Ten years ago RB Leipzig were not even called RB Leipzig and were in the fifth tier of German football. It took a good six years to rise to the Bundesliga under the owner ship of the energy drinks company Red Bull and the team have not looked back.
The club owner Oliver Mintzlaff who is also head of Red Bull global soccer have done amazing stuff since it was determined that the tiny team from the east of Germany could play with the best teams in the country. It was going to take investment and time of course and that patience seems to have paid off.
It hasn’t come easy though, whilst setbacks are normal the club were not welcomed by certain teams. The rules of ownership in Germany differs from other countries and RB Leipzig were seen as not following traditional German football rules and that irked clubs and fans alike. There was even one time four seasons ago when Borussia Dortmund fans boycotted their away game with Leipzig and there have been numerous protests since then.
Has anything got better? Well in general it has and the club have been run like a smooth machine. It hasn’t been a vanity project either and the owners seem intent on making the club successful not just in Germany but in the Champions League, though the main goal is dethroning the mighty Bayern Munich.
This is something that the club are currently doing. RB Leipzig are top of the Bundesliga standings with 40 points from 18 games and they are four points ahead of Bayern. The other threat to their title are Borussia Monchengladbach who have 35 points. Borussia Dortmund are down to 33 points and are seven points behind.
Leipzig have done well and even been runners up in the Bundesliga in 2016/17, and qualified for the Champions League on two occasions. So what is the strategy behind the clubs success and can they finally start winning trophies?
One strategy was the club signing players who were 24 and under and trying to keep a very youthful squad. The club have not spent big on players but spent money on acquiring young talent though it was important to bring in established Timo Werner in recent times.
They haven’t won major trophies yet though they have made big splashes already. As seasons pass perhaps more respect will be given to the club, and maybe some of the fans who protested against them actually wouldn’t mind if they beat off Bayern Munich to win their first league title.