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11/1/2017

Behind the Leipzig curtain

Get to know our opponent in the UEFA Champions League. FC Porto usually does well, at home, against German teams


FC Porto will face Leipzig at home, on Wednesday, at 19h45, for matchday four of Group G match of the Champions League, which could be decisive for the blue and white aspirations in the competition. At home, the record against German teams is positive: eight victories, four defeats and three ties in 15 games. Get to know the next opponent better, which is only the second team from former East Germany to visit our stadium, after Dynamo Dresden, in 1972 (17 years before the fall of the Wall), eliminated the Dragons from the old UEFA Cup.

The history
Eight years ago, a modest club in Leipzig, competing for the fifth division, was acquired by Red Bull in order to put it in the first division within a decade, with the promise of an investment of about 100 million euros. The SSV Markranstädt was renamed RasenBallsport Leipzig, changed symbol, colours and equipment, later moving to the Zentralstadion, one of the stadiums of the 2006 World Cup, which has been renamed as the Red Bull Arena. The club gained wings and flew to the Bundesliga, bringing back a city with a long and beautiful tradition in the sport to the main map of German football.

It was in Leipzig that the first ever German champion was born, where the Federation was created, and where the match that gathered more people in the country (about 110 thousand, in 1957) was held. After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification, the city lost power, as did the entire East Germany, where it belonged and where champions like Dynamo Dresden or Magdeburgo reigned, who also went into crisis and dropped to the lower divisions.

Coach: Ralph Hasenhüttl
Former international forward for Austria, he also played in Belgium and later in Germany, where he hung his boots in 2004, exchanging the pitch for the dugout. As head coach, he led Unterhaching, then Aalen, which he coached from the third to the second division, and finally Ingolstadt, which, in 2014/15, was promoted for the first time to the Bundesliga. The good work developed in the Bavarian team didn’t go unnoticed by the leaders of Leipzig, who had no doubts in betting on the 50 years old coach. The results proved them right.

The man: Timo Werner (in the picture)
Aged 21, he is the man of the attack of yet another promising generation of German football. He made his debut for the national team in March this year, and is already at eight international caps and six goals, three of them decisive for the victory over the Confederations Cup, becoming the top scorer of the competition. A fast forward, with a powerful shot and good ability to dribble, Timo was revealed early in Stuttgart, the club that formed and revealed him to the Bundesliga, which , in the previous edition, already wearing the colours of Leipzig, he ended as the German player with the most goals: 20 in 31 matches.

The match will be previewed by Porto Canal, starting at 18h00, and can then be followed live on the official FC Porto app, and Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts. After the final whistle, the match will be analysed by Porto Canal and www.fcporto.pt will have the report and statements of the coach and players.

This is an adaptation of a text by João Queiroz, which is included in the September edition of magazine Dragões, an official publication of FC Porto that can be read in full here.

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