The Baden-Württemberg city of Stuttgart. Home to top-end car manufacturers Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, time-honoured wineries and a football academy that delivers in quality and quantity.
Some of today's biggest German stars were reared in the VfB youth ranks, but where are they now? bundesliga.com has dreamed up a rather special Stuttgart academy XI...
Since leaving Stuttgart for Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent basis in January 2012, Leno, 25, has gone on to establish himself as Die Werkself's undisputed No.1. The six-time Germany international has made over 200 Bundesliga appearances to date, and won his first major trophy in the FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup.
Kimmich spent two formative seasons in the lower tiers with RB Leipzig, before moving to Bayern Munich in summer 2015. He has since won two Bundesliga titles, the DFB Cup and become a fully fledged Germany international, lifting the Confederations Cup in 2017. Although a midfielder by trade, he has been repurposed for club and country as a world-beating right-back. You’d be forgiven for thinking you were watching Philipp Lahm…
Watch: All of Joshua Kimmich's Bundesliga goals and assists!
A 2006/07 Bundesliga champion with Stuttgart, Tasci swapped his boyhood club for the icy climes of Russian giants Spartak Moscow in 2013. He revisited the Bundesliga for a fleeting but rewarding spell with Bayern during the second half of 2015/16, winning a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double, before returning to Russia to help Spartak to the 2017 championship.
A Borussia Dortmund youth player in his pre-Stuttgart days, Rüdiger moved to AS Roma, initially on loan, in 2015. Injury denied him a place in Germany's UEFA EURO 2016 squad, but he started all but one of the world champions' six games at the Confederations Cup. The 24-year-old currently plies his trade in the English Premier League with Chelsea.
Toljan left Stuttgart for Hoffenheim as a 16-year-old in 2011. He made his first-team debut in 2013, and went on to make 60 appearances in all competitions for the Sinsheim club. The Germany wing-back, who followed up his 2016 Olympic silver medal-winning effort with the UEFA Under-21 European title 12 months later, switched to Dortmund in summer 2017.
Despite enduring his fair share of injury setbacks down the years, Didavi - who spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Nuremberg - has still managed to rack up over 110 Bundesliga appearances. A former Germany youth international at U-21, U-20, U-17 and U-16 level, the quick-thinking playmaker has registered 36 goals and 19 assists in the German top flight - 18 of which have come in the colours of current employers Wolfsburg, whom he joined from Stuttgart in summer 2016.
Watch: Stuttgart's conveyor belt!
Like Toljan, Rudy rocked up at his current station of Bayern, via Hoffenheim. The 24-time Germany international midfielder made 212 appearances in all competitions for TSG, captaining the unfancied Sinsheimers to a surprise top-four finish in 2016/17. He was an integral part of Joachim Löw's 2017 Confederations Cup troupe, and picked up his first title at club level in the 2017 Supercup.
Watch: Sebastian Rudy is part of the next generation at Bayern Munich!
One of the most decorated Stuttgart graduates in history, 2006/07 Bundesliga champion Khedira has lifted multiple titles for club and country. He won La Liga, the Spanish Cup and the UEFA Champions League over the course of a memorable five-year stint with Real Madird; is a back-to-back Serie A and Italian Cup double-winner with Juventus and played a central role in Germany’s FIFA 2014 World Cup triumph.
It all started at VfB. Tomorrow I'm back at my old stomping ground for the first time in seven years.
It didn't quite work out for Gnabry after leaving Stuttgart for Arsenal as a 16-year-old, but the Germany forward has more than made up for it in the time since. The 2016 Olympic silver medalist hit 11 goals for Werder Bremen last season and was part of the Germany U-21 outfit that went all the way at the 2017 European finals. Officially a Bayern player, the now 22-year-old is currently honing his craft on loan at Hoffenheim.
Watch: Serge Gnabry scored one of the goals of the season in 2016/17 for Werder Bremen!
Werner hasn't looked back since bursting onto the Bundesliga scene with Stuttgart at the tender age of 17. Joining Leipzig in summer 2016, he went on to finish the 2016/17 campaign as the Bundesliga's leading German marksman on 21 goals – prolific form which helped fuel Germany's Confederations Cup conquest. Much like Kimmich has filled the boots of Lahm at right-back, Werner has become Miroslav Klose's rightful heir in attack.
Watch: Timo Werner scored a stunning goal against Hamburg on the counter-attack (from 1:26 on)
Werner's emergence has spelled bad news for Gomez at international level, but the former Stuttgart striker remains one of the best in the business domestically. 'Super Mario' has top scored in Germany, Italy and Turkey down the years, is a three-time Bundesliga champion, has a Champions League winner's medal and singlehandedly kept Wolfsburg afloat in 2016/17. For 32-year-old Gomez – scorer of over 150 Bundesliga goals - age is just a number.
Watch: Mario Gomez is part of VfB Stuttgart's conveyor belt!