Rolf Blessing

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Rolf Blessing (born July 21, 1929 in Wendlingen am Neckar ; † August 1, 2004 ibid) was a football player for VfB Stuttgart in the then first-class football league south . He was Hermann Hahn's nephew . From 1948 to 1962, the offensive player played 348 league games in the World Cup system and scored 125 goals. He occupies second place in the VfB ranking of the Oberliga Süd behind leader Robert Schlienz (391-143).


Association, 1948 to 1961

Together with Robert Schlienz, Blessing was the only player from coach Georg Wurzer who was involved in all four title wins in the successful era of VfB Stuttgart in the 1950s. The left winger , who came to VfB from TSV Wendlingen , won the German championship twice (1950 against Kickers Offenbach ; 1952 against 1. FC Saarbrücken ) and winner of the DFB Cup ( 1954 against 1. FC Cologne ; 1958 against Fortuna Düsseldorf ). At the age of 19, Blessing, who came to VfB Stuttgart from Wendlingen, made his debut on September 26, 1948 in a 1-1 home draw against Eintracht Frankfurt in the Oberliga Süd. Under coach Wurzer he formed the left wing of the White-Reds together with Karl Barufka and scored his first goal in the 27th minute in the top division of southern Germany. For the debut round of Blessing, the players Josef Ledl and Ernst Otterbach also came to the team with the ring on their chest. The first half of the season was overshadowed by Robert Schlienz's accident on August 14, 1948, which led to a partial amputation of the left arm of the former striker. On December 5, Schlienz celebrated his comeback in a 2-1 home win against Bayern Munich and the movement players reached sixth place at the end of the round. New signing Blessing had scored nine goals in 26 games.

In his second season at VfB, 1949/50 , he improved with the team strengthened by the newcomers Otto Baitinger and Walter Bühler , and moved into the finals of the German championship as the southern runner-up. He had played all 30 league games and scored 15 goals. In the final round, the Wurzer-Elf was able to improve their form and on June 4, in the intermediate round in Nuremberg in front of 38,000 spectators, they switched to the finalists of 1948 and last year's third 1. FC Kaiserslautern - with Werner Kohlmeyer , Georg Gawliczek , Werner Liebrich , Ottmar Walter , Fritz Walter , Werner Baßler - with 5: 2 goals and in the semifinals the southern champion SpVgg Fürth - with the feared attack by Horst Hoffmann , Otto Brenzke , Horst Schade , Max Appis and Hans Nöth - with 4: 1 goals and moved into the Final one. Blessing had distinguished himself as a goalscorer in both games. In the final , the Swabians prevailed against the third third from Offenbach with 2-1 goals and brought the championship trophy to Stuttgart for the first time . Blessing celebrated winning the championship a month before his 21st birthday.

The title defense did not succeed in 1950/51 , the attacker from Wendlingen had scored 16 goals in 33 games, but with his team he finished fourth in the Oberliga Süd. In June he carried out a multi-week North American tour with the Red-Whites for the lost games for the German championship. As southern champions, Blessing and colleagues moved into the finals again twelve months later, in 1951/52 . Now Karl Bögelein , who came from Bamberg, was in goal and the Wurzer protégés prevailed in the group games against the competition Tennis Borussia Berlin, VfL Osnabrück and Rot-Weiss Essen and made it to the final. Personally, the home game on May 18 against the team from Hafenstraße stood out, where Blessing was able to distinguish himself as a three-time goalscorer in the 5-3 success, and thus the two goals by Helmut Rahn in the team around Heinz Wewers and August Gottschalk not to Success was enough. The final decided in front of 80,000 spectators in Ludwigshafen's Südweststadion of VfB against 1. FC Saarbrücken with 3-2 goals and thus celebrated the second German championship win after 1950 .

For winning the German soccer championship, like the whole team at VfB Stuttgart, he received the silver laurel leaf on June 30, 1951.

The defending champion moved into the final of the German championship again in 1952/53 as vice-runner-up thanks to the slightly better goal quotient against the tied Borussia Dortmund . But then the "Walter-Elf" of 1. FC Kaiserslautern prevailed with 4-1 goals against VfB, where Karl Barufka was injured . Former national player and Schalke coach Fritz Szepan commented on the stand about the game: "Stuttgart lost because it didn't have Fritz Walter."

