Bayer Leverkusen is a German sports club based in Leverkusen, North Rhine-Westphalia. The club was formed in 1904 and is one of the best-known and most successful football clubs in Germany, having won seven Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals, one UEFA Champions League, one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and one Cup Winners’ Cup. The club has also competed in the UEFA Champions League for eleven seasons, reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions. Bayer Leverkusen play their home fixtures at the BayArena, which has a seating capacity of 38,864.
Bayer Leverkusen was formed in 1904 by engineers from the company Bayer, including Hermann Balck, Fritz Grossmann, Alfredo Di Stéfano, and Franz Beckenbauer. Leverkusen started out playing amateur football in the Oberliga Westfalen (III) before becoming part of the new Bundesliga in 1963. In 1974, the team won their first national championship, Division 1, and in the 1977–78 season they became the first team to ever win the Bundesliga as both league champions and German Cup champions. Leverkusen’s first appearance in the UEFA Champions League came in the 1986–87 season, where they were knocked out in the group stage. They returned to the competition in the 1997–98 season and reached the quarter-finals before being knocked out by Valencia. The club enjoyed its most successful period in the early 2000s, when they won the Bundesliga for the first time in 2001 and the DFB-Pokal in 2002. They also reached the Champions League quarter-finals in the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons, as well as the 2002 German Cup final. However, the club’s most recent period of success has been in the 2010s, when they have won the Bundesliga twice, the DFB-Pokal twice, and the UEFA Champions League in 2013.