Red Bull is not only successful in Formula 1 with Max Verstappen, but also in the Bundesliga. RB Leipzig is a recently founded football club from Leipzig, Saxony into which Red Bull has injected a huge amount of money. With that, betting on RB Leipzig also quickly took off. Meanwhile, the club appears on more and more betslips.
At first, fans rejected the obscene money throwing, but later they embraced the club because it is the club from the east that can compete with the rich clubs from West Germany. RB Leipzig went from establishment to the Champions League in a jiffy. With which betting on RB Leipzig also became a reality at the very highest level.
History of RB Leipzig
Not a long 100-year history with all kinds of ups and downs for RB Leipzig. No, that story only began in 2006 and took shape in 2009. By then, energy drink Red Bull was already busy raising its profile in the sports world.
For instance, it has been associating itself with extreme sports like stunt flying, skateboarding, BMX for years. Red Bull also has clubs in ice hockey, volleyball, basketball, esports and, of course, Formula 1 (with Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez, and the Red Bull Ring in Austria). So besides betting on RB Leipzig, Red Bull as a sponsor provides many more interesting betting opportunities.
RB Leipzig is by no means the energy drink’s first football club. Back in 1994 they founded the New York Red Bulls and in 2005 they took over Austria Salzburg which became Red Bull Salzburg. Red Bull founder and major shareholder (billionaire) Dietrich Mateschitz also wanted a football club in Germany. So he started looking around 2006.
No Hamburg, Munich or Düsseldorf, but Leipzig
Following the advice of Mateschmitz’s close friend Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern Munich club icon), he went to Leipzig to look. He ended up at FC Sachsen Leipzig and planned to invest €50 million in the ailing club.
Sachsen Leipzig played in the fourth division and therefore fell under the authority of the German football federation DFB. They saw nothing in a takeover with FC Red Bull Sachsen Leipzig as the new name.
FC St Pauli also became nothing, because that club saw nothing in bigger business than just sponsorship. 1860 Munich also slammed the door in Mateschmitz’s face.
In 2007, Red Bull ended up with Fortuna Düsseldorf, a club with over 100 years of history. There too, the fans did not like it and a club was not allowed to change its name because of sponsorship.
2009: RB Leipzig was born
Then the company went back to Leipzig and not without reason. No club from that city had played in the Bundesliga since 1994, and there was no Bundesliga club in the surrounding area either. Moreover, the city had half a million inhabitants.
Red Bull specifically looked for a club in the Oberliga, the fifth tier. This was because founding a new club meant starting in the Kreisliga, the eighth level. In the Oberliga, the DFB had no influence.
In the end, they ended up with SSV Markranstädt, a club thirteen kilometres from Leipzig and playing in the Oberliga. Only five weeks after initial contact, that club decided to relinquish its Oberliga licence to Red Bull.
They got €350,000 in return. The name of the new club became ‘RasenBallsport Leipzig e.V.’. RasenBallsport actually means something like ‘lawnball sport’, but it is of course to be able to abbreviate to RB and thus be recognisable.
To meet the required number of youth teams, some were bought from the aforementioned Sachsen Leipzig. A unique and bizarrely short history though. Which you never think about when betting on RB Leipzig.
First years: promotion RB Leipzig and new stadium
RB Leipzig thus began the 2009-10 season in the Oberliga at the small Markranstädt stadium. They immediately won the title overwhelmingly, with 26 wins in 30 games and a goal difference of 74-17.
At the end of that season, owner Mateschmitz also announced that RB Leipzig would become the company’s main football club instead of Red Bull Salzburg.
The club also moved to the Zentralstadion in Leipzig, which was still being used for the 2006 World Cup. The over 42,000-seat stadium was also immediately renamed Red Bull Arena.
In 2010-2011, Leipzig played in the higher Regionalliga, but finished ‘only’ fourth. The goal of reaching the Bundesliga in nine years was still possible, though. That season, Leipzig did win the Sachsenpokal, the cup for clubs from Saxony from the third level and below.
Three promotions in four years and Bundesliga
In 2011-2012, Leipzig finished one place higher in the Regionalliga, but third place was still not enough for promotion. However, the club did win handsomely in the first round DFB Pokal from Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg.
In 2012-2013, under coach Ralf Rangnick (former Schalke 04), RB Leipzig finally took the title in the Regionalliga Nordost and with it promotion to the 3. Bundesliga.
The 2013-2014 season, there was a moment of tension for the club. Not necessarily for promotion to the 2. Bundesliga, as that was quickly secured. Leipzig however could not give promotion extra shine with the title.
After all, 1.FC Heidenheim also scored 79 points, but also had a slightly better goal difference – +34 to +31. In 2014-2015, Leipzig debuted in the 2. Bundesliga with a fifth-place finish. The following year there was already promotion with a second place behind SC Freiburg.
Bundesliga: second behind Bayern Munich
In 2016-2017, RB Leipzig almost pulled the same trick as 1.FC Kaiserslautern did 20 years earlier. Namely, that club then became Bundesliga national champions immediately after promotion.
RB Leipzig played a more than creditable first season in the Bundesliga. Bayern Munich, however, was supreme and became champions with Leipzig as handsome number two. Betting on RB Leipzig from nowhere was betting on a success story that reads like a boys’ book.
RB Leipzig: Champions League and Europa League
That’s how you go from the fifth tier to the Champions League and Europa League in eight years. A dream for many a basement league footballer, but they still wake up sweating every morning.
So the 2017-2018 season was fantastic with Champions League group stage and eventually the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Where many valuable bets could be placed when betting on RB Leipzig.
