Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen is an unbeatable team

Still unbeaten in both the Bundesliga, Europe and the German Cup this season, Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen is undoubtedly international football’s biggest discovery so far. Let’s learn together how to play.

Bayer Leverkusen’s game: tempo, pressing and verticalizations

Xabi Alonso looks unaffected by anything. Even when there is something to celebrate, she always remains calm and graceful and just goes with the flow for a moment. Maybe this is it One of the teachings passed on to him by Carlo AncelottiHe is known for his superior composure on the bench, even when scoring crucial goals.

so today Bayer Leverkusen Coach Xabi Alonso He performs a real miracle. 18 wins, 4 draws and no defeats in the Bundesliga. They were eight points ahead of Tuchel’s Bayern Munich after losing 3-0 on February 10. Eighteen points behind the fifth-place finisher: twelve days to go for it all.

Football player, Bayer Leverkusen logo

Xabi Alonso’s tactics and game for Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer noted Our path is clear in the Europa LeagueThe team, which finished as the leader of Group H with six wins in six matches, 19 goals scored and only 3 goals conceded, will challenge the Azerbaijani side Karabakh in the last 16 rounds. Finally, they will take part in the semi-finals of the German Cup and will face Fortuna Düsseldorf in the semi-finals on March 3.

The Basque coach, who had his first experience on the senior bench (since the summer of 2022) after being transferred to the youth teams of Real Madrid and Real Sociedad B, has built this extraordinary path. based on positional play. No club in Europe’s top five leagues passes as directly as Bayer Leverkusen.

Alonso’s team is confident Highly coded game creation processesVery high possession percentages and above average attention to the movement of wingers. But be careful: unlike classic Spanish dribbling, Bayer Leverkusen are not obsessively trying to maintain control of the ball.

In fact, until now one of the hallmarks of the German Rossoneri was their blitzkrieg counter-attacks. reversal of action at full speed has resulted in over 30% of this season’s goals. Positioning, spasmodic attack on spaces, the ability to verticalize are in fact other key elements of Leverkusen’s game and are modeled on a combination of factors that make the eleven on the pitch difficult to read, constantly unpredictable.

From what we’ve seen so far, it’s the mindset and ability to read (and relate) to the talents and attributes of existing players that really makes the difference. In fact, upon closer examination, the football that Xabi Alonso proposes with Bayer Leverkusen offers nothing extraordinarily new, nothing that brings incredible innovation to Europe’s top-flight tactical scene. The uniqueness demonstrated so far by the so-called “Werkself” lies in the efficiency with which Mr. Alonso achieves it. Value football players these were made available to him.

New players of Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen team

The players who have proven to make a difference in the red and black Bayer jersey so far are the two wingers Grimaldo and Frimpong, the full-back Florian Wirtz and the centre-back Victor Boniface. If Wirtz has been well spoken of for yearsAlthough it is only twenty years old (it is already worth over 100 million), it is useful to focus on the other three for a moment.

Frimpong, 24, who arrived at Leverkusen from Celtic Glasgow in January 2021, had shown excellent qualities but was in the hands of Alonso. He became a great right wingerHe is already capable of scoring 11 goals this season. On the other hand, Victor Boniface, who came from Belgian Union Saint Gilloise upon the special request of the Basque coach, proves that he is a real player who can make deep attacks, carry the team to the top and score 16 goals in 23 minutes. this year’s looks.

finally there Alejandro Grimaldo, full-back, left-back He arrived on a free transfer last summer amid general disinterest from Benfica. The boy who grew up in the cantera of Valencia and Barcelona The true symbol of Alonso’s football philosophyA diver who moves very easily on the left wing of the field and has already recorded 10 goals and 13 assists this season.

Bayer’s secret, not so secret, lies in their ball circulation, which drives opposing teams to create spaces wide enough for the two formidable Rossoneri wingers to throw themselves ruthlessly into. Often, unlike other models of play that use wingers a lot (like De Zerbi’s Brighton), the build-up process happens much quicker in two or three passes. freedom to move vertically was left to Wirtz.

Finally, obviously there is one very defined pressing structure Supporting the concept of Alonian play, a framework that leaves Bayer with at least one more man in terms of space in every area of ​​the pitch. In short, they are a team that is modern but can also play without ostentation.

Let’s see if Xabi Alonso’s team stays together until the end of the season and can they bring them back to Leverkusen? A trophy 31 years after the last oneWon the German cup in the 1972/1973 season. Overall, despite being a historic club in the German sporting cosmogony, Bayer has never won the Bundesliga and has only three trophies in total in its trophy cabinet. Maybe the man from the Basque Country can add more than one at once.

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