RB Leipzig

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RB Leipzig
RB Leipzig 2014 logo.svg.png
Club logo (2014–present)
Full name RasenBallsport Leipzig e.V,
RasenBallsport Leipzig GmbH[1]
Nickname(s) Die Bullen (The Bulls), also Die roten Bullen (The Red Bulls)
Founded 19 May 2009; 6 years ago (2009-05-19)
Ground Red Bull Arena
Ground Capacity 44,345
Management board Oliver Mintzlaff (Chairman)
Ulrich Wolter
Frank Zimmermann[1]
Sporting director Ralf Rangnick
Coach Ralf Rangnick
League 2. Bundesliga
2014–15 5th
Website Club home page
Current season

RasenBallsport Leipzig e.V., commonly known and deliberately promoted as RB Leipzig, is a German association football club based in Leipzig, Saxony. The club was founded in 2009 by initiative of energy drink-maker Red Bull GmbH who purchased the playing license of the fifth division side SSV Markranstädt with the intention of advancing the new club to the top-flight Bundesliga within eight years. Men's professional football is run by the spin-off organization RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH.[1] RB Leipzig plays its home matches at the Red Bull Arena.

In its inaugural season in 2009–10, RB Leipzig dominated the NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V) and was promoted as champions to the Regionalliga Nord (IV). RB Leipzig won the 2012-13 Regionalliga Nordost season without conceding a single defeat and was promoted to the 3. Liga (III). RB Leipzig finished the 2013-14 3. Liga season as runner-up and was promoted to the 2. Bundesliga (II) as the first team since the introduction of the 3. Liga to win promotion after only one season.

History[edit]

Founding[edit]

RasenBallsport Leipzig was founded in 2009, as the fourth football club initiated and sponsored by Red Bull GmbH, following Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, the New York Red Bulls in the US and Red Bull Brasil in Brazil. In contrast to the conditions for previous clubs initiated by the company, the statutes of the German Football Association (DFB) did not permit the corporate name to be part of the team name.[2] In order to comply with these regulations, the club instead adopted the unusual name RasenBallsport Leipzig, literally meaning "Leipzig lawn ball sports". But through the use of the initials "RB", as well as key elements of the Red Bull corporate logo in the club logo, the corporate identity was still preserved.[3][4][5]

The club began by purchasing the playing license of the fifth division side SSV Markranstädt, a deal proposed by entrepreneur Michael Kölmel, the owner of the Zentralstadion.[6] The club also acquired the top four men's teams of SSV Markranstädt. The first team was acquired complete with its training staff and its head coach Tino Vogel, the son of the former East German football legend Eberhard Vogel.[6][7][8] In addition to this, the club acquired four youth teams from the then insolvent FC Sachsen Leipzig.[9] This acquisition was urged by the Saxon Football Association (SFV) in order to prevent a migration of talents.[10]

On its foundation, RB Leipzig aimed to play first division Bundesliga football within eight years.[7] Following the model previously elaborated by Red Bull in Austria and the US, the club was set to emerge and quickly rise through the divisions.[6] In 2009, it was predicted that Red Bull GmbH would invest 100 million Euros in the club over a period of ten years, and Dietrich Mateschitz, the owner of Red Bull GmbH, openly spoke of the possibility of winning the German championship in the long term.[4][6][7][11] The last team from Leipzig to do so was VfB Leipzig in 1913.

Oberliga[edit]

After some previously scheduled games had to be canceled due to safety concerns, RB Leipzig played its first match on 10 July 2009, a friendly match against the Landesliga club SV Bannewitz. The match was played at the Stadion am Bad in Markranstädt and ended with a 5–0 win for RB Leipzig. The club played its first competitive match on 31 July 2009, in the first round of Saxony Cup against VfK Blau–Weiß Leipzig. After switching sides, RB Leipzig played as the home team and won the match 5–0. The club then played its first league match in an away match against FC Carl Zeiss Jena II on 8 August 2009. The match ended 1–1.

During the further course of the season, RB Leipzig suffered its first defeat on 13 September 2009, in a match against Budissa Bautzen. Despite minor setbacks, the club still managed to be crowned as Herbstmeister, standing at first place after the first half of the 2009–10 season. The team came back even stronger for the second half of the season, having signed the experienced midfielder and 2. Bundesliga player Timo Rost from Energie Cottbus in January 2010.[12] The team managed to secure first place in the 2009–10 NOFV–Oberliga Süd already on the 25th match day, thus earning promotion to the 2010–11 Regionalliga Nord. The team finished the season with an impressive goal difference of 74–17, having suffered only two defeats. The license to play in the Regionalliga was issued by the DFB on 4 May 2010.

RB Leipzig targeted a place in the 2010–11 DFB–Pokal, which would have been won by winning the 2009–10 Saxony Cup. The team reached the quarterfinals in the Saxony Cup, but was eliminated after a defeat against FSV Zwickau on 13 November 2013.

The incumbent chairman, Andreas Saldo, left the club in January 2010[13] and the position was assumed by the former Hamburger SV sporting director and incumbent sporting director for the common Red Bull football commitment Dietmar Beiersdorfer.[14][15] One day after the last match of the 2009–10 season, Beiersdorfer released head coach Tino Vogel, assistant coach Lars Weißenberger and sporting director Joachim Krug from their positions.[16] This action was done after Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz had announced a change in strategy. According to the new strategy, RB Leipzig was going to represent the key project in the football commitment of the company, in place of FC Red Bull Salzburg.[17] Tomas Oral was announced as the new head coach on 18 June 2010.

The players Christian Mittenzwei, Sebastian Hauck, Stefan Schumann, Toni Jurascheck and Michael Lerchl did not receive new contracts for the following Regionalliga season, while players Frank Räbsch, Ronny Kujat and two other players ended their careers.[18]

Regionalliga[edit]

Before entry to the Regionalliga, there were two significant changes in the club. The club returned the second, third and fourth team to SSV Markranstädt. In order to replace the reserve team, the club adopted the first team of ESV Delitzsch as its reserve team and purchased its playing license for the Bezirksliga.[19] The first team moved from the Stadion am Bad in Markranstädt, to make the Zentralstadion in Leipzig its new home arena. The former 2006 FIFA World Cup venue, was simultaneously renamed Red Bull Arena.[20][21] The opening of the Red Bull Arena was celebrated on 24 July 2010 with a friendly match against the German vice-champions FC Schalke 04 in front of 21,566 spectators. The match ended with a 1–2 loss for RB Leipzig.[22] The first team played its last game at the Stadion am Bad six days later on 30 July 2010, a friendly match against Hertha BSC, which ended with a 2–1 win for RB Leipzig.

The 2010–11 Regionalliga season started with a series of draws, the first one on 6 August 2010 against Türkiyemspor Berlin in front of 4,028 spectators at the Red Bull Arena. The first win came on the 4th match day, in an away match against Holstein Kiel, which ended 1–2 for RB Leipzig. The first home win came immediately after, on the 5th match day, in a match against 1. FC Magdeburg, which ended 2–1 for RB Leipzig.

