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THE REBUILDING OF BORUSSIA DORTMUND

borussia rebuilt

Borussia Dortmund is one of the most successful German football clubs with eight national titles. Midseason and the job Borussia has done in transfer market gives some optimism that there could be the ninth title coming up at the end of this season.

Borussia Dortmund has gone through the process of rebuilding this summer. After selling their young German sensation Mario Gotze, Borussia worked precisely in transfer marking bringing some very talented footballers to North Rhine-Westphalia. Jurgen Klopp is full of desire to challenge Bayern Munich this season and bring some trophies.

Those times when German Bundesliga was ranked at the bottom by its overall team performance and playing level from all the TOP 5 leagues (EPL, La Liga, SERIE A and Ligue 1) are over. If before first spots took England and Spain because of the biggest number of that called TOP clubs or grands in these leagues playing, then came Italy and France struggled with Germany from year to year for 4th-5h place, then now situation has become different. And the most objective indicators is performance at Eurocups. And for this moment, Germany surely doesn't hold the last place from all TOP 5 leagues neither by league's average team playing level nor TOP team performance. Perhaps England and Spam still are the leading ones - number of world class players playing there is still higher than in Germany. But Germany is right beside these two and for the moment ahead Italy and France. And the biggest effort for this achievement comes from Borussia Dortmund, team, which shocked the most part of the football fans all over the world in the last season and keeps shocking them still. Now it is more than clear that Borussia has become a dreadful opponent for every team and it won't follow its destiny several years ago.

BORUSSIA SEVERAL DECADES BEFORE

In 1962. the DFB (German Football Association) met in Dortmund and voted to finally establish a professional football league in Germany to begin play in August 1953 as the Bundesliga. Before that Bundesliga was called as Oberliga West, a first division league which dominated German football through the late 1950s. Borussia Dortmund earned its place among the first sixteen clubs to play in the new league by winning the last pre-Bundesliga national championship. In 1965, Dortmund captured its first DFB-Pokal (German League Cup). In 1966, Dortmund won the European Cup Winners' Cup 2-1 against Liverpool in extra time with the goals coming from Sigfried Held and Remhard Libuda. In the same year, however, the team surrendered a commanding position atop the Bundesliga by losing four of their last five league games and finished second, three points behind champions TSV 1860 Munchen. The 1970s were characterized by financial problems and relegation from the Bundesliga in 1972 and the opening of the Westfaienstadion, named after its home region Westphalia in 1974. The club earned its return to Bundesliga in 1976. Dortmund continued to suffer from financial problems through the 1980s. BVB narrowly avoided being relegated again in 1986 by winning a third decisive play-off-game against Fortuna Koin after finishing the regular season in 16th place. Dortmund did not enjoy any significant success again until a 4-1 DFB-Pokal win in 1989 against SV Werder Bremen. It was Horst Koppel's first trophy as a manager.

Under the captaincy of 1996 European Footballer of the Year Matthias Sammer, Borussia won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 1995 and then 1996. In 1996-97 the team reached its first European Cup final . In a memorable 1997 UEFA Champions League Final at the Olympiastadion in Munich, Dortmund faced the hoiders Juventus. Karl-Heinz Riedle put Dortmund ahead, shooting under  goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi from a cross by Paul Lambert. Riedle then made it two with a bullet header from a corner kick. In the second half, Alessandro Del Piero pulled one back for Juventus with a back heel. Then 20-year old substitute and local boy Lars Ricken latched on to a through pass by Andreas Moller. Only 16 seconds after coming on to the pitch, Ricken chipped Peruzzi in the Juventus goal from over 20 yards out with his first touch of the ball. With Zinedine Zidane unable to make an impression for Juventus against the close marking of Lambert, Dortmund lifted the trophy with a 3-1 victory.

At the turn of the millennium, Borussia Dortmund became the first-and so far the only—pubhcly traded club on the German stock market. In 2002, Borussia Dortmund won their third Bundesliga title. Dortmund had a remarkable run at the end of the season to overtake Bayer Leverkusen, securing the title on the final day. Manager Matthias Sammer became the first person in Borussia Dortmund history to win the Bundesliga as a player and manager. In the same season, Borussia lost the final of the 2001 -02 UEFA Cup to Dutch side Feyenoord.

