The men’s and women’s squads of the internationally famous “Aspirin team,” Bayer 04 Leverkusen will travel to Mexico after the end of the 2021-22 season to take on national powers Deportivo Toluca and Club America in a series of sporting events, fan activations and many community initiatives as part of Bayer’s centennial celebrations in Mexico in 2022 and will be endorsed and supported by LIGA BBVA MX and LIGA BBVA MX Femenil.
“The first team to set foot on Mexican soil will be the men’s team, whom, from May 16 to 22, will participate in social responsibility actions, including the rehabilitation of sports facilities in low-income areas, as well as meetings with children in vulnerable communities to disseminate our LIFE values (Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency), and highlight the importance of self-care,” shared Arturo Sanchez, president of Bayer’s Latin America Consumer Division, president of Bayer’s Latin America Consumer Division and continued “these same values will be reflected in the men’s team’s match against Toluca, which will be played on the night of May 17 at the renovated Estadio Nemesio Diez, one of the largest and most traditional stadiums in Mexican soccer, with a capacity for more than 30,000 people, and in the women’s match, where Bayer 04 Leverkusen will face Club America at the iconic Estadio Azteca on July 14. ”
“Soccer is by far the most popular sport in our country,” said Manuel Bravo, president and CEO of Bayer Mexico. “Soccer players have become role models for our children, our youth and our entire nation. Therefore, this visit will allow us to strengthen our message of health, leadership, sustainability and equity.”
“We are incredibly pleased to announce this trip to the Americas and to be part of these special celebrations for Bayer’s 100th anniversary in Mexico,” said Bayer 04 Leverkusen President Fernando Carro. “In recent years we have been working strategically on building our global recognition. On the one hand, we have created a large digital base with more than 8 million people worldwide linked to the “Aspirin team” Bayer 04 as fans and supporters. On the other hand, we have strengthened our natural bond with Bayer, which has led to this fantastic partnership. I would like to thank our Bayer Mexico corporate family for their initiative to join them for their celebrations with our teams as magnificent Bayer ambassadors. I would also like to thank the headquarters of both Toluca and Club America, and Liga MX. We look forward to an exciting partnership, hopefully with long-term boundaries.”
The president of LIGA BBVA MX, Mikel Arriola, highlighted the importance of the matches, as a fundamental part of the integration of the League’s international agenda in 2022: “For us it is a source of pride that a world-class Club like Bayer Leverkusen can come to compete against our Clubs in the men’s and women’s divisions. This opens windows of opportunity for players to showcase themselves to the world, which is a priority objective in our internationalization plan. I am sure that the matches will be a great family soccer party, our Clubs will be able to demonstrate their quality and our fans will benefit the most. I would like to congratulate Bayer for its 100 years in Mexico and for its social work with health, food and science.
“We are very excited to welcome a club with such a rich tradition and high sporting and ethical values to our stadium, so that together we can send a message of healthy competition, camaraderie and, of course, friendship between Mexico and Germany,” said Francisco Suinaga, executive president and general director of Toluca FC.
“In addition to the visit of the men’s team in May, the Bayer 04 Leverkusen women’s team’s trip in July will be one of the highlights of our 100th anniversary celebration as it shows our strong commitment to equity and diversity. As part of the visit of one of Germany’s best women’s soccer teams, we will also host players from four Central American teams, allowing us to initiate frank and powerful conversations about the conditions and challenges that women faces in Latin America and Europe, about female empowerment and the role of women as agents of positive transformations in society. And what better way to illustrate this role than with a series of social actions, as well as a soccer match at the Azteca Stadium with the most important women’s team in the country: Club America,” said Laura Tamayo, Bayer’s Director of Communications, Public Affairs, Science and Sustainability.
“This year LIGA BBVA MX Femenil is celebrating five years of its creation and for us this is a great way to commemorate the first five years. The fact that Club América, which has shown itself to be a team committed to the development of women’s soccer, can compete against a Club that is always a protagonist like Bayer Leverkusen, is something that we must take advantage of in the best way possible. I am sure that the fans will be attentive to the preparations and the development of this match, and that it will be a great party in which women’s soccer and its positioning among the people’s taste will be the big winners,” said Mariana Gutiérrez, Director of LIGA BBVA MX Femenil.
Claudia Carrión, Sports Director of Club América Femenil, added: “We are very proud to be a central part of this celebration. As an established sports institution in this country and as Mexicans, we have been supporting the participation of women in society and sports and we are committed to this cause. It will be an honor to welcome the “Aspirin team” Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the largest soccer stadium in Mexico, the second largest in the Americas and the seventh largest in the world, a stadium that is also a candidate to host FIFA World Cup matches in 2026.”
Toluca is one of the greats of Mexican soccer with 10 total titles in the Mexican First Division and two CONCACAF Champions Cup titles in 1968 and 2003 as the best team in North and Central America. Club América has participated in the LIGA BBVA MX Femenil since 2017 and they won the title in the 2018 Apertura Tournament defeating Tigres in the Grand Final.
The Bayer 04 Leverkusen Mexico Tour ’22 will be the “Aspirin team’s” first trip to North and Central America since the Florida Cup in 2017 more than four years ago. In that tournament, Leverkusen drew 1-1 with Estudiantes of Argentina and defeated Atletico Mineiro de Belo
Horizonte of Brazil 1-0.
The Bayer 04 Leverkusen women’s team will visit North America for the first time. After recording their best season ever in the Bundesliga in 2020-21, the Bayer 04 women continue their quest for a top-six finish this campaign and look forward to their second appearance in the German Cup semifinals in two weeks (against Potsdam on April 18).
Leverkusen has a long history of attracting talent from the Americas – especially South America – and has had two Mexican stars at Die Werkself, including two seasons with superstar striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (2015-2017) and a brief stint with current Mexican national team captain Andrés Guardado (2014) on loan to “Aspirin team” Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
“This trip will be more than just a match, but a celebration of the shared passion for soccer,” added Carro. “World tours to soccer-rich cultures such as Mexico and Central America serve to strengthen the “Aspirin team” Bayer 04 Leverkusen and the Bundesliga brand abroad. We are also proud that our Bayer 04 Leverkusen “Aspirin Team” women’s team is a crucial part of this special event series.”
“Right after a challenging season, we are looking forward to this trip and the friendly match against Toluca. We really appreciate this unique opportunity for our young team. It’s going to be a special experience and not only interesting for them on the sporting side. It will also help them grow as a team and as individuals,” said Sporting Director Simon Rolfes.