Monday, October 31, 2016

VfB Stuttgart Greatest All-Time Team

Bundesliga 1983-1984 title
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

VfB Stuttgart is best known for its football team which is part of Germany's first division Bundesliga. VfB Stuttgart has won the national championship five times, most recently in 2006–07; the DFB-Pokal three times; and the UEFA Intertoto Cup a record three times.

The football team plays its home games at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, in the Neckarpark which is located near the Cannstatter Wasen where the city's fall beer festival takes place. Second team side VfB Stuttgart II currently plays in the Regionalliga Südwest, which is the second highest division allowed for a reserve team. The club's junior teams have won the national U19 championships a record ten times and the Under 17 Bundesliga six times.
1952 German Champion

Team
GK: Eike Immel (Germany)
Impel started with Borussia Dortmund.  He made a two million Deutsche Mark transfer to VfB Stuttgart in 1986, the biggest fee ever paid for a goalkeeper in the history German football at that time. He played 9 years as Stuttgart's regular goalkeeper, winning the Bundesliga title in 1992 and the UEFA Cup runner-up medal in 1989 with them. Afterwards he left for Manchester City, where he retired at the end of the 1995–96 season. Capped 19 times, largely because he retired from the West German team at the age of 28.
Eike Immel
GK: Timo Hildebrand (Germany)
Hildebrand was as part of what became known as "Stuttgart's young wild ones" team under coach Felix Magath in the early 2000's. Hildebrand also played a significant role in Stuttgart's victorious 2006–07 Bundesliga campaign, figuring as a backbone for the next generation of "wild ones" helping Stuttgart provide the third-best defence of the season. In 2007, he joined Valencia, but he never found the same successes after his stint with Stuttgart.  Earned 7 caps.

GK: Günter Sawitzki  (Germany)
Sawitzki played with tiny Sodingen, who had finished third in Germany in 1955, to join VfB Stuttgart in 1956. He stayed with VfB Stuttgart for the rest of his career.  For the national team, He was Toni Turek's successor in the West German goal. He went to the 1958 and 1962 FIFA World Cup, although he remained reserve on both occasions.

RB: Andreas Hinkel (Germany)
Andreas Hinkel started his career with VfB Stuttgart in 2000, before moving to La Liga club Sevilla in 2006.  He also played for Celtic and Freiburg.  While with stuttgart, he belonged to a generation known as the "wild ones".  Hinkel played 21 matches for Germany between 2003 and 2009, and was in their squad for Euro 2004.


CB/RB: Thomas Berthold (Germany)
He began his career in 1982 with Eintracht Frankfurt and played for them until 1987. From 1987 until 1991 he played in Italy: for Hellas Verona (1987–1989) and AS Roma (1989–1991). He then returned to Germany, signing for FC Bayern Munich (1991–1993) and VfB Stuttgart (1993–2000). He also played for Adanaspor. Between 1985 and 1994, Berthold earned 62 caps, participating in Mexico 1986 and Euro 1988 held in West Germany. He was a member of the West German team that won the 1990 World Cup,

CB: Karl-Heinz Forster (Germany)
With West Germany, Forster earned 81 caps between 1978 and 1988. He won the European Championship in 1980, and came 2nd at the World Cup in both 1982 and 1986.  He was regarded one of the best defenders in the 1980's.  He played with VFB Stuttgart and Marseille.  With Stuttgart, he won a Bundesliga in the 1983–84 season.  He won two league titles in France. His brother Bernd also played for West Germany and VfBStuttgart.
Karl-Heinz Forster
CB/LB: Günther Schäfer (Germany)
In his sixteen years playing for VfB Stuttgart, the defender gained the status of being one of the most popular players ever to play for them and one of the few players to earn two German championship titles with them. The most well-known play of his career was to clear a ball from the goal line by a bicycle kick, risking injury, in the final match of the 1991-92 season against Bayer Leverkusen, which Stuttgart went on to win 2-1, thus gaining the German championship title that season.

CB: Bernd Förster (Germany)
Förster started with SV Waldhof Mannheim, in Bundesliga 2. In 1975, he switched to FC Bayern Munich, but his stay there was highly unsuccessful. After establishing himself in the top flight with 1. FC Saarbrücken, Förster switched to VfB Stuttgart, where he played with his brother Karlheinz in the back-four. Capped 33 times, he was a key player at the WC finals in 1982, where he partnered his brother Karl-Heinz.

CB: Zvonimir Soldo (Croatia)
Soldo played with NK Dinamo Zagreb, NK Zadar and NK Inter Zaprešić in Croatia before joining VfB Stuttgart in 1996 where he played until 2016. During this period, Soldo won the German cup in 1997 and reached the European Cup Winners Cup final in 1998, as well as finishing as runner-up in the 2002/03 campaign. Capped 61 times.  He was Croatia's team at the 1998 World Cup Finals, where they reached the semi-final. He also played in Japan/Korea four years later.

