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Germany’s Top Soccer Players
Visit the Production Facility

90 minutes at the Wolfsburg plant: the national team players were impressed by the cooperation of the Volkswagen workforce and the warm welcome they received in the halls.

Token of appreciation: Toni Kroos (left) surprises Manfred Ammon with a Germany jersey signed by all of the national team players.

It was a perfect 90 minutes, and the employees at the Wolfsburg plant were justifiably proud as they provided the German national team with insights into their work in halls 9, 10 and 54 for the duration of a soccer match. Both teams came away feeling pleased with how it had gone.

As deputy head of the Paint Shop, Thomas Neubauer summed it up by saying, “It’s an overwhelming feeling to see the young guys here on our turf instead of on TV or in the stadium. We definitely had a lot of fun.” Midfielder Serge Gnabry, who went on to score in the 3:2 European Championship qualifier in the Netherlands just two days later, was similarly enthused. He had particular praise for the team spirit demonstrated shown by the Volkswagen employees, saying, “If employees don’t work well together, you can’t expect to produce a good car.” Gnabry helped seal the underbody in the Paint Shop. Mirsad Bili recalls, “Serge was relaxed and in good spirits. He showed real interest and wanted to know what it was we were doing.”

"Team Meets Team"

The motto of the visit to Europe’s largest car factory was “Team Meets Team.” As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Volkswagen brand Ralf Brandstätter put it, “The result of our work – every single car – is only as good as the performance that all of our employees put into it from one moment to the next. It’s no different to a soccer game.”

The parallels between working on the field and in the factory were evident at each and every station.Midfielder Leon Goretzka helped the employees assemble rear windshield wipers, noting, “It was impressive to see how all of the different cogs fit together.” 

The Volkswagen employees were proud to have the national team players at their workplace. It was even something of a return visit, since many of them had seen the players at their own “workplace” just two days earlier at the Volkswagen Arena for the game against Serbia (1:1).

“This visit from the national team players has to be the highlight of the 16 years I’ve been with Volkswagen,” muses Lutz Krause-Fiedler, who installs insulation panels in the bodywork in Hall 10.

His colleague, Huda Keßler, went in for a hug with forward Leroy Sané, saying, “My heart is still pounding. It was all very exciting!”

German Football Association Director Oliver Bierhoff expressed his thanks for the visit to the heart of the plant, saying, “It’s a pleasure for us to be able to get to know our partner better, and we are so grateful for the warm reception we received from the Volkswagen team.”

DFB-Direktor Oliver Bierhoff bedankte sich für den Besuch im Herzen des Werks: „Wir freuen uns, unseren Partner besser kennenzulernen. Der Empfang der Volkswagen Mannschaft war sehr herzlich.“