- VfL Wolfsburg
Football club infobox
clubname = VfL Wolfsburg
fullname = VfL Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH
nickname = "Die Wölfe" (The Wolves)
founded = 1945
capacity = 30,000
chairman = Hans-Dieter Pötsch
manager = flagicon|Germany
league = Bundesliga
season = 2007/08
position = Bundesliga, 5th
VfL Wolfsburg is a German sports club based in
Wolfsburg, Lower Saxony, that currently plays in the country's first division Bundesliga.
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". This team played in the first division Gauliga Osthannover in the 1943-44 and 1944-45 seasons.
On September 12 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 December 15 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. Within a year this new group, now playing as "VfL Wolfsburg", had captured the local Gifhorntitle. In late November 1946, the club played a friendly against longtime powerhouse " Schalke 04" at the stadium owned by the 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 – was formed in 1963, "VfL" was playing in the Regionalliga Nord (II) having just moved up from the Verbandesliga Niedersachsen (III).
econd division and advance to the Bundesliga
"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-70's through to the early 90's 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.
"VfL" continued to enjoy some success through the 90's. The team advanced to the final of the
German Cupin 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. They qualified for the
Intertoto Cupin 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004, enjoying their best run in 2003 by reaching the final where they lost to Italian side AC Perugia. Recently, there was little success for the club, with two 15th place finishes only narrowly avoiding relegation. For the 2007-08 season the club hired former Bayern Munichmanager Felix Magath, with whom they managed to finish an astonishing 5th place at the end of the season and for the second time in the club's history, qualify for the UEFA cup.
"Wolfsburg" play at the
Volkswagen Arena, which seats a total capacity of 30,122 spectators.
"For recent transfers, see
List of German football transfers summer 2008."Fs player|no=|nat=POR|name=Alex|pos=DF*Fs player|no=|nat=USA|name= Kamani Hill|pos=FW*Fs player|no=|nat=GER|name= Simon Jentzsch|pos=GK*"Note: Players marked with * are still under contract at Wolfsburg, but are not considered part of the first team squad anymore."
Players out on loan
Notable former players
*flagicon|GER Martin Wagner
*flagicon|GER Roy Präger
Facundo Hernán Quiroga
* [http://www.vfl-wolfsburg.de Official site]
* [http://www.abseits-soccer.com/clubs/wolfsburg.html Abseits Guide to German Soccer]
* [http://forum.vfl-wolfsburg.de/index.php?sid=8b6b332ae84c360f6bdab8054fee79ff Wolfsburg Forums] de icon
* [http://www.vflwoelfe.de/ Wolfsburg fansite] de icon
* [http://www.resultsfromfootball.com/bundesliga-team/vflwolfsburg.html Club statistics]
* [http://www.football-lineups.com/games/?campaign=15.88 Team formations at Football-lineups]
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