"Gerardo Seoane has done good work for Bayer 04 over the past one and a half years, above all with the outstanding qualification for the Champions League," said sporting managing director Simon Rolfes. "Unfortunately, we have left the path of success. The early exit from the DFB Cup but in particular the current position in the Bundesliga, which does not meet our expectations, has compelled us to change coaches," explained Rolfes the day after 2-0 defeat for the Werkself in the Champions League at Portuguese champions Porto. Seoane's assistant coach Patrick Schnarwiler is also leaving Bayer 04.
Fernando Carro, as the Bayer 04 CEO, emphasised the complexity of the decision: "Gerardo Seoane has enjoyed very high appreciation throughout the club both as a coach and as a person. It was not easy to part company. But we see no other possibility in the current situation.”
Xabi Alonso is the new head coach at Bayer 04. The Spain international with 114 caps won the UEFA Champions League as a player with Liverpool in 2005 and with Real Madrid in 2014 and he also won the German league title three times as a driving force with Bayern Munich from 2015 to 2017. The former midfielder won the European Championships with Spain in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010. Alonso will have his assistant coach Sebastian Parrilla alongside him at Bayer 04.
"In Xabi Alonso we have brought in a coach who was an absolute world-class player for many years, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful at three of the most demanding European leagues," said Rolfes on the signing of the former top star. Alonso has been working as a coach with the second team of the top-flight Spanish club Real Sociedad for the last three years and before that he worked with the youth teams at Real Madrid.
"I know Leverkusen as an outstanding club from my time in Germany. Bayer 04 always had great players and I see a lot of quality in the current squad," said Alonso. "In my discussions with the club it quickly became clear that ambitious targets are still the aim in spite of the current difficult situation. This job really attracts me and I'm sure we can live up to expectations."
This evening, Friday 23 February (kick-off 20:30 CET), Bayer 04 open Bundesliga Matchday 23 against 1. FSV Mainz 05 at the sold-out BayArena. The works club is using the fixture to hold its second Bayer Sports Family Matchday of this season. The matchday news has everything you need to know.Show more
The Werkself entertain FSV Mainz 05 on Bundesliga Matchday 23. The game on Friday night 23 February (kick-off: 20.30 CET/live on DAZN and on Werkself Radio) will be played in front of a full house at the BayArena. Ahead of the game, head coach Xabi Alonso talked about the new Mainz coach and sounded a warning about the high intensity of the visitors. In addition, the Spaniard responded to questions about his future.Show more
FSV Mainz 05 finally won again last weekend after eleven games without a victory. The win against FC Augsburg has inspired a mood of optimism for the team from Rheinhessen who now have plans under the new head coach Bo Henriksen for the clash with the league leaders on Friday night, 23 February (kick-off: 20.30 CET). The lowdown on our next opponents.Show more
A change of venue for the Bayer 04 Leverkusen Women: The quarter-final of the DFB-Pokal against SGS Essen on Tuesday 5 March (kick-off: 18.30 CET) will be played at the BayArena, only the second women's game staged there in since 2009 – and not, as usual, at the Ulrich Haberland Stadium.Show more
The quarter-final of the DFB-Pokal will be a special highlight for the Bayer 04 Women. The team will play at the BayArena for only the second time since 2009. Bayer04.de has collected reaction to the game to be played on Tuesday 5 March (kick-off: 18.30 CET). Director of professional teams Thomas Eichin, who is also responsible for women's football at the club, explains the background to the decision and the Women's team head coach Robert de Pauw and the captain Elisa Senß talk about the anticipation of the players ahead of the clash at the BayArena. Winter signing Borja Iglesias also shares his views. The striker was a big supporter of women's football following the kissing scandal involving the former Spanish FA president Luis Rubiales last summer. Borja also attended the last Bayer 04 Women's home game against TSG Hoffenheim.Show more