VfB Stuttgart | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 08.08.2006
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Sports

VfB Stuttgart

Stuttgart were the pleasant surprise of the season's first half. The young squad led the table for a couple of weeks and ended the year in third place - a huge achievement for a team that was supposed to be rebuilding.

A league title is probably beyond reach of Timo Hildebrand and Stuttgart

A league title is probably beyond reach of Timo Hildebrand and Stuttgart

Nonetheless Stuttgart's management is keeping its feet on the ground. They haven't been throwing money around this winter and are trying to dampen hopes that the squad could bid for a spot the Champions League. "I don't want to talk us down," says commercial manager Horst Heldt, "but it will be hard enough for us to qualify for the UEFA Cup."

Heldt's conservatism is well advised. Stuttgart had troubling scoring goals in the final weeks of 2006, as break-through striker Mario Gomez cooled off. And youngsters like Serdar Tasci have yet to show they can play at the top level for a whole season.

Still Stuttgart are clearly on the right path and should stay within the league's top third.

The Roster

Goal:: Timo Hildebrand, Dirk Heinen, Michael Langer

Defense:: Fernando Meira, Matthieu Delpierre, Markus Babbel, Ludovic Magnin, Serdar Tasci, Andreas Beck, Ricardo Osorio, Arthur Boka

Midfield:: Heiko Gerber, Christian Gentner, Daniel Bierofka, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Antonio da Silva, Roberto Hilbert, Alexander Farnerud, José-Alex Ikeng, Pavel Pardo

Strikers: Jeronimo Cacau, Mario Gomez, Benny Lauth, Tobias Weis, Marco Streller

(as of January 2007)

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