Heynckes takes charge
One of the highest profile and most respected coaches worldwide takes charge of the first team at Bayer 04 this season: The management of the club have achieved another transfer coup with the signing of Jupp Heynckes. In his five-week employment as the successor to Jürgen Klinsmann, he took Bayern Munich into the Champions League.
Twelve new signings
Including Jupp Heynckes and his assistant Peter Hermann, who returns to Leverkusen after a one-year stay at FC Nürnberg, Bayer 04 made twelve signings for the start of the new season. The most high-profile player is, without doubt, Sammi Hyypiä who achieved cult status at Liverpool. In addition to the experienced central defender, Stefan Reinartz returns to Leverkusen after a loan spell at FC Nürnberg. The other returnees are Assimioue Toure, Theofanis Gekas and Pierre De Wit. The young defender Daniel Schwaab is signed from SC Freiburg and striker Eren Derdiyok joins from FC Basel. Goalkeeper Fabian Giefer and Burak Kaplan move up from the ranks of the youth section. Just before the start of the season Bayer 04 also sign Lars Bender from 1860 Munich.
Winning start at the new BayArena
Under clear blue skies and in front of a capacity crowd at the modernised BayArena, Bayer 04 secure a 1-0 win against 1899 Hoffenheim on 15 August 2009. Stefan Kießling scores the winner on 67 minutes. The new Leverkusen stadium draws an enthusiastic response from fans and visitors.
International baptism of fire
The first Bundesliga match is followed on 5 September by the first international performance test of the new BayArena. A friendly international between Germany and World Cup hosts South Africa sees the BayArena meet all organisational and technical challenges. Germany win 2-0 with the two Bayer 04 pros Simon Rolfes and René Adler in the starting line-up. It is the seventh international and sixth win for Germany at Leverkusen. Ahead of the match, Bernd Schneider receives an official farewell from the national team.
Partnership between DFB and Bayer AG
At the international between Germany and South Africa, Bayer AG and the German Football Association (DFB) agree a special partnership: Werner Wenning, the former chairman of the board at Bayer AG, and DFB president Dr Theo Zwanziger sign a declaration of intent whereby both sides will become more involved in helping sick and disabled children in Germany as part of their social commitment.
DFB Cup: Exit in Round 2
Following the 1-0 win against SV Babelberg 03 in round one, the Werkself are beaten 2-1 in the second round of the DFB Cup by second division FC Kaiserslautern.
Dream start in the league
A 4-0 win against FC Nürnberg on matchday eight takes Bayer 04 to the top of the table in the Bundesliga. Six wins and two draws represent a great return.
Adler and Rolfes shine in the national side
Goalkeeper René Adler and midfielder Simon Rolfes produce great performances and make a sizable contribution to Germany's 1-0 win in the deciding World Cup qualifier in Russia.
Top at the winter break
The Werkself are unbeaten at the top of the Bundesliga going into the winter break after a 3-2 victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach. That is the second time since 2001 that Bayer 04 have led at the end of the first half of the season. The Leverkusen U19 and U17 teams are also high up in their respective national leagues.
Bayer 04 set record start
24 games without defeat – no club has achieved that in the 47-year history of the Bundesliga. The fact Bayer 04 set this record in the derby against FC Köln makes it even sweeter although that game ended all square at 0-0. The run ends on 25 matches with a 3-2 defeat away to FC Nürnberg.
BayArena writes football history
On 14 March 2010, the game between Bayer 04 and Hamburg SV is a first in German football with the match being broadcast live in 3D for an exclusive viewership. "It was great to see this depth and this three-dimensional space," said Bayer 04 CEO Wolfgang Holzhäuser of the new technology.
Women win promotion to the Bundesliga
It came down to the last matchday in the home game against TuS Wörrstadt at the Kurt Rieß ground: Lisa Schwab scored direct from a corner to secure the second Bundesliga South title for the Bayer 04 Women with a two point lead over VfL Sindelfingen and promotion to the top flight of women's football in Germany.
U19s and U17s in finals
Both the Bayer 04 U19 and U17 teams were champions in their national divisions and thereby qualified for the finals of the German Championship. After great seasons both sides had to admit defeat in the finals. The U17s lost 1-0 at Eintracht Frankfurt and the U19s lost out 1-0 to Hansa Rostock in the final at the BayArena.
Qualification for the Europa League
In the end there was a tight battle for third place that the Werkself just lost out in. Two points separated Bayer 04 in fourth spot from Werder Bremen and third. Given the run of injuries – with Patrick Helmes, Simon Rolfes, Renato Augusto, Michal Kadlec and Gonzalo Castro all absent for long periods – and the low average age of the team, qualification for the Europa League can be seen as a great success. There were many winners in the team: Toni Kroos, with his nine goals and eleven assists, produced an impressive return for a midfielder; Sammi Hyypiä who brought stability to the defence with his calm and presents; and, last but not least, Stefan Kießling who scored 21 goals in his best season to date.