In the season 2002/2003 Borussia finished third in Bundesliga but already one year later - just 5th. But season 2004/2005 at the end led Borussia to the 7th place. According to most of Boruss a fans from modern time, that time was one of the most hardest in Borussia history for the team. With each new season Borussia landed farther and farther  Eurocups, not taking about UEFA Champions League. It was such a silent period for the team in all stages and very depressing looking from future perspectives. Just because Borussia was driven to the brink of bankruptcy in 2005. the original €11 value of its shares having plummeted by over 80% on the Frankfurter Wertpapierborse (Frankfurt Stock Exchange). The response to the crisis included a 20% pay cut to all players.

The team still plays at Westfaienstadion  named after its home region of Westphalia. To reduce debts, the stadium was renamed "Signal Iduna Park", after a local insurance company, in 2006 under a sponsorship agreement that runs until  2006. The stadium is currently the largest football stadium in Germany with a capacity of 80,720 spectators, and hosted several matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, including a semi-final. Borussia Dortmund enjoys the highest average attendance of any footbal club in Europe, at 80,478 per match (2010 -'11).

In the season 2007/2008 Borussia finished just at 13th place and it was one of the worst season for the team in the modern history. Nowadays it would sound way too we rd to hear that Borussia is more closer to be eliminated than getting into Eurocups. In that season it was the reality.

GETTING BACK ON TRACK

Actually just the season 2009/2010 could be called as starting point for the reai return of Borussia Dortmund. Before 10 years to count from that time Borussia was a strong team which recently won UEFA Champions League trophy but just around 6 years ago, from 2003, started the most awful and depressive time of team's history. Now it was ended and Borussia managed to qualify for UEFA Europa League. And how often it happens, everything in life goes in balance. For those several hopeless and depressive years for Borussia fans, finally they got their awards back. And in the way they wanted it the most. Borussia turned into collective full of desire to bring victories and trophies to their loyal fans.

Entering the 2010-11 season, Dortmund fielded a young and vibrant roster which looked better. On 4 December 2010, Borussia became Herbstmeister (Autumn Champion), an unofficial accolade going to the league leader at the winter break. They did this three matches before the break, sharing the record for having achieved this earliest with Emtracht Frankfurt (1993-94) and 1. FC Kaiserslautern (1997-98). On 30 April 2011, the club beat I. FC Nuremberg 2-0 at home, while second-placed Bayer Leverkusen lost, leaving Dortmund eight points clear with two games to play. This championship equaled the seven national titles held by rivals Schalke 04 and guaranteed a spot in the 2011 -12 UEFA Champions League group stages.

One year later, Dortmund made a successful defense of its Bundesliga title with a win over Borussia Monchengladbach, again on the 32nd matchday. By the 34th and final matchday, Dortmund set a new record with the most points-81-ever gained by a club in one Bundesliga season. The club's eighth championship places it third in totaltotal national titles and players will now wear two stars over their uniform crest in recognition of the team's five Bundesliga titles. Notable names from the winning roster include Lucas Barrios, Mario Gotze, Neven Subotic, Mats Hummels, Robert Lewandowski, Shmj Kagawa, Lukasz Piszczek, Jakub Biaszczykowski, Kevin Groftkreutz, Ivan Perisic, and llkay Gijndocjan. The club capped its successful 2011-12 season by winning the double for the first time by beating Bayern Munich 5-2 in the final of the DFB-Pokal. Borussia Dortmund are one of four German clubs to win the Bundesliga and DFB-Poka double along with Bayern Munich, 1. FC Koln, and VVerder Bremen. The club was voted Team of the Year 2011 at the annual Sportier des Jahres (German Sports Personality of the Year) awards. Two titles in two seasons in a row - more than a dream for every Borussia fan.

BORUSSIA NOWADAYS BEASTS FROM GERMANY

Right now, if we look at previous season when Borussia showed fine performance all ever the season and made it through to the JEFA Champions League final, where just in the last minutes lost to defending this tournament champions, another German “monster-club” Bayern Munich, Borussia can be called as TOP level team. Not just called - it is such. And even more for this we get approvement from Borussia's transfer activities this summer. It was clear some months ago that it will be way too hard to save the current squad with all best players in it. More pessimistic people thought that within Mario Gotze's (sold to Bayern) transfer it will be hard to keep also Marco Reus, Robert Lewandowski and some other first plan players of the team. Instead Dortmund didn't just keep them in squad, even more -team took three significant signings.

First Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (24) bought from French Side Samt-Etienne. With this guy Borussia’s management keeps the biggest hopes on future. Several times, while playing in France, he has proved that he is very gifted scorer with a fantastic speed and shooting abilities. Actually speed is the key weapon for Pierre - often, by humor of course, he gets compared to Usain Bolt. Jokes of course, but in every joke is some part of truth.

