Tag Archives: trophy

Black-yellow love that’s been lasting more than a century

Borussia Dortmund is not the most trophy-winning club in Germany, and neither it is in Europe, but it is special when compared to others regarding loyalty of their fans. The biggest European clubs have tons of trophies behind themselves which, through history, drew a large number of fans, making it a custom for those football giants to brag about their fans being the most loyal. However, Borussia Dortmund can even prove that.

For many years, Borussia Dortmund has been making a sale of over 50,000 season tickets for Bundesliga matches. In their toughest season in the past seven years, a season full of disappointments, a season in which Jurgen Klopp said goodbye to the club, at the biggest German stadium, Signal Iduna Park (better known under the previous name Westfalenstadion), they made a record rating in Europe – 80.424 spectators per match! The first follow-up, one of the most popular clubs in the world, the Spanish Barcelona gathered an average of 77,632 spectators in the season in which they won three trophies, among which is the most valuable one – the Champions League trophy. The next on the list is Manchester United, which had an average of 75,335 spectators per match in the season of their return to the top of the English football, and after them the next is Real Madrid with 73,081, after whom comes Bayern with 72,882. Only 93 owners of season tickets from the past season will not be prolonging their pack on the new season. But that is not a problem for this club because the list of those waiting for an opportunity to subscribe is very long. If one thinks this is due to the club’s big successes in the past couple of years, it is a first sign that that someone has been following games of this club precisely because of those successes and knows about the club only regarding that period. That is very typical for the new generations of so-called trophy fans. The true aficionados of good football, especially of Borussia Dortmund, know that it is a love that last longer than a century. If we go about ten years back in time, when Borussia Dortmund could not get higher than the sixth place in the standings, we will ask ourselves how it is possible that precisely then, in 2004, record visiting of 83,000 spectators was noted in even six matches at Westafalenstadion. In the season behind us, when black-yellows from Dortmund suffered their 11th defeat in the first 19 rounds, 0-1 against Augsburg in front of 80,667 spectators at the stadium Signal Iduna Park, the club was at the bottom of the table. There were 80,200 spectators at their next match. It is hard to imagine any other club that is at the bottom of the championship standings, with only four victories and 11 defeats in 19 matches, to be supported by 80,000 fans in the stands of their stadium. Besides all that, in the first days after the defeat against Augsburg, even 653 new membership requests came to the club. When Dortmund fought out the final of the Champions League two years ago, already on the next day after their victory against Real Madrid in the semi-finals, 250,000 requests for presence at the final match came to the UEFA headquarters from fans of Borussia, and by the time for the very final the number went up to half a million!


This reflects just how Dortmund’s fans ‘ spirit is, a city that entirely lives for its club, which does not only support it on the stadium, because there is not enough room for everyone and not everyone has enough money for tickets. That is why on the day of a match, they all gather at Borsigplatz, where, in organization of the fan club “Total offensive”, they all watch the game on a video beam – adults, young ones, children, women, men, people of different religions and origin – united in the unique black-yellow identity. Because of that, not trophies that came and went in nearer and further past, but the fanatic loyalty of Borussia Dortmund’s fans made this club one of the most popular in the world. The black-yellow love won over fans of other colours. The black-yellow love is an example for fans of some other clubs to put a finger to their forehead and ask themselves who it is they are actually rooting for – the club or the trophies.


Is Wolfsburg among the best or Bayern’s overrated, the question is now

Bayern is one of the most financially powerful clubs in Europe, and if the parameter is only operations of the clubs, leaving out wealth of the owner, then this club is undisputed. Such position gives it commodity in relation to the UEFA rule of financial fair-play and the possibility to create a team they wish. It seems that all of Pep Guardiola’s wishes have come true and that Bayern has an extremely strong team, which should practically walk through Bundesliga, especially having in mind that they directly weakened their main competitor, Borussia Dortmund. The Champions League is a different thing, not only because of much stronger competition, but because of the system of competition where one bad day in the second stage can crush all dreams. Still, some of the events at the beginning of this season are throwing a shadow on estimation of Bayern’s strength in national scopes, even though it is too early to reject them as pretentious.

