Dortmund's Wolfgang Feiersinger holds off Neil McCann of Rangers back in 1999. - © Ben Radford /Allsport
Dortmund's Wolfgang Feiersinger holds off Neil McCann of Rangers back in 1999. - © Ben Radford /Allsport

Borussia Dortmund and Rangers set to rekindle memories in Europa League


With Borussia Dortmund set to face Scottish champions Rangers in a UEFA Europa League play-off for the round of 16, takes a look at several links between the sides ahead of their mouthwatering two-legged tie on 17 and 24 February.

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They may have missed out qualification for the knockout stages of this season's Champions League, but Borussia Dortmund will be fully focused on next opponents Rangers as they look to gain a foothold in their Europa League play-off. The path to the final in Seville beckons, but first, ninth and tenth European meetings with Scottish champions Rangers await. takes a look at some significant links between the clubs and the cities in which the teams will do battle.

A tie with history: BVB's Manfred Burgsmüller (l.) with John McClelland of Rangers in 1982. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

Christian Nerlinger, a winner on both sides

The man who wore the black-and-yellow of Dortmund as well as Rangers blue, Nerlinger was part of the BVB team that knocked The Gers out of the 1999/00 UEFA Cup on penalties at the Round of 16 stage, the teams' last meeting in European competition. The midfielder began his professional career at Bayern Munich, where he formed part of a famous midfield that included the likes of Lothar Matthäus and Mehmet Scholl.

After winning two Bundesliga titles and a UEFA Cup with the German giants, the now 48-year-old switched allegiances to rivals Dortmund but it was at Die Schwarzgelben where injuries began to trouble Nerlinger. After 59 appearances for BVB between 1998 and 2001, the former German international moved to Glasgow to sign for Rangers where he would win Sottish Premier League and Scottish Cup winners' medals despite being limited to 25 top flight games for the Glasgow-based side in three seasons. Nerlinger retired at Kaiserslautern in 2006.

Christian Nerlinger was at Dortmund between 1998–2001, before moving to Rangers. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

Stefan Klos: thanks for the memories 

A two-club man and a legend in both Dortmund and Glasgow alike, Klos spent 17 years of a formidable career divided between BVB and Rangers, winning an incredible 16 trophies in that time. Born and raised in Dortmund, Klos made his senior BVB bow back in 1991 and would go on to make almost 340 appearances in all competitions for the club over the next seven plus years.

Winning two Bundesliga titles with his home-town team, the shot stopper was also ever present in the side's successful run to glory in the 1997 UEFA Champions League. Moving to Ibrox in 1998, Klos won Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup doubles in his first seasons with The Gers while a treble of league, cup and Scottish League Cups followed in 2003. Der Keeper, as Klos was affectionately known during his time in Scotland, eventually left Rangers in 2007 after playing almost 300 games in all competitions.

Goalkeeper Stefan Klos is a hero in Dortmund and the blue half of Glasgow. - Frank Peters/Bongarts/Getty Images

Glasgow and BVB's first European trophy

Less than five miles separate Rangers' Ibrox Stadium - where Marco Rose's team will play the second leg of their play-off on 24 February - and the legendary Hampden Park. It was at Scotland's National Stadium where Dortmund famously became the first German team to win a European trophy in 1966. The European Cup Winners' Cup final between BVB and Liverpool - played in front of a reduced capacity due to an immense thunderstorm in the build up to the game - was a drama-filled encounter that went all the way to extra time.

Sigfried Held opened the scoring for the Bundesliga side only for Liverpool to equalise through Roger Hunt soon afterwards. Reinhard Libuda subsequently became Dortmund's hero, the forward from Gelsenkirchen coming up with the extra time winner that brought his team the spoils.

Dortmund won the Cup Winners' Cup at Glasgow's Hampden Park in 1966. - Andy Buchanan - Pool/Getty Images

A Dortmund winner with Glaswegian roots

A Champions League winner born and bread in Glasgow, Paul Lambert swapped Dortmund's black-and-yellow colours for those of Rangers's Old-Firm rivals Celtic after spending 1996-97 in the Bundesliga. An authority an all things BVB, the former midfielder was sought out by the BBC for his opinion on the forthcoming Europa League play-off and the 52-year-old Scot had some interesting words of wisdom for Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

“I was over in Dortmund a few of (months) ago watching the Bayern Munich game and Dortmund were excellent," the former player-turned-coach explained of Bayern's Klassiker win in early December. "It was an unbelievable game played at a hell of a tempo; end to end stuff," Lambert continued, before highlighting the importance of the world-famous south terrace of the Signal Iduna Park. "[Come February's game in Dortmund] it’ll be floods and floods of attack, especially shooting into the ‘yellow wall’ as it’s called," the ex Scotland international predicted.

Scotland's Paul Lambert (r.) was a Champions League winner with Dortmund in 1997. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

Gio: it's all in a name

"I’ve known Gio his whole life; he is named after me so they won’t come better than this." So said Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst on his namesake, current Dortmund tyro Gio Reyna. The USMNT international is the son of former Glasgow Rangers midfielder and Stars & Stripes hero Claudio Reyna. Van Bronckhorst and Reyna senior struck up a strong friendship during the pair's time together in Glasgow. So much so, that when Claudio's son was born, he christened the future BVB star Gio.

“I’ve already been in contact with his dad, Claudio," Van Bronckhorst said in quotes that appeared in the Scottish Sun. "We’re good friends and hopefully he can come to the games. Knowing each other, it’s going to be a special moment for both of us."