934â"35, 1936â"37, 1937â"38, 1942â"43
Runners-up: 1938â"39, 1939â"40, 1940â"41, 1941â"42
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup:
UEFA Intertoto Cup:
Winners: 2000, 2002, 2008 (record)
German Under 19 championship
Champions: 1973, 1975, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 2003, 2005
Runners-up: 1972, 1977, 1982, 1999, 2002
German Under 17 championship
Champions: 1986, 1994, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2013
Runners-up: 1988, 1990, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2012, 2015
Under 19 Bundesliga South/Southwest
Champions: 2005, 2008
Under 17 Bundesliga South/Southwest
Champions: 2013, 2015
Scores and results list Stuttgart's goal tally first.
Bernd Wahler, chairman of the executive board since 22 July 2013
Joachim Schmidt, chairman of the supervisory board since 18 June 2013
Robin Dutt, board representative for sport
As of 1 February 2016
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Current coaching staff
Coaches since 1920
Managers of the club since 1920:
The season-by-season performance of the club since 1963:
VfB Stuttgart 1893e.V. â" Official team site
HefleswetzKick â" VfB Stuttgart Team and History Site
f-archiv â" The German Football Archive historical German football league tables (in German)
eufo.de European football club profiles
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