Bayer Leverkusen with Xabi Alonso against Bayern Munich in Bundesliga

Bayer Leverkusen with Xabi Alonso against Bayern Munich in Bundesliga

IThere is still a delicate top game flair over the duels between Bayer Leverkusen and the FC Bayern, even if the winner is usually FC Bayern Munich. However, a 2-0 win at Ferencváros Budapest took the Rhinelander through to the quarter-finals of the Europa League on Thursday, where they will meet Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in April. With the record champions and Bayer 04 meeting on Sunday afternoon (5.30 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Bundesliga and at DAZN) the only two German clubs that are still represented in the European Cup.

It’s no secret that Munich are confident of winning two or three titles over the course of the season. But what for Bayer Leverkusen will be possible remains a mystery for the time being.

Self trainer Xabi Alonso don’t know whether the stable performance in Budapest and the decent results before that are a reliable indication of a sustainable development step. “Our goal is to always have this maturity and control in our game,” says Alonso, then a lot is possible. “If we continue to ride the roller coaster, it’s a bit harder.” It’s nice that the Spaniard doesn’t hide his doubts. Even before his 17th Bundesliga game on the bench at Bayer 04, Alonso doesn’t know exactly what his squad will be able to do.

Rummenigge praises Alonso

for that Karl Heinz Rummeniggethe long-time CEO of Bayern, just said in “Sport Bild” what he believes Alonso is capable of, who is always traded as a possible Munich coach of the future: If a football teacher in the course of his own playing career “had coaches like Xabi in Liverpool, at Real, at Bayern Munich, in the national team – and has had incredible success everywhere and is a good guy, is so disciplined and empathetic – it would have to be the devil if he wasn’t successful as a coach.” Rummenigge.

This statement contains the same subjunctive as the thesis that Bayer Leverkusen “should” be in a much better position with this squad than in ninth place in the table. If you only look at the time since Alonso replaced Gerardo Seoane in the position of Leverkusen coach, the record is very decent. Especially since a big coup in the Europe League is conceivable.

Bayer is capable of a win against Bayern, now that Florian Wirtz plays many of these ingenious balls into opposing penalty areas after tearing his cruciate ligament. As Moussa Diaby blossoms after his form crisis. With Jeremie Frimpong becoming one of the strongest wingers in the league, with Sardar Azmoun developing just like Mitchel Bakker and goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky making fewer mistakes too.

Alonso speaks of a “development of the team”, as a result of which “self-confidence arises step by step”; Bayern come at a good moment because Alonso knows the leaders better than any other team. Between 2014 and 2017 he was a professional in Munich, he played with Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich or Kingsley Coman, but he doesn’t want to be disturbed by any feelings of reunion. “There are no emotions,” says Alonso, “my focus is on the game and working with my team.” At least until the game is over.

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