LB: Ludovic Magnin (Switzerland)
In 1999, he made his professional debut for Yverdon Sports. In the summer of 2000, he transferred to Ticino side AC Lugano. In 2002, Magnin joined Werder Bremen, where he won the double (German Championship and German Cup). In 2005, he transferred to VfB Stuttgart, where he became a first-team regular within the first season and was a key player for his team in the following 2006–07 season.  Earned 63 caps and was at one point, the Swiss captain.

LB: Philipp Lahm (Germany)
Philipp Lahm was the captain of the 2014 World Cup winning team.  He also won the treble in 2013 when Bayern Munich won the Champions' League, the German Cup and the Bundesliga.  He also played with VfB Stuttgart on loan. He earned 113 caps for Germany at the end of the World Cup Finals in 2014 where he retired from the national team.  He was included in the World Cup team of the tournament in 2006 and 2010.  

CB/CM: Guido Buchwald (Germany)
The best game of Buchwald's career was probably the final of the 1990 FIFA World Cup where he effectively marked the skilled footballer Diego Maradona, earning him the nickname "Diego". He was also part of Germany's disappointing 1994 FIFA World Cup squad and collected in his career 76 caps. he spent most of his career with Stuttgart, winning two league titles.  At the end of his career, he played in Japan.
Guido Buchwald
CM: Hermann Ohlicher (Germany)
Hermann Ohlicher spent ten seasons in the Bundesliga with VfB Stuttgart, playing 318 matches in the West German top-flight between 1973 and 1985. He won the league title in 1984, playing alongside Asgeir Sigurvinsson, Karl-Heinz Forster,  Guido Buchwald, etc,  He is Stuttgart's all-time appearance leader

CM: Karl Allgöwer (Germany)
Karl Allgöwer started with 2. Bundesliga team Stuttgarter Kickers from 1977 to 1980 as striker.  He moved to local rival VfB Stuttgart in 1980.   In 1989 the powerful free-kick specialist was part of the team that got defeated by Diego Maradona's SSC Napoli in the UEFA Cup final. He was capped 10 times. He was non-playing member at Mexico 1986.

CM: Bo Larsson (Sweden)
Bo Larsson was Sweden Player of the Year in 1965 and 1973.  He was the first player to win the award twice. He spent most of his career with Malmo.  He spent three seasons as a top player with Vfb Stuttgart.   He was awarded "Athlete of the Year" in 1969 by the city of Stuttgart.  In total he got 70 caps, scoring 17 times, and played at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, 1974 FIFA World Cup and 1978 FIFA World Cup.
Bo Larrson
CM/DM: Sami Khedira (Germany)
He began his career at VfB Stuttgart, winning the Bundesliga in 2007, before moving to Real Madrid in 2010. In his five seasons in Spain, he won seven domestic and international trophies, including the UEFA Champions League in 2014. In 2015, he moved to Italian side Juventus on a free transfer, and immediately won the Serie A title in his first season with the club.  Earned over 70 caps.  He was a key player for Germany since 2009, winning the WC in 2014.


CM: Asgeir Sigurvinsson (Iceland) 
Asgeir Sigurvinsson is conisdered to be Iceland's greatest players.  He spent his foreign career with Standard Liege, Bayern Munich and VfB Stuttgart.  He spent 8 seasons with Standard Liege before spending an un successful season with Bayern Munich. He won the Bundelsliga in 1983-1984 with Stuttgart after joining them in 1982. He had 46 caps.

AM/CF/RW: Robert Schlienz (Germany)
Schlienz joined VfB Stuttgart in 1945 after the War. But in 1948, he amputed his left forearm after a car accident. Despite being handicapped, he was the captain and playmaker at VfB Stuttgart, leading the team to win the German Championship twice in 1950 and 1952 (runner-up in 1953) and the German Cup twice in 1954 and 1958. He earned three caps for West Germany under the famous coach Sepp Herberger.
Robert Schlienz

CM: Thomas Hitzlsperger (Germany)
Hitzlsperger started his career for Aston Villa in England, before returning to Germany to play for Stuttgart, where he played between 2005 and 2010 and won the Bundesliga in 2007. He also played for Lazio, West Ham United, Wolfsburg and Everton. He earned 52 caps.  He appeared at the 2006 World Cup Finals and then, two years at the Euro 2008.  After his retirement, he came out as gay, the highest-profile male footballer to do so.

