Title-hungry Leverkusen have solid base for success, CEO says
Berlin — Bundesliga leaders Bayer Leverkusen’s unbeaten run in all competitions this season faces a tough test against visiting Bayern Munich on Saturday but they have laid the foundations for a successful campaign, club CEO Fernando Carro says.
Leverkusen, whose last major trophy dates back to the 1993 German Cup, are two points ahead of second-placed Bayern, who are chasing a record-extending 12th consecutive league title.
“After we play Bayern we still have 13 games left so in 13 games a lot of things can happen,” Carro said . “For us this week to be honest the most important match was on Tuesday because it was a knockout match.”
Leverkusen bagged a last-gasp 3-2 win over VfB Stuttgart on Tuesday to reach the German Cup semifinals, with the draw set for Saturday. They are also through to the Europa League round of 16 and will find out their opponents on February 23.
“Until now the season has been outstanding but now the reality comes,” Carro said. “We have not achieved anything so far, but we have laid a great foundation. Now we have to reward ourselves.”
While there is so far very little title talk among coach Xabi Alonso’s players, with three trophies still up for grabs, Carro said silverware would make the season a success.
“If we get one title it will be a successful season because we have not won a title since 1993,” he said. “At the end of the day we wanted to be in the top four. Our objective is to qualify for the Champions League and I think the top four we will achieve.”
Leverkusen's game against Bayern is sold out like their previous matches this season, with their exciting brand of football having taken the league by storm. Their unbeaten run across 30 matches in all competitions has also been good for the club’s finances with a sharp increase in membership registrations, season ticket sales and sponsor deals.
“It has an impact on our organisation. We have a full stadium every match, we have for the first time in history a waiting time for the season tickets. We had 18,000 and now we have 21,000 and we had to stop it.”
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