Former national soccer player Bernd Schneider doesn’t just see short-term success at champions Bayer Leverkusen. “I am convinced that Bayer’s high will not break next year,” the 50-year-old told the “Thüringer Allgemeine”. Schneider was part of the Leverkusen team that lost the 2000 title on the last match day and is now honorary captain.

Coach Xabi Alonso is also the key to success for the Thuringian native. “To have led the team from 17th place to the top within 18 months says it all. Xabi Alonso’s calm manner, his clear speech and the meticulous work with the entire coaching team deserve the highest praise,” said Schneider. “And I only hear positive things even from the substitutes. That shows what spirit the team has.”

Schneider is not surprised that the Spanish coach is staying at Bayer. “He’s down-to-earth and knows exactly what he has in the club and the team. And the journey together isn’t over yet. I think it’s good for him to stay in Leverkusen,” said the 81-time national player .

Alonso still has a contract in Leverkusen until 2026. Two more titles are possible this season. Leverkusen is favorite in the final of the DFB Cup against second division team 1. FC Kaiserslautern. In the Europa League they are about to reach the semi-finals after the 2-0 win in the first leg against West Ham United.