d“Always on!” he snorted defiantly instead of saying it. Always keep going! “, with which the then Munich goalkeeper Oliver Kahn expressed his obsession after the happy conquest of the championship title in 2001, occupies a permanent place in the treasury of German football legends. His words have been often quoted and are considered an expression of pure winning mentality.

This spring, however, Kahn's formula for success is being eclipsed by a new variation on that particular stance. “We are not going to give in, we are going to move forward,” said the Bayer Leverkusen defense chief. jonathan tah after Confident 4-0 against Fortuna Düsseldorfand sporting director Simon Rolfes added: “We will keep going, we were there from the first second, we were on point.”

These formulations show a defining difference with Kahn's message: in Leverkusen, obsession does not have the function of compensating for one's own weaknesses, but rather serves to constantly play at the upper limit, both in terms of combat and football.

“The best team in Europe”

The Werkself does not just continue plowing, it does not believe in possibilities until the last moment, the Rhineland “Always on” implies development: Bayer Leverkusen Not only is it by far the strongest team in Germany or perhaps even “the best team in Europe,” as Düsseldorf's Matthias Zimmermann reverently speculated. The designated German champion continually improves.

Defense boss Tah now radiates a confidence reminiscent of the great days of the Spanish defensive dominator. Sergio Ramos remember. The once exuberant Jeremie Frimpong hardly loses balls during his daring dribbles and runs back with fervor even against the pitiful inhabitants of Düsseldorf during opposing attacks.

Patrik Schick is getting better and better, Edmond Tapsoba is also experiencing his best phase of the season, as is Robert Andrich. It is the magic of continued success that has seemingly eliminated all internal resistance and the need to save energy.

Not even in the match against a second division club, with a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and a 3-0 lead at half-time, did the Leverkusen team allow themselves moments of calm. “This team doesn't know 90 percent, only 100 percent,” Granit Xhaka said on television after reaching the cup final, having especially praised Florian Wirtz. “This is a boy who has a lot of quality and who once again made the difference today.”

Wirtz scored two goals and scored another, and the young national player also improved his already very high level. It is not so easy to find a stronger attacking midfielder in the world at the moment.

It is debatable whether Düsseldorf defender Zimmermann is right in his thesis that they are the strongest team in Europe, but at least Bayer Leverkusen will win the German double, barring a miracle.


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