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Bayer Leverkusen win first Bundesliga title

April 14, 2024

For the first time since 2012, the Bundesliga has a new champion: Bayer Leverkusen. Their 25th league win of the season on Sunday confirmed a title they have secured in unbeaten, record-breaking and surprising fashion.

Florian Wirtz celebrates a goal, and a title for Bayer Leverkusen
Florian Wirtz scored his first senior hattrick to seal the title for the club he joined as a boyImage: Federico Gambarini/dpa/picture alliance

Bayer Leverkusen have broken Bayern Munich's stranglehold on the Bundesliga title after a 5-0 win over Werder Bremen confirmed Xabi Alonso's side as champions with five games to spare. Fans rushed from the stands to the pitch to celebrate the moment.

Leverkusen were not among the favorites for the title at the beginning of the season, with Bayern expected to wrap up a 12th consecutive title and Borussia Dortmund, pipped to the post last year, anticipated to be their closest challengers.

Time to celebrate

But Spanish coach Alonso has led his team to the verge of the first invincible season in Bundesliga history, with the German Cup final to come and Leverkusen still in the Europa League.

"We have to enjoy and celebrate today with our families, friends and fans," said Alonso after the game. This was my first (full) season as a coach, the feeling is incredible."

The "Werkself" ("Worker's Eleven"), as Leverkusen are known as a result of their link to pharmaceutical company Bayer, have made a happy habit of grasping late draws and wins from impossible positions this season and also demolished Bayern 3-0 back in February.

Wirtz seals it in style

Among their best performers have been left wingback Alex Grimaldo, a free transfer signing at the beginning of the season, experienced midfielder Granit Xhaka and Florian Wirtz, a homegrown talent who scored three times on Sunday. Wirtz, 20, will be hopeful of playing a key part for Germany in their home Euros later this year.

"It's indescribable," Wirtz said. Personally, it hasn't yet sunk in what we've done. I'm going to have to go back to the dressing room to get my head around it."

Leverkusen face Dortmund (5th), Stuttgart (3rd) and Eintracht Frankfurt (6th) in their next three Bundesliga games. But Bayern's collapsing form has meant these games, and the final two against Bochum and Augsburg, will matter only in terms of breaking further records.


Edited by: Martin Kuebler