VfL Wolfsburg

Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg e. V., commonly known as VfL Wolfsburg (pronounced [faʊ̯ ʔɛf ʔɛl ˈvɔlfsbʊʁk]) or Wolfsburg, is a German sports club based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg. It is best known for its football department, but other departments include badminton, handball and athletics.

The men's professional football team play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. Wolfsburg have won the Bundesliga once in their history, in the 2008–09 season, the DFB-Pokal in 2015 and the DFL-Supercup in 2015.

Professional football is run by the spin-off organization VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group.[1][2] Since 2002, Wolfsburg's stadium is the Volkswagen Arena.

VfL Wolfsburg
Logo-VfL-Wolfsburg
Full nameVerein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg e. V. (Sports club)
Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg Fußball GmbH (Professional football club)
Nickname(s)Die Wölfe (The Wolves)
Founded12 September 1945
GroundVolkswagen Arena
Capacity30,000
OwnerVolkswagen (of GmbH)
Executive DirectorFrank Witter
Head CoachOliver Glasner
LeagueBundesliga
2018–196th
WebsiteClub website

History

A new team in a new city

The city of Wolfsburg was founded in 1938 as Stadt des KdF-Wagen to house autoworkers building the car that would later become famous as the Volkswagen Beetle. The first football club affiliated with the autoworks was known as BSG Volkswagenwerk Stadt des KdF-Wagen, a works team. This team played in the first division Gauliga Osthannover in the 1943–44 and 1944–45 seasons.

On 12 September 1945, in the aftermath of World War II, a new club was formed and was known briefly as VSK Wolfsburg. This side began play in the green and white still worn by VfL today; local youth trainer Bernd Elberskirch had ten green jerseys at his disposal and white bed sheets donated by the public were sewn together by local women to make shorts.

On 15 December 1945, the club went through a crisis that almost ended its existence when all but one of its players left to join 1. FC Wolfsburg. The only player remaining, Josef Meyer, worked with Willi Hilbert to rebuild the side by signing new players. The new group adopted the moniker VfL Wolfsburg, VfL standing for Verein für Leibesübungen. This can be translated as "club for gymnastics" or "club for exercises." Within a year they captured the local Gifhorn title. In late November 1946, the club played a friendly against longtime Gelsenkirchen powerhouse Schalke 04 at the stadium owned by Volkswagen, emerging as the successor to BSG as the company sponsored side.

Postwar play

Wolfsburg Performance Chart
Historical chart of Wolfsburg league performance after WWII

The club made slow but steady progress in the following seasons. They captured a number of amateur level championships, but were unable to advance out of the promotion playoffs until finally breaking through to the top tier Oberliga Nord in 1954 with a 2–1 victory over Heider SV. Wolfsburg, however, struggled in the top flight, narrowly missing relegation each season until finally being sent down in 1959. When Germany's first professional football league, the Bundesliga, was formed in 1963, Wolfsburg was playing in the Regionalliga Nord (II) having just moved up from the Verbandsliga Niedersachsen (III), reaching the German Amateur Championship Final that same year (0–1 vs. VfB Stuttgart Amat.).

Second division and advance to the Bundesliga

Vfl Wolfsburg old
Historical logo of VfL Wolfsburg in use until 2002.

Wolfsburg remained a second division fixture over the next dozen years with their best performance being a second-place finish in 1970. That finish earned the club entry to the promotion round playoffs for the Bundesliga, where they performed poorly and were unable to advance. From the mid-1970s through to the early 1990s, Die Wölfe played as a third division side in the Amateur Oberliga Nord. Consecutive first-place finishes in 1991 and 1992, followed by success in the promotion playoffs, saw the club advance to the 2. Bundesliga for the 1992–93 season.

Wolfsburg continued to enjoy some success through the 1990s. The team advanced to the final of the German Cup in 1995 where they were beaten 0–3 by Borussia Mönchengladbach, but then went on to the top flight on the strength of a second-place league finish in 1997.

Early predictions were that the club would immediately be sent back down, but instead, the Wolves developed into a mid-table Bundesliga side. In the 1998–99 season, Wolfsburg, under Wolfgang Wolf, were holding onto the fifth spot in the 33rd round of fixtures, and they had hopes of making fourth place, to gain UEFA Champions League participation. Losing 6–1 away to MSV Duisburg in the final fixture, the Wolves finished in sixth place with 55 points and qualified for next season's UEFA Cup. They also qualified for the Intertoto Cup in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005, enjoying their best run in 2003 after reaching the final in which they lost to Italian side Perugia. This was followed by a couple of seasons of little success for the club, just narrowly avoiding relegation with two 15th-place finishes in the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons.

