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Leverkusen continue treble hunt after Bundesliga title celebration

Published April 16,2024

Freshly crowned Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen returned to training on Tuesday as they continue their bid for a title treble in the Europa League at West Ham United.

Leverkusen take a 2-0 lead into Thursday's quarter-final second leg match at London Stadium, and want to continue their unbeaten run all season which now stands at 43 games.

The team will not leave for London until after a final training session at home on Wednesday morning. Coach Xabi Alonso has all players apart from injured Adam Hlozek on board.

Leverkusen clinched a first ever German league title with five games to spare when they thrashed Werder Bremen 5-0 on Sunday.

The team got Monday off in order to celebrate but are now looking ahead again, aiming for the semis and more in Europa League, and five Bundesliga games left before they end the season on May 25 in the German Cup final where they are big favourites against second division Kaiserslautern.

"It is great to be German champions. But we want more. We want the Cup as well, and the Europa League," Alonso said on Sunday.

Sporting director Simon Rolfes said: "We still have a few goals, the big party will take place after the German Cup final." And club CEO Fernando Carro added that "we want to follow up" on the league trophy.

The big celebration is planned for May 26, the day after the Cup final, in the BayArena in what could be a three-trophy presentation.

Leverkusen will receive the Bundesliga trophy after the final game against Augsburg on May 18, and the Europa League final in Dublin is four days later.

Leverkusen will be hoping that season's success will not be a one-off, with Alonso committing to at least one more season despite reported interest from Liverpool and Bayern Munich, and their young Germany star Florian Wirtz also staying.

But Carro told sports paper AS in his native Spain that the whole squad will probably not stay together, and that transfer income is vital to bring in new players.

Carro said the €80 million ($85.1 million) they got for Kai Havertz in 2020 helped build the current squad.

"We are a club which has to make a big transfer every year to finance new arrivals. We will probably have a big sale. And with it we will pay two or three new players," Carro said.

Carro said he was happy that Wirtz and Alonso are staying despite big interest from others.

He named Wirtz, who scored a hat-trick on Sunday and has a contract until 2027, "one of the best German players, if not the best."

Looking at compatriot Alonso, he said: "He feels at home here. Of course we are happy with him. It is a good situation for everyone involved, and I believe it is a win-win situation for both of us."