Two other signings are not less important. Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos (25), who already is familiar with German air (last two seasons spent at Werder Bremen) and talented Armenian attacking midfielder from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk Henrikh Mkhitaryan (24) will take very important role in the upcoming model of Jurgen Kiopp's side. After departure of Mario Gotze Mkhitaryan probably will take his place in the team, at least he has all possibilities for that. Sokratis is very important in the defensive plan, because as the previous season showed, duo Subotic-Hummels is not always safe, especially, if they play without rest. Sokratis will give more competition in the defending Iine.

But Aubameyang is simply Aubameyang - such player would be needed in many teams. Tandem Lewandowski - Aubameyang sounds impressive, more than that. So for the moment, despite Mario Gotze was very important player for the team, we can't say Borussia has become weaker. I would say even opposite - in some ways team has become stronger.

First approvement for this has already come. German or DFL Supercup. which was held on July 27th between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. For most part of fans surprisingly but Boruss a took the win in this duo, and not so unconfident one - 4:2. Team played with their basic squad and newcomers Aubameyang and Sokratis just came on the pitch on the substitution. It proves even more what power hides behind the concrete biock wall of Borussia.

Of course, at the same time, many claimed that it is not real strength indicator for the moment, simply because Bayern and their new coach Josep Guardioa have just started to work together and their "relationships" are in the phase of getting to know each other more closer But anyway, new coach, no shape or whatever, Bayern is Bayern, it has been always a great team and if Borussia can win them and show great performance against the best football club in Europe so far, then it is an argument to be noted.

Another interesting fact, connected With Bayern, is rumours about Le-wandowski's move to the biggest rivals of Borussia. Not so long ago Lewandowski claimed he feels cheated from Borussia side because they didn't let him to move to Bayern. The Poland international looked set to join BVB’s Bundesliga rival this summer, with his contract set to expire in a year's time, but Dortmund eventually vetoed a move to the Champions League winner. Although Lewandowski has assured supporters that he will be fully committed to Dortmund as long as he plays for the club, he remains deeply frustrated that the management at Signal Iduna Park has failed to keep ts own promises.

"If someone says something, he should keep his word. I'm not saying it's only about the transfer, but other things we have discussed with management and that have not materialized” Lewandowski told Polish newspaper Rzecz-pospolita. "No matter how hard I will train and what I will do, the feeling that I've been cheated will still be there. It turns out that words spoken straight into my eyes were untrue."

This commentary from Lewandowski may say that not all is as great as it looks inside of Borussia team. However, as we know, in Germany there are not many problems of this type or in other words to say -intrigues. Germans as a nation don't like them and quite sure, when season will start, there won't be such commentaries anymore about betraying and cheating.

Luckily for Borussia, totally opposite situation has been with another Polish star footballer Jakub Blaszczykowski, who signed a new five-year contract at the beg nning of this summer, which means that "Kuba" is going to stay in Dortmund until 2018.

"When my contract's up, I’ll be able to look back on over a decade with BVB," he reflected.  "That’s a long time in professional football nowadays. It makes me extremely proud that a big club like Borussia Dortmund have shown such faith in me and are planning ahead long term with me. I've long felt this is my second home," added Blaszczykowski.

There were rumours that Manchester City had some interest about 27-years old Polish winger this summer. Anyway, Blaszczykowsk wasn't interested in such move, as he feels comfortable in Dortmund. Honestly, it's a respectable attitude from "Kuba" and aiso a smart decision to stay m Bundesliga. There's no guarantee that Manchester City gonna improve their performance on European stage this season and we a remember how unlucky they've been in last few years. Opposite situaton is with Borussia. They have made some good progress and Blaszczykowski has always been a key player in this story. Borussia fans love and really respect him so there's no wonder that he's happy to stay in Germany. There's not many reasons why he should change something. I wouldn't even be surprised if "Kuba" gonna stay in Dortmund till the end of his career. Blaszczykowsk is definitely on the way to the status of Borussia's legend.

For now Borussia looks very well and complectation has been done almost perfectly Almost, because always might wish something better But it is good as it is. And if after the loss in the UEFA Champions League final Borussia fans and not only they were quite sad about lost unique opportunity to get this title, not hopping such chance might come once again, then now they have no worries about - Borussia goes on the right way and without doubt team still remains as one of the pretendents for this title in the season 2013/2014.

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