The rise and rise of RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig have been moving forward with all guns blazing and is currently leading the Bundesliga table.
They have barely put a foot wrong since they were founded in 2009. Four promotions have helped the Red Bull-backed side achieve their dream of reaching the Bundesliga. They also finished as the runner-ups in their debut season in the top flight in 2016-17.
After searching through the opportunities to establish or purchase a club in various German cities, Red Bull eventually settled on Leipzig and acquired the playing rights of fifth-tier club SSV. Finishing as the champions at the end of their first season in German football, they continued with a ruthless approach as the club became the main focus of the Red Bull empire.
They moved to the Red Bull Arena following their first season in the Regionalliga. They also pulled off a DFB-Pokal upset against Wolfsburg while still being a part of the fourth-tier.
Ralf Rangnick was appointed as the sporting director ahead of the 2012-13 season and their progress was accelerated. The club sealed back to back promotions and their fan base grew.
42,713 people watched the match in which they clinched their promotion to the second-tier. Leipzig was in limelight after capturing promising talents like Joshua Kimmich and Yussuf Poulsen during their third-tier season.
However, their arrival in the Bundesliga 2 saw a significant increase in investment. A reported €12 million was spent in 2014 which helped them take the eighth spot among the teams from the top two tiers in terms of the transfer spend.
After failing to appoint the current PSG boss, Thomas Tuchel and Sascha Lewandowski as the coach for the 2015-16 season, Rangnick stepped in to help the club to reach Bundesliga, a year before than planned.
Rangnick, however, stepped back from his head coach duties for the beginning of the club’s Bundesliga campaign and former Ingolstadt boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was chosen to take the reins. He got off to a flying start, remaining unbeaten for the first 13 matches, including a victory over Borussia Dortmund in their opening home fixture.
They qualified for the Champions League that season too. Naby Keita was a prime Liverpool target as they clinched a deal by agreeing to his release clause of £48 million, plus an additional premium.
Hasenhutl departed at the end of the season and then the club’s rapid development was taken care by Jurgen Nagelsmann, who was previously linked with Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Arsenal. He had earlier guided Hoffenheim to successive Champions League qualification.
Timo Werner is RB Leipzig’s top-scorer with 18 goals and five assists in 16 Bundesliga matches and is having a really good season. His brace against Borussia Dortmund in a very recent clash shows the youngster is not going to stop anytime soon.
His form will also be very crucial as the club face Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 and the fixture will be an unpredictable one. Jose and his men should be careful as a major upset can be on the cards for his team.
featured image credits- bundesliga.com