Amsterdam - As Borussia Dortmund clinched top spot in Group D of the UEFA Champions League with a game to spare, it was , scoring BVB's opening goal for the seventh time already this season, who once again set them on their way to a comfortable win, this time over Dutch champions AFC Ajax.

The 23-year-old is without doubt a man for the big occasion and the rising star's post-match comments epitomised the team-first approach coach Jürgen Klopp has instilled in his players.

No 'I' in team


"When and how I score is something I don't think about," explained Reus in interview with bundesliga.com. "It's also not important. What's important is that we win as a team and put in a good performance. And that's what happened in Amsterdam."

It's the first time the reigning Bundesliga champions have reached the latter stages of the Champions League since 2002/03 and, though the 4-1 scoreline in Amsterdam suggests it was a straight-forward affair, Dortmund's 35 per cent share of possession tells a different story.

"Very difficult game"


"It was a very difficult game, even if the result doesn't reflect that," assured the winger. "We kept a really tight line in front of goal and let very little through. Up front we were incisive, though slightly fortunate to go in at half-time 3-0 up."

The forward's steady upward career trajectory mirrors that of his side, as Dortmund themselves have come on leaps and bounds since last season, demonstrating a remarkable maturity to top the tournament's toughest group.

"So soon after the game it hasn't really sunk in," said Reus, "but it's definitely something special to qualify for the Round of 16 by finishing top of a group that includes the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax."

Clinical streak


Reus was not part of the side that was eliminated at this stage last year, but nonetheless believes there is one key difference this time around: "We're scoring the goals this season. We're taking the chances we're creating. That sets us apart. It's the goals, not the statistics, that count."

Indeed, his point is proven by the fact that Ajax had double the amount of chances than their visitors, but only found the net once from their ten shots on target. Borussia, meanwhile, scored four from just six attempts.

"Ajax didn't play poorly against us, but they were nowhere near as effective as we were in front of goal," clarified Reus, who already looks very much at home on Europe's biggest stage despite only making his Champions League debut three months ago.

Dream duo


While Dortmund boast quality throughout their squad, Reus is also one half of a youthful, talismanic duo that are quickly distinguishing themselves as world-beaters.

"There's a lot of hard work behind that," said Reus of his playmaking partner Mario Götze, who had a hand in five of Dortmund's six efforts on goal against Ajax. "There's not much you need to say about him. He's an exceptional player."

"He didn't only demonstrate that in Amsterdam, he's been proving that over a long period of time. It's a lot of fun to play alongside him, but you have to praise the whole team," concluded the No11, evidently delighted to be part of one of the continent's most exciting teams.

Interview by Michael Reis, compiled by James Thorogood