Why Borussia Dortmund will beat Real Madrid in the Champions League final

On Saturday evening, Borussia Dortmund will face Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.

Heading into the clash, the Spanish champions are undeniably favourites to lift Europe’s greatest prize. However, is there a possibility for Dortmund to cause an upset?

From the moment the Champions League groups were officially announced, BvB were written off in the eyes of many. Placed in the same group as Newcastle United, AC Milan, and PSG, Die Schwarzgelben were deemed favourites to crash out and finish bottom. 

Regardless, Edin Terzić’s side proved everyone wrong by qualifying out of group F in pole position. Nevertheless, once again, as the knockout stages awaited, BvB were once considered cannon fodder for one of Europe’s elite sides.

While the likes of Manchester City, Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid are always likely to be favourites for the Champions League, Dortmund were never granted the respect they undoubtedly deserved. 

Whether that be due to their poor form in the Bundesliga, the fact that they have only ever reached two Champions League finals before, or the lack of world-class players in their squad, Dortmund were always seen as outsiders.

Even against Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven, Edin Terzić’s side were believed to be the underdogs. However, this is exactly why BvB have been able to reach the Champions League final, and it is why they stand a serious chance of beating Los Blancos in London.

Why Borussia Dortmund will beat Real Madrid

As previously indicated, Dortmund’s squad does not contain world-class players. While Marco Reus, Mats Hummels, and Jadon Sancho are names that suggest otherwise, whether it be due to age or misfortune, the trio are no longer as feared as they once were.

While still providing undeniable quality, the sides BvB have faced have all boasted a far superior roster. In fact, it could be argued that Gregor Kobel is the only top-ten player in the world, in their position, that Dortmund possess.

However, this is where Die Schwarzgelben prosper. Throughout the entire tournament and for the majority of the Bundesliga campaign, Terzić has orchestrated his side to be hard-working, difficult to break down, and efficient when in the final third.

Without any big names comes a side with very few big egos, allowing Terzić the luxury of being able to set his side up the way he believes is the most effective. Everyone is willing to run, everyone is willing to fight, and everyone wants to win.

This was best summed up in Dortmund’s double-header against Atlético Madrid. Especially in the second leg, BvB were patient, aggressive, and assertive, allowing them to bounce every time the Spanish side appeared to have the upper hand.

And this is exactly how they will need to play if they are to beat Los Blancos. As stated by CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke when speaking to Sky Germany ahead of their meeting with Madrid, Dortmund will have to accept their role in the tie:

“We have to be able to suffer a little. We must not allow ourselves to be careless, we must not be tempted, and we must fight back fully. Not too much actionism; that will not achieve anything.” 

Nevertheless, as mentioned, this is nothing new for Dortmund, and, therefore, it is not something that will frustrate them. They have to remember their clash with Atlético in the quarter-finals and how they flustered PSG in the semi-final stage.

They do not have superstars, but they are a fantastic team when something is on the line. Domestically, it has not always worked this season, but in Europe, they have found a winning formula, and that is worth more than star power.

A squad of players willing to run themselves into the ground in order to win Europe’s greatest prize should worry Real Madrid, and if it does not, then, in truth, they have already lost.

However, only time will tell if Dortmund can shock the world one final time.

GGFN | Will Shopland

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