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3.11.2020Bayer 04

News in brief: The Werkself and Israel– Völler pays tribute to Gerd Müller

Goalkeeping legend Rüdiger Vollborn has delved into the club archives to look at a Bayer 04 trip to Israel in the past, and Rudi Völler waxes lyrical about his ‘idol’ Gerd Müller on his 75th birthday: Tuesday’s news in brief.
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The third Europa League group match takes the Werkself to Israel this week. In Petach Tikva – a suburb of Tel Aviv some 3,000 kilometres away from the BayArena as the crow flies – the team led by Peter Bosz play Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Thursday night, 5 November (kick-off: 18.55 CET). Bayer 04 return to Israeli soil for the first time in over 28 years – and for the first time in an official competitive match. But there are memories of Israel at Leverkusen.

In the summer of 1992, the Werkself held their training camp in Caesarea – between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the Israeli Mediterranean coast. As part of the Intertoto Cup, an unofficial international club competition, the Black and Reds first played Maccabi Netanya (1-0) and then Hapoel Petah Tikva three days later with that game ending in a surprise 3-2 defeat.

“In front of 1,000 enthusiastic spectators, several Leverkusen players made sure they did not suffer any unnecessary injuries against the highly motivated Israelis,” was in a newspaper report, dated 13 July 1992, which Rudi Vollborn brought out of the club archives this week. The Werkself player with the record number of appearances and Bayer 04 club archivist did travel to Israel but was unable to play due to an ankle injury.

Against Haifa on Cyprus

The last fixture against an Israeli club was in October 2002 in the Champions League. The 2-0 away win against Maccabi Haifa, with Marko Babic netting both goals, was played on Cyprus due to the tense political situation in Israel at the time.

Völler on Gerd Müller: “One of a kind!”

Gerd Müller played a crucial role for FC Bayern just as much as he did with Germany and, 38 years after the end of his playing career, he is still known and revered as the ‘Bomber of the nation’ all over the country. The central striker scored an impressive 68 goals in 62 internationals. On top of that, between 1964 and 1979 he clocked up an outstanding 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches including 40 in the 1971/72 season – still the record in the league as is his seven trophies for being Bundesliga top goalscorer.

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Gerd Müller at his testimonial on 20 September 1983 at the Olympic Stadium in Munich. Sporting managing director Rudi Völler (first on the left at the back) played for a Germany eleven against FC Bayern.

Rudi Völler, sporting managing director at Bayer 04, still raves about the Bundesliga record goalscorer to this day: “I admired Gerd Müller in the 1970s. His goals helped win the World Cup for Germany when I was 14. He was an idol for me particularly as a striker. And although it’s difficult to compare players from different generations because all of them have their own particular time: For me, Gerd Müller is one of a kind and will also remain so.” The ‘Bomber of the nation’ is 75 years old today. Many happy returns from Bayer 04!

To members: Werks11 magazine dispatched

The latest edition of the Werks11 magazine – number 28 – has been posted out to Bayer 04 Club members. There is an in-depth interview with key defender Edmond Tapsoba covering his first months at Leverkusen plus his home country of Burkina Faso. In addition, summer signing Patrik Schick takes a closer look at his new home from an aerial perspective. The editors joined him at the Leverkusen Water Tower. Enjoy reading about the Black and Reds!

At bayer04.de, can also look back at all the previous Werks11 magazines from the first edition in 2015/16.

Dante suffers torn cruciate

Dante led out Nice as captain at the BayArena two weeks ago in the 6-2 defeat against the Werkself. He suffered a blow last weekend: In the league game at SCO Angers (3-0), the Brazilian picked up a serious injury and had to be carried off. The bitter diagnosis: Torn cruciate and several months on the sidelines. The experienced player, playing on the Côte d’Azur since 2016 following on from time with Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern Munich and VfL Wolfsburg, will miss the return game against the Werkself on 3 December. Bayer 04 wish him a speedy recovery!

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