2008–present

Borussia dortmund wolfsburg
Wolfsburg against Borussia Dortmund at the Volkswagen Arena in May 2009.

For the 2007–08 season, the club hired former Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath, with whom they managed to finish in fifth place at the end of the season, the highest finish for the club at the time. This also enabled the Wolves to qualify for the UEFA Cup for only the second time in their history.

In the 2008–09 season, under Magath, Wolfsburg claimed their biggest success by winning their first Bundesliga title after defeating Werder Bremen 5–1 on 23 May 2009. During this campaign, Wolfsburg equalled the longest winning streak in one Bundesliga season with ten successive victories after the winter break. They also became the only team in the Bundesliga to have had two strikers scoring more than 20 goals each in one season, with Brazilian Grafite and Bosnian Edin Džeko achieving this feat in their title-winning season, scoring 28 and 26, respectively, with Zvjezdan Misimović adding record 20 assists.[3] As a result of their title win, Wolfsburg qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history.

In the 2009–10 season, Wolfsburg dismissed their newly appointed trainer Armin Veh after the winter break due to lack of success, with the club sitting tenth in the league. In the Champions League, they came third in their group, behind Manchester United and CSKA Moscow, losing the chance for a place in the competition's successive round. As a result, they qualified for the Round of 32 phase of the UEFA Europa League. They defeated Spanish side Villarreal 6–3 on aggregate and Russian champions Rubin Kazan 3–2. In the quarter-finals, however, they were beaten 3–1 by eventual finalists Fulham.

On 11 May 2010, the permanent head coach's position was filled by former England manager Steve McClaren. After having guided Twente to their first ever Dutch title, he was rewarded by becoming the first English coach to be given the chance to manage a Bundesliga side. On 7 February 2011, however, it was announced that McClaren had been sacked and that Pierre Littbarski would be taking over.[4] Wolfsburg, lost for the fourth time in five matches under him and they finally slipped into the relegation places.

On 18 March 2011, Wolfsburg confirmed that Felix Magath would return as head coach and sporting director, almost two years since he led them to the Bundesliga title and just two days after being fired from his position at Schalke 04. He signed a two-year contract with the club.[5] Magath steered the club to safety, but though the club invested heavily, Magath could only achieve a mid-table finish in the following 2011–12 season. After only five points in eight matches (and no goals and points in the last four games) in the 2012–13 season, Magath left the club by mutual consent and was temporarily replaced by former Wolfsburg reverse team coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner. On 22 December 2012, former 1. FC Nürnberg head coach Dieter Hecking was appointed as Wolfsburg's new head coach on a contract lasting until 2016.

On 2 February 2015, Wolfsburg purchased forward German international, André Schürrle for a fee of €30 million from Chelsea, at the time the most expensive transfer for the club. Schürrle was unhappy with his stint at Chelsea and asked to be transferred to another team.[6] With a reinforced squad, the club finished as runners-up in the 2014–15 Bundesliga—behind Bayern Munich—thus automatically qualifying for the 2015–16 Champions League group stage. On 30 May, the team then won the 2015 DFB-Pokal Final over Borussia Dortmund, the first German Cup victory in the history of the club.

On 1 August, to begin Wolfsburg's 2015–16 competitive season, the team defeated Bundesliga champions Bayern in the 2015 DFL-Supercup on penalties, a major accomplishment by the club due to its lack of trophies throughout history. At the end of the 2015 summer transfer window, Wolfsburg sold 2014–15 German Footballer of the Year, Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City for a reported Bundesliga record departure fee of €75 million.

VfL Wolfsburg vs. TSG Hoffenheim - funky1opti
Wolfsburg fans against TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

The 2015–16 campaign saw Wolfsburg finish in eighth place. The Bundesliga match between Bayern and Wolfsburg saw an extraordinary five goals in nine minutes from forward Robert Lewandowski.[7] It was a record-breaking day by Lewandowski against the Wolfsburg side which had been competitive all season until that point. In the UEFA Champions League, they reached the highest round in team history, the quarter-finals, where they faced Real Madrid and, despite a two-goal aggregate lead from the first match, were eliminated after losing 3–0 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid.

In January 2017, VfL Wolfsburg signed a letter of intent to partner with the U.S.-based Chattanooga FC, which includes women's football, youth development and local social responsibility. The two teams mentioned the future possibility of international friendlies.[8]

Wolfsburg struggled through the 2016–17 season, rotating through several managers and eventually finishing in 16th place in the Bundesliga with only 37 points, putting them in a playoff against Eintracht Braunschweig in which they won 2–0 on aggregate to remain in the top flight.

