Bayer Leverkusen celebrate double victory ‘until their bodies can’t take it anymore’


After an almost perfect season

Bayer Leverkusen celebrate double victory 'until their bodies can't take it anymore'


After the golden end to a historic season, Leverkusen bosses Simon Rolfes and Fernando Carro gave the team the order to celebrate. “You can accelerate as much as you want,” said sports director Rolfes on his way to the big cup celebration at the “Club Theater Berlin” with around 1,000 guests: “They have been successful this season, have always been focused , always professional. Now they can finally enjoy it and let loose a little. » Club boss Carro also explained: « Today we celebrate until our bodies can’t take it anymore.

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With the 1-0 final victory against second division team 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Bayer won the DFB Cup and thus completed the double after winning the German championship. Leverkusen also reached the Europa League final, losing 3-0 to Atalanta Bergamo. It was the only defeat in 53 competitive matches.

After the cup triumph, the party began in the locker room. “Beer arrived, champagne and everything that went with it,” revealed captain Lukas Hradecky: “It was a very nice moment. Players like Florian Wirtz, Patrik Schick and Robert Andrich came to the party around 1:30 a.m. with sunglasses. » Jonas Hofmann carried the DFB Cup under his arm into the village hall at 1:32 a.m.

Xabi Alonso on Bayer Leverkusen’s double victory: ‘Today I’m drinking German beer’

Doubles coach Xabi Alonso praised his charges effusively after their first cup victory since 1992/93. “I’m proud and I’m happy for the players. It’s totally deserved,” Alonso said and announced: “Tonight I’m drinking German beer.”

The Werkself was already champion since April 14, but in view of future tasks this could only be celebrated with a handbrake. “We haven’t celebrated yet. “Not the championship, nothing,” Rolfes said. « Now everyone deserves to celebrate properly and not pay attention to the fact that we have another game three days later. So most people will probably just realize what they have accomplished. » “We never had a chance to think about it,” Rolfes emphasized: “Now everyone is certainly aware of it.”

Rolfes was also already thinking about the future, because Bayer wants to permanently position itself as a top team and a rival to FC Bayern Munich. “We have shattered this image that people always said about Bayer.” Now is the time to consolidate the new exterior image. « I didn’t come here just to win titles for a year, » said final scorer Granit Xhaka.

Carro’s motto of stating goals publicly and boldly affects the entire club after this historic season. « We are very happy, but it doesn’t stop there, » Carro said: « We have to try to stay at this level. And we will. » Of course, the series champions, who were replaced by impressively after eleven years, are “historically the strongest team in Germany But we want to at least be able to stand up to them.”

And then the Spaniard even explicitly formulated his future objectives. “The goal is always to be at the top. The goal is to be at least at the top of the Bundesliga, to go as far as possible in the cup and also to show in the Champions League that Bayer Leverkusen has a high level.

© tm/imago - Ulf Kirsten in a career interview about, among other things, the DFB Cup victory in 1993 (read here!)

© tm/imago – Ulf Kirsten in a career interview about, among other things, the DFB Cup victory in 1993 (read here!)

DFB director Völler also happy for former club Bayer Leverkusen

DFB director Rudi Völler was also very happy for his former club. “Moved, yes, because this season has been simply extraordinary,” Völler said on the way to the Leverkusen Cup party when asked if he was emotional. “It was a sort of reward for the whole season,” said Völler: “And it was a deserved victory. Even with one man less and even though the people of Lauter defended very well.”

Völler joined Bayer as a player in 1994, a year after the last title until a few weeks ago. After retiring in 1996, he became an official and remained there until 2022, with a gap of almost five years during his 23 years at Bayer, without obtaining a title. However, his successor as sporting director, Rolfes, credits him with a large part of the current successes.

“I’m obviously happy because I’ve signed a lot of players,” Völler said, but he didn’t want to set the share too high. “I can separate it. Simon, Fernando Carro and Xabi Alonso have built a wonderful team and made excellent transfers.