Bayer Leverkusen

The first German side to compete at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens, Bayer Leverkusen have been one of Germany’s best performing teams over the past two decades, having finished as runners-up in the Bundesliga five times between 1997 and 2011.

Having gained a reputation as the nearly men of German football, Leverkusen also finished as runners-up to Real Madrid in the 2002 UEFA Champions League final with a line-up that included Michael Ballack and Brazilian World Cup winner Lucio.

Indeed, the 2001-02 season featured arguably Leverkusen’s strongest team ever, yet ended in disappointed as the side also finished second in both the league and cup.

The side from Germany’s Rhine region have, however, enjoyed previous success, winning the UEFA Cup in 1988 and the German Cup in 1993, while they again reached the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League in 2017.

Among the other notable players who have turned out for the club are former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov, ex-Liverpool defender Sami Hyppia, former Brazilian international Ze Roberto and current Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal.

The current crop of players includes Benjamin Henrichs, Kevin Kampl and Danny da Costa – all of whom have come through the youth ranks – as well as Germany international Lars Bender and Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.