VfL Wolfsburg II
VfL Wolfsburg II
is a football (soccer) club from Germany.
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About VfL Wolfsburg II
VfL Wolfsburg is a professional Football in Germany based in Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, who play in the Fußball-Bundesliga football competition. Wolfsburg have won the Fußball-Bundesliga once in their history, in the 2008–09 Fußball-Bundesliga season, and were DFB-Pokal runners-up in 1995. The current head coach is Felix Magath. The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group.
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 which 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.
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
. However, Wolfsburg
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 (football) – was formed in 1963, VfL
was playing in the Regionalliga Nord (II) having just moved up from the Verbandesliga Niedersachsen (III).
Second division and advance to the Bundesliga
VfL 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, was holding the fifth place in the 33rd fixture, and they had hopes to reach the 4th place, and the UEFA Champions League 1999–00 participation. Losing 6–1 away to MSV Duisburg in the final fixture, the Wolves finished in the 6th place with 55 points, and qualified to the UEFA Cup 1999-00. They qualified for the Intertoto Cup in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005, enjoying their best run in 2003 by reaching the final where they lost to Italian side AC Perugia. This was followed by a couple of seasons of little success for the club when only narrowly avoiding relegation with two 15th place finishes in the Fußball-Bundesliga 2005–06 and Fußball-Bundesliga 2006–07.
For the Fußball-Bundesliga 2007–08 the club hired former FC Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath, with whom they managed to finish an astonishing 5th 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 Fußball-Bundesliga 2008–09, under Magath, Wolfsburg claimed their biggest success by winning their first Bundesliga title after defeating SV Werder Bremen 5–1 on 23 May 2009. During this campaign, Wolfsburg equalled the longest winning streak in one Bundesliga season with 10 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. As a result of their title win, Wolfsburg qualified for the UEFA Champions League 2009–10 for the first time in their history.
In the 2009–10 Fußball-Bundesliga, 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 2009–10 UEFA Champions League they came third in their group, behind Manchester United F.C. and PFC 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 2009–10 UEFA Europa League. They defeated Spanish side Villareal CF 6–3 on aggregate, and Russian champions FC Rubin Kazan 3–2. In the quarter finals they were however, beaten 3–1 by eventual finalists Fulham F.C..
On 11 May 2010, the permanent head coach's position was filled by former England national football team manager Steve McClaren. After having guided FC Twente to their first ever Eredivisie he was rewarded by becoming the first ever English coach to be given the chance to manage a Bundesliga side. On 7 February 2011 it was announced that McClaren had been sacked and that Pierre Littbarski would be taking over.
However, Wolfsburg lost for 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.
- - Winners (1): 2008–09 Fußball-Bundesliga
- - Runners-up (1): 1994–95 DFB-Pokal
- German amateur football championship:
- - Runners-up (1): 1963
- Regionalliga Nord (1963–74) (II):
- - Runners-up (1): 1970
- Niedersachsenliga Amateuroberligas Niedersachsen West and Ost (II):
- - Winners (3): 1952, 1954, 1963
- Oberliga Nord (III):
- - Winners (2): 1991, 1992, 2009, 2010
- - Runners-up (3): 1976, 1978, 1988
- German Under 19 championship (football)
- - Runners-up (1): 2008
- Under 19 Bundesliga (football)
- - Winners (1): 2008
- Under 17 Bundesliga (football)
- - Winners (1): 2009
Wolfsburg play at the Volkswagen Arena, which seats a total capacity of 30,000 spectators. Volkswagen Arena is a multi-purpose stadium in Wolfsburg, Germany and serves as the home stadium for 2008/09 Bundesliga champions VfL Wolfsburg. The Volkswagen Arena finished construction in 2002. Before completion, VfL Wolfsburg played their home games at the 20,500 capacity VfL-Stadium, where the amateur squad still plays. Currently the stadium is used mostly for the home games of VfL Wolfsburg, and is the site where they won their first Bundesliga title in the 2008-2009 season. Elton John, Anastacia and Bonnie Tyler performed their songs in the Volkswagen Arena
First team squad
For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2011 and List of German football transfers winter 2011–12.
Players out on loan
VfL Wolfsburg II squad
Manager: Alexander Strehmel
Notable former players
- Willi Giesemann
- Thomas Brdaric
- Martin Wagner (footballer)
- Zoltán Sebescen
- Stefan Effenberg
- Mike Hanke
- Roy Präger
- Tobias Rau
- Albert Streit
- Stefan Schnoor
- Hans Sarpei
- Pablo Thiam
- Diego Klimowicz
- Andres D'Alessandro
- Facundo Hernán Quiroga
- Dietmar Kühbauer
- Peter Van Der Heyden
- Edin Džeko
- Zvjezdan Misimović
- Marcelinho Paraiba
- Robson Ponte
- Marian Hristov
- Petar Mihtarski
- Martin Petrov
- Banza Kasongo
- Tomislav Marić
- Jesper Christiansen
- Peter Madsen
- Thomas Rytter
- Claus Thomsen
- Steve Marlet
- Levan Tskitishvili
- Charles Akonnor
- Isaac Boakye
- Mahmood Ebrahimzadeh
- Kevin Hofland
- Obafemi Martins
- Jonathan Akpoborie
- Krzysztof Nowak
- Waldemar Kryger
- Andrzej Juskowiak
- Dorinel Munteanu
- Brian O'Neil (footballer born 1972)
- Miroslav Karhan
- Claudio Reyna
- Brian McBride
- Chad Deering
- Mike Lapper