After a moderate start to the season, the club found itself chasing Chemnitzer FC, which was considered a possible candidate for promotion. At the end of the year, RB Leipzig confirmed its ambitions to gain promotion, by signing Brazilian midfielder Thiago Rockenbach.[23] The club had signed forward Carsten Kammlott, considered a promising young talent, and the experienced Leipzig born defender Tim Sebastian, during the summer.[24][25]

The club finished its first season in the Regionalliga in 4th place, thus missing out on promotion. However, under coach Tomas Oral, the club succeeded in winning the 2010–11 Saxony cup after defeating Chemnitzer FC 1–0 in the final on 1 June 2011 in front of 13,958 spectators at the Red Bull Arena. By winning the 2010–11 Saxony cup, the club won its first title in club history. It also qualified to participate in the 2011–12 DFB-Pokal.[26]

Because the club missed out on promotion during the second half of the 2010–11 season, Peter Pacult from Rapid Wien was announced as the new head coach for the 2011–12 season on 4 May 2011. Almost simultaneously, the club announced that sporting director Thomas Linke had been released from his position, having been employed for only 10 weeks, from February 2011. Various media suspected a connection between the signing of Pacult and the departure of Linke.[27][28]

Also, several players left the team, among them Lars Müller, Sven Neuhaus, Thomas Kläsener and Nico Frommer, all participants in the previous Saxony Cup final.[26] With Daniel Rosin, Timo Rost and Benjamin Bellot, only three players from the former Oberliga team remained in the team for the 2011–12 Regionalliga season, while the former international Ingo Hertzsch as a fourth of these players remained in the club. Hertzsch ended his professional career after the 2010–11 season, but went on to join the reserve team, RB Leipzig II, and the RB Leipzig business operation.[29]

On 29 July 2011, RB Leipzig made its debut in the DFB Pokal, in front of 31,212 spectators at the Red Bull Arena. The team managed to knock Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg out of the first round of the cup, beating them 3–2 after a hat-trick by Daniel Frahn.[30] The team was eliminated in the next round, defeated 0–1 by FC Augsburg.

The 2011–12 Regionalliga season saw the largest win in club history, when RB Leipzig defeated SV Wilhelmshaven 8–2 on 19 February 2012.[31] After a decisive 2–2 draw against VfL Wolfsburg II on the 33rd match day, the club missed out on promotion for the second time in the Regionalliga, finishing the season in 3rd place.

Ralf Rangnick in 2011, as head coach of Schalke 04.

The 2012–13 season in the reformed Regionalliga Nordost began with major personnel changes. Former Schalke 04 head coach Ralf Rangnick was introduced as the new sporting director. Coinciding with his arrival, he replaced head coach Peter Pacult with former SG Sonnenhof Großaspach coach Alexander Zorniger.[32][33] The season proved more successful than the previous two. The club won the Herbstmeister title with two match days left of the first half of the season, after defeating FSV Zwickau with 1–0 away. The team then went on to secure first place in the 2012–13 Regionalliga Nordost on the 18th match day, after the second placed club FC Carl Zeiss Jena lost a match against Berliner AK 07 on 7 May 2013 and, as a consequence, were no longer able to overtake RB.

The 2012–13 Saxony Cup was another success. The club reached the final for the second time in club history and, as in 2011, the opponent was Chemnitzer FC. The team won the final on 15 May 2013 by 4–2 in front of 16,864 spectators at the Red Bull Arena. The crowd number set a new record for a Saxony Cup final, breaking the previous record from 2011. By winning the 2012–13 Saxony Cup, the club was also qualified to participate in the 2013–14 DFB Pokal.[34]

As the winner of the 2012–13 Regionallig Nordost, RB Leipzig won a place in the qualification for the 3. Liga. The club was drawn against Sportfreunde Lotte from the Regionalliga West. RB Leipzig won the first leg on 29 May 2013 by 2–0. The match was played at the Red Bull Arena in front of 30,104 spectators, a crowd number which set a new record for matches in the 4th division.[35] The second leg was played on 2 June 2013 and ended 2–2 after two goals to RB Leipzig during extra time. The result meant that RB Leipzig had finally won promotion to the 3. Liga, after three seasons in the Regionalliga.

3. Liga[edit]

In the 2013–14 season, RB Leipzig made its first appearance in the 3. Liga in club history. The club signed Anthony Jung from FSV Frankfurt, Tobias Willers from Sportfreunde Lotte, Joshua Kimmich from the U19 team of VfB Stuttgart, André Luge from FSV Zwickau, Christos Papadimitriou from AEK Athens, Yussuf Poulsen from Lyngby BK and Denis Thomalla from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim during the summer.

RB Leipzig was eliminated by FC Augsburg in the first round of the 2013-14 DFB-Pokal on 2 August 2013 after losing 0–2 at the Red Bull Arena. The defeat brought an end to a year-long series without defeat in competitive matches. The 2013–14 3. Liga had a more promising start. The team won its first match, against Hallescher FC away, by 1–0 on 19 July 2013 and kept an undefeated streak until 31 August 2013, when the team lost 1–2 to first placed team SV Wehen Wiesbaden away.

On 5 October 2013, RB Leipzig again met the first placed team. SV Wehen Wiesbaden had lost its first-place position to 1. FC Heidenheim only one week after its defeat of RB Leipzig. 1. FC Heidenheim would defend it until the end of the season. RB Leipzig defeated 1. FC Heidenheim by 2–0 after a convincing performance at the Voith-Arena and climbed to third place.

Georg Teigl playing a match for FC Red Bull Salzburg in May 2013.

During the winter break, players Christos Papadimitriou, Juri Judt, Carsten Kammlott and Bastian Schulz left the team. In return, the team was joined by Diego Demme from SC Paderborn 07, Federico Palacios Martinez from VfL Wolfsburg, Mikko Sumusalo from HJK Helsinki and Georg Teigl from FC Red Bull Salzburg.

After losing 1–2 away to MSV Duisburg on 1 February 2014, the team would not concede a single defeat for the rest of the season. A thrilling duel with SV Darmstadt 98 appeared, with both teams fighting for the crucial second place. The two teams met on the 35th match day, on 19 April 2014. RB Leipzig came out as the winner, defeating SV Darmstadt 98 by 1–0 in front of 39,147 spectators at the Red Bull Arena.[36] RB Leipzig secured the second place and direct promotion to the 2. Bundesliga two weeks later, after defeating last placed team 1. FC Saarbrucken 5–1 in front of a nearly sold out Red Bull Arena on 3 May 2014. The crowd of 42,713 spectators set a new club record.[37][38]

By finishing the season in second place, RB Leipzig won promotion to the 2. Bundesliga and became the first team since the introduction of the 3. Liga to win promotion to the 2. Bundesliga after only one season.[38][39]

2. Bundesliga[edit]

Following promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, the organization responsible for licensing was no longer the DFB, but instead the German Football League (DFL). The DFL announced its first decision in the licensing process on 22 April 2014. RB Leipzig was to be given a license for the 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season, but only under certain conditions.[40] Criticism mounted that the club lacked in participation, that club management was too concentrated in only a handful of people[41] and that the club was not independent enough towards Red Bull GmbH.[40] To ensure independence and improve participation, the DFL set up three requirements that the club had to meet in order to obtain a license for the 2014-15 2. Bundesliga season.[41][42] One of the requirements was to redesign the club logo, as the logo too closely resembled that of Red Bull. A second requirement was to change the composition of the club's organizational bodies.[43] A third requirement was to lower the membership fees and open up the association for new members.[44] The German legal magazine Legal Tribune Online assessed all three requirements set up by the DFL as legally questionable.[45]

RB Leipzig filed an appeal on 30 April 2014.[46] Sporting director Ralf Rangnick appeared in media and expressed his willingness to reach a compromise with the DFL, saying that important is not what is written on the jersey, but what is inside.[47]

The appeal was rejected in a second decision by the DFL on 8 May 2014.[48] Red Bull GmbH owner Dietrich Mateschitz spoke out in media, openly criticizing the decision by the DFB. He described the requirements as a "decapitation request" and categorically rejected another season in the 3. Liga, ultimately threatening to end the project in Leipzig if the license was not given.[49][50][51]

RB Leipzig filed a second appeal on 12 May 2014.[52] The DFL licensing committee was set to make a decision on the second appeal on 15 May 2014, before making its final decision on 28 May 2014.[53][54] Sporting director Ralf Ragnick confirmed that the club was still in talks with the DFL and expressed optimism around the license.[55] On 15 May 2014 a compromise was announced. The compromise meant that the club had to redesign its club logo and ensure that club management was independent towards Red Bull GmbH.[56][57][58]

Terrence Boyd playing a match for the United States in November 2013.

