Sven Bender is taking the next step in his budding coaching career, back at Borussia Dortmund. - © Getty Images
Sven Bender is taking the next step in his budding coaching career, back at Borussia Dortmund. - © Getty Images

Sven Bender: 5 things on the former Germany midfielder back at Borussia Dortmund as assistant coach


Retired midfielder Sven Bender has returned to Borussia Dortmund, this time as assistant coach to Edin Terzić. has more on the ex-Bundesliga pro...

1) He knows what it's like to win with Dortmund

Bender lifted the Bundesliga title with Dortmund in 2010/11 and 2011/12, the latter as part of a domestic double under Jürgen Klopp. He also got his hands on the 2016/17 DFB Cup, as well as back-to-back Supercups in 2013 and 2014. All told, the Bavarian native made 224 competitive appearances across an eight-year stint at BVB, bookended by spells with 1860 Munich and Bayer Leverkusen.

Bender (l.) was a cornerstone of the most successful team in Dortmund history. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

2) He is a twin

Sven is the twin brother of Lars, who also enjoyed a successful career in the Bundesliga. The sibling duo even played in the same Leverkusen team, before hanging up their playing boots at the end of 2020/21 - in a 3-1 defeat at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park. They also played together for 1860 Munich and boyhood club TSV Brannenburg, coming out of retirement to feature for the latter in Germany's ninth tier in 2021/22.

Watch: The Bender twins - one of the Bundesliga's greatest sibling duos

3) He's an Olympic medalist

As well as enjoying 12 seasons of Bundesliga football, Bender earned seven senior caps for Germany, making his debut in a friendly loss to Australia in March 2011. He went on to be a key part of his country's summer 2016 Olympics team, adding a silver medal to the UEFA U19 Euros prize he won in 2008, alongside brother Lars and future 2014 World Cup winners Thomas Müller and Benedikt Höwedes.

4) He's never been away from football

Prior to his return to Dortmund, alongside former teammate Nuri Şahin in December 2023, Bender had been earning his stripes as assistant coach of the Germany U17s - a role he also held for the U16s. The ex-Dortmund midfielder was in the dugout for 13 matches at U17s level, and 15 in the younger age group. He helped mastermind 19 wins in that time, all whilst still kicking it with Brannenburg.

Bender was a tough-tackling midfielder for club and country. - Getty Images

5) He's as tough as old boots

Early in his playing career, Bender earned the moniker of 'Manni' – a nod to former Bayern Munich, Karlsruhe and 1860 Munich midfielder Manni Bender. Due to his combative style, bravery and habit of playing through the pain - including a broken nose and jaw - the steely midfielder soon became known as Iron Manni [Iron Man] while at Dortmund. "We need more people that have Sven's attitude," his brother once said.