The Stuttgart side of 2006/07 included the likes of Sami Khedira, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Mexico duo Pavel Pardo and Ricardo Osorio. - © DFL
The Stuttgart side of 2006/07 included the likes of Sami Khedira, Thomas Hitzlsperger and Mexico duo Pavel Pardo and Ricardo Osorio. - © DFL
60 years of Bundesliga

Iconic Bundesliga teams: VfB Stuttgart's 2006/07 shock title winners


VfB Stuttgart's last title-winning side of 2006/07 etched their place in Bundesliga history and were feted by 200,000 locals in extraordinary celebrations. With VfB flying high now, takes a look back at Armin Veh's superb side, who surpassed all expectations after finishing ninth the previous season...

Timo Hildebrand (goalkeeper)

Hildebrand was already a club legend and record-breaker by the start of the 2006/07 season, but he managed to cement his place firmly in Stuttgart fans' hearts by lifting the Bundesliga title in what turned out to be his final season at the club. Having developed in the club's own youth ranks, he soon developed a reputation as a highly dependable shot-stopper and went 884 minutes without conceding a goal between May and October 2003 - which remains a Bundesliga record. He kept 13 clean sheets in the title-winning season and left as a champion in July 2007 to join Valencia, winning a cup in Spain before spells at HoffenheimSchalke and Eintracht Frankfurt.

Watch: Timo Hildebrand - holder of the Bundesliga's longest run without conceding

Ricardo Osorio (right-back)

It can be difficult to scout the planet for unheralded stars at times, but Stuttgart knew they were onto a winner with Mexican full-back Osorio after his outstanding performances at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. He was signed from Cruz Azul in that summer to become one of the first Mexicans to play in the Bundesliga along with Stuttgart teammate Pavel Pardo. Osorio made 27 appearances in the title-winning campaign, scoring what would be his only Bundesliga goal in a 4-0 win at Frankfurt in February 2007. He remained at Stuttgart until 2010, when he retrurned to his native land to sign for Monterrey.

Serdar Tasci (centre-back)

Tasci was a local lad who developed in Stuttgart's youth ranks before being promoted from the reserve team to the first-team squad at the start of the 2006/07 season. He began as an unused substitute in the 3-0 opening-day defeat to Nuremberg but soon became a key part of the title-winning defence. He showed a maturity way beyond his 19 years at the start of the season in 26 appearances, mostly in central defence but also filling in at right-back on several occasions. He continued his solid form in the following seasons for Stuttgart, winning the first of 14 caps for Germany in summer 2008. He remained at the club until 2013, when his career took him to Spartak Moscow, a brief loan spell at Bayern Munich in 2016 and then Istanbul Basaksehir.

Matthieu Delpierre (centre-back)

Delpierre was the other half of a dependable Franco-German central defensive partnership with Tasci. The free signing from Lille in 2004 played the full 90 minutes in 31 out of 34 matches in the title-winning season, and appeared in two other games. Having taken a couple of seasons to settle in the Bundesliga, his emergence as a defensive rock was one of the personal stories of the successful campaign. He went on to become Stuttgart captain from 2009 until shortly before his departure from the club in 2012 for Hoffenheim.

Pavel Pardo and Ricardo Osorio jointly became the first Mexicans to play in the Bundesliga when signing for Stuttgart in 2006 - and became champions the following May. - imago/HJS

Ludovic Magnin (left-back)

The Swiss full-back joined Stuttgart from Werder Bremen in 2005 hoping to become a regular after injury misfortune had restricted to him to a modest 41 Bundesliga appearances in his three years in Bremen (many as a substitute). He remained a squad player for the Swabians at the start of the 2006/07 campaign, but his patience and persistence played off as the season progressed. A run of four goal involvements in three successive wins over Dortmund, Bremen and Frankfurt in February outlined his attacking atributes. Magnin then played the full 90 minutes of seven of the eight successive wins that Stuttgart took at the end of the season to romp to the title. He made 62 appearances for Switzerland in a long international career and returned home to FC Zürich in 2010 for his final two years as a professional.

Pavel Pardo (defensive midfielder)

Why have one Mexican defensive master when you can have two? Pardo joined compatriot Osorio in remaining in Germany after the 2006 World Cup and making a new home in Stuttgart. The defensive midfield position is always a key role for a team challenging for honours and Pardo fulfilled it with all his steel and experience. El Comandante, as he soon became known, played the full 90 minutes of a staggering 33 out of the 34 matches in the 2006/07 season. He made a number of key attacking contributions, including assisting Thomas Hitzlsperger to equalise against Energie Cottbus in the title-sealing 2-1 win on the season's final day. As captain, he had the great honour of lifting the Meisterschale that afternoon in front of the delirious Stuttgart fans. He returned in 2009 to the Mexican club he was signed from, America.

