Bayer Leverkusen Champions Bundesliga 2023/24

bayer leverkusen campeão campioni champions bundesliga 2023/24

Bayer Leverkusen, after 120 years of history, finally managed to become champions of the Bundesliga 2023/24 season.

Join us not only on Xabi Alonso’s insane journey with his team, but also everything the team has gone through in its history to get here.

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The NEVERkusen

Founded in 1904 in the city of Leverkusen, in western Germany, the institution has its roots in the working class.

Like many other examples in German football, workers from the global pharmaceutical giant Bayer were the creators of the team.

In addition to football, Leverkusen also had athletics, swimming, and other sports teams, but a split between the football department and other sports occurred in the late 90s.

Unlike their rival, Koln, who are three-time Bundesliga champions and four-time German Cup champions, Leverkusen did not perform well in domestic competitions.

This is clearly reflected when we see that Bayer’s first major title came in the 1987/88 season. It was the UEFA Cup (now Europa League).

Contrary to the natural flow of things, Leverkusen became an international champion without even having been a national champion before.

Their first and only elite national title until then was in 1992/93, with the German Cup title.

However, the modest team has always been a fixture in the top division. They didn’t form squads capable of competing head-to-head with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, and Hamburg, but they didn’t disgrace themselves either.

The institution has been in the top division for 45 consecutive years and doesn’t intend to leave anytime soon.

But just like in the title above, what does the saga of Neverkusen mean?

It began a long time ago. To give you an idea, when it comes to the Bundesliga, up to the present moment, Bayer Leverkusen had been runners-up an incredible five times.

However, the friendly banter by rivals was often used to refer to the 2000/01 season.

In the five previous seasons, Bayer had been runners-up three times.

In the end, for one reason or another, the Bundesliga title eluded them.

The year that could have forever changed the club’s history was a true nightmare.

At that time, the management decided to assemble a true dream team.

Even with the resounding success of winning the Bundesliga this year, it’s hard to believe that Leverkusen had a team as good, at least on paper, as the one from that season.

The starting lineup included: Butt, Zivkovic, Nowotny, and Lúcio. Placente, Ramelow, and Ballack. Zé Roberto and Schneider. Up front, Neuville and Kirsten.

And as a substitute, there was always the figure of the young Berbatov, making his mark on the football world.

With a team like that, the expectation for titles was sky-high, and they almost happened.

Bayer Leverkusen finished runners-up in absolutely every competition they entered in 2001/02.

In the Champions League, they achieved the historic performance that took them to the final for the first and last time, so far. Luck wasn’t on the Germans’ side, and their opponents were Real Madrid. As if that wasn’t enough, this was the memorable game where Zidane scored one of the most beautiful goals of all finals, hitting a volley into the top corner.

The team also had the expectation of becoming champions of the German Cup for the second time. In the tournament, they had a devastating performance. They won all their matches until reaching the final, even beating their biggest rival, Koln, 3-1 in the semifinal.

However, they succumbed to the power of Schalke 04 in the final, losing the match 4-2.

And the team that won the Bundesliga title that year was Borussia Dortmund, just one point ahead of Bayer Leverkusen.

After a year like that, it would be difficult for the club to bounce back and for the fans to keep their hopes alive for better days.

However, as the wise say, no day is long enough to not reach the night.

O lendário Bayer Leverkusen da temporada 2001/02, vice-campeão de tudo - Alemanha Futebol Clube

Image: Internet Reproduction

Bayer Leverkusen Champions Bundesliga 2023/24

Early in the season, we wrote an article about what was, until then, the great sensation of German football and, of course, worldwide.

The phenomenon of Bayer Leverkusen under Xabi Alonso was taking shape game after game.

There, we described the career of the Spanish coach, as well as his style of play and all the revolutions he brought.

At the time of the article, written exactly five months ago, Leverkusen was already in first place in the Bundesliga, with 39 points, while Bayern Munich, the great predator of the competition, had only 35.

The good football and results were evident to all who watched Leverkusen’s games. In fact, it wasn’t even necessary since with each passing round, all one had to do was look at the table and see that the team from western Germany was climbing the rankings like a rocket.

However, when stories from the past were resurrected, the fear of a new 2001/02 season loomed. On one side, we had Xabi Alonso’s innovative and revolutionary style, on the other, a crushing winning machine that dominated the German scene for over ten consecutive years.

So, it was to be expected that at some point, this ghost might make Bayern Munich’s late surge outweigh the work of the Spanish coach.

That’s not what happened. Far from it.

The moment when it became clear that no kind of football supernatural force could overcome Leverkusen’s day-to-day was the match on February 10 between the two teams.

Bayer applied a resounding 3-0 win over the Bavarians. They didn’t give any chances for a different scoreline. A true massacre.

Now, already champions with five rounds to spare, Leverkusen has 79 points, while the second-placed Bayern Munich has only 63.

The numbers don’t stop there. The team is unbeaten in the competition. Out of 29 matches played, they have 25 wins, 4 draws, 0 losses, 74 goals scored (an average of 2.5 goals per match), and only 55 conceded.

For the German Championship, the champions won’t have an easy life if they want to remain with the historic feat of being the only undefeated team.

Their opponents will be Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart, away from home. They are the fifth and third-placed teams, respectively.

However, even if it doesn’t turn out to be a victory without any defeats, the Football Gods couldn’t have written a more beautiful story than this.

The way the advantage was built every minute of the match by Leverkusen is very touching.

