Gio Reyna made his UEFA Champions League debut for Borussia Dortmund in their win over Paris Saint-Germain in their last-16 first leg. - © imago
Gio Reyna made his UEFA Champions League debut for Borussia Dortmund in their win over Paris Saint-Germain in their last-16 first leg. - © imago

Gio Reyna: "A dream come true to make my Champions League debut for Borussia Dortmund"


While Erling Haaland stole the headlines with his incredible brace in Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 UEFA Champions League last-16 first leg win over Paris Saint-Germain, American wonderkid Gio Reyna made another dream reality.

Reyna replaced Thorgan Hazard midway through the second half at the Signal Iduna Park, and had only been on the pitch for 10 minutes when he made the crucial pass to set-up fellow teenage teammate Haaland, who smashed in an emphatic goal to seal a vital 2-1 victory.

Aged 17 years, three months and five days, Reyna, therefore, took Christian Pulisic's title not only as as the youngest BVB player to feature in the Champions League, but the greenest American to play and assist a goal in the tournament.

"There are still a lot of emotions going through my head right now," Reyna told after the game. "Obviously it was amazing to make my Champions League debut against Paris. It was a dream come true for me. With all those players on the field, and to get an assist was even better but the most important thing obviously was that we got the win. I'm so happy about that.

"Obviously we knew Paris is such a good team so, honestly, the result is the most important thing. But the way we fought, and fought as a team, was so impressive."

Despite only breaking into the Dortmund first-team since the start of 2020, Reyna has already made a big impact on Lucien Favre's thriving young side.

Gio Reyna (r.) celebrated with Erling Haaland (l.) after assisting the Norwegian striker for his second goal - the winning goal - in the win over PSG. - imago

He has made five Bundesliga appearances from the bench - becoming the youngest American to play in the German top flight in the process - and scored his first senior professional goal in Dortmund's 3-2 defeat to Werder Bremen in the DFB Cup last-16.

Like Haaland, Reyna may be new to the first-team, but he has already settled into the squad and learned the ways of the squad.

"You can see that our core willingness and work ethic to win and grind out games really showed tonight," Reyna added. "It was an amazing effort from the team."

And Reyna certainly isn't the only player to see himself in the first-team set-up, as defender Mats Hummels explained to on Tuesday night.

"He did very well again," Hummels said. "Gio has a lot of the attributes of a very good footballer. He works well in different spaces. He likes to run with the ball, which is extremely important and also makes up great footballers in the end. From time to time you notice in terms of physicality that he can still add a bit. But the boy is 17 years old - and he brings a lot with him for that. He's a great guy, very humble and he's a great footballer!"

Reyna - whose father, Claudio, played for the USMNT, Bayer LeverkusenWolfsburg, Glasgow Rangers, Sunderland, Manchester City and New York Red Bulls - could make his full Bundesliga debut when Dortmund travel to Bremen at the weekend.