3.06.2022Bayer 04

News in brief: Andrich and Wirtz top the Bundesliga rankings

The sports journal Kicker has published more results from their ranking of German football. Several Bayer 04 players have done well – two of them have even made top spot. Also in Friday's news in brief: We mourn the loss of a legendary Leverkusen driver and a new job for Thomas Kleine.

The editors of the Kicker sports journal produce a ranking of German football twice a year. The deciding factor is "the performance produced over the assessment period." – In this case the first half of 2022. The Thursday edition gave the results for the positions of full-back, defensive midfield and attacking midfield.

Andrich "Bayer's Influencer"

Robert Andrich received a special mention: The summer signing from Union Berlin was named the best defensive midfielder in the Bundesliga in the second half of the season. The 27-year-old "has long become a key player in Bayer's game. An influencer on the pitch […]. As usual, he stood out with his strength in challenges and his ability to drive play forwards." Behind Andrich in the category of International class are Salih Özcan (FC Köln) and Konrad Laimer (RB Leipzig). Werkself stalwart Charles Aránguiz ("A leader particularly in the final stage!") secured a creditable seventh place. Congratulations to the two of you.

"only Wirtz was at Top level"

Up to his torn cruciate in the middle of March, Florian Wirtz was flying high in the Bundesliga shining with his outstanding technique and his creativity. Involvement in five goals in nine league games since the turn of the year speaks for itself. So it's no wonder that the 19-year-old is included in the category of International class – moreover as the only and, at the same time the highest ranked Bundesliga player. The explanation from Kicker: "Up to his injury, the Germany international was on his own at the top in offensive midfield. No other attacking midfielder in the league came close to his average mark of 2.63 in the Rückrunde." Congratulations to you too, Flo – and here’s hoping you get better soon.

Frimpong's great significance

Jeremie Frimpong is ranked eighth in the position of full-back. The 21-year-old right-back who, like Florian Wirtz, was ruled out for the rest of the season by injury in the middle of March, was rated National class. The explanation: "Leverkusen apply a lot of pressure to opponents with his pace. When he was injured it was clear how significant he was on the right side of the Bayer attacking game."

congratulations, Paulinho

And the awards carry on – this time in the form of a medal: Bayer 04 player Paulinho has been awarded the Pedro Ernesto medal for his performances at the Olympic Games. The Selecao beat Spain 2-1 in the final in Tokyo to take the gold medal. You've earned that honour, Pauli."

Hincapie and Co. win

Ecuador with Werkself player Piero Hincapie have won the first of three friendly matches in the current international break. At the New York Red Balls Stadium, Pervis Estupian (Villareal) scored the only goal of the game against Nigeria on three minutes. Hincapie played the full 90 minutes. The World Cup participants have their next friendly against Mexico on 6 June and that is followed by a match against Mali five days later.

mourning loss of Günter Thiel

Günter Thiel drove the Werkself all over Germany and Europe for three decades. Günni, as he was known by players and coaches, has passed away at the age of 83. Thiel left the Werkself in March 2004 at a Bundesliga home match with Reiner Calmund presenting him with an honorary season ticket and a golden steering wheel with a Bayer 04 logo. As the team bus driver, Thiel experienced both the UEFA Cup triumph in 1988 as well as the DFB Cup win in 1993. Rest in peace, Günni.


Kleine takes charge at promoted club

The long-standing Leverkusen player Thomas Kleine has found a new coaching job. The 44-year-old succeeds Timo Rost in charge of SpVgg Bayreuth newly promoted to the third division. The Wermelskirchen-born manager was assistant coach at Fortuna Düsseldorf for five years under Friedhelm Funkel for most of that time.

Kleine joined the Bayer 04 second team from SV Wermelskirchen in the summer of 1998. He made the step up to the first team after three years where he made 22 appearances in central defence up to 2003 – including eight in the UEFA Champions League.

Moreover: Kleine was a guest on the Werkself podcast just before Christmas last year.

black and red indoor tip

Do you want to watch live sport at the weekend? No problem. The female U19 handball team of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen are in the final four for the German championships. The semi-finals on Saturday 4 June will be played at the Leverkusen Ostermann Arena in close proximity to the BayArena as well the third-place match and the final a day later. Further details are available HERE.

happy birthday, Cris

Following Paulo Sergio's birthday yesterday, Cris, another Brazilian who played for the Werkself, celebrates his birthday. The former central defender joined Leverkusen in January 2003 on a six-month loan from Cruzeiro in his home country and he played seven matches for Bayer 04 – four of them in the Champions League. He became a coach after ending his playing career in 2014. Chris is currently at the helm of French third division club FC Le Mans. Congratulations on your 45th birthday.

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