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Mark van Bommel becomes Bundesliga coach at VfL Wolfsburg

EThere have been times when Mark van Bommel couldn’t leave the VfL Wolfsburg stadium fast enough. In 2009 he was part of the team at Bayern Munich that humiliatingly lost 5-1 in Wolfsburg and seven weeks later had to congratulate Lower Saxony on the German championship. This Wednesday, the 44-year-old signed his first contract as head coach in the Bundesliga with this club.

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By at least mid-2023 he should inherit Oliver Glasner, who has moved to Eintracht Frankfurt, at VfL. His coaching team will include other prominent names such as long-time Bundesliga coach Michael Frontzeck and the former Wolfsburg Kevin Hofland.

“Being able to work as a coach in the Bundesliga, in which I have played for so long, is a great honor and a challenge for me,” said van Bommel. The Dutchman switches to VfL at the very moment when the Volkswagen Club has qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2015.

“It is our ideal solution”

At first glance, van Bommel’s commitment is reminiscent of the Wolfsburg strategy of the 2000s: the main thing is a big name. The 2010 World Cup runner-up not only made 123 Bundesliga games for Bayern from August 2006 to January 2011, but also played for the world clubs FC Barcelona and AC Milan before and afterwards. But the two Wolfsburg sports officials Jörg Schmadtke and Marcel Schäfer occupied and talked to the coach van Bommel at an early stage when it was not even foreseeable that the extremely successful Glasner would leave VfL a year before his contract expired.

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