The 2017-18 season proved to be another disappointing season, in which they finished 16th place in the Bundesliga, putting them in a playoff against Holstein Kiel, a game that they won 4-1 on aggregate.

In the 2018-19 season, Wolfsburg finished 6th in the Bundesliga, thus automatically qualifying for the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League.

Stadium

Wolfsburg plays at the Volkswagen Arena, a multi-purpose stadium which seats a total capacity of 30,000 spectators. Before construction was finished in 2002, Wolfsburg played their home games at the 21,600 capacity VfL-Stadium. The stadium is currently used mostly for the home games of Wolfsburg, and is the site where they won their first Bundesliga title in the 2008–09 season. The amateur squad and the women's association football section is playing since 2015 at the newly built AOK Stadion with a capacity of 5200 people. There is also a new VfL-Center with offices and training areas and the VfL-FußballWelt, an interactive exhibition about the VfL.

Honours

Domestic

Regional

Youth

Players

Current squad

As of 12 July 2019[9][10]

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

No. Position Player
1 Belgium GK Koen Casteels (vice-captain)
2 Brazil DF William
4 Spain MF Ignacio Camacho
5 Netherlands DF Jeffrey Bruma
6 Brazil DF Paulo Otávio
7 Croatia FW Josip Brekalo
8 Switzerland MF Renato Steffen
9 Netherlands FW Wout Weghorst
10 Turkey MF Yunus Mallı
11 Germany MF Felix Klaus
12 Austria GK Pavao Pervan
13 Germany MF Yannick Gerhardt
14 Switzerland FW Admir Mehmedi
15 France DF Jérôme Roussillon
17 Germany DF Felix Uduokhai
No. Position Player
19 Switzerland DF Kevin Mbabu
21 Cameroon MF Paul-Georges Ntep
23 France MF Josuha Guilavogui (captain)
24 Austria MF Xaver Schlager
25 United States DF John Brooks
27 Germany MF Maximilian Arnold (3rd captain)
29 Germany MF John Yeboah
30 Germany GK Niklas Klinger
31 Germany DF Robin Knoche
32 Democratic Republic of the Congo DF Marcel Tisserand
33 Germany FW Daniel Ginczek
36 Germany GK Phillip Menzel
37 Germany MF Elvis Rexhbeçaj
38 Belgium MF Ismail Azzaoui
40 Brazil FW João Victor

Players out on loan

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

No. Position Player
Germany MF Marvin Stefaniak (at Greuther Fürth until 30 June 2021)

Retired numbers

Women's section

The women's team have won a treble of Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2012–13. They defended their Champions League title in 2014.

Coaching staff

As of 1 July 2019
Position Name
Head coach Austria Oliver Glasner
Assistant coach Germany Olaf Janßen
Assistant coach Turkey Eddy Sözer
Goalkeeping coach Switzerland Andreas Hilfiker
Goalkeeping coach Germany Pascal Formann
Fitness coach Germany Günther Kern

Record in Europe

UEFA club rankings

As of 30 May 2019[12]
Rank Team Coefficient
33 Belgium Anderlecht 46.000
34 Spain Athletic Bilbao 46.000
35 Greece Olympiacos 44.000
36 Germany VfL Wolfsburg 40.000
37 Belgium Club Brugge 39.500
38 Italy Fiorentina 39.000
39 Spain Valencia 37.000

Records and statistics

Only for Bundesliga

Most appearances

# Name Matches
Switzerland Diego Benaglio 259
Germany Marcel Schäfer 234
Germany Maximilian Arnold 188
Slovakia Miroslav Karhan 173
Germany Alexander Madlung 166
Brazil Josué 164
Germany Claus Reitmaier 163
Germany Robin Knoche 161
Germany Patrick Weiser 159
10° Argentina Diego Klimowicz 149

Top scorers

# Name Goals
Bosnia and Herzegovina Edin Džeko 66
Brazil Grafite 59
Argentina Diego Klimowicz 57
Poland Andrzej Juskowiak 39
Netherlands Bas Dost 35
Croatia Tomislav Marić 31
Croatia Ivica Olić 28
Bulgaria Martin Petrov 28
Germany Roy Präger 24
10° Germany Maximilian Arnold 22

Managers

Felix Magath 2012 Wolfsburg
Felix Magath led Wolfsburg to win the Bundesliga in 2009

