USA international Christian Pulisic is determined to end his time at Borussia Dortmund on a high before joining English Premier League side Chelsea in the summer.
The 20-year-old has one piece of silverware to his name after winning the DFB Cup in 2016/17, but Dortmund’s cup exit on Tuesday means BVB only have Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League titles left to play for in 2018/19, and Pulisic wants to go for both before his time in Westphalia is up.
“We wanted to win the cup as well,” Pulisic said after Dortmund lost to Werder Bremen on penalties in the DFB Cup Round of 16. “But now we have to focus on the league and Champions League.
“I love being here. I’ve had a great time and I really want to finish strong.”
Watch: Pulisic's top 3 Bundesliga goals!
Pulisic played all 120 minutes and scored what he thought was the winner in the first half of extra-time against Bremen, but three goals followed his to leave the score at 3-3 in a thrilling cup encounter. A penalty shootout was required and Dortmund ultimately came up second best, but Pulisic wants to take the positives from the night.
“I’m just happy I could be on the field today,” Pulisic said. “Play a full game, 120 minutes. Obviously, I was happy I could get a goal and I thought it was going to be the winner, but we’re ready to move past this. I’m proud of how some of the guys stepped up today.”
Pulisic’s strike was another example of his extraordinary talent. Weaving through the Bremen defence, he then combined with Paco Alcacer with a perfect one-two before finishing superbly on his “weaker” left-foot.
The 23-time US international can show a close rival of his future employers what he’s made of when the Champions League knockout rounds kick-off next week. Dortmund travel to Pulisic’s next home city, London, to face English Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur.
“I think it’s going to be a really attacking, flowing game,” Pulisic explained. “Obviously they are a good team and so are we, so it’s going to be a really good game. When it comes to the Champions League, now we’re in the knockout rounds anything can happen from here onwards.
“We reached our goal of getting here and now we’ll fight to win every game if we want to go as far as we can.”
Pulisic won’t be waiting on messages of support from his future fans, though, as he “doesn’t read that stuff.”
He's only interested in “what’s going on right here” - in Dortmund.
Dietmar Nolte reporting from Dortmund