RB Leipzig have been living a fairytale since taking their very first steps in the Bundesliga two seasons ago. A second-place finish brought UEFA Champions League football last term and with the club from Germany's former East continuing to grow, the sky is the limit in Saxony.

History

Founded in just 2009 when energy drink company Red Bull bought the playing rights from SSV Markranstädt to the fifth tier Oberliga, RasenballSport Leipzig’s seven-year rise to the Bundesliga was certainly meteoric. Much of the club’s success is down to Ralf Rangnick, who took over as sporting director in 2012 with the side making their third attempt to win promotion from the fourth tier. He was immediately successful, and after bringing in then unknown youngsters such as Joshua Kimmich, Yussuf Poulsen and Diego Demme, RB reached Bundesliga 2 at the first time of asking.

The addition of further core players like Willi Orban, Marcel Halsenberg and Emil Forsberg ensured Bundesliga promotion within just two seasons in the second tier, bringing top-flight football back to the founding city of the German FA (DFB) for the first time in over two decades. Their maiden campaign in Germany’s top tier was equally barnstorming as they pushed champions Bayern Munich all the way for the title. In the end Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side fell just short, but a second-place finish did ensure UEFA Champions League football at the first time of asking as they became the first Bundesliga debutant since German reunification to qualify for Europe. 

Timo 'Turbo' Werner's goals have been a big part of Leizpig's success.
Timo 'Turbo' Werner's goals have been a big part of Leizpig's success. © imago / Eibner

Honours

Bundesliga 2 promotion (2015/16)
Third division promotion (2013/14)
Regionalliga Nordost champions (2012/13)
NOFV-Oberliga Süd champions (2009/10)
2x Saxony Cup

Coach

Ralf Rangnick is the man currently keeping the Leipzig dugout warm for the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann in 2019/20. Rangnick returns to the touchline for his second spell in charge of Leipzig after guiding them to Bundesliga promotion in 2016. He has been the club’s sporting director since 2012, and during his one-season spell back as coach he will be assisted by American Jesse Marsch, who joins from sister club New York Red Bulls.

Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick is set for his second spell in the team's dugout.
Leipzig's sporting director Ralf Rangnick is set for his second spell in the team's dugout. © gettyimages / Boris Streubel

Star man

In a team full of youthful exuberance, 22-year-old striker Timo Werner is a leader from the front. Already Germany’s first-choice striker, he has 42 competitive goals in just two seasons for the club. Averaging a goal every other game, the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Boot winner is among the most prolific goalscorers in Bundesliga history. Already the youngest player ever to reach 100 and 150 Bundesliga appearances, you suspect yet more records may be broken by the Leipzig striker.

Watch: Bundesliga's best - Leipzig striker Timo Werner!

Last season

Matching the feat of a second-place finish and Champions League qualification in their maiden Bundesliga campaign was always going to be difficult for Leipzig. Die Roten Bullen faired admirably on the European stage against experienced continental opponents Monaco, Besiktas and Porto. They finished third in Group G before knocking out then Serie A leaders Napoli and Zenit Saint Petersburg on their way to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Those European excursions took their toll as RB finished the 2017/18 season in sixth. They did, however, claim a historic first victory over Bayern at the fifth attempt thanks to Werner’s second-half winner.

Stadium

Matching the feat of a second-place finish and Champions League qualification in their maiden Bundesliga campaign was always going to be difficult for Leipzig. Die Roten Bullen faired admirably on the European stage against experienced continental opponents Monaco, Besiktas and Porto. They finished third in Group G before knocking out then Serie A leaders Napoli and Zenit Saint Petersburg on their way to the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Those European excursions took their toll as RB finished the 2017/18 season in sixth. They did, however, claim a historic first victory over Bayern at the fifth attempt thanks to Werner’s second-half winner.

© DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Boris Streubel

The city

One of the largest cities in former East Germany, Leipzig has the nickname “City of Heroes” for the role it played in the fall of communism in Eastern Europe and German reunification because of the peaceful Monday demonstrations that took place outside St. Nicholas Church during the 1980s. Over a quarter of a century later, those peace prayers are still held on Mondays, and the church remains one of the most potent symbols of German reunification outside of Berlin.

Since reunification the city has undergone massive redevelopment as it looks to compete with other metropolises in the former west. But despite the extensive modernisation, the city’s history remains a focal point for visitors. The most famous museum is the “Runde Ecke”, which is based in the old headquarters of the Stasi in the city. Nowadays it is dedicated to informing about the function, methods and history of East Germany’s former secret police. For those with further interest in the former German Democratic Republic, there is a popular shop known as “Ossiladen” that only sells products from the old East Germany. Described as a “time capsule in a shop”, it is a must for anyone who wants a taste of the East German experience.

As well as vast open areas to enjoy, including Germany’s oldest botanical garden containing around 7,000 different species and one of Europe’s most modern zoos, the Bach Archive is an institute researching and documenting the life and work of Baroque musician Johann Sebastian Bach, who lived in the city for 27 years before his death.

A final must-see monument in the city is the Völkerschlachtdenkmal – the Monument to the Battle of the Nations. Standing at almost 300 ft tall, it commemorates the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in 1813, which was at the time the largest battle in Europe before World War I featuring 600,000 soldiers from across the continent.

Getting there

Leipzig/Halle Airport primarily serves European and domestic destinations. Travellers from further afield will likely have to connect in international hubs such as London, Istanbul or Zurich, while frequent internal connecting flights are also available from major international airports such as Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. German high-speed ICE trains also run frequent services between Berlin and Munich with a stop in Leipzig, making Berlin only an hour away. There are also direct connections from Frankfurt Airport.

Getting to the Red Bull Arena

The Red Bull Arena is well connected in the Leipzig public transport network. Tram lines 3, 4, 7, 8 and 15 all pass by the stadium and the closest stations are Waldplatz or Sportforum Süd. On matchdays additional services are also provided with lines 51 and 56. All match tickets entitle holders to free public transport for four hours before and four hours after the game.

Buying tickets

Tickets can still be bought via the official club website HERE.

Can’t make it? Watch here:

If you can’t make it to the stadium, Bundesliga matches are broadcast around the world. FOX Sports and Univision provide coverage in the United States, while BT Sports are the exclusive broadcaster in the United Kingdom. In Germany, Sky Sports show the majority of matches, with Eurosport hosting one match per week.

Buy the kit

You can get your own Leizpig jersey from the official club shop.

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