See also

References

  1. ^ "Volkswagen Group Annual Report 2009". 23 May 2009. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  2. ^ "VfL Wolfsburg Club History". Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Wolfsburg's Kevin De Bruyne breaks Bundesliga assists record". Squawka. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Bundesliga – Wolfsburg sack McClaren". Yahoo! Sport. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 8 February 2011.
  5. ^ "Magath back with the Wolves". Bundesliga official website. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Andre Schurrle is set to leave Chelsea for £30m, but who else have the Blues cashed in big on over the past few years?". 19 January 2015. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  7. ^ McKirdy, Euan (23 September 2015). "Robert Lewandowski: Bayern star's five-goal haul shatters records". CNN. Retrieved 29 September 2015.
  8. ^ Staff (10 January 2017). "Chattanooga FC Partners with VFL Wolfsburg". Chattanoogan.com. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Kader". VfL Wolfsburg. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  10. ^ "VfL Wolfsburg Squad". bundesliga.com. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Wolfsburg retire le numéro de Malanda pour la saison prochaine" [Wolfsburg retire Malanda's number for next season]. L'Equipe (in French). 2 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  12. ^ "UEFA Club Coefficients". uefa.com. Meppel: UEFA. Retrieved 30 May 2019.

External links

1995 DFB-Pokal Final

The 1995 DFB-Pokal Final decided the winner of the 1994–95 DFB-Pokal, the 52nd season of Germany's premier knockout football cup competition. It was played on 24 June 1995 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Borussia Mönchengladbach won the match 3–0 against VfL Wolfsburg to claim their third cup title.

2008–09 VfL Wolfsburg season

VfL Wolfsburg won their first ever Bundesliga title during this season. Manager Felix Magath formed an attacking lineup, which included strikers Edin Džeko and Grafite, the pair scoring 54 goals between them, much due to the help of attacking midfielder Zvjezdan Misimović's 20 assists.

2009–10 VfL Wolfsburg season

VfL Wolfsburg did not manage to qualify for international football, in spite of keeping the squad that won the Bundesliga in 2009. Coach Armin Veh was sacked, following a failure to reach the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, and being distanced in Bundesliga. Under interim coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner Wolfsburg managed to finish inside the top half and reach the quarter final in the UEFA Europa League. The most influential player was Edin Džeko, who unlike the team, continued to perform at the top level, topping the Bundesliga's top scoring-chart.

2010–11 VfL Wolfsburg season

VfL Wolfsburg suffered a nightmare season, only just staying up in Bundesliga, in spite of signing internationally seasoned players Diego and Simon Kjær. Being threatened at the bottom of the table, especially after selling key striker Edin Džeko to Manchester City. The replacements were not up to scratch, which saw manager Steve McClaren sacked. Following a short stint with Pierre Littbarski in charge, the club's 2009 championship-winning manager Felix Magath, who just had been sacked from Schalke 04, in spite of having taken them to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Magath dropped Diego, prompting the Brazilian to refuse to sit on the substitutes' bench. In spite of the turmoil, a crucial away win at Werder Bremen helped Wolfsburg to stay just two points above Borussia Mönchengladbach in the relegation-playoff zone.

2012–13 VfL Wolfsburg season

The 2012–13 VfL Wolfsburg season was the 68th season in the club's football history. In 2012–13 the club played in the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football. It was the club's 16th consecutive season in this league, having been promoted from the 2. Bundesliga in 1997.

The club also took part in the 2012–13 edition of the DFB-Pokal, the German Cup, where it reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Bayern Munich.

2014–15 VfL Wolfsburg season

The 2014–15 VfL Wolfsburg season is the 70th season in the club's football history. In the previous season, Wolfsburg had finished in the fifth place, with only one point separating them from the UEFA Champions League spot occupied by Bayer Leverkusen. Nevertheless, they were granted a place in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

2015 DFB-Pokal Final

The 2015 DFB-Pokal Final decided the winner of the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal, the 72nd season of Germany's premier football cup. It was played on 30 May 2015 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin.

Borussia Dortmund, runners-up in the previous final, faced VfL Wolfsburg, who won the game 3–1 to capture their first title, with all four goals in the first half.As winners, they played against Bayern Munich, champions of the 2014–15 Bundesliga, in the 2015 DFL-Supercup, winning in a penalty shootout. Wolfsburg also qualified for the group stage of the 2015–16 UEFA Europa League; this was the first season in which the cup runner-up would not have qualified for the Europa League if the cup winner had qualified for the UEFA Champions League via their league position.

2015 DFL-Supercup

The 2015 DFL-Supercup was the sixth edition of the German Super Cup under the name DFL-Supercup, an annual football match contested by the winners of the previous season's Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal competitions. It featured Bayern Munich, the winners of the 2014–15 Bundesliga and VfL Wolfsburg, the winners of the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal.