The defeat, which hasn’t happened yet, has many reasons for that. In addition to impeccable technical and tactical aspects, the players decided that no points would be given away easily.

In the campaign, we saw impressive results, in games where the team simply refused to be beaten, achieving comebacks and draws in the last moments of games.

All of this, crowned with masterful performances, like last Sunday’s, facing Werder Bremen and applying a resounding 5-0 win.

The match itself had all the necessary components for a championship to wash the fans’ souls.

A stunning goal from Xhaka and a hat-trick from Wirtz.

Like in movies, the fifth and final goal, which sealed Wirtz’s third in the match, came in the 90th minute. After the ball hit the net, there was no more atmosphere for the match. The fans, who had already lit their fireworks, stormed the field and celebrated.

There won’t be enough beer in Germany to satisfy the thirst of Bayer Leverkusen’s fans.

And for those who think they will stop there…

Invencibilidade, recordes, tríplice coroa... Veja próximas metas do Bayer Leverkusen campeão alemão | futebol alemão | ge

Image: Reuters

Bayer Leverkusen’s Season Sequence

If we want, we can combine football with various aspects, such as philosophy, astrology, and any interpretation that fits the reader to try to explain what involves this sport.

The Neverkusen saga narrated here has a very similar plot, but with a different ending already.

As mentioned, there were three runners-up finishes in the 2001/02 season. Now, in 2023/24, the team from western Germany sees the chance to rewrite this story in an absolutely wonderful way.

German Cup (DFB-Pokal)

A sequence of simply spectacular games. If against complicated clubs, Leverkusen still manages to impose their rhythm, against teams of lesser importance and significantly inferior technical level, they are a goal-scoring machine.

They started the competition by applying nothing less than an 8-0 win over Teutonia Ottensen.

In the following matches, they also paraded on the field, facing more difficulty only against Stuttgart, in the quarterfinals, which indeed had a great season, after so many years in decline.

While their major competitors like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Leipzig were getting eliminated by small teams from Germany, Leverkusen continued with full force to the final.

The challenger will be Kaiserslautern. Yes, it’s a traditional team, with 123 years of history, four Bundesliga titles, and two Pokal titles, but currently going through an unprecedented low.

They had a beautiful campaign, eliminating Saarbrücken from the third division in the semifinal.

Interestingly, Saarbrücken had a more impressive story than Bayer Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern. They are currently in the third division and have no tradition in the country’s men’s football scene. Even so, they were capable of a very interesting journey, having sent Bayern Munich home.

The final, scheduled for May 25, 2024, in a single match, will be the opportunity to win the Pokal for the second time.

Kaiserslautern is currently in second to last place in Bundesliga 2, with real possibilities of a new relegation to the third division.

A defeat for Leverkusen would be very unexpected.

Tah strikes late to send Leverkusen to German Cup semis | Football News - Hindustan Times

Image: AFP

Europa League

If the campaign in the Bundesliga and Pokal was and continues to be sensational, the one in the Europa League is inexplicable.

When we mentioned earlier that the team simply refuses to lose matches, this happens quite often in the Europa League.

In the group stage, they were the only team to maintain a 100% record.

In the round of 16, they faced an old acquaintance, Qarabag. This little renowned team on the world stage, but a giant within Azerbaijan, offered great resistance, both in the group stage and in the knockout stage.

The first leg ended in a 2-2 draw. The second leg, at the BayArena, was a complete madness.

Leverkusen was being eliminated until stoppage time, but they defied, once again, expectations and scored two goals in the additional time and secured qualification.

They also took an important step forward, winning the first leg of the quarterfinals against West Ham, by 2-0.

The path could be tough, with the possibility of facing big teams like West Ham, Atalanta, Liverpool, Milan, Roma, Olympique Marseille, and Benfica.

Bayer Leverkusen score twice in stoppage-time to beat Qarabag and stay unbeaten | beIN SPORTS

Image: Bein Sports Reproduction

Xabi Alonso Stays and Projects the Future

We’ve already praised the Spaniard and we can’t help but do it again.

In a season where Bayer Leverkusen is clearly the sensation team, many doors open for a young, revolutionary, and winning coach, especially when big coaches from huge teams will leave their positions.

Since the beginning of the year, it’s been known that Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool after seven seasons in charge of the Reds.

Another who won’t stay for the next season is Xavi, who won’t continue his work at Barcelona.

With this, the international press quickly mentioned Xabi Alonso’s name for these clubs.

The coach came out publicly, promptly, to say he will stay at Bayer Leverkusen.

This is essential for two main reasons. The first is the continuity of the current season. His players have the chance to immortalize their names in the Bundesliga with the possible unbeaten conquest, as well as the other two competitions in which they are very much alive to win.

Imagine if the season ends in a Treble? Not even the most optimistic fan could predict such a thing.

The second aspect is the possibility of building a legacy. Xabi Alonso is still extremely young and has in his hands a group of extremely talented players. He has already changed the course of Bayer Leverkusen as an institution, but feels he can do more.

He feels he can really elevate the club’s status not only in Germany but in Europe.

Furthermore, next year’s place in the Champions League is guaranteed, of course. How far can he go?

And crucially, when will this unbeaten run end? So far, it’s 43 games without defeat.

Congratulations to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Bundesliga 2023/24 champions.

Bayer Leverkusen de Xabi Alonso encerra reinado do Bayern na Bundesliga - Folha PE


Written by Vitor F L Miller.

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Tags: Bundesliga, Highlights

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