Bayer 04 Leverkusen are a well-established Bundesliga club that reside from the town of Leverkusen, which lies north of the big city of Cologne. After taking 76 years to reach the first tier of German football, they have went on to win 2 major honours (UEFA Cup - 88 & German Cup 93) as well as finishing runners up in the Bundesliga on 5 occasions. However their most famous season would be 2002, they had the chance to win the treble and ended up with nothing. Therefore it’s up to you to bring the treble season back but with a successful ending.
HISTORY OF BAYER 04 LEVERKUSEN
Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fußball GmbH - Founded in 1904 by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (rowing, tennis and hockey). In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity formally called Bayer 04 Leverkusen GmbH.
SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen played third and fourth division football up until the 1930’s. In 1936, they earned promotion to the second highest class of play of the period. That was also the year that the club wore the familiar "Bayer" cross for the first time. They made their first appearance in upper league play in 1951, in the Oberliga West and played there until 1956, after which they were relegated. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen would not return to the upper leagues until 1962, just one season before the formation of Germany's new professional league, the Bundesliga. The next year saw the club in the Regionalliga West, tier II, where their performances over the next few seasons left them well down the league table
Bayer 04 Leverkusen made something of a breakthrough in 1968 by winning the Bundesliga 2 division title, but was unable to advance through the playoff round to the first division. The club was relegated again in 1973, but made a quick return to the 2. Bundesliga after just one season spent in the third division. Four years later, the club handily secured a place in the Bundesliga to start to play there in the 1979–80 season. By the mid-1980s, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen had played its way into the upper half of the league table and was well-established there by the end of the decade. It was during this time, in 1984, that the two-halves of the club that had parted ways over a half century earlier were re-united as TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen e.V. The new club took red and white as its colours.
In addition to becoming an established Bundesliga side, the club earned its first honours with a dramatic win in the 1988 UEFA Cup. Down 0–3 to Espanyol after the first leg of the final, Bayer Leverkusen drew even in the return match and then captured the title on penalty kicks, 3–2. The club captured its next honour in 1993 with a 1–0 win in the DFB-Pokal over a surprising Hertha BSC amateur squad on 12 June 1993. After a near disaster in 1996 when the club faced a relegation battle, Bayer Leverkusen established itself as a powerful side, offering a technically pleasing offensive style of play under new coach Christoph Daum, who was also helped by the signing of players such as Lúcio, Emerson, Zé Roberto and Michael Ballack. The clubs fortunes began to change and success looked around the corner.
Leverkusen have come heartbreakingly close to winning the title on a couple of occasions, the first was in 1999-00, Leverkusen needed only a draw against SpVgg Unterhaching to win the title. A 2-0 defeat with the help of an own goal by Michael Ballack. Leverkusen crushed their chances of winning the title and Bayern Munich clinched the title with a 3–1 victory over Werder Bremen. In 2001-02 campaign, the club surrendered a five-point lead with 3 matches to play. Borussia Dortmund went on to win the league title winning their final 3 matches of the campaign. The 2001-02 season under Klaus Toppmöller has been dubbed the "Treble Horror", as Bayer Leverkusen were also beaten 4–2 in the DFB-Pokal final by Schalke 04 and lost the UEFA Champions League final 2–1 to Real Madrid. Leverkusen was the first team to reach the final of the Champions League without ever having won a national championship.
In the summer of 2002, the team lost influential midfield stars Michael Ballack and Zé Roberto to archrivals Bayern Munich. The team then flirted with relegation through most of the 2002-03 season, leading to the firing of Klaus Toppmöller and he was replaced by the inexperienced Thomas Hörster. Charismatic coach Klaus Augenthaler took up the reins in the last two games of the season and helped avoid the disaster of relegation with a win over his previous club, FC Nuremberg.
Leverkusen has gone on to become a well-established club in the Bundesliga over the past decade, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League on 5 occasions. The latest rise of young talent in this current squad means it could soon be Bayer Leverkusen’ time to go to the next stage as a club and secure the Bundesliga title for the first time.
Leverkusen is a small town with a population of 163,000 which is situated very close to the large city of Cologne which boasts a population of 1,016,000 . Koln is a club with a much larger fan base which is shown by the stadium sizes of the 2 clubs. FC Koln play at the RheinEnergieStadion with a capacity of 49,698. Leverkusen has a much smaller fan base, but are financially backed by the company Bayer AG, Leverkusen play at the Bay Arena with a capacity of 30,210. but are financially backed by the company Bayer AG. Köln fans see this as a perfect reason to call themselves more of a club, due to the tradition of their club, rather than the recent history of Leverkusen. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are currently the bigger club due to occupying 5th place in the Bundesliga 2017-18 campaign, FC Koln finished 18th and were relegated to the Bundesliga 2. Leverkusen currently lead the head to head stats, 19 Games Played, Leverkusen 11 Wins, Koln 4 Wins & 4 Draws as of the close of the 2017-18 Season.
WHY BAYER 04 LEVERKUSEN?
1) They have some brilliant young stars in Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz, Leon Bailey, Jonathan Tah, Panagiotis Retsos, & Paulinho. As well as established stars Lars Bender, Charles Aranguiz & Kevin Volland.
2) The Bundesliga is now fully licensed offering you the most realistic gameplay possible and providing the use of VAR for the first time.
3) The club doesn’t have much of a history and the prospect of bringing the Bundesliga title back to Leverkusen is mouth-watering challenge.
4) Finances aren’t the best; however the prize money in the Bundesliga being so high that finances will vastly turn around over the next few years.