The club signed numerous players before the 2014–15 season, among them Rani Khedira from VfB Stuttgart, Lukas Klostermann from VfL Bochum, Marcel Sabitzer from FC Red Bull Salzburg, Terrence Boyd from Rapid Wien and Massimo Bruno from Anderlecht. Several players also left the team. Massio Bruno and Marcel Sabitzer was immediately transferred on loan to FC Red Bull Salzburg. Fabian Bredlow was transferred on loan to FC Liefering, André Luge was transferred on loan to SV Elversberg and Thiago Rockenbach Silva joined Hertha BSC II as a free agent.

The club spent and estimated sum of approximately 12 million Euros on new players during the summer of 2014. The sum was large enough to put the club in 8th place of all clubs in the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, thus spending more than half of all clubs in the first division.[59]

RB Leipzig played a series of friendly matches during the 2014–15 pre-season. On 18 July 2014, the team defeated Paris Saint-Germain with 4–2 in front of 35,796 spectators and 150 accredited journalists at the Red Bull Area. The first goal was scored by Terrence Boyd, scoring his second goal in his second match for his new club. Terrence Boyd received the jersey of Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Paris Saint-Germain after match.[60][61] On 26 July 2014, the team defeated Queens Park Rangers F.C. with 2–0 at the Stadion der Freundschaft in Gera. Both goals were scored by Yussuf Poulsen.[62]

The 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season began with 0–0 draw against VfR Aalen on 2 August 2014, followed up by a couple of wins an another draw. The first defeat in the league came on the 6th match day, losing 1–2 against 1. FC Union Berlin at the Red Bull Arena on 21 September 2014. After the 7th match day, the club stood at second place in the league.

RB Leipzig was drawn against SC Paderborn in the first round of the 2014-15 DFB-Pokal. The team won the match with 2–1 on extra time at the Red Bull Arena on 16 August 2014. In the second round, the club faced FC Erzgebirge Aue. The team won the match with 3–1 on extra time at the Red Bull Arena on 29 October 2015, and was qualified for the round of 16 for first time in club history.[63]

RB Leipzig released its own club magazine Klub on 6 October 2014.[64]

After a series of disappointing results, the club had dropped down to a 7th place by the 13th match day. On 23 November 2014, RB Leipzig defeated FC St. Pauli with 4–1 in front of 38,660 spectators at the Red Bull Arena. Two goals were scored by Terrence Boyd and the club climbed to a 5th place. The success, however, was followed by a draw against SV Sandhausen. On 7 December 2014, the team met first placed team FC Ingolstadt 04. RB Leipzig lost 0–1, and the result meant that the club now stood at 8th place.

Emil Forsberg playing a match for Malmö FF in June 2013.

RB Leipzig strengthened the team during the winter break by signing Omer Damari from Austria Wien, Emil Forsberg from Malmö FF and players Rodnei and Yordy Reyna from FC Red Bull Salzburg. The club spent an estimated sum of 10,7 million Euros on new players during the winter break, a sum which covered almost all transfer expenditures during the period for the whole of 2. Bundesliga.[65][66]

On 6 February 2015, the club lost 2–0 to Erzgebirge Aue. As consequence, the club had now played four matches without a win and had lost contact with the top placed teams. On the following Tuesday evening, the club summoned Alexander Zorninger to a meeting, and on Tuesday night, the club took the decision to walk separate ways with him after the season. The decision had been taken by the club management in consutation with Red Bull GmbH owner Dietrich Mateschitz. Already on the next morning, Alexander Zorniger announced his own decision to leave immediately. The club received criticism for its decision. Under Alexander Zorniger, the club had risen from the Regionalliga to the 2. Bundesliga. The decision was considered merciless by some media.[67][68] Incumbent RB Leipzig U17 coach Achim Beierlorzer was announced as interim heach coach for the rest of the season.[69][70]

On 5 March 2014, RB Leipzig met VfL Wolfsburg in the third round of the 2014-15 DFB Pokal. The club was eliminated after being defeated with 2–0 at the Red Bull Arena. The match was attended by 43,348 spectators. It was the first time in club history that the stadium had been completely sold out.[71]

The preferred candidate of sporting director Ralf Ragnick as new head coach from the summer was former 1. FSV Mainz 05 coach Thomas Tuchel, but the negotiations with Thomas Tuchel failed. Another candidate was Bayer Leverkusen junior coach Sascha Lewandowski, but he too declined the offer. In May 2015, sporting director Ralf Ragnick was himself announced as new head coach from the summer, with Achim Beierlorzer as his assistant.[72][73]

RB Leipzig finished the 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season on 5th place.

Before the 2015–16 season, RB Leipzig invested further in strengthening the team. The club signed players Davie Selke from Werder Bremen, Atınç Nukan from Beşiktaş J.K, Marcel Halstenberg from FC St. Pauli and Willi Orban from 1. FC Kaiserslautern. David Selke was signed for an estimated cost of 8 million Euros, Atınç Nukan for an estimated cost of 5 million Euros and Marcel Halstenberg for an estimated cost of 3 million Euros.[74][75] Joshua Kimmich was sold to VfB Stuttgart and Rodnei left join TSV 1860 München as free agent.

RB Leipzig also made transfers with its unofficial sister club, the FC Red Bull Salzburg. As several times in the past, three players were signed on free transfer, among them the Austrian national Stefan Ilsanker. They were joined by Massimo Bruno and Marcel Sabitzer, returning to RB Leipzig from being on loan. These transfers provoked anger among the fans of FC Red Bull Salzburg. For several years had FC Red Bull Salzburg transferred some of its best players to RB Leipzig. Fans of FC Red Bull Salzburg were heard singing chants against RB Leipzig during a game in the ÖFB-Cup in April 2015, after Austrian media had reported that Stefan Ilskander could move to Leipzig during the summer.[76] [77][78]

The signing of Davie Selke was record breaking, being the most expensive player ever signed in the history of the 2. Bundesliga.[79] In total, the club spent a sum of approximately 18,6 million Euros on new players during the summer of 2015, more than all other clubs in the 2. Bundesliga together.[80][81]

During the pre-season 2014–15, RB Leipzig defeated Southampton F.C. with 5–4 in Bischofshofen on 8 July 2015,[82] and FC Rubin Kazan with 1-0 in Leogang on 12 July 2015.[83] The team then went on to defeat Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. with 3–0 at the Red Bull Arena on 18 July 2015.[84]