It did take its toll on the Bundesliga (sixth place), but it did not matter. Moreover, with Timo Werner, Leipzig had a gem in the selection.
In 2018-2019, Leipzig played in the group stage of the Europa League after a few preliminary rounds. Ironically, one of the opponents in it was Red Bull Salzburg. Years earlier, the Austrians had been sidelined by Red Bull in favour of Leipzig.
Now they showed it. Salzburg won the group with six wins, Leipzig dropped out with third place behind Celtic. They also reached the final of the DFB Pokal for the first time, but lost 3-0 against Bayern Munich. Such a typical match where betting on RB Leipzig makes sense if you pick as the losing side.
Champions League semi-finals
That third place allowed RB Leipzig back into the Champions League, with top scorer Timo Werner still in the ranks aswell as lso Yussuf Poulsen, Christopher Nkunku, Emil Forsberg, Marcel Sabitzer and Patrick Schik. Leipzig joined Olympique Lyon, Benfica and Zenit in the group stage. With 11 points, Leipzig even managed to win the group.
The fairytale was far from over. In the eighth final, they beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 and 3-0. In the quarter-finals (over one match due to the then new corona), they won 2-1 against Atlético Madrid. Given the Champions League successes of Simeone’s team, betting on RB Leipzig to the semi-finals yielded very fine odds.
In those same quarter-finals, there was also a certain 8-2 result for Bayern Munich against the FC Barcelona of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Frenkie de Jong… In the semi-finals, Paris Saint-Germain were unfortunately too strong for Leipzig 3-0. In the league, Leipzig finished third again.
More Champions League and first DFB Pokal
That third spot once again ensured placement for the Champions League and with it welcoming revenue. In 2020-2021, Leipzig would come close to the top prizes again. They had to leave the Bundesliga as number two to national champions Bayern Munich.
The final of the DFB Pokal was not against Bayern, but against Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately, the Black Angels were too strong 4-1 through two goals from both Jaden Sancho and Erling Haaland. Betting an outright bet on RB Leipzig as cup winners remained a stumbling block for now….
In the Champions League, RB Leipzig survived the group stage again. They finished second behind Paris Saint-Germain but left Manchester United below them. The draw paired them with Liverpool, who won twice 2-0 in the eighth finals.
In 2021-2022, Leipzig would finally get to put a big prize in their trophy cabinet. The club faced few big opponents in the DFB Pokal, but that did not detract from the final victory. In the final, they won from SC Freiburg after penalties.
Moreover, there was another European semi-final. Leipzig finished third in the Champions League group stage behind Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. The club then reached the Europa League semi-finals, where it lost to Rangers.
Club icons RB Leipzig
With a history starting in 2009, it is of course difficult to point out club icons. Moreover, the club has already changed coaches 12 times in 13 years.
Current Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann was perhaps the most successful. He led the club to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019-2020.
Yussuf Poulsen has been a big part of RB Leipzig’s rise. The Dane came to Leipzig in 2013 and then started in the 3. Bundesliga. He promoted twice in three seasons with the club and immediately became a Danish international. Poulsen is still playing at Leipzig and stands at over 300 duels.
German international Lukas Klostenberg has been there since 2014. Peter Gulacsi has been under the bar since 2015 after a transfer from Red Bull Salzburg and has played over 200 games. Around the same time, Emil Forsberg, Willi Orban and Marcel Halstenberg came to the club and have been a regular base force ever since.
Austrian international Marcel Sabitzer played for Leipzig from 2015-2021, but was then bought out by Bayern Munich. Timo Werner played for Leipzig from 2016-2020 and grew into a striker of stature. In 159 games, he scored no fewer than 95 goals. After two disappointing years at Chelsea, he has been back with RB Leipzig since 2022-2023.
Looking back at 2021/2022
Last season was a season of ups and downs for RB Leipzig. American coach Jesse Marsch had taken over from Julian Nagelsmann, who had left for Bayern. Even before Christmas, however, Marsch was sacked. He was succeeded by Domenico Tedesco.
The only 36-year-old Tedesco managed to lead Leipzig to fourth place and a Champions League place. He also took Leipzig’s first major top prize with the DFB Pokal.
Not surprisingly, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain were too strong in the Champions League group stage. Therefore, Leipzig and Tedesco could be proud of reaching the Europa League semi-finals.
Looking ahead at 2022/2023
RB Leipzig will have to pull a big rabbit out of a hat to deprive Bayern Munich of the national title after a run of 10 years. The club sold Brian Brobbey back to Ajax as well as several other players.
The biggest purchase was the return of Timo Werner from Chelsea. Perhaps he can lead the club to surprising performances in the Champions League and, why not, the Bundesliga. In any case, betting on RB Leipzig football could bring a lot of excitement!
RB Leipzig’s team colors are white and red. They are often referred to as “Die Roten Bullen” (The Red Bulls).
RB Leipzig has had key players like Timo Werner, Marcel Sabitzer, Dayot Upamecano, and more who have contributed to the club’s performances.
RB Leipzig is closely associated with the energy drink company Red Bull, which provides financial backing and branding for the club. The ownership structure and branding have drawn attention and discussion in football circles.
The Leipzig derby is the local rivalry between RB Leipzig and 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig. Matches between these two clubs have added an element of local competition to RB Leipzig’s footballing journey.
RB Leipzig’s rapid ascent through the German football pyramid and their emergence as a competitive team in the Bundesliga has sparked discussions about club ownership, financial backing, and traditional football structures.