A popular German football magazine has revealed it will not be covering RB Leipzig’s Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain in protest against the Bundesliga club.
11FREUNDE revealed that they will abstain from reporting on the club’s match on Tuesday, after Julian Nagelsmann’s side beat Atletico Madrid 2-1 in the quarter-final in Lisbon.
RB Leipzig, who were originally called SSV Markranstädt before being taken over by Red Bull in 2009, has received intense criticism from the German football community since then for selling a product and a lifestyle instead of being a football club.
A statement from 11FREUNDE said: ‘RB Leipzig is in the semi-finals of the Champions League. Normally we would have to cover that. But RB is not a normal club. Even if many have forgotten that.
‘We decided against it – once again – because we don’t want to normalize the RB Leipzig construct any further.’
SSV Markranstadt were a fifth-division side before they were taken over by Red Bull GmbH and RB Leipzig have risen through the divisions thanks to serious investment from the owners.
The ‘new’ club finally reached the Bundesliga in 2016 and finished in the Champions League places after just one season in the German top-flight.
The club now stands just two wins away from a first ever European title, after announcing Nagelsmann as their coach at the beginning of the 2019-20 season.
The statement continued: ‘There’s nothing romantic about the way the Leipzig squad is put together.
‘Nobody speaks badly of the Leipzig scouting. But which other third division team has ever spent €1.55 million on a player (like Leipzig 2013 for Yussuf Poulsen)? In other words: a highly talented man like Yussuf Poulsen was never a real ‘third division player’.
‘And which other second division could have paid an Emil Forsberg (who was courted by top international clubs) in 2015?’
Max Dinkelaker, who wrote the piece, also claims that ‘their success reminds me of children cheating at computer games’.
Red Bull have several other investments in football, including RB Salzburg in Austria, the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer and Sao Paulo club Red Bull Brasil.