RB Leipzig are not everyone's favourite club in Europe. Since being founded in 2009 after purchasing the playing rights of local team SSV Markranstädt, their rise to the Bundesliga has been met with unparalleled heat.
The Red Bull-fueled commercial structure doesn't sit well with the German fans, similar to how the Class of '92 have contracted a lot of negativity over their billionaire-backed rise through non-league. Although, in Germany, things are a little different. Since the rulebooks were formed, clubs have not been allowed to name clubs after sponsors, with German football proud of its heritage and remaining as fan-based as any European top country.
You'd imagine an unrivalled rise through the divisions, a groundbreaking training facility and a 10-year lease on a 43,000-seat stadium would be celebrated in football. Perhaps, but not in Germany; a country where football has barely changed since the 60s.
Nowadays, after an eight-year rise from the fifth tier to the Bundesliga, title challenges are a regular occurrence, whilst European football has become an expectation and not a dream.
At the beginning of the season, many doubted if Leipzig were capable of progressing through their Champions League group that contained potentially tricky encounters with Lyon, Zenit and Benfica, let alone make it far in the knockout stages in convincing fashion.
Now after, dismantling Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur in the last 16, many are starting to take notice of the German outfit. Here’s why the Red Bulls could just be the dark horses in the competition this season and are an underdog to be concerned of for years to come.