“It’s unbelievable.” – Simon Rolfes on Bayer Leverkusen being crowned Bundesliga champions


On Sunday afternoon, Bayer Leverkusen dismantled Werder Bremen 5-0 at the BayArena to officially be crowned Bundesliga champions for the first time in their history. A truly remarkable achievement orchestrated by Xabi Alonso and his side, who have simultaneously dethroned Bayern Munich, bringing to an end their eleven-year stranglehold over the Bundesliga.

Prior to kick-off, the party atmosphere was in full swing, with the Leverkusen fans welcoming the team bus along the newly named Xabi-Alonso-Allee with confetti and pyros. However, once inside the ground, the BayArena was a cauldron of noise, and with every passing goal, it somehow became louder and louder.

As the fourth and fifth goals of the afternoon were scored, Leverkusen fans were already making their way onto the pitch, briefly delaying their own celebrations. Regardless, when the final whistle blew, there was no restraining the jubilant Werkself supporters, who burst onto the hallowed turf to celebrate with their heroes.

After the game, sporting director Simon Rolfes commented on the reaction of the fans: “It’s unbelievable. You can see the emotions of the fans who have been waiting for the title for a long time and have always had the feeling that this time we’ll do it. Unfortunately, we all had to go in. Xabi and I are first in, so we didn’t notice much, but it’s a very special moment.” 

As well as this, Rolfes remarked on the team spirit that ensured a first Bundesliga trophy for the club: “We had a special spirit in the team. The team not only played football together in the games every three days and gave everything, but also in every training session. We changed a lot. All the players were part of the success. Everyone took a step back. We always had the feeling that if we all worked together, we could achieve something great.”

Undeniably, this Leverkusen team may be the best to have ever won the Bundesliga, but in and amongst them is a very special player: Florian Wirtz. Having returned from an ACL injury in 2022, there were concerns that he would be unable to reach his potential.

However, the 20-year-old has been crucial to Leverkusen’s success, proving to be not just one of the best young players in the world, but outright one of the best players in the world. Rolfes would also take time to comment on Wirtz and his display against Bremen: 

“He deserves it so much—to score the three goals to win the championship today. He is a very special player, a very special character, and we all love him.”

With the title now wrapped up, Leverkusen will have their sights set on an unprecedented treble. With the Europa League and DFB-Pokal to play for, they could establish themselves as one of the best sides to ever grace European football.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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