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Bayern Munich’s Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the Bundesliga’s rising star

Move over Dortmund, there is a new cool kid in town.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen Training Session Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bayer 04 Leverkusen via Getty Images

Bayern Munich is not accustomed to an early season title challenge like this.

The Bavarians briefly regained top spot in the Bundesliga table after a Friday night win over FC Köln, but Leverkusen took it right back after its 3-0 win over Werder Bremen at the weekend.

The challengers are led by a strong coach in Bayern alum Xabi Alonso, but it is more than that.

“Leverkusen are doing really well and have strengthened wisely,” said former Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for Funke Mediengruppe (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “They deserve big respect because they’re playing really attractive football. It will be challenging for us to overtake them at the top — But we won’t slow down, I can promise that.”

Leverkusen lost the likes of Moussa Diaby, Kerem Demirbay, and Paulinho this year but have also recruited well in the summer transfer window. Former Arsenal FC midfielder Granit Xhaka, Jonas Hofmann, Victor Boniface, even Bayern Munich loanee Josip Stanišić — it has been a remarkably effective reload.

Die Werkself have had a nice assembly of talent for years, not unlike other Bundesliga runners-up contenders like Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig. But between coach, players, and front office, could the stars be aligning — just in time to end Bayern’s ruthless reign at the top?

Looking for more thoughts and analysis on Bayern Munich’s 1-0 victory over FC Köln? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Postgame Show on Spotify or below:

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