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18.12.2009 13:39

One of Germany’s finest

Jaume Marcet/Jesús Carrillo

Stuttgart is one of the most prestigious clubs in Germany. Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, Belorussian Hleb and Russian striker Pogrebnyak are some of the stars of the team coached by Cristian Gross.

Stuttgart qualified for the Champions League after finishing third in the Bundesliga. But this year they are fifteenth with just 13 games from sixteen matches.

Change of manager

23_-_Aliaksandr_HLEB.jpgStuttgart’s poor start to the year saw manager Markus Babbel getting sacked and replaced by renowned Swiss coach Cristian Gross, who did so well with Basel against Barcelona last season.

Hleb is back

Alexander Hleb’s return to the Camp Nou is another of the highlights. The Belarusian is on loan to the club from FCB and has scored one goal in the Champions League. But in his 942 minutes in thirteen games in the league, he has yet to open his account.

Big names

1_-_Jens_LEHMANN.jpgThe most famous player at Stuttgart is goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, now 40 years old, and known not just for his ability but also his sometimes eccentric behaviour.

Lehmann stops goals, and it is Russian Pavel Pogrebnyak’s job to score them. After doing so well at Zenit Saint Petersburg, he has cored five goals so far in his first season at Stuttgart. He has three in the Bundesliga and two in the Champions League.

Dutch centre back Boulahrouz, formerly of Chelsea and Sevilla, and Romanian striker Marica, signed from Shakhtar, are two players that already have experience of playing Barça.

New look stadium

STADIUM_-_VfB_Stuttgart.jpgBarça will play the first leg at the Mercedes Benz Arena, which holds 52,000 spectators and was restructured for the 1006 World Cup. It has an athletics track and is being modernised, part of a process that will not be completed until 2011.
One of Germany’s finest
Stuttgart have won five German Leagues (1950, 1952, 1984, 1992 and 2007), three German Cups (1954, 1958 and 1997) and one German Super Cup (1992).

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