RB Leipzig - all you need to know

RB Leipzig - all you need to know

While Borussia Dortmund has the prestige, stars, the history, and sympathies of the neutrals, it's another team that is Bayern Munich's most stable competitor - RB Leipzig. A success story that is a thorn in many fans' eyes in Germany is looking like a healthy and exemplary showing of how a club has to be run. But there is far more to the story of the club with the forbidden name.

RB Leipzig should stand for Red Bull Leipzig for the parent company of energy drinks that is doing the financing, and it does so unofficially. But on the records, the two letters represent an almost nonsensical phrase RasenBallsport, or Lawn Ball Sports.

Of course, the club’s nickname is die Rotten Bullen, and as is the website name.

When was RB Leipzig founded?

Looking at the history of RB Leipzig one could comment that it's barely that. More of a journal, as compared to the other important German and European sides, it gets dwarfed. RB Leipzig was officially founded in 2009 as the company Red Bull bought the playing rights of a fifth-tier side, SSV Markranstadt. A club found in a village 13 kilometres from Leipzig, a city of 500,000 people itself.

Unlike in Austria where Red Bull Salzburg inherited the illustrious history of the SV Austria Salzburg, a club with multiple domestic titles, Leipzig started from the bottom. In the fifth level of the German football pyramid - NOFV-Oberliga.

Markranstadt still continues to exist and is acting as an affiliate club for the bigger, younger brother, performing in the sixth tier of German football.

RB Leipzig owner

We did say that RB Leipzig is the most hated club in Europe and while that might seem odd to those outside of Germany or not invested in their football culture, it's an understatement for the hardcore Bundesliga fans.

German football has strict rules regarding ownership and the most important one is commonly known as the 50+1 rule. Meaning that the club's members must own 50% shares of the club plus one, to always be in the majority. The clause states that, in order to obtain a license to compete in the Bundesliga, a club must hold a majority of its own voting rights. Aiming to defend the clubs as institutions from the flim desires of investors.

Well, Red Bull found a way to bypass that.

For example, Borussia Dortmund has 140,000 members. RB Leipzig has 17. Furthermore, Bayern Munich would charge its members €30 to €60 euros as an annual fee for being a member and having voting rights. RB Leipzig's membership is paid by €100 euros for joining, and an €800 annual fee. A decision clearly made to leave the decisions in the hand of the Red Bull company.

So technically, RB Leipzig is abiding by the 50+1 rule but all of its 17 members are employed fully or indirectly by Red Bull.

Much to the hatred of the German fans, culminating with the Dynamo Dresden supporters who threw a severed bull's head onto a pitch when playing against Lawn Ball Sports. While other sets of fans just boycott going to away matches to Leipzig.

RB Leipzig Badge

While the German football laws have a rule regarding banning corporate names to be used for the club's name, the RB Leipzig badge clearly indicates to whom the side belongs to. With the two red bulls locking horns at each other like on the company's logo found on energy drink cans across the world.

Red Bull Leipzig kit

Although the crest doesn't have the yellow circle integral to the Red Bull logo, the recognizable piece of branding is found in its entirety on the club's shirt, as a sponsor.

The club's home kit is white with the red shorts and white or white/red socks. RB Leipzig's sporting sponsor is Nike and the shirt looks very elegant and is easily one of the most recognizable ones in Europe due to the contrasting colours.

RB Leipzig’s away shirt for the 2020/2021 season is indigo blue colour resembling that of a Red Bull can. Along with the shorts of the same colour with orange details at the collar and the sides as well as orange-yellow socks.

The club also published a special Champions League shirt in a blue and navy blue combination with the club's crest in orange. Probably in the desire to appeal to the younger audience and build a fan base from the ground up.

RB Leipzig stadium

RB Leipzig plays its home games at the Red Bull Arena, a UEFA category 4 stadium, the highest possible. Built in 2004 at the place of the old stadium which able to take in 100,000 people when it opened in 1956. But the new stadium was built from 2000 to 2004 and was used in the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

The Red Bull Arena was known as the Zentralstadion, the central stadion that is, before Red Bull started building RB Leipzig. Now the Red Bull arena has the capacity of 42,959, the 15th highest in Germany.