Watch: Bundesliga Common Ground Mexico with Pavel Pardo

Roberto Hilbert (attacking midfielder)

Capable of playing at right-back or right-wing, Helbert proved to be a shrewd signing from Greuther Fürth in summer 2006. He appeared in all 34 matches of the title-winning season and contributed a very valuable seven goals - including four in the final flurry of eight successive wins.  Hilbert's strong form earned him the first of what would be eight caps for Germany in spring 2007. He left Stuttgart for Besiktas in 2010, winning a Turkish title before enjoying a four-year spell back at the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen and ending his playing days in Fürth.

Sami Khedira (attacking midfielder)

One of the most recognisible names from the legendary title-winning side, Khedira was a fresh-faced 19-year-old eager to make his first Bundesliga appearance for Stuttgart at the start of 2006/07. The youngster had to wait until a Matchday 6 tie at Hertha Berlin for his first slice of action, as a stoppage-time substitute. He didn't look back thereafter, with his commanding box-to-box play helping his side to the Bundesliga crown - and Khedira hitting the winning goal in the vital final-day victory over Cottbus. Real Madrid then came calling in 2010. Khedira would win La Liga and the UEFA Champions League in the Spanish capital, Serie A five times for Juventus and the 2014 World Cup for Germany in a truly glittering career. 

Thomas Hitzlsperger (attacking midfielder)

Hitzlsperger made his breakthrough in the professional game at Aston Villa, where he was known as The Hammer for his ability to sink mighty long-distance drives. He swapped the Premier League for Stuttgart and the Bundesliga in 2005. He had been a little-used member of Germany's 2006 World Cup squad but rose into the national consciousness for his key part in Stuttgart's title-winning team. He hit seven goals throughout the 2006/07 Bundesliga season - including two in the final two matches of the campaign. He captained Stuttgart from 2008 for around a year and left in 2010 with spells at Lazio, West Ham, Wolfsburg and Everton following. He worked as sporting director and CEO at Stuttgart from 2019 to 2022 and is also known as the highest-profile figure in football to publicly reveal their homosexuality. 

The 2006/2007 Bundesliga title would be the first of seven league titles Sami Khedira won in a distinguished playing career. - IMAGO / Eisele

Cacau (striker)

The boy from Brazil who became a naturalised German citizen was an experienced Bundesliga attacking operator by the time the 2006/07 season came around, having played for Nuremberg since 2001. He smashed his joint-highest tally of 13 goals in the title-winning campaign, including both goals in a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich in April 2007. He remained at Stuttgart until 2014, scoring a total of 80 Bundesliga goals and making 23 appearances for Germany after becoming eligible for his new homeland in 2009 - getting a goal in the 2010 World Cup. 

Mario Gomez (striker)

Gomez was a young 21-year-old striker keen to make his mark at the start of the 2006/07 season – and he certainly managed that. He was the title-winners' leading scorer with 14 strikes throughout the campaign. He had two particular purple patches - scoring eight goals in 10 matches in the autumn and five in four matches shortly after the winter break. He missed seven matches of the title run-in injured but returned off the bench to head Stuttgart level in a must-win penultimate match at Bochum (they won 3-2). He was named German Football of the Year at the end of 2007 and his goalscoring got more prolific as he aged. His 28 goals in 2010/11 after a move to Bayern saw him crowned Bundesliga top goalscorer. He also hit 31 goals for the German national team.

Watch: Mario Gomez's top 3 goals


Armin Veh

Veh had 16 years of coaching experience by the time he was appointed Giovanni Trapattoni's successor in Stuttgart in February 2006. After their ninth-placed finish in 2005/06, few expected a title success the following year. He was named German Football Coach of the Year in 2007 for inspiring the remarkable Bundesliga win. He later had spells at Wolfsburg, Hamburg and Eintracht Frankfurt before a brief second period in charge at Stuttgart in 2014.

The 2006/07 Bundesliga title remained the one honour Armin Veh claimed in his coaching career. - imago images/Sportfoto Rudel

Find out more about Stuttgart over the Bundesliga's 60-year history here!