Robert Schlienz
Robert Schlienz was a German
The Germans are a Germanic ethnic group native to Central Europe. The English term Germans has referred to the German-speaking population of the Holy Roman Empire since the Late Middle Ages....

 football player. He is considered one of the best players ever to play for current Bundesliga
The Fußball-Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of Germany's football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. It is contested by 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga...

 side VfB Stuttgart
VfB Stuttgart
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e. V., commonly known as VfB Stuttgart, is a German sports club based in Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg. The club is best known for its football team, which has participated in all but two Bundesliga seasons...

. He also played three times for his national side.

Growing up in Zuffenhausen (it was incorporated into Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

 in 1931), his youth club was local FV Zuffenhausen. In 1942, his side won the Junior Championships of the state of Württemberg
Württemberg , formerly known as Wirtemberg or Wurtemberg, is an area and a former state in southwestern Germany, including parts of the regions Swabia and Franconia....


Late in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, he was called up into the Wehrmacht
The Wehrmacht – from , to defend and , the might/power) were the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the Heer , the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe .-Origin and use of the term:...

, fighting on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945...

. After being shot into the jaw, he was dismissed and sent back home. In the 1944/45 season, he began playing, initially as a "guest player", for VfB Stuttgart.

The war had taken five vital players from FV Zuffenhausen, which left the club unable to compete. Thus, Schlienz joined VfB permanently in the summer of 1945, as the Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt club took part in the newly-founded semi-professional Oberliga Süd (South)
Oberliga Süd (1945-63)
The Oberliga Süd was the highest level of the German football league system in the south of Germany from 1945 until the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963.It covered the three states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg and Hessen.-Overview:...

 from October 1945.

In 1945–46, Schlienz, playing as centre forward, scored 46 goals in 30 games, becoming the record goal scorer in the Oberliga.

But on 14 August 1948, he lost his left forearm (it had to be amputated) in a car accident travelling to a VfB cup match in Aalen
Aalen is a city in the German state of Baden-Württemberg, about east of Stuttgart and north of Ulm. It is the seat of the Ostalbkreis district, and its largest city, as well as the largest city within the Ostwürttemberg region. In spatial planning, Aalen is designated a Mittelzentrum...

. Devastated, he thought his career was finished, but his coach, Georg Wurzer, encouraged him to continue his career.

Wurzer now positioned him in offensive midfield, as an inside forward, instead of centre forward. Schlienz made his comeback on 5 December 1948, against Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich
FC Bayern Munich , is a German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which is the most successful football club in Germany, having won 22 national titles and 15 cups....


Despite being handicapped, he was now captain and playmaker at VfB Stuttgart, leading the team to win the German Championship twice in 1950 and 1952 (runner-up in 1953, losing to 1. FC Kaiserslautern
1. FC Kaiserslautern
1. Fußball-Club Kaiserslautern, also known as 1. FCK, FCK or simply Kaiserslautern, is a German association football club based in Kaiserslautern, Rhineland-Palatinate. On 2 June 1900, Germania 1896 and FG Kaiserslautern merged to create FC 1900...

) and the German Cup
The DFB-Pokal or DFB Cup is a German knockout football cup competition held annually. 64 teams participate in the competition, including all clubs from the Bundesliga and the 2nd Bundesliga. It is considered the second most important national title in German football after the Bundesliga...

 twice in 1954 and 1958.

In 1955 and 1956, he earned three caps for (West) Germany under the famous coach Sepp Herberger
Sepp Herberger
Josef "Sepp" Herberger was a German football player and manager...


He ended his career in 1960 and subsequently moved to the village of Dettenhausen
Dettenhausen is a municipality in the district of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.Dettenhausen is a village in the administrative district of Tübingen, in the Schönbuch Nature Park. It is located 11 km north of Tübingen, and about 25 km south of Stuttgart, the capital of...

, about 20 miles south of Stuttgart, where he died and was buried in 1995.

VfB Stuttgart named their reserves stadium in Bad Cannstatt after him almost immediately after his death.
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