The club was drawn against VfL Osnabruck in the first round of the 2015–16 DFB-Pokal. The match was played at the osnatel-Arena in Osnabruck on 10 August 2015. VfL Osnabruck scored 1–0 already in the first minute, the home fans celebrated so violently that barriers and safety net partially collapsed and the match had to be interrupted. The match was restarted and VfL Osnabruck led the match into the second half. In the 71st minute was referee Martin Petesen badly hit in the head by a lighter, thrown from the home stand. The lighter had been thrown after Martin Peterson had tried to resolve an argument between Davie Selke and VfL Osnabruck substitute Michael Hohnstedt, resulting from a controversial situation in the VfL Osnabruck penalty area. The match was again interrupted, and later cancelled.[85][86] RB Leipzig offered a replay,[87] but the DFB decided the match to be counted as lost by VfL Osnabruck with 0-2.[88] RB Leipzig later decided to waive 20,000 Euros of the 50,500 Euros VfL Osnabruck owned the club for its share of the revenues from the match. RB Leipzig also allowed the payment of the remaining 30,500 to be postponed until the next year.[89]

In the midst of the European migrant crisis in 2015, both club, staff, players and fans of RB Leipzig showed support for refugees. In August 2015, RB Leipzig donated 50,000 Euros to the City of Leipzig for its work with helping asylum seekers. The club also sold 60 containers from its training center, including sanitary facilities, to the city, in order to serve as accommodation for asylum seekers. The club had originally invested around 500,000 Euros in the containers. Moreover, the club became patrons of the initiative "Willkommen im Fußball", giving refugee children the opportunity to play football.[90][91] Staff and players of RB Leipzig collected and donated sporting equipment and private clothes to refugees. Also sporting director and head coach Ralf Rangnick participated in the donation, with personal concern for the commitment, citing his own background as being a child to refugees. His parents had met in a refugee camp at Glauchau, his father had fled from Königsberg and his mother from Breslau.[92][93][94] By initiative of fans, RB Leipzig invited refugees on free admission to watch its home match against SC Paderborn on 11 September 2015.[95][96] 450 refugees attended the match, they were met and accompanied by 200 fans before the match.[97]

Being counted as winner in the first round of the DFB-Pokal, RB Leipzig was qualified to the next round. The club was eliminated in the second round after losing 3–0 to a strong playing SpVgg Unterhaching from the Regionalliga Bayern at the Alpenbauer Sportpark on 27 October 2015.[98]

After defeating SV Sandhausen with 2–1 away at the 13th matchday on 1 November 2015, RB Leipzig stood at first place in the league.[99]

Stadium[edit]

RB Leipzig played most of its home games in its inaugural season in the Stadion am Bad, which holds 5,500 spectators and is the homeground of the SSV Markranstädt.[100] Since 1 July 2010 home games have been played at the Red Bull Arena also known as Zentralstadion with 44,345 seats. The capacity was reduced to 42,959 spectators for the 2015–16 season, due to redevelopment of various stadium arenas. The redevelopment includes an expansion of the VIP area, the press box and the wheelchair spaces.[101][102]

Home league attendances[edit]

The first round game of the 2011–12 DFB-Pokal against Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg, which RB Leipzig won 3–2, was attended by a record 31,212 people.[102] The next cup match against FC Augsburg, which RB Leipzig lost 0–1, was attended by 34,341 spectators. That record was only broken two and a half years later, when RB Leipzig was in the race to become 3. Liga champions. On 19 April 2014, 39,147 spectators watched the game against SV Darmstadt 98 and the final home game on 3 May 2014 against 1. FC Saarbrücken, when they secured direct promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, was attended by 42,713 supporters. The third round match of the 2014–15 DFB-Pokal against VfL Wolfsburg was the first game in the Red Bull Arena that was sold out: 43,348 supporters saw RB Leipzig losing 0–2.

On 4 October 2015, RB Leipzig played their hundredth game in the Red Bull Arena against 1. FC Nürnberg. According to RB Leipzig's website, at that point the total game attendance was 1,464,215 people, or an average of 14,643 spectators per game.[102]

Season Average attendance
2010–11 4,206[103]
2011–12 7,401[104]
2012–13 7,563[105]
2013–14 16,734[106]
2014–15 25,025[107]

Future expansion[edit]

In October 2014, German media reported that the club wanted to expand the Red Bull Arena to 55,000 seats for future first division Bundesliga play. An expansion to 55,000 seats would make the stadium one of the ten largest football venues in Germany. Who was to finance such an expansion remained unclear. German media considered that a possible option was that Red Bull GmbH bought the stadium, to make the investments itself, but it was also considered unlikely the current owner would be prepared to sell the stadium, which had just turned profitable.[108][109]

The club had since before reserved a large area near the A38 motorway north of Leipzig, close to the Leipzig/Halle Airport. The area could be used to build a completely new stadium. As this, the area could also be used to put pressure on the current owner of the Red Bull Arena to agree to an expansion. In March 2015, German media reported the club considered building a new stadium on the area north of Lepzig. Such stadium could be modeled after the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen or the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, and would have been built with a significantly larger capacity than the Red Bull arena, possibly up to 80,000 seats.[110][111][112][113]

Current owner of the Red Bull Arena, Michael Kölmel, gave comments on the plans to build a new stadium in an interview in August 2015. He pointed out how a new stadium on the outskirts of Leipzig could be detrimental to fan culture, and said that the Red Bull Arena could be expanded to 55,000 seats, and even more.[112]

In October 2015, an expansion of the Red Bull Arena was back on the agenda. New plans were made to expand the stadium to 57,000 seats, involving the Viennese architect Albert Wimmer. The reconstruction could start in the summer break of 2016.[114] In January 2016, the club decided to put the plans on hold, at least until 2017.[115]

In February 2016, German newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung reported that the club management again considered the possibility of building a new stadium with a capacity of 80,000 seats north of Leipzig. However, a prerequisite for such a project would be that ticket demand exceeds the supply of seats in the Red Bull Arena significantly and sustainably. A move to a new stadium could be possible in 2020, when the club's current contract to lease the Red Bull Arena expires.[116]

Supporters[edit]

RB Leipzig has 22 official fanclubs as of December 2015. The first two to become registered as official fanclubs were L.E Bulls and Bulls Club, both registered in 2009. L.E Bulls is the oldest official fanclub,[117] but Bulls Club claims to be the biggest.[118] There are also several non official fanclubs, such as Rasenballisten and Fraktion Red Pride. RB Leipzig also has a minor ultras scene with supporter groups such as Red Aces and Lecrats.[119][120]

The supporter group Red Aces took position against Legida, the local offshoot of Pegida, at the beginning of 2015. In an open letter to the club, the stadium operator, the Mayor of Leipzig and the citizens of Leipzig in January 2015, the group asked for support against a planned demonstration by Legida. The demonstration was set to begin near the Red Bull Arena, and the group specifically asked for the stadium light to be switched off at the time of the demonstration. The stadium operator decided to support the initiative and agreed to switch off the lightning.[121] Red Aces had also previously asked the club for permission to display banners against racism and Legida during the last home game of 2014. The club refused to allow the requested banners, according to Red Aces because the club did not want politics in the stadium. Despite the ban, the group displayed a banner directed towards Legida proclaiming the city of Leipzig to be diverse, cosmopolitan and tolerant.[122][123] In response to the demonstrations by Legida, the anti-racist action group Rasenball gegen Rassismus was founded by initiative of supporter groups Red Aces, Lecrats, Rabauken and Rasenballisten in January 2015.[124] Before the home match against SpVgg Greuther Fürth on 3 August 2015, Red Aces again asked for permission to display a banner against Legida, with the text "Ligaspiel und Legida – der Montag ist zum Kotzen da". The club refused to allow the requested banner. During the home match against FC St. Pauli on 23 August 2015, Red Aces was noted for defying the supposed ban on anti-racist banners in the stadium through displaying a banner with a clear anti-Nazi message.[125][126] Sporting director Ralf Ragnick later stated that there was no ban against anti-racist messages in stadium, explaining that the banner prohibited before the home match against SpVgg Greuther Fürth was prohibited because it contained abusive language, and that the club of course would agree if a fan wanted to display a banner with a message such as "RBL Fans against Racism".[127]

Organization and finance[edit]

Association[edit]

RasenballSport Leipzig e.V is a registered voluntary association. Its executive body is the Vorstand, the management board. The management board is appointed by the Ehrenrat, the honorary board. It is also subordinated to the Aufsichtsrat, the supervisory board. The honorary board is elected directly by the club members at the general meeting.

