From ‘Neverkusen’ to ‘Neverlusen’: Xabi Alonso hails Bayer Leverkusen’s ‘exceptional’ unbeaten season

Bayer Leverkusen completed the most dominant Bundesliga season in history with a 2-1 victory over Augsberg on Saturday, becoming the first champion to lift the trophy without suffering a defeat all campaign.

So successful has the team been this season that it has earned the club a new and improved nickname.

Previously labeled ‘Neverkusen’ by opposition fans for the club’s failure to win a trophy in more than 30 years, Leverkusen rebranded itself on social media as ‘Neverlusen’ following Saturday’s win.

The win ensured that Leverkusen extended its record unbeaten run to 51 games. The previous record of 48 games without defeat was set by Benfica between 1963-65.

“It is an exceptional season, not only in Germany but in Europe,” manager Xabi Alonso told reporters, per Reuters. “We deserve now to be part of that history of European football. In 20 years we will look back and we will say ‘we did that.’

“It is an important day for the club. We have to be proud of the way we played. 90 points and undefeated. We need a bit more time to value this title. The first Bundesliga title but a big Bundesliga title victory.”

However, despite the unprecedented success, Alonso will have little time to bask in the glory of his first major trophy as a manager.

Leverkusen still has the German Cup final against Kaiserslautern to contest on May 25, but before that will face Atalanta in the Europa League final on Wednesday as the team goes in search of a historic treble.

Leverkusen would become just the second German team in history to complete a treble after Bayern Munich, though the Bavarians twice completed one - in 2013 and 2020 - by winning the Champions League, European football’s premier tournament, instead of the Europa League.

Xabi Alonso earned his first title as a manager. - Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters
Xabi Alonso earned his first title as a manager. - Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

“I believe it, but I need more time [for it to sink it],” Alonso added. “But we have no time because we have the next big goal. It is unique opportunity.

“We will remember this day. It is a special day to have the league trophy here and having done it undefeated. This team has now been engraved in Bundesliga history.”

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