Dominik, can you remember how you greeted Danny when you met up for the first time in Frankfurt?
Dominik Kohr: “He just shook his head… No, just joking. I know Danny from the time with the Bayer 04 youth teams and from training sessions with the senior team. He gave me a great welcome. If I had any questions, for example where I could get the training kit from or the way to the training ground then I always asked him first.
Danny da Costa: The whole squad generally makes it easy for new players to fit in. And Domme is a cool bloke too. Everybody likes him.
What are your memories of the time together at Leverkusen?
Kohr: We messed up the final of the German U17 championships together in 2009/10. That was here in Frankfurt against Eintracht – at the FSV stadium. And we recently had a friendly against Chemie Leipzig on that ground. That obviously brought back memories.
da Costa: In general, I remember our time together with the U17s very well. It was a very funny time for both of us.
But the fact the game wasn’t won isn’t down to you two, is it?
da Costa: No, it was the ref’s fault. (he laughs)
Looking back, which coach at Bayer 04 helped you develop most? How?
da Costa: There are two coaches who played a big part in my development: First, Johann Rieckhof, under who – as just mentioned – we reached the final of the U17 German championships. And then, of course, the time under Sascha Lewandowski. We learned a lot from him that proved to be enormously helpful in the professional game. Although both coaches were quite different in terms of approach they did help shape us in their own way.
Kohr: Definitely, I can only agree with that.
Dominik, hand on heart: Was it a bit annoying for you in the summer that the Werkself were in the Champions League and now you are 'only' playing in the Europa League with Eintracht?
Kohr: No, as a footballer you always want to play. And that didn't happen in my last six months at Leverkusen. However, I wish the club all the best in the Champions League. And I'm happy to be able to play here in Frankfurt in the Europa league and I hope we get through the group stage and go as far as we can – ideally experiencing a season like the last one.
Let's move on to the game on Friday: Who are you looking forward to meeting the most?
Kohr: It's not that long ago for me. I'm looking forward to seeing Kevin Volland, Lars Bender, Jonathan Tah… actually all the old crew. And the staff – in fact everybody!
da Costa: I'm most looking forward to meeting up with Lukas Hradecky, Kai Havertz and Rambo (Ramazan Özcan, Ed.). I played alongside Rambo for years at Ingolstadt and I had a crazy time here in Frankfurt with Lukas that was rounded off by winning the cup. I'm looking forward to seeing Kai as well because I always used to take him to training before he'd passed his driving test...
Did Kai sought you out for that? Or does he still owe you?
da Costa: He could definitely invite me around for a meal...(he laughs). Kai is a polite, young man with good manners. He's already said thank you.
What sort of game are you expecting on Friday?
da Costa: Hopefully not one like last season in Leverkusen (he laughs). Bayer 04 we'll probably have a lot of possession. We want to work our way into the game with a battling performance. I feel that we'll be able to compete on equal terms. And then hopefully be able to win the game..
Kohr: I don't think it will be an easy game for either team. Several players from both sides have been on international duty. That makes it difficult to set the teams up perfectly for Friday.
Kohr: 2-0 to us!
da Costa: Let's make it 2-1. Bayer 04 are pretty strong up front… (he grins)
Paderborn caused the upset of the second round of the DFB-Pokal as the Bundesliga 2 side beat top-flight Freiburg 3-1. The club from East Westphalia are now out to deliver another cup battle at the BayArena on Wednesday (kick-off: 18:00 CET). Here’s the lowdown on our next opponent.Show more
Once again there will be an early bird phase for tickets to Bayer 04 Bundesliga home games in the 2023/24 Rückrunde, open exclusively to Bayer 04 Club members. The latest information.Show more
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
Bayer 04 involvement with the ‘Kältegang Leverkusen’ project continues this winter. The current Bundesliga league leaders and their fans again presented financial and in-kind donations to the homeless charity at home game against Borussia Dortmund (1-1).Show more
The Werkself remain unbeaten after the 1-1 draw with Borussia Dortmund on Bundesliga Matchday 13. The one-sided game demanded a lot of strength of nerve and competitive spirit from Xabi Alonso's team. In the end, Victor Boniface rewarded the relentless attacking efforts of the league leaders against passive but efficient visitors. The Werkself review.Show more