Hapoel Beer Sheva are the unknown quantity in Group C. The club was founded in 1949 – one year after the state of Israel – and promotion to the top-flight came in 1965. Beer Sheva, a town with a population of 200,000 in the south of Israel, is about 100 km away from Jerusalem on the edge of the Negev. Hapoel has its roots in the Israeli labour movement (the word Hapoel means worker). In the 1970s, the club were champions of Israel and Super Cup winners for the first time. Hapoel have won the national Ligat Toto five times – and recently three times in succession in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Hapoel Beer Sheva made their first European appearance in the middle of the 1990s qualifying for the first round of the UEFA Cup in 1995/96 where they were knocked out by Barcelona (0-5, 0-7). Hapoel were twice relegated to the second division after that. But the club has now been established in the first division for over a decade. The team coached by Yossi Abukasis finished fourth last season and they won the Israeli cup competition for the first time since 1997. They beat Maccabi Petah Tikva 2-0 in the final.
Hapoel Beer Sheva have battled their way through all four qualifying rounds in the Europa League this term knocking out Dinamo Batumi (Georgia, 3-0), KF Laci (Albania, 2-1), Motherwell (Scotland, 3-0) and Viktoria Pilsen (Czech Republic, 1-0). The top scorer in the qualifiers was the Portuguese Josué with four goals. The 30-year-old attacking midfielder joined from the youth set-up at FC Porto where he was in the first team squad for four years. And the captain Miguel Vitor (31) is also Portuguese. The central defender played for Benfica, Leicester City and PAOK Saloniki. The team also includes two Argentinian midfielders Mariano Bareiro and Marcelo Meli, the Colombian central striker Jhonathan Agudelo and winger Elton Acolatse, a Dutchman with Ghanaian routes. Coach Abukasis’ squad is full of international experience – something he does not possess. The 50-year-old has only coached Israeli sides and he was also assistant coach to the Israeli national team. And he never played abroad during his playing career.
Hapoel play their home games at an the Turner Stadium that opened in 2015 and has a capacity of 16,126.
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
Odilon Kossounou certainly deserved this reception: At a Bayer 04 staff meeting, Fernando Carro, CEO, and head coach Xabi Alonso presented the Africa Cup of Nations winner with a special memento of his great achievement on behalf of all members of staff. The Werkself player won AFCON with Ivory Coast in the middle of February in his own country.Show more
The special edition Bayer Sports Family shirt pays homage to sport in the city of Leverkusen. Ahead of the forthcoming Bayer Sports Family matchday at the Werkself Bundesliga home game against Mainz 05 (Friday, 23 February, 20.30 CET), Bayer 04 Club members can secure this limited edition shirt now at the Bayer 04 fan shops and the online club shop.Show more
The Bayer 04 eSports team this week played matchdays 30 to 32 in the 2023/24 VBL Club Championship by WOW in the business end of the season. The #B04eSports team picked up six important points in the games against Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg and direct rivals Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Black and Reds remain seventh in the table in the North West Division and are still in with a chance of qualifying for the finals of the German Club Championship via the play-offs.Show more
There's big interest in Bayer 04 in Mexico, not least because of the involvement of former Werkself player Chicharito. The #Bayer04MexicoTour in summer 2022 also made a vital contribution to the popularity of the current Bundesliga leaders in the North American country. Since this week, the connection between Bayer 04 and football-mad Mexico has been enriched by one more aspect: Mexican national team coach Jaime Lozano and his coaching team have used their European tour to exchange experiences with those responsible at the works club, among other things.Show more