VfB Stuttgart

GERMAN CHAMPION 1950, 1952, 1984, 1992, 2007
GERMAN CUP 1954, 1958

VfB is one of the more popular clubs in Germany, and is the basic flagship of the southwestern Baden-Württemberg region, although at times they have been challenged by nearby Karlsruher SC.

In 1893, FV Stuttgart was founded, which merged in 1912 with Kronen-Clubs-Cannstatt to form the current VfB. (Verein für Bewegungsspiele). In 1924, the first coach was signed, an ex-England international, Tom Hanney of Manchester City. The quickly became a regular regional powerhouse, reaching the finals of the German Championship in 1935, ending with a 4-6 loss to the legendary Schalke squad.

After the war, success continued, along with the first of 4 championships. In 1950, they won their first title, defeating Kickers Offenbach 2-1, and 1952, they repeated by knocking off 1.FC Saarbruecken. A couple of DFB Cup wins rounded out the 1950s as a successful decade.

In 1963, VfB was a founding member of the Bundesliga, and aside from a drop in 1975, have been around ever since. Coach Juergen Sundermann initiated one of the most successful runs in club history, bringing them back from the 2.Liga in 1976/77, and then maintain a top 4 position for the next four seasons, and regularily challenge. The nucleus of this team was built around solid defense of the Foerster brothers (with Karl-Heinz being capped some 81 times for Germany) and Guido Buchwald, with the talented Hansi Mueller pulling the strings in midfield and a young Juergen Klinsmann and Karl Allgoewer providing scoring punch up front. After winning the title in 1984 and 1992, Stuttgart has remained one of the more attractive clubs in the Bundesliga. Basically, they flatter to decieve, in that they are capable of exciting attacking soccer one moment, and then like an amateur squad the next. Die Magische Dreieck (magical triangle) of Bulgarian playmaker Krassimir Balakov, German international Fredi Bobic and Brazilian goal poacher Giovane Elber provided extremely attractive play and success, but when Elber wandered off to Bayern Muenchen, it basically began to fall apart.

After a typical 4th place finish in 97-98, capped by a somewhat unlucky 0-1 loss to Chelsea in the Euro CupWinners final, things fell apart. 1998-99 was a disastrous year, as they sucked in virtually all departments. The team feuded among themselves and basically phoned in several games. Relegation was even a possibility, as they slid into the abyss, until finally getting their act together. Star player Fredi Bobic left at season's end, forcing a total rebuild for next year. Meanwhile, the club president, Guenter Mayer-Vorfelder, continues to wield a lot of power in German soccer. Some might consider him a bit of a windbag, but under his guidance, VfB has moved into the upper echelons of the soccer business. VfB ended the century in the usual fashion: playing stylish football, but often crap. However, the youth movement began to bear fruit earlier than expected, and by 2003, Stuttgart was in the Champions League.

The 2007 season ended in a surprise as Stuttgart proved to be the most consistent club, able to grind out the points when it counted. This proved to be decisive, as VfB ended up winning it's first title in 15 years. Whereas Bayern had a down year, the co-favorites Schalke and Bremen self-destructed, and VfB was the last man standing. They performed poorly as champions, but by next season, once again were contending.

Fullname Verein für Bewegungspiele Stuttgart 1893 e.V.
City Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg). Pop: 587,000 (2002)
Address Mercedesstraße 109, 70372 Stuttgart
Phone: (0711) 550070. Fax: (0711) 5500733
Colors White jersey with thick red horizontal stripe across chest. White pants, white socks. Traditionally one of the most recognizable in Germany.
Stadium Gottlieb-Daimler-Stadion. Capacity: 53,218 (47,081 seats)
It was originally built in 1933 for a gymnastics festival (at the time, it was known as the Adolf-Hitler-Kampfbahn), it held a massive 97,000 at the time. In 1949 it was renamed Neckarstadion. In 1993, it acquired it's current sponsor name. (Which goes to show that this perverse habit has invaded Germany as well.) The amateurs play in the Robert Schlienz Stadion (capacity: 5,000). It's named after a famed VfB player who lost his arm in an auto accident in 1948, and came back to continue his career in the 1950s, and was even capped 3 times.
Tickets Range from 10-36 euros (2004). Usually large crowds, but also a big stadium, so tickets should be available, at least against less attractive opponents. Oddly enough, ticket prices are raised against "attractive oppoents", but when crap teams like Wolfsburg show up, show your ticket for Bayern or Dortmund and get a rebate.
Supporters VfB has pretty strong support, at least in SW Germany. (Averaged 43,000 in 2004). They've been the flagship for a long time, and in recent years, their wide open attacking style has won fans.
Foes Karlsruher SC is a rival for regional support. Bayern München is probably the next big enemy.
Heroes At least 30 German internationals. Karl-Heinz Förster holds the record with 81 caps (1978-86), his brother Bernd had another 33. Defender Guido Buchwald (76 caps, 1986-97) was a crowd favorite. Jürgen Klinsmann got the first 12 caps of his eventual 108 with VfB. Aside from the players such as Balakov and Elber, French midfielder Gilbert Gress was one of the first popular foreign players in the late 1960s.
Beer Dinkel-Acker, the world famous brew from Stuttgart.
Pub Grub The "Sports" Bistro in the stadium has "3 delicious daily noodle dishes".
The Net Official site is www.vfb-stuttgart.de Lots of fan pages. ISFA has a mailing list.

Recent History:

1963-64	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
1964-65	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1965-66	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1966-67	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1967-68	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
1968-69	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
1969-70	(I)	Bundesliga		7th
1970-71	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1971-72	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
1972-73	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1973-74	(I)	Bundesliga		9th
1974-75	(I)	Bundesliga		16th
1975-76	(II)	2.Bundesliga Sud	11th
1976-77	(II)	2.Bundesliga Sud	1st
1977-78	(I)	Bundesliga		4th
1978-79	(I)	Bundesliga		2nd
1979-80	(I)	Bundesliga		3rd/4th
1980-81	(I)	Bundesliga		3rd
1981-82	(I)	Bundesliga		9th
1982-83	(I)	Bundesliga		3rd
1983-84	(I)	Bundesliga		1st	CHAMPIONS
1984-85	(I)	Bundesliga		10th
1985-86	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
1986-87	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1987-88	(I)	Bundesliga		4th
1988-89	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
1990-90	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1990-91	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
1991-92	(I)	Bundesliga		1st	CHAMPIONS
1992-93	(I)	Bundesliga		7th
1993-94	(I)	Bundesliga		7th
1994-95	(I)	Bundesliga		12th
1995-96	(I)	Bundesliga		10th
1996-97	(I)	Bundesliga		4th	DFB Cup Winner
1997-98	(I)	Bundesliga		4th	EuroCupWinners finalist
1998-99	(I)	Bundesliga		11th
1999-00	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
2000-01	(I)	Bundesliga		15th
2001-02	(I)	Bundesliga		8th
2002-03	(I)	Bundesliga		2nd
2003-04	(I)	Bundesliga		4th
2004-05	(I)	Bundesliga		5th
2005-06	(I)	Bundesliga		9th
2006-07	(I)	Bundesliga		1st	CHAMPIONS
2007-08	(I)	Bundesliga		6th
2008-09 (I)     Bundesliga		3rd
2009-10 (I)     Bundesliga		6th
2010-11 (I)     Bundesliga		12th
2011-12 (I)     Bundesliga

Abseits Guide to Germany