31.07.2019Bayer 04

Our next opponents: Valencia CF

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are expecting important visitors for this year's season launch. The BayArena hosts the final pre-season friendly on Saturday (14.00 CET) – and it will be a genuine test as a meeting with the Spanish cup holders, Valencia CF, provides a taster of Leverkusen's forthcoming Champions League nights. Here is the lowdown on our next opponents ahead of the dress rehearsal for the start of the new season.


The Blanquinegros (the White and Blacks) have just experienced their biggest success in recent club history. In the final of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish cup competition, Valencia surprisingly beat Barcelona 2-1 to lift the domestic cup trophy for an eighth time. The team from the port city had an impressive season last term. After finishing third in their Champions League group, Valencia reached the semi-finals of the Europa League where their dreams of winning the tournament ended with defeat against Arsenal. Valencia will again be in Europe's premier club competition in the coming season with the team coached by Marcelino finishing behind the 'big' three clubs – Barca, Real and Atletico Madrid – in fourth spot just like Bayer 04. And there are not just parallels with the Werkself in terms of final league position. Just before Christmas, Valencia were in the bottom half of the table but the team had a brilliant second half of the season and they took fourth place late on to secure a ticket for the Champions League.


Valencia were certainly active in the transfer market during the summer break. In the middle of July, the Blanquinegros completed spectacular business with league rivals Celta Vigo to secure the rights to the highly talented central striker Maxi Gómez from Uruguay. Not only a fee in double digit millions went to Vigo but also Valencia's star striker Santi Mina as well as central defender Jorge Sáenz on loan. There was also activity right at the back as well as up front: The Holland goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen joined Valencia from Barcelona with the previous regular keeper Neto moving on to the Catalans. Here too, the player exchange also saw money move from Valencia to Barcelona. With the exception of Neto and Mina, the regular players from last season were retained so the team should be well organised. The key part of the team is the captain Dani Parejo, who has been the maestro in central midfield for the past eight years. The now 30-year-old produced such outstanding performances last season that he played a role in the Spanish national side at this somewhat late stage in his career. Parejo played his first full 90 minutes for the Furia Roja in the 3-0 victory over Sweden in the Euro qualifiers in June.


With the signing of Cillessen, Valencia hope to have achieved an upgrade in the goalkeeper position. The Dutchman must however first prove that he has the consistency to be a regular first choice keeper after being the understudy to Marc-André ter Stegen at Barcelona for the past three years that saw him almost exclusively playing in goal in the Copa del Rey. The lack of match practice could be a problem at the start of the season. There is also room for improvement for Valencia at their home ground the Estadio Mestalla. In 19 league games at home last season, the 'Bats’ only secured seven wins – not really enough for a top team.


Under coach Marcelino, Valencia have established themselves as the fourth club behind Barcelona plus Real and Atletico from Madrid. The club now have to defend this position before a long-term assault on the three leading teams would appear to be a realistic proposition. However, as in previous years, the Blanquinegros now have another impressive squad, above all, with the two highly talented wingers Carlos Soler and Goncalo Guedes (both 22) likely to make great progress this season so that both players could be on the radar of top clubs in Europe.


Bayer 04 face a real test in the conclusion of the pre-season – hopefully with a better outcome for Leverkusen than last year. Ahead of the start of the 2018 season, Valencia secured a convincing 3-0 victory over the Werkself – albeit at the Estadio Mestalla. As with Bayer 04, Valencia start their league campaign on 17 August, although they do not have a cup tie before that. Spectators at the season launch can expect a high quality friendly with a top Spanish side as opponents. The Werkself can only meet Valencia in the knockout rounds of the Champions League. Both teams are in pot three and therefore cannot be in the same group.


Related News

Business - 04.12.2023

A lifestyle partner for Bayer 04: Monster Energy in Sponsors Club

Monster Energy has been a partner in the Sponsors Club at Bayer 04 Leverkusen since the start of the 2023/24 season. Monster Energy has shown their products at Werkself home games on the LED advertising hoardings at the BayArena. Monster Energy activated the next stage of the partnership with the current Bundesliga league leaders for Bayer 04’s home game against Union Berlin in the middle of November. Monster Energy will continue to present themselves as a reliable and ambitious partner to Leverkusen fans through similar promotional events as at the game against Union Berlin.

Show more
Bundesliga - 03.12.2023

Matchday news #B04BVB: BayArena sold out for big game

Bundesliga leaders Bayer 04 host Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 today, Sunday 3 December (17:30 CET), with a capacity crowd expected at the BayArena. Here’s all the latest information ahead of the clash with BVB.

Show more
Bayer 04 - 02.12.2023

African journalists visit Leverkusen for round table with Rolfes

Bayer 04 welcomed 14 media representatives from Africa on Friday, 1 December. The trip for journalists from the likes of Burkina Faso, Senegal, Mozambique, Togo, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana and Togo was organised by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL) with the goal of establishing and promoting Africa as a new target market for the Bundesliga.

Show more
Business - 01.12.2023

Modernised media area unveiled at BayArena

Bayer 04 has modernised its media working area in the stands at the BayArena and equipped it with new, multifunctional monitors. The 50 screens will be used for the first time for the fixture against Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 13 in the Bundesliga next Sunday, 3 December (kick-off: 17:30 CET) and offer the media representatives working at the BayArena on matchday numerous possibilities.

Show more