Dortmund eager to lift first Bundesliga’s title in 11 years
The stage is set in Dortmund for the most dramatic Bundesliga finale in more than a decade, with Borussia supporters keen to see their team win their first league title in 11 years against Mainz 05 on Saturday.
The Ruhr valley club, which last won the Bundesliga under then-coach Juergen Klopp in 2012, is one win away from lifting the Meisterschale in front of a sold-out 81,000 home crowd on the last day of the season.
Dortmund are two points ahead of Bayern Munich coming into the final game and know that a draw or even defeat might still be enough to seal the championship depending on Bayern’s outcome in Cologne.
But in Dortmund there is no goal other than to win.
“We just have to win one more time,” said Dortmund sports director Sebastian Kehl, captain of the 2012-title winning team.
“Basically I have a good feeling but I know that we have to perform really well one more time and then we will deserve it.
“When the players ride the bus to the stadium they will be cheered on by the crowds. That will push them.”
Victory against Mainz to secure the title would be a major achievement for Dortmund coach Edin Terzic, who had to endure a rollercoaster season with the team almost out of the race by the halfway mark.
It could also mark the biggest success of captain Marco Reus’ long and injury-plagued career, with the 33-year-old being one of the most gifted players of his generation but having so far failed to win a league title.
“What he has always been accused of is that he has never won the championship,” Kehl said. “He feels sorry for that and he will do everything that we are champions on Saturday, but also for him.”
The atmosphere could not be more different in Munich, where coach Thomas Tuchel, whose team suffered a shock 3-1 home loss to RB Leipzig last week to surrender the lead in the title race, is trying to convince his players that all is not lost.
And Bayern are no strangers to dramatic title wins – in 2001 they bagged a stoppage time goal on the final day of the season to snatch the title from Schalke 04.
Ruling the Bavarians out, even on the last matchday, is a risky business.