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Leverkusen are on the brink of European glory.

Bayer Leverkusen are just two wins away from something most would have thought impossible before the start of the season. With victory over Atalanta in Wednesday’s Europa League final and Kaiserslautern in Saturday’s DFB Pokal final, Xabi Alonso’s team will complete an unbeaten campaign in all competitions.

Out of a possible 53 matches, Leverkusen have gone 51 of them without suffering a single defeat. They set a pace at the top of the Bundesliga table that Bayern Munich – nor any other rival team – could keep up with and are now on the brink of lifting a European trophy for the first time since 1988.

Alonso has already written his name into Bayer Leverkusen’s history by leading the club to their first-ever Bundesliga title, but something even greater is within reach. An unbeaten Treble by a team previously renowned for its inability to cross the line first would rank among European football’s greatest achievements.

Of course, Wednesday’s match won’t be a Champions League final. However, Leverkusen have played at such a high level this season that they could have gone the distance in Europe’s most prestigious club competition. The sight of Alonso and his players lifting the Europa League trophy would be a symbol of their brilliance.

There is no shortage of quality in Leverkusen’s squad. In Florian Wirtz, they boast one of the best young attacking midfielders in the sport at this moment in time. The 21-year-old has registered 18 goals and 15 goals in all competitions this season and will be a key figure for Leverkusen against Atalanta in Dublin.

By deploying his team in a 3-4-2-1 formation, Alonso places an emphasis on his full backs who are expected to funnel attacks into the final third and in Jeremie Frimpong and Alex Grimaldo, Leverkusen have two players who are ideal for the role. Between the pair, they have registered 49 goal contributions in all competitions this season.

Victor Boniface gave Leverkusen the focal point they needed in the centre forward position after joining from Union SG in Belgium last summer with the Nigerian international key to the way the Black and Reds create space and exploit it in and around the opposition box. Patrick Schick is another striker who has delivered for Leverkusen this season.

Then there’s the defensive platform of Edmond Tapsoba, Jonathan Tah and Odilon Kossounou with all three extremely capable in and out of possession. Granit Xhaka’s contribution in central midfielder also must be recognised – the former Arsenal captain has reached a level rarely seen from him in England.

Individually, Bayer Leverkusen have exceptional players, but their true quality is in their strength as a collective. Alonso’s team can do it all. They can control games through their use of the ball, but also play a more direct game to exploit space in behind opposition backlines. They can press opponents, but also keep it tight in defence.

“I like to play good football,” Alonso said when asked about his approach. “Entertain with good football. Not with flashy football, but with good football things. What I understand are good football things are to make good passes, runs, to do defence well.  After that, once you have those things as principles, you see the flashy things. But we don’t work on the flashy things or the spectacular things. We work on the basic, classic good things.”

Many expected Alonso to take the next step in his managerial career this summer with Bayern Munich and Liverpool both interested. The former midfielder, however, knows there is more to achieve at Bayer Leverkusen. An unbeaten Treble would be an astonishing success, but with Alonso in charge Leverkusen can achieve more.

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