Borussia Dortmund will look to win their second UEFA Champions League title at Wembley. - © IMAGO/Eibner-Pressefoto/Memmler
Borussia Dortmund will look to win their second UEFA Champions League title at Wembley. - © IMAGO/Eibner-Pressefoto/Memmler

5 reasons Borussia Dortmund will win the UEFA Champions League final!


Borussia Dortmund are within touching distance of the UEFA Champions League trophy, with just Real Madrid standing in their way. Here, lists five reasons why the 1997 champions can reign supreme for a second time...

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1) Exorcising Wembley demons

Eleven years ago, Jürgen Klopp’s vintage were 90 minutes away from clinching their second Champions League title against German rivals Bayern Munich. In the end, they were narrowly edged out by their domestic rivals, as Arjen Robben’s late strike secured a 2-1 victory.

Like the clash with Real on 1 June, that match was also played at Wembley, meaning Dortmund will return to the scene of their biggest European heartbreak. It was almost set to be a total repeat of that loss until the Spaniards struck twice in the final moments of their semi-final against Bayern to secure progression.

Borussia Dortmund lost 2-1 against Bayern Munich in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final. - imago sportfotodienst

As it is, Dortmund will face the 14-time champions at England’s national stadium. In some ways, it feels as though it is written in the stars - what better way to exorcise those decade-long demons than prevailing on the same hallowed turf?

2) The perfect Marco Reus goodbye

Only two of the players who featured against Bayern in 2013 remain; Mats Hummels (more on him to come) and Marco Reus. The latter has already confirmed he will be leaving the Signal Iduna Park in the summer and the Germany international, who should go down as one of the best players in the club’s history, will want to bow out in style by leading the team to European glory.

Only three others, including Hummels, have made more than Reus’ 428 appearances for Dortmund, while Reus is second in the all-time scoring charts with 170 strikes - Adi Preißler’s tally of 177 leads the way. Had it not been for numerous injuries throughout his career, he would have many more of both.

Watch: Farewell Marco Reus: The story of a Borussia Dortmund legend

The one thing Reus lacks from his stint in Dortmund is a full trophy cabinet. He arrived in 2012, the season after BVB’s second consecutive Bundesliga title, which was the last time they claimed the Meisterschale.

Thus far, he has two DFB Cups to his name, and there would be no better way to bid farewell to an icon than to clinch European’s football’s biggest prize. He'll certainly be motivated to do so.

3) Fantastic European run

Dortmund have not had it easy on their way to the final. It all started with the ‘Group of Death’ which included 2020 finalists and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, English Premier League outfit Newcastle United and continental powerhouses AC Milan. Despite losing their first game to PSG, Edin Terzić’s men recovered to not only qualify for the knockout stages, but they did so top the group.

Their reward was a round of 16 tie with Eredivisie outfit PSV, who had lost just one game domestically by that point. Die Schwarzgelben ultimately progressed comfortably, winning 3-1 on aggregate before then seeing off Atlético Madrid 5-4 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

PSG were next in the final four, but the French champions were outdone in both legs as Dortmund secured a 2-0 aggregate win.

Throughout this journey, BVB have been faced with numerous challenges and obstacles, but have passed each test with flying colours. There is no reason why they can’t do the same against Los Blancos.

4) Strong backline

Much of Dortmund’s success this season is down to their solidity at the back. They have kept six clean sheets in this year’s competition, which is their highest tally since the 1997/98 edition.

Keeping PSG, who had scored 19 in 10 games up until that point, quiet both home and away was particularly impressive. In both legs of the semis, Hummels was heroic, rolling back the years to remind everyone just how good he is.

He was Man of the Match at the Signal Iduna Park and at the Parc des Princes, although he was given a large helping hand by Nico Schlotterbeck alongside him at the heart of the back four. The ex-Freiburg centre-back has come into his own this season, pairing his obvious technical ability with defensive nous and leadership.

Watch: Mats Hummels, the ever-reliable centre-back

The stats show just how strong the Dortmund defence is: their centre-back pairing leads the way in this year’s tournament for both ball recoveries and tackles won, while Hummels even scored the crucial goal in Paris to rubber-stamp Dortmund’s place in the showpiece. If teams do get behind the centre-backs, they face Gregor Kobel, who has more saves than anyone else with 42.

Against the likes of Jude Bellingham, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo, the defence will need to be at their best. However, they have already shown over the past 10 months that they can deal with anything thrown at them.

5) Attack on form

Keeping it tight at the back is only half of the battle; Dortmund will need to offer something at the other end of the pitch as well. Fortunately, they have plenty of weapons to cause Madrid plenty of problems.

Niclas Füllkrug leads the way amongst his teammates with three Champions League goals, but he offers so much more than just putting the ball in the back of the net. His physicality and strength in holding up the ball have allowed Dortmund to get out of trouble, while he has also regularly brought others in to play. 

Jadon Sancho has flourished since returning to Borussia Dortmund. - IMAGO/Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO

Jadon Sancho has excelled in recent weeks and caused PSG all sorts of problems, while the likes of Donyell Malen, Karim Adeyemi, Reus and Julian Brandt have popped up with big contributions at important times.

All in all, 12 different players have found the back of the net in Europe this term, while midfielder Marcel Sabitzer leads the assists charts with five. Add in Youssoufa Moukoko and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, who have made impacts from the bench, and there is more than enough to cause chaos for Carlo Ancelotti’s side.