Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Not sure which players should be in your Fantasy team? , Bayer Leverkusen is perceived by some to have an ongoing image problem of a different sort. On 27 November 1903, Wilhelm Hauschild wrote a letter – signed by 170 of his fellow workers – to his employer, the Friedrich Bayer and Co., seeking the company's support in starting a sports club. The club was relegated again in 1973, but made a quick return to what was now called the 2. In the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League, Leverkusen reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2008, but were ultimately knocked out by Inter Milan in a 2–1 loss. The club went through startling reversals of fortune in the next two seasons. All info, news and stats relating to Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the 2020-2021 Bundesliga season  Leverkusen, however, was defeated in the first knockout round by eventual champions Liverpool. "Bayer Leverkusen" redirects here. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen took with them the club's traditional colours of red and black, with the gymnasts adopting blue and yellow.  The club finished sixth during the 2004–05 season to qualify for the next season's UEFA Cup. The show-piece event was contested between Bayer Leverkusen of Germany and Real Madrid of Spain at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland on Wednesday, 15 May 2002, to decide the winner of the Champions League. Michael Skibbe was heavily criticised towards the end of the season after he continuously changed his starting line up. However, Heynckes decided not to extend his contract and left Bayer Leverkusen in the 2011 close season to take over at Bayern Munich for a third time. In contrast to many other German football clubs, which hold close ties to their working-class roots, Bayer Leverkusen strives for a clean, family-friendly image.  That was also the year that the club wore the familiar "Bayer" cross for the first time.  In the 2012–13 and 2015–16 seasons, Leverkusen finished third with coach Sami Hyypiä and Roger Schmidt respectively, but were knocked out in the round of 16 of the Champions League the following season both times. For the women's football club, see, 2.  The company agreed to support the initiative, and on 1 July 1904 Turn- und Spielverein Bayer 04 Leverkusen was founded. "Tablet twisters"). "Factory team", "Millhanders") or "Pillendreher" (Eng. Cologne stunned Dortmund while Bayern beat Stuttgart and Wolfsburg and Bremen played out an eight-goal bonanza on Matchday 9. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen made something of a breakthrough in 1968 by winning the division title, but was unable to advance through the playoff round to the first division. Lucas Alario has been key to Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten start - and is even outperforming some of the best forwards in the world. The Austrian's first strike in almost two years helped Leverkusen make it five wins in a row, despite an incredible own goal from Hradecky. Bayer 04 Leverkusen. SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen would not return to the upper leagues until 1962, just one season before the formation of Germany's new professional league, the Bundesliga. By the mid-1980s, SV Bayer 04 Leverkusen had played its way into the upper half of the league table and was well-established there by the end of the decade. The three players would become instant crowd favourites, and make significant contributions to the team. Calmund also established groundbreaking contacts in Brazilian football, befriending Juan Figer, one of Brazil's most powerful player agents. The club also signed charismatic players, such as Bernd Schuster, and Rudi Völler, helping to ensure the team's popularity and growing success.  The club competes in the Bundesliga, the top tier of German football, and plays its home matches at the BayArena.. The next year saw the club in the Regionalliga West, tier II, where their performances over the next few seasons left them well down the league table.  Skibbe turned Leverkusen's season around and guided the club to a sixth-place finish in 2006, earning another UEFA Cup place, and then repeated that feat with a fifth place Bundesliga finish in 2007. Lucas Alario scored twice for the second game in a row to help unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen come from behind and cruise past hosts Freiburg 4-2.  In the following season, in a game also known for its 45 m "German Goal of the Year" by Schuster (a goal which was later also named "Goal of the Decade"), Bayer played Eintracht Frankfurt early in the season, and, as both a "tip of the hat" to its own history as well as an attempt to perhaps upset the Frankfurt team, Bayer played in its new third colours, which were old-fashioned red and black stripes, similar jerseys to those Frankfurt generally wore at the time.  Ironically, Bayer 04 was the first Bundesliga club whose fans identified themselves as Ultras and the city of Leverkusen is one of the old industrial cities of Germany. After a near disaster in 1996 when the club faced a relegation battle, Bayer Leverkusen established itself as a powerful side, offering a technically pleasing offensive style of play under new coach Christoph Daum, who was also helped by the signing of players such as Lúcio, Emerson, Zé Roberto and Michael Ballack.  In the culture of sports in Germany at the time, there was significant animosity between gymnasts and other types of athletes. Four years later, the club handily secured a place in the Bundesliga to start to play there in the 1979–80 season. FC Nürnberg. Bayer Leverkusen also lost a lot of its support towards the end of the season: in the 1–2 home loss against Hertha BSC, the Leverkusen fans caused much commotion, with fans chanting for the sacking of Skibbe, while some Ultras, who had seen enough, set fire to their jerseys and threw them onto the field. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.  As distinguished from the various Red Bull teams (Salzburg, New York and Leipzig) which has been established or redefined in the recent past primarily for commercial reasons, the formation of Bayer Leverkusen was motivated by the idea of promoting the living conditions of local factory workers early in the 20th century.  Although they are a financially healthy club with a stable of strong players, many fans of the traditional clubs denounce Bayer Leverkusen as being a "plastic club" without traditions or a committed fan base, existing solely as a creation of their rich pharmaceutical company sponsor – Bayer AG. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (rowing, tennis and hockey).  On 31 May 1907, a separate football department was formed within the club.