Ironically, in 1954, the year of the soccer World Cup in Switzerland, 1953/54, the technician with a goal risk on the left VfB wing, Rolf Blessing, had to fight a protracted injury. He played the first ten league games in a row, scored five goals and VfB led the table with 18: 2 points. This was followed by the first break with three games, before he scored his sixth goal on November 22, 1953 in a 3-1 home win against Kickers Offenbach in his eleventh game of the season. But that ended the league round 1953/54 for Blessing. His teammates - in the meantime Erwin Waldner and Ludwig Hinterstocker stormed the movement players - won the southern championship despite the 0: 4 derby defeat on January 24, 1954 against the Stuttgarter Kickers. In the German Cup final on 17 April 1954 in Ludwigshafen against 1. FC Köln Blessing celebrated its comeback. VfB won 1-0 after extra time. In the shortened final round of the German championship, he lost with his team - but without Erich Retter , who was injured in the international match against Switzerland on April 25 - the decisive group game on May 16 against the following surprise champions Hannover 96 with 1: 3 Gates. The lack of competition practice throughout the top half of the season prevented the usual offensive effect of the man on the left wing.

After the runner-up in 1955/56 in southern Germany, the last group game was on June 17, 1956 in the Rote Erde stadium against host Borussia Dortmund, his last appearance in the finals for the German championship. From 1950 to 1956 Blessing had scored 13 goals in 27 final round matches for VfB Stuttgart. He was drawn in three finals for the German championship and had twice won the championship trophy at the Wasen, and in 1954 won the DFB Cup.

Blessing closed his collection of titles with the second cup success on November 16, 1958 in Kassel with a 4-3 win after extra time. The VfB attack started with Erwin Waldner, Rolf Geiger , Lothar Weise , Blessing and Dieter Praxl under the leadership of captain Robert Schlienz.

After Georg Wurzer, who was the guarantor of success, had ceded the coaching office to his successor Kurt Baluses before the round in 1960/61 , the skilled carpenter, who later found his livelihood as a banker, ended with the league game on March 12, 1961 in the local Neckar Stadium against Kickers Offenbach (2: 1) his twelve-year senior league career. Appropriately with the winning goal in the 87th minute. The taciturn and modest high performer, ennobled by the sports journalist Hans Blickensdörfer with the words, "It was the best regional self-construction that has ever existed", ended his long and successful career after 348 league games with 125 goals.

Selection games

Internationally, the national coach Sepp Herberger used the dangerous technician three times in the years 1951–1953 in the B-country eleven . Other players in these DFB missions were Horst Buhtz , Georg Stollenwerk and Bernhard Termath . The attacker from VfB Stuttgart was part of the DFB's squad for the first international match after World War II , on November 22, 1950 in Stuttgart against Switzerland. He was not used. With the substitution for Franz Islacker on March 22, 1953 in Vienna in the third B-international match against Austria, the international appointments of Blessing ended.

For southern Germany, Blessing ran in the representative games on November 12, 1950 against West Germany (5: 4) and on October 13, 1951 against Southwest Germany (3: 2).

Richard Kirn notes about Blessing:

“Plays soccer like Hidegkuti, which he is also very similar physically. Unfortunately, it often seems a bit 'sleepy', which prevented him from playing in the national team. "

Rolf Blessing died on August 1st, 2004 after a long illness.


  • Hardy Greens: With the ring on your chest. The history of VfB Stuttgart. Publishing house Die Werkstatt. Göttingen 2007. ISBN 978-3-89533-593-8 .
  • Hardy Grüne , Lorenz Knieriem: Encyclopedia of German League Football. Volume 8: Player Lexicon 1890–1963. AGON-Sportverlag, Kassel 2006, ISBN 3-89784-148-7 .
  • Werner Skrentny (Ed.): When Morlock still met the moonlight. The history of the Oberliga Süd 1945–1963. Klartext, Essen 1993, ISBN 3-88474-055-5 .

Individual evidence

  1. Sports report of the Federal Government of September 29, 1973 to the Bundestag - printed matter 7/1040 - p. 57.
  2. Hardy Greens: 100 Years of the German Championship. The history of football in Germany. Publishing house Die Werkstatt. Göttingen 2003. ISBN 3-89533-410-3 . P. 299.
  3. Hardy Greens: With the ring on the chest. P. 90.

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