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Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Published: Wednesday 1 January 2014, 10.50CET
Club profile
Bayer 04 Leverkusen
Leverkusen celebrate a Bundesliga goal in the 2012/13 campaign ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 1 January 2014, 10.50CET

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Club profile

Formed: 1904
Nickname: Werkself (Factory XI)

UEFA club competition honours (runners-up in brackets)
• European Champion Clubs' Cup: (2002)
• UEFA Cup: 1988

Domestic honours (most recent triumph in brackets)
• German Cup: 1 (1993)

• In 1903, 170 workers at the Bayer chemical plant signed a petition requesting the foundation of a company sports club; the management acceded to their request the following year and the football division opened in 1907, though they achieved little of note in its early decades.

• Leverkusen were still playing in the second tier of the Regionalliga West when the Bundesliga was founded in 1963 and while they remained an unremarkable side for the next 15 years, they made a siginificant breakthrough when they won promotion to the top division for the 1979/80 season; they have not been relegated since.

• Leverkusen's first Bundesliga seasons were a struggle, but coach Erich Ribbeck's arrival in the mid-1980s led to improved results; they competed in the UEFA Cup for the first time in 1986/87 and won the competition the following season, recovering from a 3-0 first-leg deficit against RCD Espanyol to win the trophy on penalties at home.

• Following reunification Leverkusen had great success in nurturing talent from the former East Germany, the likes of Andreas Thom, Jens Melzig and Ulf Kirsten combining with Brazilian stars Jorginho and Paulo Sérgio to establish Leverkusen among Germany's top sides; they won the 1993 German Cup, beating Hertha BSC Berlin's reserves 1-0 in the final.

• Leverkusen's stock rose even higher in the 1990s and early 2000s as they finished second in the Bundesliga three times and under Klaus Toppmöller lost out to Zinédine Zidane's wonder-goal in the 2001/02 UEFA Champions League final; they also reached the German Cup final in the same campaign.

* Last updated 20 June 2013

Last updated: 23/01/14 13.39CET

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