Farewell to a legend
After 10 years in a Bayer 04 shirt and 263 Bundesliga appearances it was time for Bernd Schneider to weave his magic for one last time at the BayArena on 10 May 2010. Many of his long-term team-mates and colleagues from professional football make sure they were there to accompany Bernd in his final match. It was an atmospheric and highly emotional evening – not just for the 'white Brazilian' but also for the 20,000 fans at the stadium but wanted to give their Schnix a great send-off.
Away in the Middle Kingdom
The Werkself had the special business trip on the agenda straight after the end of the 2009/10 season. Bayer 04 went on and eight-day tour of China to raise the club's profile but also that of Bayer AG and the German Football League (DFL). "It's notable how much hospitality we have experienced here. And I think we can make our mark to achieve greater presence in this economically very interesting market," said Bayer 04 CEO Wolfgang Holzhäuser.
The transfer deal of the summer of 2010: Michael Ballack returns to Bayer 04 from Chelsea. There is huge media presence at Ballack's presentation. "I had three wonderful years at Leverkusen and I'm glad it's all worked out for me to return," said 'Balle' at his presentation.
Other new signings
Another good old friend returns to Leverkusen: Hanno Balitsch, at Bayer 04 from 2002 to 2005, joins from Hannover 96. Other newcomers to the Werkself are Sidney Sam (FC Kaiserslautern), Nicolai Jörgensen (Akademisk Boldklub Kopenhagen) and Domagoj Vida (NK Osijek).
World Cup returnees
Six Bayer 04 pros appeared on the global stage at the World Cup in South Africa. Stefan Kießling and Toni Kroos made brief appearances for Germany who finished third in the tournament. Tranquillo Barnetta and Eren Derdiyok went out early with Switzerland despite achieving a coup against the eventual world champions Spain. The two players with the most time on the pitch were Hans Sarpei for Ghana and Arturo Vidal for Chile.
Opening of the Werkstatt
The new training centre on the third floor of the BayArena set standards. Werkself pros, Reserves, U19 and U17 players plus the Bayer 04 Women have access here to optimum power training and rehabilitation facilities. "I think there are few clubs in Europe who have a training centre like this one," said Bayer 04 CEO Wolfgang Holzhäuser.
Successful international comeback
In the opening match in the Europa League Bayer 04 sent Rosenborg packing with a 4-0 win.
16 September 2010: Bayer 04 before the game against Rosenborg, standing left to right: René Adler, Daniel Schwaab, Nicolai Jörgensen, Eren Derdiyok, Patrick Helmes, Manuel Friedrich; kneeling left to right Stefan Reinartz, Sami Hyypiä, Sidney Sam, Gonzalo Castro, Lars Bender
There are mixed fortunes at first in the Bundesliga. A 2-0 win at the start away to the eventual champions Borussia Dortmund was followed by a 6-3 defeat at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach and two draws at Hannover 96 and against FC Nürnberg. After six matches the Werkself are in the fifth place. For Simon Rolfes the 2-1 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt represents the end of a long period on the sidelines – the captain makes his comeback after exactly 241 days of a long injury lay-off.
Exit in DFB cup
All hopes of reaching the 2009 final in Berlin are gone in the second round tie at Borussia Mönchengladbach. Bayer 04 lose 6-5 on penalties after a dramatic 120 minutes of DFB Cup action.
Women's international at the BayArena
The World and European champions are not really tested against the recently crowned African champions: The Germany women's team beat Nigeria 8-0 in a friendly at the BayArena.
Bayer 04 our third in the Bundesliga at the winter break. The Werkself qualify for the next round of the Europa League as unbeaten group leaders. A 1-1 draw against holders Atletico Madrid is good enough in the last group match.
16 December 2010: Renato Augusto in the snow against Atletico Madrid.
Run ends at Nürnberg
Bayer 04 lose for the first time in ten away games this season in a 1-0 defeat at FC Nürnberg.
Women stay up
On matchday 20, the Bayer 04 Women secure their top-flight status with games to spare thanks to a 3-2 win away to fellow newcomers Herforder SV.
End of the road at Villarreal
The chances for Bayer 04 in the Europa League Round of 16 are not very good after the 3-2 defeat at home to Villarreal. The Werkself also lose the second leg 2-1 and are out of the Europa league.
New club record
Bayer 04 I've never been so strong away from home as in the 2010/11 season. Eleven wins on the road and a total of 36 away points - that is a club record.
In the Champions League again
The last time Bayer 04 were in Europe's premier club competition was in 2004/05 and now the team are finally back in the Champions League. The 1-0 win at SC Freiburg on the final day of the season secure second place for the Werkself and qualification for the group stage
Departure of Heynckes and Hermann
Head coach Jupp Heynckes returns to Bayer Munich after two, very successful years at Leverkusen – and he also takes his assistant coach Peter Hermann with him. Cult figure Sami Hyypiä ends his long playing career at the age of 37.