On their first American tour in the past ten years, Bayern scored only two goals in two matches, conceding the same number of goals but only in one match – defeat 1-2 against team of North-American stars, MLS All-Stars. Guardiola mixed the composition in this match, partly because of the fact that some of the players were exhausted after the end of the World Cup in Brazil. But, if there is an excuse for this defeat, then it is hard to find one in case of easy defeat against Borussia Dortmund in match for the German Supercup. Team from Dortmund was better in all aspects of the game, dominating the entire match, so Pep Guardiola can be satisfied his team was only defeated with a result 0-2. But, that is a bitter pleasure because worry about faint game has to be much bigger. After that match the media looked for an excuse in absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, but some even wrote that Dortmund played with a stronger lineup, pushing into the background the fact that Jurgen Klopp sent a team without even eight A-team players to the field: Roman Weidenfeller, Neven Subotić, Mats Hummels, Jakub Błaszczykowski, Nuri Şahin, Kevin Großkreutz, İlkay Gündoğan and Marco Reus. At the same time, two former stars of Borussia Dortmund, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski appeared for Bayern. Precisely these two players are paradigm of Bayern’s policy in the past two seasons – strengthening their team and weakening their biggest competitor at the same time. Before the beginning of the season, Bayern led a small propaganda campaign, announcing they would bring the third star of Borussia Dortmund, Marco Reus, which is why in the end president of the club from Dortmund, Hans-Joachim Watzke reacted with criticism. Victory in match for the DFL-Supercup was Borussia’s response, and it was a victory of Jurgen Klopp’s chemistry over Bayern’s arrogance. But, it is justified to ask the question where Pep Guardiola was in that story.

Young Spanish coach was a true revelation for the world football while leading the team of Barcelona from 2008 to 2012, and system of game called tiki-taka will stay marked with his name as something recognized as new in football. However, only the name of the system is new, but that is a play of short passes that was applied by other coaches in earlier times. In difference to other coaches, Guardiola had top players, ideal for applying such a system, and the main were definitely Lionel Messi, Xavi Fernandez and Andres Iniesta. After a few seasons of domination, Barcelona’s game became recognizable and coaches of other teams found adequate responses to such tactics, so Guardiola left the team at the right moment. Management of Bayern saw in him a coach that can keep the team at the top of German and European football for years, so they sacked Jupp Heynckes with whom Bayern won everything that could have been won in season 2012/13, leaving the impression of the most powerful team in Europe. They have won four trophies with Guardiola on the bench – the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World, title of champion of Germany and the DFB-Cup, but the most important one is missing and that is title of champion of Europe.

Expectations in the Champions League in the new season are tied exclusively to the final, while the title in Germany is practically written down upfront. After the match for the DFL-Supercup and the first round of the new championship, it could be said that they are reckoning without their host. There is another unconvincing show on the field behind the victory against Wolfsburg in the first round. In a match of average quality, Wolfsburg was even better in the second halftime. After the match, Pep Guardiola said that Wolfsburg is one the best teams of Bundesliga, which is disputable, at least regarding the lineup of the team of Wolfsburg in that match because midfielder Luiz Gustavo, forwards Ivan Perisic and Nicklas Bendtner, as well as goalkeeper Diego Benaglio were absent. Wolfsburg entered that match with six matches without a victory behind them, including the cup match against member of the 2. Bundesliga, Darmstadt, in which they did not score a goal in 120 minutes of game. Only around twenty days ago Bayern defeated Wolfsburg with a result 3-0 in final of the Telekom Cup, and all three goals were scored in the first halftime (both halftimes were 30 minutes each). Wolfsburg suffered defeats without a scored goal in the first four matches away last season. They did finish the season in the fifth place, but with 30 points less than Bayern and with terrible seasons for three giants of German football – Werder Bremen, Hamburger and VfB Stuttgart. However, regardless of the opponents’ qualities, a question is posed  about whether faint performance of Bayern and barren victory in the first round of the championship can be justified that way. Maybe the right answer should be looked for in the fact that Guardiola is forcing the tiki-taka system of Barcelona even though the profile of players of Bayern is completely different, and even Bundesliga is completely different in relation to the Spanish Primera Division. Guardiola’s monotonous approach to the game has long been revealed, and this system can no longer pass even for the Spanish national team, while German distinctive style was dominant at the recently finished World Cup. Bayern won the title in the previous season the easy way, but it seems that that will not be as easy in the new season. It is even needless to talk about the Champions League. In the end, time will show whether Bayern “ran into” strong Wolfsburg or if this team with style of game forced by Pep Guardiola is a bit overrated.