RB Leipzig is possibly the most controversial team in the Bundesliga – and they’ve only existed for a good 13 years. But during this time it went from the Oberliga to the Champions League. In Dominik Kaiser, an absolute club legend has now announced the end of his career. On this occasion we take a look at the eleven with which RasenBallsport Leipzig started the steep ascent – but Kaiser wasn’t there at the time.
On August 8, 2009, RasenBallsport Leipzig played the first game in the club’s history. RBL met Carl Zeiss Jena II on the first day of play in the Oberliga Nordost. The newly formed team was put on a damper early on, because Jena’s Martin Ullmann shot the lead for the hosts from Jena in the 5th minute of the game. But an own goal in the 88th by Zeiss defender André Schmidt saved the first season opening in the history of RasenBallsport Leipzig.
Dominik Kaiser, who played his last professional game for Hannover 96 in May, moved to Leipzig in 2012. He stayed for a total of six years and was an important performer in the rise from the 4th division to the Bundesliga. A return as a manager or coach is not unlikely. “It was always a special time. Nothing has been discussed yet, but both sides are very open…” he said picture-Newspaper.
RBL started their way to the Champions League with the following eleven.
Goal: Sven Neuhaus
One of the better known names in the Leipzig squad. Sven Neuhaus played 154 second division games for Augsburg and Fürth and in the autumn of his career was even three times in the Bundesliga in the box for HSV.
Neuhaus, who looked after the Leipzig case 24 times in the 2009/10 season, ended his career in the Hanseatic city in 2014 and has been involved with the charitable foundation Der Hamburger Weg ever since.
Defense: Sebastian Will
The then 23-year-old played most of his games in left midfield, against Jena he was in demand as a right-back. In the further course of the season, however, Wille was not one of the permanent staff (five appearances).
Otherwise, Wille, who came from the youth of the opponent Jena, did not get beyond the Oberliga (96 games) and played for Markranstädt before and after. His career ended with today’s league club SV BW Farnstädt, two years after his twin brother Stephan.
With a brief interruption, the central defender was under contract with FC Schalke 04 in his hometown between 1996 and 2006, first in the second team and then with the first team (32 Bundesliga games).
Thomas Kläsener then also played for the second division teams Rot-Weiss Essen, FC Augsburg and SC Paderborn before he joined RB and in his first two years made direct promotion to the regional league. In 2011 he switched to the reserves of Leipzig, where he ended his career in 2013.
The only national player on the list (two DFB appearances) formed the main central defense together with Kläsener. He should remain loyal to the Red Bulls until the end of his career in 2013, most recently in the second team.
The 44-year-old can look back on impressive statistics: He made 227 Bundesliga appearances for HSV, 1. FC Kaiserslautern, Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer Leverkusen, and he stayed the longest in Hamburg. He was under contract there for six years and even played five Champions League games.
The left-back has 184 Oberliga appearances, 27 of them in his only year for RB. Stefan Schumann previously played for the U19s and the second team at Berlin’s Hertha, but didn’t make the breakthrough.
After Schumann was under contract with FSV Zwickau for six years and even acted as player-coach of the reserve team, he joined VFC Plauen in 2016. He played for the Saxons in the Oberliga Nordost until the end of his career in 2021.
Midfield: Lars Muller
For a defensive player, the left footer scored ten strong goals this season. Lars Müller previously had his best time at 1. FC Nürnberg, for whom he made 110 appearances in the Bundesliga.
Between 1994 and 1996 he only made six appearances in the Bundesliga for Borussia Dortmund. He also played 204 second division games for Nuremberg, Augsburg, Uerdingen and Aachen. Today he is a coach at the national league team Werner SC.
After reunification, the attacking midfielder was on the ball for VfB Leipzig and Chemnitzer FC in the 2nd Bundesliga (142 games, 14 goals). He then spent the last year of his career at the age of 35 at RBL.
However, he did not get past six missions and 97 minutes. After that, Kujat, who was accused of involvement in the Robert Hoyzer manipulation scandal but could not be proven, worked as a scout for RB for five years before his trail was lost.
Another player who spent large parts of his career in the Oberliga and Regionalliga. An exception was the 2005/06 season, in which Lerchl played 17 times in the 2nd Bundesliga for Dynamo Dresden.
After moving to Energie Cottbus in 2007, the defensive midfielder, who has both German and Namibian nationality, was unable to assert himself in the Bundesliga team and instead played in the second team.
Christian Streit was at home in left midfield and made 18 appearances there for the Red Bulls in the 2009/10 season (one goal). Illustrious positions at SV Edelweiß Arnstedt, 1. FC Zeitz and 1. FC Weißenfels followed.
A decade earlier, the Halle native had hoped for a much bigger career when he joined HSV. After two years and 47 games for the reserves, the adventure was over. Also active for Union Berlin and VfB Lübeck in the regional league.
Storm: Jochen Hoefler
With 14 goals, the center forward was Leipzig’s top scorer in the debut season. In the first game, however, he scored just as little as his colleagues: An own goal by Zeiss defender Schmidt had to be used to win the point late in the game.
Höfler only played for one year in the regional league and otherwise established himself as a true snapper in the premier league: in 275 games he scored 139 times for the Hamm, Viktoria Aschaffenburg, Eintracht Frankfurt II and RB clubs.
With eleven goals, Christian Reimann was next to Höfler as the second-best goal-getter for RB up front. After years for Plauen, Pößneck and Sachsen Leipzig in the Oberliga, he made it into the 3rd division through his performances for RB. There he went to the opening opponent Carl Zeiss Jena of all places.
He scored five times at Jena, but after a year he returned to his hometown club Grün-Weiss Stadtroda and stayed there for seven seasons – until his retirement in 2018.
Trainer: Tino Vogel
When there was no thought of Ralph Hasenhüttl, Ralf Rangnick, Julian Nagelsmann or Marco Rose, the former Chemnitz and Markranstädt coach Tino Vogel looked after the newly founded Leipzig team. With an average of 2.67 points, 2010 was the sovereign ascent.
Vogel then moved into the second rank, first in the U19s, then in the second team. From 2016 Vogel worked as a scout for RasenBallsport. In the same year, Leipzig made it into the Bundesliga, where they remain to this day.