Significant organizational changes were made in 2014, following requirements set up by the German Football League (DFL). One of the requirements was to change the composition of organizational bodies. Both the management board and the honorary board had been composed by either employees or agents of Red Bull.[43][44][128] This effectively contradicted fundamental principles of the 50+1 rule, as interpreted by the DFL,[43] and which aims to forbid the influence of third parties on the sporting decisions of a club.[40] As a part of a compromise with the DFL, the club made a binding declaration to ensure that the management board was to be occupied by a majority of persons independent of Red Bull.[56]

In addition, a supervisory board was added.[129] The honorary board had performed tasks that are normally performed by a separate controlling organizational body. These functions were now transferred to a newly created supervisory board that can perform these tasks independently. The club decided to transfer the former members of the honorary board to the newly created supervisory board.[130][131]

The association is responsible for men's junior teams from U8 to U14 and all women's football teams.[1]

Membership[edit]

Voting membership is severely restricted.[128] In contrast to all other association football clubs in Germany, there is no official way to become a voting member of RasenballSport Leipzig e.V. According to Ulrich Wolter, the club do not aspire towards the high number of members of other clubs. Wolter has also pointed at other clubs, where Ultras have succeeded in creating structures, and stated that the club absolutely wants to avoid such conditions.[132]

For the establishment of a registered voluntary association, an association is required by German law[133] to have at least seven members. Four years after its founding, the club had only 9 members, all employees of Red Bull.[134] By 2014 the registration fee for membership stood at 100 Euro[128] and the annual membership fee at 800 Euro,[135] in comparison to FC Bayern Munich who, by that time, offered membership at annual fees between 30 and 60 Euro.[20][136][137] In addition to this, a person willing to pay the fee could not expect to become a member, since the management board could reject an application without notice.[20][134]

This restrictive membership policy met criticism, thus one of the original requirements set up by the DFL in order to obtain a license for the 2014–15 2. Bundesliga season was to lower the membership fees and open up the association for new members. The club responded to the pressure from the DFL and announced changes to the membership in June 2014.[138] It is now possible for a person to become an official supporting member. The annual fee for this type of membership is between 70 and 1000 Euros and serves to promote junior football within the club. In return, a supporting member receives certain privileges such as a meeting with the professional team and a fitness session at the Red Bull Arena. Supporting members also have the right to attend general meetings, although without voting rights.[139] In order to improve participation in the association, supporting members are represented by one member in the supervisory board.[140]

GmbH[edit]

On 2 December 2014, the general meeting of the association voted unanimously for the founding of a spin-off organization in the form of a GmbH. The decision was taken at an extraordinary meeting. Present were 14 voting members and 40 supporting members.[141] Chairman Oliver Mintzlaff stated that the change was made for the club to be able to step up professionally and to remain competitive.[142][143] The RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH is responsible for the professional team, the reserve team and men's junior teams from U15 and above.[1][139][142]

As of 2015, Red Bull GmbH is the main shareholder of RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH, holding 99 percent of the shares. The remaining one percent is held by the association. However, as required by the 50 + 1 rule, formal power lies with the association, holding the majority of votes.[144][145]

As of December 2015, the General managers of RasenballSport Leipzig GmbH are Ulrich Wolter and Frank Zimmermann.[1]

Sponsorship[edit]

RB Leipzig's kits have been provided by German sportswear brand Adidas since the club's founding. In 2014, the club switched to the American sportswear brand Nike, in an agreement that will be in place until at least 2025.[146] In October 2014, the club also entered into promotional agreements with Hugo Boss, Porsche as youth sponsor and Volkswagen for stadium commercials.[147]

Training center[edit]

In 2010, Red Bull announced its intention to engage long term in Leipzig. In this context the club sough a location for a training center and a youth academy. Towards the end of the year, the club made concrete plans to invest 30 million Euros in a training center comprising six training courses, offices and a youth academy. The training center was to be located at Cottaweg, partly on the area of the naturally protected riparian forest Leipziger Auwald and the site of the traditional fair Leipziger Kleinmesse. The plans met objections and concerns from environmental organizations and from the current users of the area, a Leipzig fairground association and the football club BSV Schönau 1983.[148][149] After negotiations, the city of Leipzig agreed to the plans on 15 December 2010.[150] RB Leipzig and the city of Leipzig later announced that the club was going to invest in an area of 92,000 square meters.[151]

The construction was to be carried out in two phases and began in March 2011.[102] During the first phase, three natural turf pitches, one artificial turf pitch and an artificial hill for physical exercises were built.[152] All four pitches were installed with floodlights, irrigation system and soil heating. Pitch one was also provided with four 38 meter masts producing HD-compatible lightning for optimal television broadcasts. Locker rooms, sanitary facilities and wheight rooms were installed in 60 containers, totaling 720 square meters.[153] The first section of the training center was opened in August 2011.[154]

The second phase of construction began in January 2014.[102] The plans for the second phase were set to create one of Germanys largest training centers for an estimated cost of 35 million Euros.[155] Involved in the project was the Dortmund based architect Christoph Helbich, who had previously been involved in the building of a new training center for Borussia Dortmund. For the second phase, the training center was to be expanded with two pitches, an area for goalkeeping practices and a three story 13,500 square meters sports complex, meant to offer amenities for all RB Leipzig teams, from the U8 team to the professional team. In addition, pitch one was to be provided with a covered grandstand with at least 1,000 seats, for A- and B-junior matches.[151][156][157][158][159]

The new sports complex was opened in September 2015 and taken in use by the Professional team and six junior teams, from U14 to the Reserve team.[102][160] It contains an 800 square meters indoor hall, an indoor tartan track for sprint exercises, wheight rooms, cold chambers, a spa area, medical facilities and individual relaxation rooms for each professional player. It also houses a media center, new offices, a boarding school for 50 youth players and a café for parents and fans.[156][157][159][161] The RB Leipzig training center with its sports complex is considered one of the most unique and modern in Germany.[157]

Remains to be constructed in the spring of 2016 are a covered grandstand with 1,000 seats, an area for motor skills-training and a parking area.[102] The artificial hill for physical exercises, humorously called the "Felix Magath Memorial Hill",[162] is also to be reconstructed.[102]

