NEXT EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS?
Germany’s Borussia Dortmund stormed their way back into the top of the European scene after almost a decade in the Doldrums! The last time Dortmund were impressive in Europe, yours truly was part of the team that went on to lose in the 2002 (then UEFA Cup) Finals to Feyenord Rotterdam!
Borussia (BVB) Dortmund crushes Ajax Amsterdam and immediately cements their champion’s league second round qualification.
Full of youthful exuberance, offensive play, entertainment, positivity, craziness, and fun to watch physical investment etc these and more are the accolades that follow Borussia Dortmund everywhere they play these days.
Ajax Amsterdam fans unfortunately were at the receiving end last week as The Dortmund machine took them apart at the Amsterdam arena. A 1-4 away victory was the end result for Dortmund.
The result is not the most remarkable point here, but the ease at which it was achieved and honestly speaking, my heart bled a bit for Ajax. It could have been worse for Ajax Amsterdam! Dortmund played with so much composure, ease and scored at will. At the half time break they lead Ajax (off an impressive Manchester City encounter) by 3 goals to nothing.
Dortmund showed tactical intelligence, left more possession to the ball possession hungry Ajax team, but scored when it mattered and saved up energy for this weekend league game.
This team is built and led by the positively “crazy” coach in person of Jùrgen Klopp. He is the Brain and passion behind the revival of Dortmund. He is the image of the team. Young unusually dressed at times, unshaven but very energetic. In fact he is not known to ever sit on the reserve bench but more on his feet and pacing and guiding his team all through each game.
The marvelous point with this team is that their players, though exceptional and world class as a team, are relatively unknown outside Germany. Unlike that of the teams they just outwitted into the next Champion’s league stage. A look at their regular performers would confirm this!
Leading Dortmund players: Weidenfeller,Subotić,Bender,Gündoğan,Lewandowski,Götze,Reus,Hummels,Grosskreutz,Piszczek, Schmeltzer….
These are the relatively lesser known players that are taking Europe by storm & the stars of tommorow.
They are (double) defending champions of the fiercely competitive German Bundesliga (2011 & 2012) and if they are currently 11 points behind Bayern Munich in the domestic league, it is much to do with the fact that they have decided to give priority to the European Champions league this year, and how successful it is turning out to be!
Clearly they know that come season end they would once again qualify for the next edition of the champions league.
From a lucrative business point of view they need to attract more European investment and that they can only do by dominating Europe. Their fan base in Germany is Number one, way more than the better known Bayern Munich. They sell more sport articles more than any other German team and have a much lighter wage burden.
To be able to be durable they have opted for the youth option. The players’ average age is 23 and they already count several internationals. Purchase and conservation of relatively unknown young players is the trademark of Borussia Dortmund.
With a stadium that holds 83,000 screaming fans every home game, this players gain maturity in minutes and hence are accustomed and do perform at the highest levels possible!
Watching Dortmund play is so refreshing and entertaining .They play aggressive-they press the opponent without pity- they are young, technically blessed with the youthful but extremely talented offensive duo of Gotze and Reus. Defensively solid epitomized with the duo of Subotic and Hummels both internationals and with the talented towering figure upfront of Lewandowski are lightening dangerous in front of Goal.
They play with great very mobility and their conversion from defense to attack is much better than Jose Mourinho’s real Madrid at the moment.I use Mourinho because his success style of play is based on this tactic!
Talking of Real Madrid, they met Dortmund twice this season in the Group stage of the champions league, lost to Dortmund in Germany and needed a last minute equalizer by Mezut Otzil at the Bernabeu, Madrid Spain to wrestle a draw off Dortmund who dominated the game and deserved victory!
Dortmund qualified into the second round of this year’s champion’s league in style. They have dominated every opponent in their group of death (Ajax-twice beaten- Manchester city and the star studded Real Madrid dominated!).
This past recent years has had us accustomed to seeing the same teams take center stage. Therefore Watching Teams like Dortmund, Paris St Germain, and Schalke 04 now top their groups I feel is refreshing and remarkable!
The team is craftily built: Emphasis is made on pressing on the opponent to relinquish possession and grounds to them. When in possession there is constant multiplied demands and runs to provide options for team mates to play. Not only is their play physical like the German culture demands, but quite very technical too. They score goals filled with so much combinations that it reminds us all of the legendary Barcelona at times.
I would vehemently advise lovers of the game and gamblers to keep both eyes glued to Dortmund; the surprise is not over yet!
If they do not drop in intensity I feel Dortmund is a team to watch out for and they are yet to say their last word in Europe or in Germany by the way. Could this be the next European Champions? Difficult to say but very likely!