The club was founded by employees of the German pharmaceutical company Bayer, whose headquarters are in Leverkusen and from which the club draws its name. It was formerly the best-known department of TSV Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a sports club whose members also participate in athletics, gymnastics, basketball and other sports including the RTHC Bayer Leverkusen. In 1999 the football department was separated from the sports club and is now a separate entity formally called Bayer 04 Leverkusen GmbH.
Bayer Leverkusen play in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system. Leverkusen have won one DFB-Pokal and one UEFA Cup. Since 1958, Bayer Leverkusen's stadium is the BayArena. Bayer Leverkusen's local rivals are Köln.
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