As of 2015, the club has already plans for even further expansions of the training center. The club wants to build an additional pitch to the south of the training center. Such expansion would require more ground from the Leipziger Kleinmesse, and is therefore met with several objections.[163] More certain is a future expansion to the north of the training center.[164] This area is used by the football club BSV Schönau 1983 and the tennis club TC Grün-Weiß Leipzig. BSV Schönau 1983 has a contract to lease the area until 2026. The club ceded parts of its grounds to RB Leipzig in 2011. For this, the club received compensation. In total, RB Leipzig spent 900,000 Euros for the construction of new grounds for BSC Schönau 1983. The area currently leased by BSV Schönau 1983 is already pledged to RB Leipzig when the lease contract ends in 2026.[164][165]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 29 January 2016[166][167]
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Switzerland GK Fabio Coltorti
2 Germany MF John-Patrick Strauß
3 Germany DF Anthony Jung
4 Germany DF Willi Orban
5 Turkey DF Atınç Nukan
6 Germany MF Rani Khedira
7 Austria FW Marcel Sabitzer
9 Denmark FW Yussuf Poulsen
10 Sweden FW Emil Forsberg
13 Austria MF Stefan Ilsanker
14 Belgium MF Massimo Bruno
16 Germany DF Lukas Klostermann
17 Germany FW Nils Quaschner
No. Position Player
18 United States FW Terrence Boyd
20 Germany MF Ken Gipson
22 Germany GK Benjamin Bellot
23 Germany DF Marcel Halstenberg
24 Germany MF Dominik Kaiser
25 Austria MF Stefan Hierländer
27 Germany FW Davie Selke
31 Germany MF Diego Demme
32 Hungary GK Péter Gulácsi
33 Germany DF Marvin Compper
34 Finland DF Mikko Sumusalo
35 Germany DF Alexander Sorge
39 Austria DF Georg Teigl

Players out on loan[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Hungary MF Zsolt Kalmár (at FSV Frankfurt)[168]
Israel FW Omer Damari (at Red Bull Salzburg)[169]
Bosnia and Herzegovina FW Smail Prevljak (at Red Bull Salzburg)

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2015 and Transfers winter 2015–16.

Notable players[edit]

Players with 50 or more professional league appearances[edit]

Statistics correct as of the end of the 2014-15 season.

Name Nationality Position RB Leipzig career Appearances Notes[170][171]
Kaiser, DominikDominik Kaiser  Germany Midfielder 2012– 67
Poulsen, YussufYussuf Poulsen  Denmark Forward 2013– 65
Frahn, DanielDaniel Frahn  Germany Forward 2010–2015 57
Sebastian, TimTim Sebastian  Germany Defender 2010– 57
Jung, AnthonyAnthony Jung  Germany Defender 2013– 56
Kimmich, JoshuaJoshua Kimmich  Germany Midfielder 2013–2015 53

Captains[edit]

  • Only captains in competitive matches are included.
  • Players marked in bold are still playing in the professional team.
Captain Nationality Years Notes
Hertzsch, IngoIngo Hertzsch  Germany 2009–2010 [172]
Sebastian, TimTim Sebastian  Germany 2010–2011 [172]
Frahn, DanielDaniel Frahn  Germany 2011–2015 [173]
Kaiser, DominikDominik Kaiser  Germany 2015– [174]

Staff[edit]

Current staff[edit]

As of 23 January 2016

Position Name Notes[175][176][177]
Head coach Germany Ralf Rangnick
Assistant coach Germany Achim Beierlorzer
Assistant coach Hungary Zsolt Löw
Goalkeeping coach Germany Frederik Gößling
Athletic coach Germany Nicklas Dietrich
Athletic coach Germany Kai Kraft
Sports coordinator Germany Frank Aehlig
Team manager Germany Daniel Baude
Club doctor Germany Dr. Frank Striegler
Club doctor Germany Dr. Ralf Zimmermann
Sports psychologist Germany Sascha Lense
Goalkeeper coordinator Germany Perry Bräutigam
Physiotherapist Germany Alexander Sekora
Physiotherapist Germany Sven Wobser
Physiotherapist Germany Nikolaus Schmidt
Physiotherapist Germany Christopher Weichert
Kit manager Germany Peter Hergert
Video analyst Germany Daniel Ackermann
Video analyst Germany Danny Röhl

Coach history[edit]

Number Head coach Nationality From Until Days Notes[178]
1 Vogel, TinoTino Vogel  Germany 1 July 2009 30 May 2010 333
2 Oral, TomasTomas Oral  Germany 1 July 2010 30 June 2011 364
3 Pacult, PeterPeter Pacult  Austria 1 July 2011 30 June 2012 365
4 Zorniger, AlexanderAlexander Zorniger  Germany 1 July 2012 10 February 2015 954
5 Beierlorzer , AchimAchim Beierlorzer  Germany 11 February 2015 30 June 2015 39 Note 1
6 Rangnick, RalfRalf Rangnick  Germany 1 July 2015 30 June 2016 365 Note 2

Notes

  1. Interim coach.
  2. Incumbent head coach as of January 2016.

Past seasons[edit]

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts DFB Cup
2009–10 NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V) 1 26 2 2 74 17 80 not qualified
2010–11 Regionalliga Nord (IV) 4 18 10 6 57 29 64 not qualified
2011–12 Regionalliga Nord (IV) 3 22 7 5 71 30 73 Round 2
2012–13 Regionalliga Nordost (IV) 1 21 9 0 65 22 72 not qualified
2013–14 3. Liga 2 24 7 7 65 34 79 Round 1
2014–15 2. Bundesliga 5 13 11 10 39 31 50 Round of 16
2015–16 2. Bundesliga - 12 5 2 31 18 41 Round 2
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Reserve team[edit]

The club's reserve team, RB Leipzig II, played in the tier five NOFV-Oberliga Süd in 2014–15, where it won a league title and promotion to the Regionalliga Nordost.[179]

The Reserve team plays it home matches at the Stadion am Bad in Markrandstädt. The stadium is the traditional home ground of SSV Markandstädt, and is therefore shared with the club. In 2013, RB Leipzig made plans to build its own amateur stadium. The first plans envisioned a new stadium with 5,000 seats at the RB Leipzig training center at Cottaweg.[156] However, because of the limited space at Cottaweg and the complicated approval procedures, these plans were scrapped. The club instead aimed to build the stadium near the Sportschule Egidius Braun of the Saxony Football Association (SFV) at Abtaundorf.[180]

Current squad[edit]

The team is coached by Tino Vogel.[181] As of 15 September 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Germany GK Dominic-René Heine
2 Bulgaria DF Yuliyan Chapaev
3 Germany DF Sören Reddemann
4 Germany DF Sebastian Konik
5 Germany MF Henrik Ernst
6 Germany MF René-Mike Legien
7 Germany FW Dennis Rothenstein
8 Germany FW Federico Palacios Martínez
9 Germany FW Daniel Barth
10 Poland FW Vincent Rabiega
11 Germany FW Janik Mäder
No. Position Player
12 Germany MF Fridolin Wagner
13 Germany DF Hannes Mietzelfeld
14 Germany MF Alexander Siebeck
15 Germany FW Joshua Endres
16 Turkey DF Firat Suscuz
17 Germany DF Jonas Hildebrandt
19 Germany DF Constantin Heider
20 Germany DF Alexander Sorge
22 Germany GK Sebastian Brune
23 Finland DF Mikko Sumusalo
33 Germany GK Fritz Pflug

Past seasons[edit]

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts
2010–11 Bezirksliga Leipzig (VII) 1 18 6 6 65 32 60
2011–12 Sachsenliga (VI) 4 15 8 7 62 34 53
2012–13 Sachsenliga 3 21 4 5 69 25 67
2013–14 Sachsenliga 1 23 6 1 99 18 75
2014–15 NOFV-Oberliga Süd (V) 1 23 3 4 82 21 72
2015–16 Regionalliga Nordost (IV)
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Junior football[edit]

