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Verein für Leibesübungen Wolfsburg-Fußball GmbH, usually referred to as VfL Wolfsburg is a Germanmarker professional football club based in Wolfsburgmarker, Lower Saxonymarker. They are the current Bundesliga champions, after winning their first ever league title in the 2008–09 season. The club grew out of a multi-sports club for Volkswagen workers in the city of Wolfsburg and is 100% owned by Volkswagen Group.

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 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 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 Gifhornmarker title. In late November 1946, the club played a friendly against longtime Gelsenkirchenmarker powerhouse Schalke 04 at the stadium owned by Volkswagen, emerging as the successor to BSG as the company sponsored side.

Postwar play

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).

Second division and advance to the Bundesliga

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-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 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 participation. Losing 6-1 away to Duisburg in the final fixture, the Wolves finished in the 6th place with 55 points, and qualified to the UEFA Cup. 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 2005–06 and 2006–07 season.

Felix Magath and the first league title

For the 2007–08 season the club hired former 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 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 10 successive victories after the winter break. They also became the only team in the Bundesliga to have had two strikers to score 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 for the first time in their history.

Honours

Senior











  • Oberliga Nord (III):
    • Winners (2): 1991, 1992
    • Runners-up (3): 1976, 1978, 1988


Youth







Stadium

Wolfsburg play at the Volkswagen Arenamarker, which seats a total capacity of 30,122 spectators.

Current squad

For recent transfers, see List of German football transfers summer 2009 and List of German football transfers winter 2008-09.

Players out on loan

VfL Wolfsburg II squad



Manager: Lorenz-Günther Köstner

Women's section

Current squad

Staff

Head Coach

Assistant Coach

Former Players



Notable former players









External links




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