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- VfB Stuttgart
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Address: Mercedesstraße 109, 70372 Stuttgart Germany
Phone: +49 (0) 1805 8325463
Fax: +49 (0) 711 55007 - 196
Official URL: http://www.vfb-stuttgart.de
Chairman: Bernd Wahler
Club Director: Fredi Bobic
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Arena
Stuttgart, the reigning Bundesliga champions, are the fifth largest sports club in Germany with over 40,000 members.
‘Der Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart’ (VfB Stuttgart) was formed in April 1912 with a merger between two separate sports clubs- Stuttgarter FV and the Kronen-Club Canstatt. Both clubs were made up of predominantly middle-class members as opposed to the working class roots of many other German clubs.
The new, combined club played in the Bezirksliga Württemburg/Baden until the German league system was reorganised in 1933. VfB were placed into the Gauliga Württemburg and achieved a good level of success, winning titles in 1935, 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1943.
In 1935 they made their first appearance in the National Championship and made it all the way to the final where they met Schalke. Unfortunately the Swabians lost 6-4 in Cologne, but were nonetheless welcomed as heroes upon their return home.
Resurgence and Success
After the war VfB resumed play, appearing in the Oberliga Süd. With Germany in disarray and the club struggling to re-establish itself, Stuttgart spent a few years finishing in mid-table. In 1950, though, they finished second and their most successful era was about to begin.
They quickly replaced Stuttgarter Kickers as the number one team in the city and their second place finish entitled them to take part in the National Championship once more. Again the club made it all the way to the final in Berlin and this time beat Kickers Offenbach 2-1 to seal their very first German Championship. On their return to the main station in Stuttgart they were warmly greeted by the State president, thousands of fans, and members of the 1935 team that had lost to Schalke.
The club clinched their second German Championship within three years when they beat FC Saarbrücken in the 1952 final in Ludwigshafen. The club had the chance to defend their title the following year, but went down to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Kaiserslautern. In 1954 Stuttgart won their first German Cup with a 1-0 win over FC Köln.
With the establishment of the Bundesliga in 1963, Stuttgart’s consistently good play in the 1950’s earned them a place in the new top division of German football. However, due to traditional Swabian austerity, the club didn’t spend money on the side, but rather continued to rely on players who had a second job alongside football.
The club finished fifth in their opening season but became a predominantly mid-table side for most of the decade. In 1973 Stuttgart qualified for the Uefa Cup for the first time thanks to their sixth place finish. The following season they progressed all the way to the semi-final, only to lose to eventual winners Feyenoord.
In April 1975 President Weitpert resigned admitting his investment policy had failed and local politician Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder took over. However at the end of the 1974/75 season VfB were relegated from the Bundesliga after finishing 16th.
The following season was seen as the worst in their history, with the club only making it to 11th in the second division. The low-point was a 3-2 home defeat to lowly Reutlingen, this game being watched by only 1,200 spectators.
Return to the top
Financial constraints meant the club relied heavily on young players, but they were nonetheless promoted back to the top flight in 1976/77 with their “hundred-goal attack”. Ottmar Hitzfeld, the current Bayern boss, hit a record six goals for them in an 8-0 win over SSV Jahn Regensburg.
Their first season back in the Bundesliga saw them finish fourth and set another record. This time their average attendance of 54,000 was a league best.
Key players at this time included Hansi Müller, Karlheinz Forster, Dieter Hoeneß, and Karl Allgöwer. With such talent available, Stuttgart managed to achieve qualification for the Uefa Cup every year until 1980. They reached the semi-final again in 1980 but lost out to German rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In 1984 the club achieved their third German Championship, winning the Bundesliga under trainer Helmut Benthaus. With the team level on points with Hamburg after 32 matches, it looked as if the league would be decided on the very last weekend with a top of the table clash at the Neckar Stadion against HSV. However the Hanseaten had to win by five clear goals to pip Stuttgart to the title. They did win, but only 1-0, with the goal coming in the last minute as the home fans celebrated their success.
The club reached their second Uefa Cup final in 1989 but lost rather unfairly to Napoli over two legs. They had to do without star striker Jurgen Klinsmann after he was suspended. In 1992 VfB clinched their fourth league title in one of the closest title races in years, finishing ahead of Borussia Dortmund only on goal-difference.
Stuttgart then missed out on European competition until 1997 when their German Cup win qualified them for the Cup-Winners Cup. They reached another final but lost to English side Chelsea.
Due to poor results and high debts Mayer-Vorfelder resigned in 2000 being replaced by Manfred Haas. Finances were such that the club began to invest heavily in their policy and created one of the most successful youth programs in Germany.
With talented youngsters like Andreas Hinkel, Kevin Kuranyi, Timo Hildebrand, and Alexander Hleb, the side finished second in the 2002/03 season. They have continued to be a top 5 side ever since. Last season the club made a return to winning ways as they stormed past Schalke winning their last eight matches to land their fifth Bundesliga title.
Armin Veh, who had replaced Giovanni Trappatoni the previous year, successfully led his young charges to the title overcoming Schalke, Werder, and Bayern Munich in the process. The club did very well over the summer to fend off interest from bigger European clubs and hold on to key stars like Mario Gomez and Fernando Meira.
|GER1||Mönchengladbach - VfB Stuttgart||1 - 1|
|GER1||VfB Stuttgart - SC Freiburg||2 - 0|
|GER1||VfB Stuttgart - Dortmund||2 - 3|
|GER1||FC Nürnberg - VfB Stuttgart||2 - 0|
|GER1||VfB Stuttgart - HSV||1 - 0|
|GER1||Werder Bremen - VfB Stuttgart||1 - 1|
|GER1||VfB Stuttgart - Braunschweig||2 - 2|
|GER1||Eintracht Frankfurt - VfB Stuttgart||2 - 1|