Bundesliga News

Lukas Hradecky takes over Leverkusen captaincy

By Peter Vice

Bayer Leverkusen officially confirmed a transfer of its captaincy this season on the club's website. 

Chilean Charles Aranguiz hands the armband over to keeper Lukas Hradecky after just one season. 

Lukas Hradecky.
Lukas Hradecky.Photo: Дмитрий Пукалик/Soccer.ru/CC-by-SA 3.0

Recently returned from the Copa America, veteran Chilean midfielder Charles Aranguiz notably did not don the captain's armband in any of Leverkusen's test fixtures. On Saturday, the club officially confirmed that the 32-year-old preferred to abdicate his role as skipper. 

Aranguiz was the natural choice to succeed Lars Bender last summer when the latter decided that persistent abductor issues no longer allowed him to lead the team. One year later, a perhaps somewhat fatigued Aranguiz who has dealt with his own share of injuries came to the same conclusion.

"It filled me with pride to wear the captain's armband," Aranguiz noted in a statement on the club's website, "but I realized over the course of last season that I can help the team more effectively if I focus solely on my performance on the pitch."

Finland international Lukas Hradecky, now something of a cult figure in Germany after his colorful interviews in the lead up to this summer's Euros, dons the armband. The Werkself #1, with the team since 2018, was his usual pejorative self when accepting the honor. 

Hradecky mused about calling up the now retired Lars Bender to get some tips on captaining.

If his interviews over the summer are any indication, one might assume the Finn will be taking his teammates out for drinks and sauna visits.

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