Bayern 04 Leverkusen, or Leverkusen for short, was founded on 1 July 1904 by workers at the Bayer pharmaceutical company based in Leverkusen. The cub’s local rivals are FC Koln.
In recent history the club’s home kits have been red or black, or a combination of the two colours. Leverkusen play their home matches at the BayArena, which has been their home since 1958. After renovations in 2009, the stadium now has a capacity of 30,210.
Bayer finished as runners-up in the 2001-02 UEFA Champions League final, where they lost 2-1 to Real Madrid in Glasgow. Leverkusen became the first side to ever reach the Champions League final without ever having won their domestic league title.
Leverkusen have finished as runners up in the Bundesliga on five occasions since 1997. Because of this, the club earned the nicknamed of ‘Neverkusen’ by the British media. Leverkusen did, however, win the 1992-93 DFP-Pokal and the 1987-88 UEFA Cup.
The club’s all-time leading goalscorer is Ulf Kirsten with 182 goals. Kirsten played for the club from 1990 to 2003. Second on the list is current striker Stefan Kiesling, who has scored more than 120 goals since joining the club in 2006.
Thomas Horster has the most appearances for Bayer Leverkusen, with 404. Horster is closely followed by Rudiger Vollborn who made 401 appearances for the club.
The club has a prestigious list of former players including Andre Schurrle, Rene Adler, Dimitar Berbatov, Bernd Schneider, Michael Ballack, Ze Roberto and Emerson.
The club’s current manager is Rodger Schmidt, who took over in July 2014. Notable former managers of Leverkusen include Christoph Daum, Rudi Voller, Berti Vogts, Jupp Heynckes and Sami Hyypia.