Back
23.05.2021Bundesliga

What the papers say: 'Just like a Hollywood control room'

The result took second place following the 3-1 defeat for Bayer 04 at Borussia Dortmund in the final Bundesliga match of the 2020/21 season. The focus of the match reports is on the moving scenes surrounding the departure of the Bender twins.
20210522_JS_BVB_B04_1904.jpg

Welt am Sonntag quotes the BVB captain Marco Reus, who included the two Werkself players in his eulogy for Lukasz Piszczek, who was also making the final appearance of his playing career: "We've had lots of emotional moments with Lukasz, Lars and Sven. They are players who have made an incredible impression with their careers."

The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger headline above their online report reads, "The legacy of the Benders." The Leverkusen goal is described as followed: And then followed a scene from the Bundesliga Hollywood control room ahead of the goal to make it 3-1: On 88 minutes, Emre Can stood on the foot of the Leverkusen player Patrik Schick in the penalty area. In his final Bundesliga fixture, the popular Manuel Gräfe had the opportunity to award a penalty. He took it. The Leverkusen bench reacted quickly. Coach Hannes Wolf gave Lars Bender a position on the bench following his knee operation with a view to a final few seconds in the Bundesliga. And they came: The former captain came on for his brother in a Bayer shirt for the 342nd time and coolly slotted the penalty into the net for his 27th goal. He survived the rest of the match with his knackered knee."

20210522_JS_BVB_B04_1737.jpg
Anticipation ahead of the perfect sign-off: Lars Bender with his penalty.

The online edition of the Rheinische Post looks at the moving moments after the game: "After the last final whistle of his career, Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender forged a bridge between football and society. His words show how much he and his brother Sven will be missed in the professional game in future. …'A football team is a symbol of what society should look like: standing together, standing up for each other and having a common target,' declared the 32 year-old. 'And it doesn't matter at all who is sitting next to you, what he looks like, where he comes from, which religion and views he has or his cultural background – stand together and refuse to be divided is the message I'd like to pass on. That is what I take with me from my career. That's the most important thing.'"

The kicker says he found "impressive words" and the headline in their online report is: "A fairy tale farewell: Lars Bender shares an emotional final plea."

20210522_JS_BVB_B04_2395.jpg
A signal ahead of the Euros: Julian Baumgartlinger comes off the bench.

Bild online deals with two other Bayer 04 players who made their comebacks after long lay-offs. "There was Paulinho: The Brazilian played his first match since 20 June 2020. Ten days later, he suffered a torn cruciate and missed the cup final and was sidelined for almost eleven months. He was in the starting line-up against BVB as the centre forward. Paulinho almost levelled at 1-1 and was also very lively otherwise. [...] There was also good news with Julian Baumgartlinger caming on just before the end of the game. The Austria captain also suffered a torn cruciate on 19 January. His rehab went much quicker than Paulinho's. 'Incredible that it's only four months ago,' said coach Wolf. For Baumgartlinger it is a very important step in view of the forthcoming Euros, which the Austria coach Franco Foda ('I'm in constant contact with Julian') will have been very relieved about."

20210522_JS_BVB_B04_2171.jpg

Related News

crop_20240223_JS2_3801.jpg
Bayer 04 - 17.04.2024

Eight Werkself stars nominated for Team of the Season

The German Football League (DFL) has launched the vote for the Bundesliga Team of the Season. As of now, fans of the Werkself can select no fewer than eight Bayer 04 players in the top XI of the 2023/24 campaign: on the shortlist are Lukas Hradecky, Jonathan Tah, Jeremie Frimpong, Alejandro Grimaldo, Granit Xhaka, Exequiel Palacios, Florian Wirtz and Victor Boniface. Voting closes on Monday 22 April at 9:00 CEST.

Show more
crop_20240416_NB_FB04_Training_120191.jpg
Frauen - 17.04.2024

Bayer 04 Women out to top last season’s tally in trip to Leipzig

Bayer 04 Women have the chance to surpass their points total from last season with three games remaining in the Google Pixel Bundesliga as they visit RB Leipzig for Matchday 19 on Friday (kick-off: 6.30pm CEST). Victory against the promoted side would take Robert de Pauw’s team onto 31 points, one more than they managed in their 22 fixtures in 2022/23.

Show more
crop_240414_JS1_4095.jpg
Bundesliga - 15.04.2024

“A dream come true”: Reaction to being Bundesliga champions

After Bayer Leverkusen won their first-ever Bundesliga title to much acclaim, people from the world of sports, business and politics gave their comments on the historic moment.

Show more
crop_20240414_B04WRD_VK5_8941.jpg
Bundesliga - 15.04.2024

Werkself review #B04SVW: A happy end to the fairy tale

14 April 2024 will go down in history at Bayer Leverkusen. We’ll try to reconstruct it all for you. Not only are the Werkself the first new champions of Germany since Wolfsburg in 2009, but only twice before in Bundesliga history has such the title been won earlier than Matchday 29. It ended Bayern Munich’s 11-year reign as champions. And Leverkusen are still undefeated in their 43 competitive matches this season, equalling the all-time record of a team in the five major European leagues. We round it all up in our Werkself review…

Show more
crop_240414_JS1_4730.jpg
Bundesliga - 15.04.2024

“Really remarkable”: The media reaction to Bayer 04’s Bundesliga triumph

Media from around the world have honoured the Werkself's season after they secured their first Bundesliga title with a 5-0 win at home to Werder Bremen. We round up the praise showered on Xabi Alonso's team…

Show more