Felix Magath was the brains behind Wolfsburg's sole Bundesliga title triumph. - © imago sportfotodienst
Felix Magath was the brains behind Wolfsburg's sole Bundesliga title triumph. - © imago sportfotodienst
60 years of Bundesliga

Bundesliga club-by-club historical guide: Wolfsburg


Wolfsburg have enjoyed Bundesliga football since 1997, famously winning the title under Felix Magath in 2008/09...

bundesliga.com is taking you through all the teams to have graced Germany’s first division over the last 60 years – based on the number of seasons they’ve played up to and including 2023/24.

VfL Wolfsburg
Years in Bundesliga: 
27 (1997-present)
Most appearances: Maximilian Arnold (317)
Most goals:
Edin Dzeko (66)
Youngest player:
Maximilian Arnold (17 years, five months, 30 days)

Wolfsburg are the only other previous Bundesliga champion never to be relegated, alongside Bayern Munich, and have enjoyed over a quarter of a century of continuous top-flight football since coming up in 1997. Although there have been scares, including survival via the play-offs, they famously lifted the Meisterschale in 2008/09 under Felix Magath.

He built a team that included Andrea Barzagli, Zvjezdan Misimovic, Josue, Ashkan Dejagah, Makoto Hasebe and was spearheaded by the duo of Edin Dzeko and Grafite. Combined they accounted for 54 of the Wolves’ 80 goals, and the latter was the division’s top scorer with 28. As Franz Beckenbauer put it, Magath turned “an average team into champions”. He got them incredibly fit with an arduous training routine that had seen a hill nicknamed ‘Mount Magath’ built on the training ground for players to run up. But the title success was all the more remarkable given Wolfsburg were ninth at the midpoint of the season. Never before or since has a team come from that far back at the end of a Hinrunde to be champions.

Watch: Grafite's iconic goal against Bayern

Wolfsburg are the only other club alongside Bayer Leverkusen to be fully owned by an external company in an exception to the 50+1 rule, namely Volkswagen, whose staff created the team in the 1940s. The Wolves also became the first Bundesliga club to hire an English coach when they brought in Steve McClaren in 2010. The arrival of Dieter Hecking in 2012 saw success return to the Volkswagen Arena, with a team that included Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schürrle, Ivan Perisic, Luiz Gustavo and Naldo achieving only the club’s second top-two finish in the German pyramid in 2014/15 and winning the DFB Cup against Borussia Dortmund. De Bruyne’s 20 assists that season was a record in the Bundesliga at the time.

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