“The undefeated finish will be written in golden letters in the history of football”

ANDl Guinness Book of Records It is named after the thirst-quenching stout of Dubliners. Its pages are a museum in which the most incredible deeds are exhibited. And in them, Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso deserves a chapter… or three.

The Gipuzkoan who spent years running in midfield without getting his suit dirty, He successfully transferred the elegance with which he batted the ball to the benches.. “When I was a player, I was very interested in the game, the opponent, the preparation, and I wondered why this was happening. Working as a midfielder helped me expand my knowledge,” he explained to UEFA.

My trophies as a player are a thing of the past. Now it’s time to win them as a coach

Xabi Alonso, coach of Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi absorbed the best – Luis Aragones, Del Bosque, Benitez, Mourinho, Guardiola, Ancelotti… – until, at the age of 42, having received his second coaching experience after Real Sociedad B, he became the coach of the moment. “My trophies as a player are a thing of the past. Now it’s time to win them over as a coach,” he warned. before the Europa League final against Atalanta.

Bayer are looking to achieve that elusive continental glory in Glasgow in 2002 – Real Madrid left them without Orejona – and something they haven’t tried since UEFA beat Espanyol in 1988. At the Aviva Stadium In a week, Werkself will make a stopover that could be fantastic and end with a treble.

After celebrate the Bundesliga before heading to the German Cup against Kaiserslautern on Saturday in Berlinthe Germans are eager to add new metal to a course in which they are not tainted by defeat.

A trip without setbacks that they didn’t suspect when they warmed their feet in Saalfelden in the summer. In the shadow of the Austrian Alps, Alonso spent his first full year at Bayer quietly.

Once the crisis of 2022-23 had passed, when in October he grabbed a team rushing into the second Bundesliga and lifted them to sixth place and the semi-finals of the Europa League, Xabi built next Simon Rolfes (CEO Sports) and Fernando Carro (CEO) bloc that sought to return to the Champions League.

Alonso solved the 2023 puzzle, but he was missing pieces to complete the 2024 puzzle. Wirtz needed the number 9 to help, and Boniface arrived. Frimpong flew alone on the right, while Grimaldo landed for takeoff on the left. A spotlight was needed in midfield and Xhaka provided it.

We were competitive in all games, playing well and playing poorly. We never gave up

Xabi Alonso, coach of Bayer Leverkusen

And so, one by one, they cleared up all the unknowns until they found the winning formula that made Leverkusen invincible. “I think it has to do with consistency, performance and mentality. We hardly had any bad moments. We were competitive in all games, playing well and playing poorly. We never gave up,” Alonso said. His 17 goals! in stoppage time to avoid such an abyss as Real Madrid is the best proof of this.

Road to glory

With this recipe, Xabi and his company Bayer aim to give the perfect advertising campaign a continental shine. An adjective that isn’t just a cliché. From 0:8 against Teutonia Ottensen in the first round of the German Cup in August to the Europa League final against Atalanta. 10 months passed and they played 51 games… undefeated! (see chart) They have no restrictions.

Leverkusen started the Bundesliga as a pleasant discovery and ended up imposing their own law. “Werkself” broke Bayern’s hegemony without conjugating the verb “to lose”, singing the first aliron in its 119-year history. They are invincible, like Arsenal, Juventus… but they have moved on.

In the 25th game they took the German record for most duels without defeat from the start (24) from Hamburg (1982-83). In 1943 they were proclaimed champions of the Bundes. breaking 28 unbeaten matches since Pep started playing for Bayern (2013–14).

And they went all the way to the final, breaking first Juventus’ top-flight record of 43 unbeaten matches (2012) and then Benfica’s European record of 49 matches since 1965. They are already 51… and this number continues to grow.

Alonso put an end to the “aspirin team” headache. The myth of Neverkusen is history. They had been soccer ball dolls for so long that when that label was removed, they began to win. “Victory without defeat will be written in golden letters in the history of European football.. I hope we can,” Xabi said.

Xabi Alonso gives free rein to his emotions at the celebration in Leverkusen: he rises to the stands with the trophy!

They are two steps away from eternity and three. They already have the Bundesliga on their cloverleaf and still have two more titles to lose.. Alonso brought them luck. Elf

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