As of 2015, RB Leipzig has 17 men and women's junior teams with 250 players, including the Reserve team. 25 players were youth nationals by the turn of the year.[182][102][183][184]

Training and matches are conducted at several grounds in Leipzig. The main ground is the RB training center at Cottaweg, which is shared with the Professional team. Other grounds include the Sportschule Egidius Braun of the Saxony Football Federation (SFV) at Abtnaundorf. The RB training center with its sports complex is currently used by men's junior teams from U14 to the Reserve team, as the location of the youth academy.[102]

The club arranges the RB Leipzig Football School at different locations several times per year. The RB Leipzig Football School is a multi-day training camp, for boys and girls aged between seven and 14 years.[185] A planned training camp in Halle in 2015 was cancelled for security reasons, after threats of violence from local football fans.[186][184]

RB Leipzig has a partnership in junior football with SC Pfullendorf.[187][188] The club has also cooperated in junior football with several local clubs, such as 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig, BSV Schönau 1983 and ESV Delitzsch.[189][190]

The 17 RB Leipzig junior teams collected 9 league titles and 3 cup titles together during the 2014-15 season.[191]

Men's junior football[edit]

The first four men's junior teams, from A- to D-juniors, were acquired from FC Sachsen Leipzig in the summer of 2009.[9] After leaving his job as head coach of the Professional team in 2010, Tino Vogel served as head coach of the A-junior team, before being appointed new head coach of the Reserve team in 2011.[192]

The B-junior team qualified for the Under 17 Bundesliga in 2011.[193] The team won the Under 17 Bundesliga Nord/Nordost and qualified for the German championship for the first time in 2014. The team reached the final, but was defeated by Borussia Dortmund.[194]

The A-junior team qualified for the Under 19 Bundesliga in 2014. Incumbent B-junior coach Frank Leicht was announced as new head coach for the 2014-15 season. He was replaced as B-junior coach by Achim Beierlorzer, who had previously been employed for four years as B-junior coach at SpVgg Greuther Fürth.[195] Achim Beierlorzer was later replaced by incumbent U14 coach Robert Klauß, after being appointed interim coach of the Professional team in February 2015.[192]

The 2014-15 season proved successful. The A-junior team won the Under 19 Bundesliga Nord/Nordost, and the B-junior team won the Under 17 Bundesliga Nord/Nordost for a second time in two consecutive years. With its A- and B-junior teams, RB Leipzig was the only club in Germany with two teams left in the final rounds of the German championship in 2015.[196]

As of 2015, the club has 14 men's junior teams, ranging from U8 to the Reserve team.[102] Two players from the A-junior team, Vitaly Janelt and Dominik Franke, were selected to play for the Germany national under-17 team in the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup.[197]

Women's junior football[edit]

In June 2013, RB Leipzig announced the creation of its first two women's football teams, starting from the 2013-14 season. The first two teams created were a C- and a D-junior team. The C-junior team was to be trained by Mandy Morgenstern and start in the Bezirskliga.[198] The D-junior team was to be trained by Susann Seiring and start in the 1. Kreisklasse.[199]

As of 2015, the club has three women's junior teams, ranging from B- to D-juniors.[102][191] The D-junior team won the 2015-16 Landespokal, collecting the club's first title of the season.[200]

Youth academy[edit]

The RB Leipig youth academy is the multi-layered youth system of RB Leizpig. It is located at the RB Leipzig training center at Cottaweg. The establishment of a successful youth academy has been an integral part of the club's long term strategy and philosophy since its early years.[201][202][203] Red Bull GbmH owner Dietrich Mateschitz said by the club's founding that his hopes were that the majority of the Professional team would in the future have come through the ranks of the club's own academy.[204][205]

Planning for a training center with facilities for a youth academy began in 2010, and the first section of the training center was opened in August 2011. Shortly after Ralf Ragnick became new Sporting director in July 2012, he began an extensive restructuring of the club. RB Leipzig recruited the duo Frieder Schrof and Thomas Albeck from the VfB Stuttgart youth academy in September 2012. Frieder Schrof had for years been successfully employed at VfB Stuttgart, responsible for the development of players such as Mario Gomez, Sami Khedira, Serdar Tasci and Thomas Hitzlsperger. During his time at the club, the A- and B-junior teams won 15 German championships. Frieder Schrof became head of the youth department.[206][207] Soon thereafter, RB Leipzig also recruited Thomas Schlieck from Schalke 04. Thomas Schlieck had been employed as goalkeeper coordinator at Schalke 04 and had before that been employed for twelve years as goalkeeping coach at Arminia Bielefeld. Thomas Schlieck became goalkeeper coordinator, responsible for goalkeeper training and development from the U8 to the Professional team. He was also employed to work with goalkeeper scouting. [208][209]

The youth academy became a certified DFB-Youth academy in October 2012.[210]

An expansion of the training center at Cottaweg began in January 2014. The plans included a 13,500 square meters sports complex, with extensive facilities for the youth academy. The RB Leipzig youth academy together with three of its schooling partners, the Sächsisches Landesgymnasium für Sport Leipzig, the Sportoberschule Leipzig and the Rahn Dittrich Group in Leipzig, received certificate as DFB-Elite school in November 2014. 105 youth players were enrolled in schools of the three partners as of September 2014.[211][212] Other schooling partners of the youth academy included the Gutenbergschule and the Sportschule Egidius Braun of the Saxony Football Federation (SFV).[213]

The youth academy was certified with the highest rating, three stars and the title "Excellent", by the DFB and the DFL in July 2015. The certificate placed the youth academy among the highest rated youth academies in Germany.[214]

The new sports complex at the RB Training center was opened in September 2015. The training center now has a boarding school with rooms for 50 students, more than any other in the Bundesliga. 48 rooms were occupied by players aged between 15 and 19 years already by October 2015.[215][216]

The style of play taught at the youth academy is aggressive, ball oriented, and run intensive, with forward defending and fast transitions.[217][218][219] The youth academy demands the highest discipline from its players. Youth players have to pay attention not only to their physical shape, but also to their appearance. The youth academy imposes fines for wheight gains and its Code of conduct contains regulations on both hair style and tattoos. Unusual hair styles and tattoos are forbidden. [220][216]

The scouting system operates worldwide, in cooperation with other football clubs in the Red Bull sporting portfolio. Up to U11, only children from Leipzig and the immediate vicinity are reqruited. Up to U15, players within a radius of 100 kilometers are requited. From U16 an above, scouting is done in the whole of Germany and worldwide.[217] Asked what type of players the youth academy looked for, Frieder Shrof said that players who come to RB Leipzig, must comply with the club's philosophy: be ball-hunters, be mentally and physically fast.[219]

For scouting purposes, the club arranges an annual "Talent Scouting Day", where boys and girls aged between six and 16 years are scouted. The Talent Scouting Day is done over thee to five days. Young players are tested in speed tests, technique training, a 5-a-side tournament and a final match. The most talented players are invited to train with the junior teams. The Talent Scouting Day in 2015 had 1,000 applicants, of which 700 were selected. At the end of the day, 90 young players received invitations to the junior teams. The Talent Scouting Day in 2015 drew participants not only from Leipzig and surrounding cities, but also from Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Berlin, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and even Austria.[221][222][223][224]

