Home » Happiness is not an accident, said the Bayern official. How Bayer Leverkusen sensationally became the German champion

Happiness is not an accident, said the Bayern official. How Bayer Leverkusen sensationally became the German champion

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Happiness is not an accident, said the Bayern official.  How Bayer Leverkusen sensationally became the German champion

Bayer Leverkusen became the German champion for the first time in the club’s history. Leverkusen definitely secured first place in the Bundesliga with a 5-0 victory over Bremen on Sunday.

Although he has been playing non-stop in the Bundesliga since the late seventies, he has never reached the biggest trophy. Instead, it earned the nickname “Neverkusen” – a pun for a team that can’t win and fails at important moments.

He finished second in the league five times. It hurt the most in 2002, when, in addition to the Bundesliga, he lost in two other finals: the Champions League and the German Cup (the so-called DFB Pokal).

But now nobody had much doubt about Leverkusen. Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel prematurely congratulated him on the championship at the end of March, when his team lost at home to Borussia Dortmund and the loss to Leverkusen increased to thirteen points.

Currently, Leverkusen is separated from Bayern by 16 points, while only five rounds remain to be played before the end of the Bundesliga. And while Bayern is going through another turbulent season with changes of coaches or officials, Leverkusen has become a prime example of a club that managed to break into the elite of European football. And he can be a role model for others.

Leverkusen’s current unbeaten streak in the current season is up to 43 games, in all competitions. This is a record that has no parallel in the history of European football.

In addition, Leverkusen can still realistically think about the treble. Second division Kaiserslautern awaits him in the final of the German Cup. He also came close to progressing in the Europa League when he won over West Ham United (2:0) in the first leg of the quarterfinals.

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The duel with West Ham was a demonstration of Leverkusen’s playing style. During the match, he had 73 percent ball possession and up to 33 shot attempts, allowing only one to the opponent.

No one else saw it

He could not even think much about the championship title for a long time due to Bayern’s unchallenged dominance. He won the Bundesliga 11 times in a row. No one could match his strength.

Until Leverkusen came. The latter won the title thanks to a smart transfer policy, “hungry” players and attractive football. The 42-year-old coach Xabi Alonso was able to combine all the elements. In the game of his team, you can see the football intelligence, which has always been his great asset.

When he started in Leverkusen, his team played differently. Alonso first had to significantly improve his defense and focused on quick counter-attacks: a tactic that is usually the easiest and most effective for smaller teams.

It worked in the first season, but Alonso wanted to move the team higher. And it worked for him too. Leverkusen still has a huge strength in that it can use open spaces for a quick offensive. At the same time, however, today it is able to assert itself even in crowded spaces, which, thanks to its power, it encounters more and more often. Leverkusen likes to dominate in their duels, and even if they hold the ball longer, they still try to play quickly.

Compared to the previous season, Leverkusen has improved tremendously. Full-back (or “wing-back”) Alex Grimaldo from Benfica came to the left side. The 31-year-old Swiss Granit Xhaka from Arsenal became the new leader of the reserve, and the Nigerian Victor Boniface from the Belgian Royale Union Saint-Gilloise expanded the options in the attack. Grimaldo also brought unprecedented shooting danger to the edge of the defense, scoring up to 11 goals. Boniface has a record of 18 goals in 27 matches.

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Well-known Bayern Munich official Uli Hoeneß recently told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper that Leverkusen had a bit of “luck” in the transfer market with the three arrivals. “No one saw in Boniface what they saw. Nobody knew who Grimaldo was before,” he said.

However, Simon Rolfes, Leverkusen’s sports director, immediately responded to Hoeneß. “Happiness

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