Borussia Dortmund are about to re-create history

In 1997, Borussia Dortmund lifted their first and, to date, only Champions League trophy, beating Juventus 3-1 at the Olympiastadion in Munich. On a day that proved to be the brightest in BvB’s history, Die Schwarzgelben put on a remarkable display to overcome their Italian opponents.

However, while it may be over 25 years since this achievement, there are resounding parallels between this season and Dortmund’s 1996/97 campaign. And if BvB are to lift the Champions League trophy aloft, then Edin Terzić’s will have re-created history.

What are the parallels?

This season, in the Bundesliga, Dortmund have been significantly underwhelming. Having had the Meisterschale in their hands on matchday 34 last season, BvB slipped up at home to Mainz and have failed to bounce back domestically.

Similarly, in the 1996–97 season, Dortmund finished third, a meagre ten points behind Bayern Munich. While still better than this season, more was expected of Die Schwarzgelben, and their lacklustre performance in the Bundesliga can be considered no different than this season. 

Nevertheless, the similarities do not stop there. In the DFB-Pokal, BvB were eliminated by Stuttgart this season after a horrendous display away from home. While still progressing to the round of 16, with Der Rekordmeister already eliminated, it reflected a real opportunity for Dortmund to go all the way to Berlin.

Regardless, just like in 1996/97, Dortmund were eliminated in poor fashion. Regional outfit SG Wattenscheid 09 were the side to embarrass the Black and Yellow’s prior to the turn of the millennium, with a 4-3 victory after extra time.

Therefore, it is clear to see that, domestically, Dortmund always underperform when they reach the latter stages of the Champions League. Even in 2013, Dortmund finished 25 points behind Bayern in the Bundesliga.

However, this is something that does not bother Dortmund; in fact, it is something they appreciate. Speaking prior to their clash with Real Madrid, Edin Terzić stated how Dortmund have a history of focusing on one competition:

“Unfortunately, Borussia Dortmund’s history has often shown that when we overperform in one competition—and that is necessary for us to win titles—another competition often suffers.”

While Dortmund will be hoping this is not the case in the future, it does certainly offer them a positive omen ahead of their meeting with Los Blancos in London. Regardless, time will only tell if lightning does indeed strike twice.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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