Bayern lost 2–0 in the previous edition, to Borussia Dortmund.The match was played on 1 August 2015. Wolfsburg defeated Bayern Munich 5–4 on penalties after the regular game ended 1–1.

2015–16 VfL Wolfsburg season

The 2015–16 VfL Wolfsburg season is the 71st season in the club's football history. In the previous season, Wolfsburg had finished in second place and qualified for the UEFA Champions League. Additionally, they won their first DFB-Pokal trophy in the club's history, defeating Borussia Dortmund in the final.

They opened their season by winning their first DFL-Supercup in the club's history by defeating Bayern Munich in the 2015 final on penalties following a 1–1 draw after 90 minutes.

2016–17 VfL Wolfsburg season

The 2016–17 VfL Wolfsburg season is the 72nd season in the club's football history.

2017–18 VfL Wolfsburg season

The 2017–18 VfL Wolfsburg season is the 73rd season in the football club's history and 21st consecutive and overall season in the top flight of German football, the Bundesliga, having been promoted from the 2. Bundesliga in 1997. In addition to the domestic league, VfL Wolfsburg also are participating in this season's edition of the domestic cup, the DFB-Pokal. This is the 16th season for Wolfsburg in the Volkswagen Arena, located in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. The season covers a period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018.

Frauen-Bundesliga

The Frauen-Bundesliga (English: Women's Federal League), currently known as the Allianz Frauen-Bundesliga due to sponsorship by Allianz, is the top level of league competition for women's association football in Germany. In 1990 the German Football Association (DFB) created the German Women's Bundesliga, based on the model of the men's Bundesliga. It was first played with north and south divisions, but in 1997 the groups were merged to form a uniform league. The league currently consists of twelve teams and the seasons usually last from late summer to the end of spring with a break in the winter.

In the UEFA Women's Champions League, the Frauen-Bundesliga is the most successful league with a total of nine titles from four clubs, with 1. FFC Frankfurt winning the most titles of any club.

John Brooks (soccer, born 1993)

John Anthony Brooks, Jr. (born January 28, 1993) is a German-American soccer player who plays as a defender for VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga and represents the United States national soccer team internationally.Born in Berlin, Germany, he began his career at hometown club Hertha BSC, making his professional debut in 2012 and totaling 130 games and nine goals for the club. The team won the 2. Bundesliga in 2012–13. In 2017, he transferred to VfL Wolfsburg for €20 million, a record for an American player.

Brooks represented both Germany and the United States at youth international level, qualifying for the latter through his father. He made his senior international debut in 2013 and represented the nation at three tournaments, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Lorenz-Günther Köstner

Lorenz-Günther Köstner (born 30 January 1952) is a retired German footballer who is now a football manager who last managed Fortuna Düsseldorf. Following the sacking of Armin Veh on 25 January 2010, he was named interim manager of VfL Wolfsburg until 30 June 2010.

Mahir Sağlık

Mahir Sağlık (born 18 January 1983) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Sakaryaspor.

Oliver Glasner

Oliver Glasner (born 28 August 1974) is an Austrian professional football manager for VfL Wolfsburg. He was former player who played as a defender for Austrian Football Bundesliga side SV Ried.

VfL Wolfsburg (women)

Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg e. V., commonly known as VfL Wolfsburg, is a German women's football club based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. The club is currently playing in the top division of Germany the Bundesliga. The club has won the UEFA Women's Champions League in 2013 and 2014.

VfL Wolfsburg II

VfL Wolfsburg II is a German association football team from the city of Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. It is the reserve team of VfL Wolfsburg. The team's greatest success has been two league championships in the tier four Regionalliga Nord in 2013–14 and 2015–16 which entitled it to take part in the promotion round to the 3. Liga.

The team has also made four appearances in the first round of the German Cup, the DFB-Pokal, in 2001–02, 2002–03, 2003–04 and 2005–06, reaching the second round in 2001–02, after eliminating Borussia Dortmund, and in 2003–04, after eliminating Energie Cottbus in the first.

Volkswagen Arena

Volkswagen Arena (German pronunciation: [ˈfɔlksvaːɡŋ̍ ʔaˌʁeːnaː]; also known as the VfL Wolfsburg Arena due to UEFA sponsorship regulations) is a football stadium in the German city of Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony. It was opened in 2002 and named after the automotive group Volkswagen AG. The Volkswagen Arena has a capacity of 30,000: 22,000 seats and 8,000 standing places. It is located in the Allerpark and is the home stadium of the football team VfL Wolfsburg.

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