VfL Wolfsberg is certainly not one of the most traditional clubs in the Bundesliga. But that doesn’t mean that the wolves have always been unsuccessful in the past. After all, the club became champions not too long ago and had some big kickers in their own ranks. We take a look at the Allstar XI.
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Diego Benaglio guarded the Wolves goal for nine and a half years and did so most of the time with great success. The Swiss was a leader, a safe support and, especially in the early years, also won games on his own.
Benaglio became champion and cup winner with Wolfsburg. In total, the 38-year-old guarded the wolves’ box 321 times. The 61-time national player has been voted Swiss footballer of the year twice.
The attacking right-back has been playing for VfL Wolfsburg since the 2020/21 season and is also a beacon of hope for the right-back at the DFB. Baku quickly shone with the Wolves with his offensive strength and enthusiasm and secured the European Championship title with the U21s. They are currently waiting for the 24-year-old to take the next step that is slowly due. Baku is far from having reached its full potential. Nevertheless, he is already one of the best right-backs in Wolves’ history.
Andrea Barzagli definitely did not have his best time as a player at VfL Wolfsburg, but alongside Chiellini and Bonucci at Juve and the national team. Nevertheless, the Italian was a regular player and key player in the 2008/09 Wolfsburg title. However, things didn’t go quite as well for the central defender. In the 2010/11 season, he struggled with the Wolves in no man’s land in the table and rarely performed well.
His move to Juve half a year before the contract was signed turned out to be an absolute stroke of luck. After all, he won eight championship titles and four cups with the old lady. The 2006 world champion is definitely one of the most prominent wolf kickers of all time.
Known for his header strength and powerful shot, Naldo is one of the best central defenders in recent Bundesliga history. Naldo played for Wolves between 2012 and 2016 and played 163 games. 20 goals and ten assists are impressive for a central defender, but Naldo was also a rock solid defensively. The almost two meter tall Brazilian won the DFB Cup and the German Super Cup with Wolfsburg.
In the summer of 2012, VfL invested an impressive EUR 8.5 million for the then 19-year-old at FC Zurich. The technically gifted left-back developed brilliantly and was one of the strongest full-backs in the league, especially in the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons. Across all competitions, Rodriguez was able to score 32 in these two years and became runner-up and cup winner with the Wolves.
However, the Swiss was plagued by many injuries and lost that offensive drive. On the other hand, he became more stable defensively and has had an impressive Serie A career, mostly as a central defender at AC Milan and currently at FC Torino. But he didn’t play as well as he did between 2013 and 2015.
Josué was a strong tackler and biting midfielder, who also liked to set an example with unfair tackles. The Brazilian joined Wolves in 2007 and celebrated the league title in his second season. The “aggressive leader” rarely provided highlights in his exactly 200 matches for the wolves, but was extremely important. The 28-time national player was only active for VfL in Europe and moved back to Brazil in March 2013.
Maximilian Arnold is the only Wolfsburg native in this group. The midfielder joined the “wolf pack” at the age of 15 and played his way from the U17s to the pros. The potential of the technically strong midfielder was evident early on. Over time, Arnold has also matured as a fighter and leader, and is considered a set piece specialist. Despite other offers, the 27-year-old has always remained loyal to the Wolves. With 349 appearances and 283 Bundesliga games, Arnold is already the VfL record player.
In January 2014, VfL landed the big coup and signed De Bruyne from Chelsea, who was simply more than stupid in relation to the Belgian. After the offensive player showed good performances in the second half of the season, he really took off in the 2014/15 season. De Bruyne has scored 16 goals and provided 28 assists in 51 games in all competitions. Manchester City signed the attacking midfielder for a whopping 76 million euros. A price that was definitely worth it. Today, the creative and prolific Belgian is one of the best midfielders in the world.
The Bosnian began his career in the Bayern youth team and found his way to Wolfsburg via detours. The Bosnian only played there for two years, but he did it extremely well.
In the championship season, Misimovic shone with seven goals and a whopping 20 assists in the league and a total of eleven goals and 27 assists. In the following season he also put on terrific numbers with 14 goals and 20 assists. In two years at Wolfsburg, the standard specialist and creative player collected an unbelievable 73 points. After leaving Wolfsburg in 2010, the “plum” still played for Galatasaray, Dinamo Moscow and in China. But he was only financially successful.
The Brazilian came to Wolfsburg from Le Mans in 2007 and hit it brilliantly. In 130 games for Wolves, he scored 75 goals and provided 25 assists. His 2008/09 season, in which he was top scorer with 28 stalls despite a meniscus injury and a fractured frontal bone, was particularly great.
His magic goal in the 5-1 win against Bayern was particularly famous, when he circled Lell, Ottl and Rensing like schoolboys and netted with a heel. The complete nonsense for FCB and the symbolic picture for the 2008/09 championship. Grafite wasn’t quite able to keep up the level and left the Wolves in 2011. The Wandervogel had really great success nowhere afterwards.
Grafite strike partner Edin Džeko has had significantly more successful years overall and was only slightly overshadowed by the Brazilian in the championship season. Edin Dzeko has played 135 games in a VfL jersey and has scored 85 goals and provided 35 assists. The Wolfsburg record goalscorer made 26 stalls in the championship season and a year later became Bundesliga top scorer with 22 goals.
In January 2011 he moved to Manchester City. After a few successful years in England and at AS Roma, the Bosnian switched to Inter in the summer of 2021, where the veteran still plays at a high level.
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