Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart (German pronunciation: [faʊ̯ ʔɛf beː ˈʃtʊtɡaʁt]), is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club's football team is currently part of Germany's first division, the Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart is one of Germany's most successful clubs. The club has won the national championship five times, most recently in 2006–07, the DFB-Pokal three times and the UEFA Intertoto Cup a record three times.
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 fall beer festival takes place. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II currently plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, which is the second highest division allowed for a reserve team. The club's junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record ten times and the Under 17 Bundesliga six times.
A membership-based club with over 64,000 members, VfB is the largest sports club in Baden-Württemberg and the fifth-largest in Germany. It has departments for fistball, field 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.
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed through a 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 Fußballverein was founded at the Zum Becher hotel in Stuttgart on 9 September 1893.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. Rugby was soon replaced by association football within the club, as spectators found the game too complicated to follow.
In 1909, FV joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband (South German Football Association),Südkreis-Liga in 1912.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
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.The new team joined the Süddeutschen Fußballverband (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 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 1920s and early 1930s.
In 1933, VfB moved to Neckar Stadium, the 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 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 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 4–6 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.
VfB continued to play first division football in the Oberliga Süd, 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 DFB-Pokal titles 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 squad had a place in 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 Fußball Bund, or DFB) replaced the regional top flight competitions with a single nationwide professional league in 1963. Stuttgart's consistently solid play through the 1950s earned them a place among the 16 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.
VfB Stuttgart was in crisis in the mid-1970s, having missed new trends in football such as club 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. However, a draw in the final game of the season meant that VfB would be ranked 16th and lose its Bundesliga status. The first season in the 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 just 1,200 spectators.
With new coach Jürgen Sundermann and new talents like Karlheinz Förster and Hansi Müller, the team built around Ottmar Hitzfeld scored one hundred goals in 1976–77 and thus returned to the top-flight 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, 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 – the club's third national title – in 1984, now under coach Helmut Benthaus.
In 1986, VfB lost the DFB-Pokal final 2–5 to Bayern Munich. In the 1989 UEFA Cup Final, with Jürgen Klinsmann in their ranks, they lost out to Napoli (1–2, 3–3), where Diego Maradona was playing at the time.
In 1991–92, 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 (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 were 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 the tie's second leg.
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 Élber and Fredi Bobic left. Löw's contract was not renewed and he was replaced by Winfried Schäfer, who in turn was sacked after one season.
Stuttgart's performance, however, 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 having veterans like Balakov.
Due to high debts and the lack of results, Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder finally resigned from VfB in 2000 to take over offices at the DFB, 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 Mayer-Vorfelder 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 Intertoto Cup, but the resulting extra strain of the UEFA Cup participation ended in narrowly escaping from relegation in 2001 by clinching the 15th spot in the league table. Rangnick was replaced by Felix Magath.
With players like Andreas Hinkel, Kevin Kurányi, Timo Hildebrand, and 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. In July 2003, Erwin Staudt became the new president of the club.
VfB qualified for their second Champions League appearance for 2003–04, beating Manchester United and Rangers once and Panathinaikos twice to advance from the group stage as runners-up to Manchester United. They were then matched against Chelsea in the round of 16, falling 0–1 and 0–0 over two legs.
Stuttgart continued to play as one of the top teams in the country, earning fourth and fifth place Bundesliga finishes in 2003–04 and 2004–05 respectively, and again taking part in the UEFA Cup, but without great success. In addition, coach Magath and several players left for another clubs: Kevin Kurányi for Schalke 04, Philipp Lahm for Bayern Munich and Alexander 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, save for coaching his home team FC Augsburg for one 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.
Despite early-season losses and ensuing criticism in 2006–07, including a 3–0 loss at home to 1. FC Nürnberg, Veh managed to turn the collection of new players like Mexicans Pável Pardo, and Ricardo Osorio, 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, taking the Bundesliga lead from Schalke 04 and at minimum securing a spot in the 2007–08 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, totalling 250,000 people, even topped those of Germany'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 1. FC Nürnberg, a team that had beaten them twice by three goals in regular season, 3–0 and 4–1, and had last won the cup in 1962. With the game level at 1–1 in the first half, Stuttgart's scorer Cacau was sent off. Nürnberg 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, however, with both teams suffering from exhaustion and the humid conditions, Nürnberg scored the winning goal.
The 2007–08 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 2003–04 UEFA Champions League season, Stuttgart's 2007–08 European campaign started with a match at Ibrox Park in Glasgow against Rangers. It ended in a 2–1 defeat. The second match at home against Barcelona was likewise lost, 0–2, as well as the third match, against Lyon at home, with the visitors coming out 2–0 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 international star Mario Gómez scored 19 goals.