CM: Hansi Müller (Germany)
Playing for his hometown side VfB Stuttgart, he took part in Euro 1980 with West Germany after a brief taste of action at the 1978 World Cup Finals, where he started all four games. The tournament would prove to be Müller's international peak as they emerged victorious. He had a disappointing 1982 World Cup, and despite returning to Italy to play for F.C. Inter Milan, he made his 42nd and last appearance for Die Mannschaft the following year.

AM: Krassimir Balakov 
Krassimir Balakov was one of the star player from the Golden Generation of the 1990's. He made 92 appearances for Bulgaria, between 1988 and 2003.  He was best remembered for forming a successful attacking partnership with strikers Fredi Bobic and Giovane Élber at Stuttgart, where he won two UEFA Intertoto Cups (2000 and 2002) and a DFB-Pokal (1997).  Before Stuttgart, He also had a successful spell with Sporting CP, playing with Luis Figo.
Krassimir Balakov 
ST: Mário Gómez (Germany)
Gomez started with Stuttgart before moving to Bayern Munich in 2009, winning a Bundesliga title in 2006-2007.  With Bayern Munich, Gómez was the Bundesliga top scorer in 2011, and helped the team to seven honours, including the UEFA Champions League in 2013.  Later, he played for Fiorentina and Besiktas.  At the time of writing, he has 78 caps.  He appeared in most major tournaments between 2008 and 2018.

ST: Giovane Elber (Brazil)
Discovered by AC Milan at the age of 18,  Elber went unnoticed there before he moved to Grasshopper Club Zürich.  At Stuttgart he formed the so-called magic triangle with Krassimir Balakov and Fredi Bobic. The following summer, he moved to Bayern Munich where, save for one year, he was always crowned the club's top scorer. He won the Champions' League in 2001. Due to stiff competition, Élber only played 15 times for Brazil.  
Elber
ST: Fredi Bobic (Germany)
Born in Yugoslavia, he emigrated to Germany as a baby.  He first made a name with Stuttgart.  In 1996, he was the Bundesliga's top scorer with 17 goals. At Stuttgart, he formed part of a successful attacking line-up, along with  Giovane Élber and attacking midfielder Krasimir Balakov, known as the "magic triangle".  He would also play for Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin, etc.  Capped 37 times.  He helped Germany to win the Euro 1996 in England.

ST: Jurgen Klinsmann (Germany)
Klinsmann won the World Cup in 1990 and then, captained the 1996 European Championship winning team.  He played in all major international tournaments from 1988 until his retirement in 1998.  He had successful club spells with Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspurs. He was a popular player while in England, despite a lot of negative press at the time of his signing.  He won both the FWA Footballer of the Year and PFA Player of the Year in 1995.  
Jurgen Klinsmann

Honorable Mention
Alexander Hleb, Dieter Hoeneß, Ricardo Osorio, Karl Barufka, Matthias Sammer, Kevin Kurányi, Cacau, Rolf Blessing, Fritz Walter, Erwin Waldner, Erich Retter, Helmut Roleder, Marcelo Bordon.

Squad Explanation
-- This is not a balanced team.  I am out of my depth with my knowledge of this club.  I selected too many midfielders and strikers.
-- From the early 1950's, Stuttgart won two league titles.  Robert Schlienz was the only member of that ear that made my team. Karl Barufka was the last player dropped from my team.
-- From the 1983-1984 Bundesliga team, I have the following players: Asgeir Sigurvinsson, Karl-Heinz Forster, Hermann Ohlicher, Bernd Forster and Guido Buchwald. 
-- From 2006-2007 team, I have the following players: Thomas Hitzlsperger, Timo Hidebrand and Mario Gomez.  Sami Khedria was a young player that season. 
-- The team was also the finalist at the 1989 UEFA Cup, losing to Diego Maradona's Napoli in the Final. Eike Immel, Guido Buchwald, Ásgeir Sigurvinsson and Jurgen Klinsmann were a part of that team.
-- I selected Thomas Hitzlsperger over Karl Barufka.  I am not too familiar with Barufka.
-- Giovane Élber, Fredi Bobic and Krasimir Balakov formed an attack line what was known as the "magic triangle"(German: Magisches Dreieck).  Under manager Joachim Löw, they were one of the most exciting line in the Bundesliga in the late 1990's.  They reached the Final of the 1998 Cup Winners Cup. Zvonimir Soldo and Thomas Berthold also played on that team.
-- Zvonimir Soldo edged out Marcelo Bordon. Soldo was the captain of the club for over 200 matches.
-- Philipp Lahm only spent two seasons on loan with Vfb Stuttgart. He made a big impact over there, finishing second as the German Player of the Year in his first season.  
-- Both Timo Hildebrand and Andreas Hinkel was very good when he played for Stuttgart.  Hildebrand edged out Helmut Roleder.

Formation



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