The history of Leverkusen, or the end of Atlanta’s 61-year wait?

The history of Leverkusen, or the end of Atlanta's 61-year wait?

The history of Leverkusen, or the end of Atlanta’s 61-year wait? German champions Bayer Leverkusen are in the hunt to reclaim the Europa League crown after three centuries. In the high voltage final, the undefeated club will face Serie A side Atalanta. By winning this match, Xabi Alonso’s followers want to go one step further towards the treble of their dreams. The match kicks off at 1pm on Wednesday (May 22) at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

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They are not European aristocracy. Repeatedly unsuccessful, the adversaries derisively called Neverkusen. They have lost the title after winning the Bundesliga. Lost in the final of the Champions League. That Neverkusen is Neverlüsen this season. Unbeaten champions in the league. Bayer Leverkusen are undefeated in all competitions this season. And the mastermind behind it is Spanish coach Xabi Alonso.

Alonso’s Leverkusen are two steps away from footballing immortality. Leverkusen are in the hunt for the most coveted treble of any club. After the Bundesliga, it’s the challenge to end the three-year wait in the Europa League. Erik Ribbeck’s Leverkusen won the then European Cup (today’s Europa League) in the 1987–88 season, and that was the only time.

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There is hardly a football fan who has not been impressed by The Magician Xabi Alonso and his team this season. The names of Florian Reitz, Granit Xhaka, Victor Boniface, Jeremy Frimpong, Alejandro Grimaldo, Jonathan Tah are etched in the hearts of football lovers.

Die Weckself are also set to take over the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is known that even though the capacity is half a million, only Leverkusen has applied for three million tickets.

However, Xabi Alonso will not want to find comfort in the weight of the name. He will play the team in the familiar 3-4-2-1 formation in the high voltage final. Florian Reitz returns from injury, which gives him added relief. Xabi said, “Atalanta are terrible opponents. At least the way they have played throughout the tournament will not let us rest in the finals. But we want to win the trophy for our supporters.

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On the other hand, history is calling Atlanta. They are on the brink of winning a major title for the first time in 61 years, excluding Serie B, Europe’s first. Gian Pieri Gasperini wants to make the most of the available opportunities. The 66-year-old coach said, ‘Our fans deserve a trophy. The boys are ready. We are not thinking about Leverkusen. I don’t even remember what they did this season. We just want to play our normal game.’

Atalanta won both the previous two meetings between the two teams. So the Italian club’s first or Leverkusen’s second. Eagerly waiting for the reply.