Subsequently, UEFA Cup qualification was ensured in the summer by succeeding in the 2008 UEFA Intertoto Cup.
The 2008–09 season, like the one before it, got off to a bad start. After matchday 14 in November, VfB was only 11th in the table and as a result, Armin Veh was sacked and replaced by Markus Babbel. After exiting the German Cup after a 1–5 thrashing from Bayern Munich in January, prospects improved considerably and the team ended third in the table, 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.
Stuttgart went into the 2009–10 season with Mario Gómez 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 2009–10 UEFA Champions League. Stuttgart entered that competition for the third time in six years (after 2003 and 2007) by defeating Romanian side Politehnica Timișoara in the Champions League play-off round on 18 and 26 August 2009. VfB were then 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 Barça which Stuttgart, however, did not manage to win (1–1), they were eliminated in a 4–0 rout at Camp Nou.
In the 2009–10 DFB-Pokal, they did not proceed further than the last 16 either, losing to second-tier side SpVgg Greuther Fürth. That defeat came in the course of a disappointing first half of the 2009–10 Bundesliga. 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 Šimák and Ludovic Magnin left the club; Cristian Molinaro was loaned out from Juventus. In the later half of the season, the team – as in the 2008–09 season – had a fantastic, almost unbroken, winning streak. As the best team of that second (return) round of the Bundesliga, the Swabians under Gross climbed into the upper half of the table and, after a sensational rally, eventually managed to secure European football for the following season by qualifying for the Europa League.
The 2010–11 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. Mäuser was elected as president.
In the following 2011–12 season, they 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. Key players during that season were Martin Harnik, who scored 17 goals, as well as winger Gōtoku Sakai and forward Vedad Ibišević, who both came to Stuttgart in January 2012.
With effect from 3 June 2013, Gerd E. Mäuser announced his resignation as president of VfB Stuttgart.Bernd Wahler as the candidate for the presidential elections. On 22 July 2013, Wahler was elected by 97.4% of the votes cast.On 2 July 2013, the supervisory board of the club named
After barely avoiding relegation from the Bundesliga in the 2014–15 season, Stuttgart were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga in the 2015–16 season after finishing in 17th place, having been unable to lift themselves out of the bottom three positions until the end of the season. Following matchday 13, a home match against FC Augsburg and their second consecutive 4–0 loss, Stuttgart decided to terminate Alexander Zorniger's contract and appointed Jürgen Kramny as their manager for an indefinite period. After Stuttgart were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, Wahler resigned as president on 15 May 2016. Kramny was subsequently sacked as coach.
On 17 May 2016, Jos Luhukay was announced as the new head coach. Luhukay resigned on 15 September 2016 and was replaced by Hannes Wolf. At the end of the season, Stuttgart returned to the Bundesliga as the 2. Bundesliga champions. On 22 December 2017, after nearly 10 years since his departure, Bundesliga title winning striker Mario Gomez returned to the team from fellow Bundesliga side VfL Wolfsburg, The team made a solid return season to the Bundesliga, finishing in 7th place. However, they slumped to 16th the following season, eventually ending up relegated via play-offs against Union Berlin.
Stuttgart appointed Thomas Hitzelsberger as managing director sport, and in April they appointed Sven Mislintat, coming from Borussia Dortmung and Arsenal London, as sporting director. In July 2019 Stuttgart was relegated to the second division, and started to rebuild the team. Mid season, in December 2019, the coach was fired and Pellegrino Matarazzo was signed. After one season Stuttgart returned to the Bundesliga after finishing second in the 2019–20 2. Bundesliga season. 2020 the contract of Mislintat was prolonged giving him more responsibility.
Kit used in 2019 season featuring German international star Mario Gomez.
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 was able to hold a maximum capacity of 55,896 spectators (50,000 for international matches). For the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion (its original name) 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 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 60,449.
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. In this derby, old Badenese-Württembergian animosities are played out. The rivalry with Bavarian side Bayern Munich ("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 Élber, Felix Magath, Mario Gómez, and Benjamin Pavard.
Regional friendships exist between VfB and the South Württemberg side SSV Reutlingen 05 (the "little brother" of VfB) as well as with North Württembergers SpVgg Ludwigsburg. On a national level, supporters groups of VfB used to be closely connected with those of Energie Cottbus, 1. FC Saarbrücken, 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 Italian club Cesena.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Managers of the club since 1920:
The season-by-season performance of the club since 1963:
Write a comment (no registration required)