Bundesliga leaders Wolfsburgare more than Volkswagen

27th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

27 September 2004 , HAMBURG - Bundesliga minnows VfL Wolfsburg were savouring the feeling of topping the table for a second straight week Sunday after a lucky 90th-minute tap-in the previous evening gave the northern Germans a 2-1 victory over Kaiserslautern. The scorer of that goal, striker Diego Klimowicz, has assured the team of first place for another seven days. And veteran defender Patrick Weiser says that the "Wolves" are still hungry. "We want to stay on top of the standings as long as possible," h

27 September 2004 

HAMBURG - Bundesliga minnows VfL Wolfsburg were savouring the feeling of topping the table for a second straight week Sunday after a lucky 90th-minute tap-in the previous evening gave the northern Germans a 2-1 victory over Kaiserslautern.

The scorer of that goal, striker Diego Klimowicz, has assured the team of first place for another seven days.

And veteran defender Patrick Weiser says that the "Wolves" are still hungry.

"We want to stay on top of the standings as long as possible," he said after the fifth victory in six games including away wins at Borussia Dortmund and champions Werder Bremen.

The omens are not bad as Wolfsburg have another home game next weekend, against Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Until the team were promoted into the Bundesliga in 1997, the city - which received its name a fortnight after the German surrender to end the European theatre of World War II, was only associated with car makers Volkswagen.

VW are the principle owners of the club with a 90 percent share and were instrumental in the construction of the now two-year old home stadium.

Wolfsburg made their first football headlines by finishing sixth in 1999 to earn a UEFA Cup berth.

The stakes were then set higher in an ambitious plan to make it into the Champions League - the most visible sign being the hiring of flamboyant playmaker Stefan Effenberg in 2002.

That partnership ended in the spring of 2003 and Wolfsburg seemed doomed to become an also-ran in the top flight with an eighth- place finish that year and 10th place in the past season.

An early Intertoto Cup elimination and a German cup disqualification for fielding ineligible Marian Hristov this season (which also led to the resignation of manager Peter Pander) only seemed to confirm a cautious approach this time around.

"We want to finish fifth to eighth," said Pander ahead of the season.

Instead, Wolfsburg top the bill now that Belgian coach Eric Gerets has seemingly solved the biggest problem within the team, a gap between defence and attack.

"Now 10 players attack and 10 players defend. I am part of the first defensive line," said the striker Klimowicz.

In addition, the club has finally landed new players who strengthen the team, most notably Argentinian Olympic champion Andres D'Alessandro, who came last year from River Plate.

Dutch defender Kevin Hofland, Hristov and another Argentinian, defender Facundo Quiroga, have also become instant hits.

Hristov and D'Alessandro are sidelined with injuries for the next match and everyone at the club is well aware that the string of success (and luck like Saturday) will likely not continue throughout the season.

"We can play for fifth place (in the final standings). We have proven that over the past weeks," said Klimowicz.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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