Leverkusen Could Finally Break Their Curse

Can Alonso's Frimpong-powered Leverkusen mount Bundesliga title challenge?
Can Alonso's Frimpong-powered Leverkusen mount Bundesliga title challenge?

Leverkusen could finally break their curse which has seen them mocked by the label of “Neverkusen” in recent times.

Bayer Leverkusen took a huge stride towards their first ever Bundesliga title by beating reigning champions Bayern Munich 3-0 on Saturday night. This continued their unbeaten domestic season and has given Leverkusen a five-point lead over Bayern.

The Black and Reds already featured in our surprising league leaders article earlier in the season, but where Girona in Spain have faltered, Leverkusen are looking unstoppable. So, can Leverkusen go all the way, and is this as big of a shock as some are making it out to be?

Leverkusen Could Finally Break Their Curse

Bayer Leverkusen have been simply transformed under Xabi Alonso. The legendary Spanish midfielder has worked miracles with Leverkusen in what is his first managerial role since retiring as a player.

Since taking over part-way through the 2022-23 season, Alonso has taken Leverkusen from relegated-threatened to title challengers, not dissimilarly to his compatriot Unai Emery at Aston Villa.

Leverkusen has the tightest defence in the Bundesliga and with the likes of Victor Boniface firing goals in up front, they’re a side that can grind results out against even the best sides in Germany. Having played Bayern home and away now, it’s difficult to see Leverkusen losing many matches in the remainder of the season.

We should also mention the cup competitions that Leverkusen are competing in as well, as those are going well too. Leverkusen are into the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and will face either Dusseldorf, Kaiserslautern and Borussia Monchengladbach.

Monchengladbach are the only Bundesliga side in that trio, so it’s fair to say that Leverkusen are the firm favourites to win that cup. The Europa League too, is going well, winning all six of their group games and automatically advancing to the Round of 16.

There is every chance Leverkusen could be accomplishing a treble this season, but their fans know better than any other, that nothing can be taken for granted…

When the curse began

The 2001-02 Bayer Leverkusen season has to go down in history as the ultimate “close but no cigar” campaign in football. Even Tottenham Hotspur would’ve been proud of this level of a bottle job!

Leverkusen went into the last matches of the season leading the Bundesliga and in the finals of both the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League. They were 270 minutes away from a treble, having only won one piece of major silverware in their history prior to this.

The German side would keep their trophy cabinet with a population of one, though, something that has remained the same to this day. Borussia Dortmund would pip them to the Bundesliga by a point, Schalke would take the German Cup and Real Madrid (who else?) won the Champions League thanks to a sensational Zinedine Zidane volley.

It’s no wonder that Leverkusen have been labelled as “Vizekusen” (second-kusen) by sections of the German football community, as they never finish first.

The Future

Regardless of what happens this season, this will likely be Leverkusen’s only shot at winning the Bundesliga in a long time. Borussia Dortmund came so close last season, but their side was picked apart by the European Superclubs in the following summer.

Raphael Guerreiro, Mahmoud Dahoud, and most notably, Jude Bellingham were all sold or let go of on free transfers. This crippled Dortmund and they’re suffering the effects of it this season.

But the most crucial member of staff in all of this is the manager. There are very strong rumours of Xabi Alonso either going to Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp or Real Madrid to replace Carlo Anchelotti.

These are two of the biggest jobs in world football and are both clubs that he had success with during his playing days. It would be a huge shock if Alonso turned both of these clubs down and it would be a huge blow to Leverkusen.

Neverkusen? Definitely, Maybekusen this season. Bayern have won 11 Bundesligas in a row, but this could finally be the time of Bayer…

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1 Comments

  1. B on February 11, 2024 at 8:02 am

    Whats dortmunts nickname ? Bottlemund 😂😂😭

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