RB Leipzig overcame a cautious Atletico Madrid side to reach their first Champions League semi-final. This just eleven years after their formation. American Tyler Adams deflected strike two minutes from time sent Julian Nagelsmann’s side through to face PSG.
A decade to remember for Leipzig
Leipzig are the first German side outside of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund to reach the semi-finals since Schalke in 2010-11.
This is a remarkable achievement for a side that started of in the fifth tier of German football a decade ago. This season alone will surely go down in the clubs history as their finest.
German side push Bayern all the way
In the Bundesliga Nagelsmann’s exciting side pushed eventual champions Bayern Munich all the way. Barring a slump at the back end of the season we could have been talking about this seasons Bundesliga champions.
When Leipzig defeated Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16 of the Champions League it was a team thin on household names. No player was acquired for more than £20 million.
Four promotions within eight seasons has seen Leipzig reach the Bundesliga since their formation. The continuing success of the German side can be put down to their belief in building a young side. A side that has no fears and will continue to develop.
The continuing rise of Nagelsmann
It is also a remarkable story for Leipzig’s manager Nagelsmann. Four and a half years ago he was coaching their Under-19’s. Now he is on the brink of potentially seeing his youthful side in a Champions League Final.
Pivotal to their success in the Bundesliga has been Timo Werner. The German striker netted 34 goals in 28 appearances. It was inevitable that the club would not be able to hold on to his services, with Chelsea quickly snapping him up.
The German side’s progress in Europe can’t be put down to him after Werner featured in just eight games. His tally of four before his departure to West London hasn’t been the reason Leipzig have progressed so far. To get to a semi-final you need belief, dedication and hard work.
Nagelsmann’s rapidly developing side have all those features and more. They are a unit that play an entertaining style of football with the belief they wont get defeated.
Despite the loss of the outstanding Werner, there are encouraging signs already that this loss wont hamper the side. With Nagelsmann at the helm expect RB Leipzig to continue to press the elite sides in the Bundesliga.
Few will give Leipzig much chance against the French champions. But in a year that has already seen some underdogs shine, this could be Leipzig’s turn to make history.