• News

  • Sports

  • Health

  • Uncategorized

  • SOCIÉTÉ

  • In English

  • Opinions

  • POLITIQUE

  • Conseil présidentiel

Loading

News

1 / 1

C1: better without Haaland and Bellingham? Paradoxical Borussia Dortmund

  • May 8, 2024
  • 7
  • 9
c1:-better-without-haaland-and-bellingham?-paradoxical-borussia-dortmund

After eleven years of waiting, Borussia Dortmund returns to the Champions League final in spring 2024, the season in which it was least expected after the departures of Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham, one of the many paradoxes of BVB.

Between July 2020 and July 2022, Borussia Dortmund saw two of the current jewels of world football evolve under its colors: Norwegian center forward Erling Haaland and English midfielder Jude Bellingham. Two nuggets with which BVB dreamed of European glory, or at least triumph on the national scene to put an end to Bayern’s hegemony in the Bundesliga.

And yet, with Haaland and Bellingham, diamonds who were certainly still being polished in the Ruhr, Dortmund never reached the final four of the premier competition of European football. At most a quarter-final at the start of spring 2021, eliminated by two losses against Manchester City, and even an exit from the group stage in winter 2021.

When they played together at Dortmund, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham often collaborated to score.  Here they celebrate a goal against Bochum in the Bundesliga on April 30, 2022.

When they played together at Dortmund, Erling Haaland and Jude Bellingham often collaborated to score. Here they celebrate a goal against Bochum in the Bundesliga on April 30, 2022. AFP/INA FASSBENDER

In the summer of 2022, Haaland headed to England to join Manchester, participating in the Citizens’ triumph in 2023. Twelve months later, still at a high price (103 million euros, plus 31 million EUR of bonus), Jude Bellingham has signed with Real Madrid.

And it was ultimately during the first season without its two superstars that Dortmund dreamed the longest of a second European coronation after 1997.

He thus finished first in an extremely tough group, with Paris SG, AC Milan and Newcastle, then eliminated PSV Eindhoven, Atlético Madrid and PSG, to return to Wembley on June 1, as in 2013 when he had reached the C1 final for the second time.

PSG, silent like Darmstadt and Cologne

“I was confronted with many parallels before this semi-final return to Paris. There is one that we have not yet talked about: the last time we were at Wembley, we were also 25 points behind the championship leader”, underlined Edin Terzic after his team’s qualification.

In 2013, during Dortmund's last Champions League final, already at Wembley, a fan of the club painted his face with the

In 2013, during Dortmund’s last Champions League final, already at Wembley, a fan of the club painted the “cup with big ears”, a trophy awarded to the winner, on his face. AFP/ADRIAN DENNIS

This is another BVB paradox. If he showed himself sparkling in the Champions League, he experienced the greatest difficulties in the Bundesliga to keep up with the crazy pace set by Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich in the first leg, before the Munich residents collapsed in their tour in February.

Dortmund’s defense, impressively solid against PSG and accompanied by a huge success (saved six times by its uprights), has multiplied its errors in the championship. Only Darmstadt, promoted last season and already condemned to return to the lower tier, and Cologne, almost assured of the second division, failed to score a goal in the Bundesliga in Dortmund.

Finally, this qualification comes a year after the deep trauma of the last day of the 2022/23 Bundesliga, when BVB, leading by two points, missed a golden opportunity to win the German championship title, the first since 2012, and put an end to Bayern’s decade of hegemony in the Bundesliga.

Marco Reus's Borussia Dortmund have overcome this season their terrible trauma of last season, when they lost the German championship title in the last three minutes of the last match.

Marco Reus’s Borussia Dortmund have overcome this season their terrible trauma of last season, when they lost the German championship title in the last three minutes of the last match. AFP/INA FASSBENDER

In front of its 81,365 spectators at the Westfalenstadion, Borussia broke down, snatching a draw (2-2) against Mainz at the end of the match, insufficient because at the same time, Bayern won in the 88th minute on the Cologne pitch thanks to a goal from Jamal Musiala.

“We would have liked to have experienced such moments last season on the last day. The supporters were there, consoled us in a very difficult moment. Today, we were able to give them back a little.” underlined Terzic, a regular at the Yellow Wall in Dortmund as a teenager.

“We’re all going to London together, and we’re going to do everything we can to bring the Big Ears Cup home,” Terzic said, a big smile on his face.