Bayer Leverkusen

Founded In
1904
Location
Leverkusen, Germany

Bayer Leverkusen

About Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer 04 Leverkusen was originally founded in 1904. The club's traditional rivals are FC Köln. Up until the 1930s, the club played in the third and fourth tiers of the German league system but gained promotion to the second tier in 1936.

During the 1950s the club made it to the top tier and was placed in the old Oberliga West. After the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963, Leverkusen floated between the second and third tiers for a while. Eventually, the club gained promotion to the Bundesliga in 1979.

In 1987-88, Bayer Leverkusen won the UEFA Cup, defeating Espanyol in the final. The 1992-93 season saw Leverkusen's first real taste of domestic success, with the club beating Hertha BSC in the final of the DFB Cup. The team's golden era spanned from 1996 until 2002, during which time Leverkusen finished as Bundesliga runners up on four occasions. In addition, the club emerged as a major European force, reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League. Although they were beaten in the final by Real Madrid, the match helped to elevate Leverkusen's reputation and the club also became the first team to reach a Champions League final before they'd won their domestic league. In 2010-11, Leverkusen were once again runners up in the Bundesliga, losing out to Borussia Dortmund.

Some of the best players to wear the Bayer Leverkusen shirt over the years include names like Rudi Völler, Lúcio, Emerson, Michael Ballack, Bernd Schneider, Zé Roberto, Dimitar Berbatov and Jens Nowotny. The club's all time greatest goalscorer is Ulf Kirsten, who played for the team from 1990-2003, scoring 183 goals along the way.

Since 1932, the club has played its home matches at the BayArena, formerly known as the Ulrich Haberland Stadium. The ground currently has a total capacity of 30,210.