So it's no wonder that the company and the club have the ambition to expand it and it will be done so by the summer of 2021 when it will have 53,840 seats. Putting him at the 10th position of German stadiums.

Red Bull Leipzig squad

But RB Leipzig wouldn't be a thorn in so many people's eyes if it wasn't as successful as it is. The club rose from the fifth division and got into the Bundesliga in seven seasons, and didn't have growing pains at that. As the RB Leipzig team got to the second position in their debut Bundesliga season in 2016/2017. With many of the players that were at the club from the start.

In their second season, the RB Leipzig team got to the sixth spot, their worst performance in four years with the big boys. The last two campaigns saw the team finish third with 66 points won both times.

Red Bul Leipzig squad has an international aspect to it, testifying to the global scale of the Red Bull football family. Besides Germans, there are Spanish players, representatives of France, Austria, Hungary, Mali, Slovenia, Denmark, South Korea, Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and the United States.

Red Bull Leipzig manager 

Seen by many as their biggest success so far, RB Leipzig managed to get one of the most sought-after managers in Germany back in 2019 while agreeing on a deal with him even earlier.

Julian Nagelsman is the manager of RB Leipzig, another indicator that RB does things a little bit different as the 33-year-old barely had a playing career due to his injuries. Doing brilliantly with Hoffenheim, playing attacking football with high pressing and pushing the speed of the Bundesliga, getting a 40.44% win ratio.

One that he has now improved in 66 games leading the bulls, as it stands at 59.09% of wins. With 145 goals scored, 2.12 per game and 76 conceded.

"During my one and a half years here at Leipzig, a lot has come true. When you change clubs, there are always a few ideas: some things take time, and you have to make a few changes. But everyone here is going in the right direction. There is a brilliant atmosphere among not only the players but also the coaching team. There is a great sense of familiarity here," stated the young manager.

Red Bull Leipzig Transfermarkt

According to the world's number one transfer authority Transfermarkt, the total value of the RB Leipzig team is €527,680,000. With the bulk of the heavy lifting there done by the €60,000,000 appraised centre-back prospect Dayot Upamecano (22). Followed by a year younger Ibrahima Konate, and the 24-year-old Lukas Klosterman, both centre-backs also and appraised at €40,500,000 and €38,000,000 respectfully.

The total value is about to rise as the club landed its first potential superstar in the 20-year-old Dominik Szoboszlai from their sister club Red Bull Salzburg for €20,000,000. The club's joint-third best record signing along with Alexander Sorloth and Kevin Kampl.

Bested by the last winter's arrival of Dani Olmo for €21,000,000 and the current Liverpool player Naby Keita who was bought for €30,000,000 from Salzburg as well.

Keita remains the club's biggest sale at €60,000,000, a somewhat forgotten massive transfer as the midfielder didn't quite live up to expectations at Anfield Roud.

This summer's sale of Timo Werner for €53,000,000 to Chelsea is the second-biggest departure of RB Leipzig followed by a huge drop-off. Matheus Cunha was sold for €18,000,000 and the club has just four more sales equal or higher than €10,000,00. Illustrating that RB Leipzig is not a selling club by any chance and that is not its goal.

Red Bull Leipzig Champions League

Having gone from the Bundesliga 2 to the Champions League in just one season, the hated club has been the source of UEFA coefficient success for Germany. Finishing the third in the group back in 2017 even though it was an evenly matched group, but making up for it in the Europa League reaching the quarter-finals.

The next year saw the club in the Europa League from the start and out of the group in which they played against the older brother Salzburg which topped the four teams.

Last season saw the biggest success of the club. Red Bull Leipzig Champions League campaign saw them reach the semi-finals after kicking out Tottenham and Atletico Madrid in the elimination round, the latter in the one-game tie due to the pandemic. Before getting stopped by Paris Saint-Germain. 

This Champions League season placed RB in a difficult group with PSG and Manchester United but the Red Devils paid the toll. Even though they inflicted a heavy defeat to Nagelsman's side in the first game - 5:0. But in the end, the Bulls are going to the best 16 teams in Europe for the second year, where they will play Liverpool.

RB Leipzig seems like the most stable and ambitious project in Germany after Bayern Munich and it seems that if someone is going to capitalize on the Bavarians' possible slip in the future, it will be the Bulls. 

Check out the video here.


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