The RB Leipzig youth academy has been accused of poaching young players from other clubs in questionable ways. One of the first to complain was FC Carl Zeiss Jena in 2012. The club said that young talents had been poached by RB Leipzig right at its own youth academy and with lucrative offers.[225] Similar complaint did also come from other clubs in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.[226] Complaints later also came from Eintracht Frankfurt, after 15-year-old talent Renat Dadachev left the club for RB Leipzig in 2014, allegedly for a much higher payment.[227][228] Frieder Shrof gave comments on these accusations in an interview in 2014, saying that the club was not interested in attracting young players with money.[217] He said that young players coming to RB Leipzig for money, have gone to the wrong place, and that the club wants to attract young players with good conditions for development and good education. In another interview in 2015, he added that what the club do is reasonable and legitimate, and that other clubs do just the same.[215] In 2015, RB Lepzig was noted for signing the 15-year-old talent Elias Abouchabaka from Hertha BSC for a remarkable transfer-fee of 250,000 Euros. The signing was preceded by a legal dispute and was criticized for the way it was done. RB Leipzig was accused by Hertha BSC for disregarding a Gentlemen's agreement on young talents between the 36 Bundesliga clubs.[229][230]

The RB Leipzig youth academy cooperates with the youth academies of FC Red Bull Salzburg, New York Red Bulls and Red Bull Brasil. The youth academy has also had a cooperation with the youth academy of the now dissolved Red Bull Ghana. The cooperation covers several areas, primarily scouting, medicine and training philosophy.[219] The cooperation in scouting forms a network, reaching worldwide. In Europe, scouting is divided. RB Leipzig scouts more to the north, and FC Red Bull Salzburg scouts more to the south.[231]

Honours[edit]

League[edit]

Cup[edit]

Youth[edit]

Reserve team

Affiliated clubs[edit]

The following clubs were formerly affiliated with the club:

  • Germany SSV Markranstädt (collaboration was ended in June 2010)
  • Germany ESV Delitzsch, functioned as Reserve Team (collaboration was ended in June 2011)

Criticism[edit]

Before investing in Leipzig, Red Bull also considered SG Dynamo Dresden, but this club was a dismal Bundesliga performer and was further tainted by fan violence mixed with a Cold War fanaticism marked by the use of slogans of the era and Warsaw Pact symbols, mismanagement, too many years spent playing in the lower leagues, and too small a stadium.

Ultimately, Leipzig was chosen as the site for a Red Bull club, because the company considered other clubs in Saxony to have inadequate stadiums, excessively violent fan cultures, and non-professional surroundings. The choice acknowledged the city's rich history going back to the emergence of modern sport in the late 1800s. It was home to the first German national football champion, as well as the meeting place for the founding of the German Football Association (Deutscher Fussball Bund or DFB). Leipzig is also close enough to Dresden to draw on that city's football heritage which includes the Dresden English Football Club, proven to be the first football club playing after the Cambridge Rules, established outside Great Britain. The selection and development of a club located in western Germany was dismissed because of the high number of well-established clubs already there.

In 2006, in the company's first attempt to enter the Leipzig football scene, it tried to purchase FC Sachsen Leipzig, a club with a rich tradition, but plagued in recent years by mismanagement, on-going financial problems and violence. After months of fan protests which deteriorated into violence, the company abandoned the plan.[232]

Protests also greeted plans to invest in SSV Markranstädt, but to a much lesser extent. Apart from the use of weed killer that damaged the pitch at the Stadion am Bad and the destruction of some advertising installations, opposition was non-violent.[4] In a survey carried out by the newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung, 70% of the residents of Leipzig who were asked welcomed the initiative. Public support for action against Red Bull's involvement was low, as the state of football in Leipzig had reached rock-bottom, according to the Alliance of Active Football Fans.[232] FC Sachsen Leipzig saw its Regionalliga Nord (IV) licence revoked at the end of the 2008–09 season when the club became insolvent, while local rival Lokomotive Leipzig failed to earn promotion. That team was beset by fan violence and carried the historical burden of being one of the worst ever Bundesliga sides (6th worst) having lost 20 matches while conceding 69 goals.[233] Neither of these clubs criticized Red Bull's investment,[232] despite all three of them playing in the same league in 2009–10.

Red Bull has also received positive criticism for its investment in German football. In interviews published in German newspaper Bild in 2011, representatives of several Leipzig football clubs explained how their clubs had been beneficiaries. Former FC Sachsen Leipzig liquidator Heiko Kratz explained that by 2009, the club was no longer able to finance its youth academy, but by selling its A to D junior teams to RB Leipzig, at least they could give the players a future. Holger Nussbaum from SSV Markranstädt, explained how the financial compensation from RB Leipzig meant that the club now had players that it otherwise would not have, and that it now aimed at reaching the Regionalliga. Ralph Zahn from ESV Delitzsch said that the financial compensation from RB Leipzig had made it possible for the club to build an artificial turf pitch with floodlights for the cost of 250,000 Euros.[234]

"Nein zu RB"[edit]

After RB Leipzig's promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, the criticism mounted around the license having been given to the team despite the clear involvement of Red Bull rather than the community, contrary to common practice in the country, and the use of football as a marketing tool.[235] Supporters of other teams in the 2. Bundesliga created a campaign called "Nein zu RB" ("No to RB") criticising the DFB's decision.[236][237]

The initiators were supporters groups of 10 teams:

Since then numerous groups from 19 different cities and town across Germany have joined the campaign, some non-football related.[238]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Impressum". dierotenbullen.com (in German). Leipzig: RasenBallsport Leipzig GmbH. Retrieved 30 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "SATZUNG" (PDF). dfb.de (in German). Deutscher Fußball-Bund e.V. n.d. p. 12. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 15 § 2: Änderungen, Ergänzungen oder Neugebungen von Vereinsnamen und Vereinszeichen zum Zwecke der Werbung sind unzulässig 
  3. ^ "RB Leipzig: Wenn ein Dorfverein Flügel bekommt". Zeit Online (in German) (Hamburg: Zeit Online GmbH). 25 September 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c Paterson, Tony (24 June 2009). "East German football gets the kick it needs". The Independent (London). Retrieved 27 July 2015. 
  5. ^ Vetter, Claus (13 September 2013). "RB Leipzig Die guten Bullen". Der Tagesspiegel (in German) (Berlin: Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH). Retrieved 7 August 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c d Spannagel, Lars (16 June 2009). "New York, Salzburg, Markranstädt: Der RB Leipzig kommt". Der Tagesspiegel (in German) (Berlin: Verlag Der Tagesspiegel GmbH). Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c Spannagel, Lars (16 June 2009). "Investor Red Bull: In acht Jahren in die Bundesliga". Zeit Online (in German) (Hamburg: Zeit Online GmbH). Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  8. ^ Stahmer, K. (23 June 2009). "Der Markranstädt-Trainer: Fliegt RB auf Vogel?". Bild (Berlin: BILD GmbH & Co. KG). Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  9. ^ a b "Bullen nehmen Anlauf". Die Tageszeitung (in German) (Berlin: taz Verlags u. Vertriebs GmbH). 3 August 2009. Retrieved 23 January 2016. 
  10. ^ "Reichenbach sieht keine Bevorzugung von RB Leipzig". RP Online (Düsseldorf: RP Digital GmbH). 1 August 2009. Retrieved 6 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Mateschitz: Titel mit RB Leipzig prinzipiell möglich". sport1.de (in German). Ismaning: Sport1 GmbH. 24 June 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2015. 
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External links[edit]