VfB Stuttgart name Bruno Labbadia as Pellegrino Matarazzo's successor
VfB Stuttgart have reappointed Bruno Labbadia as head coach, two months after parting ways with Pellegrino Matarazzo.
Labbadia steered Stuttgart to a sixth-placed finish and the DFB Cup final during his first spell in charge between 2010 and 2013. The 56-year-old returns to the Stuttgart dugout with the club occupying the relegation play-off spot. He has signed a contract through to summer 2025.
"As you know, VfB is not just any club for me. I spent a very important phase of my coaching career in Stuttgart over almost three years, and now I want to help VfB stay in the Bundesliga," Labbadia said at his unveiling.
In his early days as a coach, Labbadia took Darmstadt into the fourth tier of German football, before reaching the DFB Cup final and UEFA Europa League last four with Bayer Leverkusen and Hamburg respectively.
In more recent years, he has successfully kept Hamburg, Wolfsburg and Hertha Berlin in the Bundesliga, the former two via the relegation play-offs.
As a player, he won the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern and Bayern Munich, before top scoring with 28 goals to help Arminia Bielefeld gain promotion as Bundesliga 2 champions in 1998/99.
"We now need experience and stability," explained VfB sporting director Fabian Wohlgemuth. "That's why I'm delighted we've succeeded in appointing Bruno Labbadia as head coach for VfB Stuttgart.
"He's proven many times in his career as a player and coach that he is up to the challenges that now lie ahead of us. We're absolutely convinced that he'll be successful."
Stuttgart only beat the drop in 2021/22 after securing a last-gasp win over Cologne on the final day, and have taken just 14 points from their first 15 Bundesliga matches so far this season. All three of their wins fell during caretaker coach Michael Wimmer's six-game tenure prior to the World Cup break.
The three-time Bundesliga champions return to action under Labbadia with a home game against mid-table Mainz on 21 January 2023.
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