Bundesliga | 26.12.2012 14:10:56
Europe's getting to know Dortmund
- Joined at the hip: Marco Reus (l.) and Mario Götze form the driving force behind an exciting Dortmund side who have taken Europe by storm this season
- Coach Jürgen Klopp has seen some spectacular stuff from his players in 2012, even if they have fallen a long way behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga
- Robert Lewandowski's goal against Ajax in the Champions League was the turning point of Dortmund's season
Munich - Borussia Dortmund were the untouchables of German football in the past two seasons, with even record champions Bayern Munich forced to kneel down and salute the Westphalians. In 2012/13 it has been more about their international maturity, however, with the whole of Europe now taking note of Jürgen Klopp's men.
After two seasons of struggle in the UEFA Europa League and then the UEFA Champions League, Dortmund have come of age this term, even if their league form has suffered, slightly.
At 0-0, 86 minutes into Dortmund's opening Champions League encounter against Ajax and it looked like deja-vu. After two years of struggles in Europe, it looked like BVB had not managed to change their spots. But up stepped Robert Lewandowski to drill in the winner and the Westphalians' season ignited. Wins over Real Madrid and Manchester City followed as BVB cruised into the last 16 as group winners, becoming the side everybody wanted to avoid in the draw.
For those who did not know him already, Mario Götze's talents have been showcased on Europe's highest stage this season, and he has not shown the slightest sign of nerves. Effective, skilful and incredibly hard to handle, Götze has already earned comparisons with Lionel Messi. Of a similar stature, and with a comparable technique, the Germany international is becoming as important to Dortmund as 'the Flea' is to FC Barcelona. And whoever said that he couldn't fit in the same team as Marco Reus...
One to watch
Reus and Götze seem to be joined at the hip, as their now famous goal celebration suggests. Reus is no unkown name in the footballing world and he is certainly not a player who has yet to make the breakthrough or deliver on his potential. Instead, the Germany international is one to watch simply because you never know what he might do next. His pace and intelligence mean he is ready to pounce on any defensive mistake, and he also strikes a mean dead ball.
80,577 - The average attendance at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park in the first half of the Bundesliga season.
30 - Dortmund's points' tally at the midway stage of the season - just four fewer than at the same stage of last season.
12 - Dortmund's deficit on league leaders Bayern Munich. This time last year, they were just three adrift.
"What was I supposed to do with my pent-up aggression - slide-tackle my wife, shoulder-charge her into the cooker? Fortunately it never came to that."
Klopp explaining why he went into coaching after ending his playing career.