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14.07.2018Bayer 04

Werkself in World Cup final – Jedvaj and his predecessors

Tin Jedvaj and Croatia are looking to win the World Cup on Sunday. The final against France at the Luzniki Stadium in Moscow kicks off at 17.00 CET. The 22-year-old Werkself pro, who has made one appearance at the tournament in Russia to date (in the 2-1 win against Iceland), is not the first Bayer 04 player to take part in a World Cup final. Here's a look at Jedvaj's predecessors.
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The first pro at a World Cup final while playing for the Werkself was Paulo Sergio. The winger, who made 121 Bundesliga appearances in Black and Red  from 1993 to 1997 scoring 47 goals, was in the Brazilian  squad that beat Italy 3-2 on penalties in the USA in 1994. The now 49 year-old did not get on in the final but did play in the group matches against Cameroon (3-0) and Sweden (1-1).

The Selecao also had a Bayer 04 player in France in 1989 when they faced the hosts in the final. As with Sergio four years before, Emerson did not feature in the 3-0 defeat for Brazil at the Stade de France against Zidane and Co. The midfielder, who played 82 Bundesliga games (scoring 11 goals) for Bayer 04  between 1997 and 2000, was in the side for the quarter-final against Denmark and in the group match against Holland. In the 3-2 win against the Scandinavians, he played for 72 minutes and in the 4-2 win on penalties against Holland it was 'Emma' who netted the third penalty for Brazil against the Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar. The team of the record world champions at the time also included Zé Roberto, who joined Bayer 04 after the World Cup.

Four years later in Japan and South Korea, the Werkself pros played a considerable part in the final. Lucio (at Bayer 04 from 2002 to 2004 scoring 15 goals in 92 Bundesliga) was a winner with Brazil who beat Germany 2-0 to win the title thanks to a brace from Ronaldo. Germany were coached in Asia by team boss Rudi Völler, who at that time still had his office at the BayArena and he included an impressive group of Bayer 04 players in his team. The line-up in the final included Carsten Ramelow, Bernd Schneider (both pictured above in challenge with Rivaldo) and Oliver Neuville. The outstanding Michael Ballack, who scored the winning goals in the 1-0 victories in the semi-final and quarter-final against South Korea and the USA, was suspended for the final.

Calle Ramelow produced a very impressive display as libero, Bernd Schneider was the best player in the team in the game where he established his reputation as a 'white Brazilian', while Oli Neuville was unlucky the goalkeeper Marcos turned his powerful effort from a free kick onto the post just after the restart. The fifth Leverkusen player in the Germany squad was goalkeeper Jörg Butt. And if Jens Nowotny had not torn a cruciate in the Champions League semi-final against Manchester United a few weeks earlier, then the Leverkusen contribution in 2002 would have had even greater depth. In addition to Lucio, the Brazil squad also included central defender Roque Junior, who joined Bayer 04 two years later.

In the 2014 World Cup, there was a 'half Leverkusen player' in the World Cup  final in Christoph Kramer. The holding midfielder, who had to go off half an hour into the final against Argentina due to concussion, was then playing for Borussia Mönchengladbach at the time on loan from Bayer 04.

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