Early than expected, Marcel Schäfer is to end his stint with American second-flight club Tampa Bay Rowdies and return to VfL Wolfsburg, where the Green-Whites all-time record appearance maker (256 league games/13 goals) will take over the function as Sporting director as from July 1st. It had originally been planned that the 34-year-old would end the season in the United States and return to take over a functionary position at VfL Wolfsburg in 2019. Following intensive discussions between the Supervisory Board and management, a decision was quickly reached, which effectively marks the end of the active playing career of the eight-time German international.
"The return of a figure of identification"
"In our talks with Marcel, it quickly became clear that we were on the same wave-length and following the same target. He knows VfL inside-out, is highly motivated and has a lot of good ideas, as to how we can guide the club back on to a successful track. We are really looking forward to collaborating with him," commented VfL general-manager Jörg Schmadtke. His management colleague Dr. Tim Schumacher added: "In Marcel Schäfer, we can look forward to the return of a real figure of identification to VfL Wolfsburg. Everyone who knows Marcel, knows how much the Wolves mean to him and just how much will and energy he will bring to the task. As a player, he always had his eye on the big picture, gave his all for VfL and he now brings some new impressions with him from the USA, which we can benefit from."
"Raring to go"
Marcel Schäfer is very eager to get stuck in again with the Wolves: "I am delighted about returning to help the club that’s holds such a special place in my heart. What VfL has to offer immediately convinced me and I am very happy about the opportunity to play my part. Of course I am also leaving Tampa Bay with a tear in my eye. I am very thankful to the Rowdies, in particular club owner Bill Edwards, for making my dream of playing in America and gathering some new experiences come true. They laid no stones in the path of my return either! My family and I always felt completely comfortable in Florida and we made a lot of friends. I will never forget my time at Tampa Bay, but I am now raring to go in my new function at VfL. I want to get stuck right in and have lots to learn in my new area."