Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Leverkusen to reunite Bender twins

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 13 Jul 2017

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Sven Bender will join twin brother Lars at Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund have confirmed.

Bender – whose switch is subject to a medical – joined Dortmund from 1860 Munich in 2009 and made 224 appearances for the club, winning the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal twice.

The 28-year-old has been capped seven times by Germany and will move to Leverkusen in a deal worth a reported €15million.

Fitness problems including torn ankle ligaments hindered Bender last season, restricting him to three Bundesliga starts, and he told Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke and sporting director Michael Zorc he felt the time was right for a fresh challenge.

“A few days ago, I approached Aki Watzke and Michael Zorc with a personal request to take a new challenge after eight years at BVB,” he told Dortmund’s official website.

“As a little boy, I always wanted to be on the pitch. Also due to injuries, I have unfortunately unfortunately not been able to be used by BVB regularly. 

“I am very grateful that Borussia Dortmund has respected my will, despite their unconditional desire to keep me. I feel that as a great appreciation.”

Watzke added: “We would have liked to see Sven Bender still in our team. On the other hand, he is a player who, like a few others with great achievements, has given a lot of himself to BVB.

“These merits naturally require us to listen more closely and respect his personal desire.”

Leverkusen begin their domestic season with a trip to Karlsruhe in the DFB-Pokal before opening the Bundesliga campaign away to reigning champions Bayern Munich.

Bender’s first reunion with Dortmund will come in December when Peter Bosz’s side travel to the BayArena.

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