From Erling Haaland and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Andre Silva and Sebastien Haller, Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt share a history of developing some of the most feared goalscorers in the business.
Ahead of Saturday's top-six clash between the two clubs, bundesliga.com takes a closer look at some of the prolific forwards the pair have seen plunder goals for them across the decades.
Erling Haaland: Borussia Dortmund 2020-22
Next time a Dortmund striker makes a debut against them, Augsburg must be terrified of what will happen. Aubameyang was one thing (see below), Haaland was another as he came off the bench to score a 23-minute hat-trick, and set the tone for his goal-stacked stint in black-and-yellow.
Watch: All of Erling Haaland’s Bundesliga goals
Braces in his next two matches made him the first player in Bundesliga history to score seven times in his first three appearances, and he just continued from there. The numbers beggar belief: 62 goals in 67 Bundesliga matches, 86 in 89 Dortmund appearances in all competitions, including 15 in 13 UEFA Champions League games.
"Sometimes people say to me that I'm not normal," Haaland told SportBild during his time in Germany. "Maybe they're right [laughs]." Having seen how he has started life in the English Premier League following his summer 2022 switch to Manchester City, perhaps they are! And he reckons he’s not anywhere near the finished article.
"I always try to improve things, even if they're actually good already," Haaland said. "That drives me. I definitely have enough potential to continue to improve in many areas over the next 10 years. When I'm 30 years old, I have to see if I can really do everything. But maybe it will be even better then."
Tony Yeboah: Eintracht Frankfurt, 1990-95
Fans of Leeds United will remember Yeboah’s goal against Liverpool… In fact, any football fan in England in the 1990s will remember the former Ghana international’s thunderbolt of a blast that exploded in off the crossbar. Frankfurt supporters at the time were probably saying to themselves, ‘Yep, seen that before!’.
That’s because he scored a number of spectacular strikes in the 68 he netted in just 123 Bundesliga appearances for them, becoming the first African player to finish as the Bundesliga’s top scorer when he played for the Eagles from 1990 until he moved to Leeds in January 1995.
“It was incredible,” admitted Yeboah, who – along with Andy Möller and Uwe Bein – formed a formidable attacking trio. “I now often watch videos of our games and can hardly believe the goals I scored.”
Yeboah’s goalscoring prowess had initially come to the fore for second division Saarbrücken when he moved to Europe in 1988, and he returned to Germany following his stint in England, scoring 28 times in 100 league Bundesliga games for Hamburg until leaving in 2001.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Borussia Dortmund 2013-18
Yeboah won the Torjägerkanone twice while at Frankfurt, Aubameyang didn’t quite emulate him, but did top the Bundesliga’s scoring charts in 2016/17 with 31 goals – a record for a foreign-born player at the time – as the Gabon forward displayed his finely honed nose for goal at Dortmund.
Watch: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s dream Dortmund debut
Having joined from French side Saint-Etienne in summer 2013, he raced out of the blocks by becoming the first Dortmund player to score a hat-trick on his league debut, and would go on to net his 97th Bundesliga goal in December 2017. That moved him ahead of Yeboah to become the highest-scoring African in the division’s history, and he would extend that to 98 in 144 league appearances before joining Arsenal in January 2018.
“When we scouted him at Saint-Etienne he played more from the wing and he played more for me at Dortmund on the wing as well because for us it was not clear how he could keep the ball up front with his back to the opponent, stuff like that,” said ex-BVB boss Jürgen Klopp. “But then he ended up doing that really well as well.”
Luka Jovic: Eintracht Frankfurt 2017-19 & 2021
Jovic has – so far – never been as good as when he played for Frankfurt. And when we say ‘good’, we mean ‘sensational’. The Serbia forward arrived on loan from Benfica in 2017, and after a modest 2017/18, he exploded the following campaign with 17 goals in 32 league games and a staggering 10 in 14 UEFA Europa League appearances to help Frankfurt reach the semi-finals. Five of those came on one scintillating display against Fortuna Düsseldorf in October 2018.
Watch: The best of Luka Jovic
"He's been the talk of Europe" said Frankfurt managing director Fredi Bobic of Jovic, who signed a permanent deal with Frankfurt in April 2019 only to then move to Real Madrid that summer. "He's explosive and a real threat in front of goal, and will be a big miss - but it's a big transfer for us. We're proud of how we've been able to help him on his way, and we wish Luka the very best in Madrid."
Frankfurt did not miss him for long as he was back with them on loan from Madrid in January 2021, scoring four times in 18 league appearances, including an off-the-bench brace on his second debut for the club in a 3-1 win over Schalke.
Sebastien Haller: Frankfurt 2017-19, Dortmund 2022-
Haller’s medical condition has meant he is yet to make his Dortmund debut since his summer move from Ajax, but Bundesliga fans already know what a mess he can make of opposition defenders following his spell at Frankfurt alongside Jovic and Ante Rebic at Frankfurt.
Like Jovic, Haller’s first season in the Bundesliga following his move from Dutch outfit Utrecht would not have filled a postcard to write home; his second, however, was a much longer and more successful story as the Côte d’Ivoire forward and his cohorts clicked in devastating harmony throughout the 2018/19 campaign.
Haller plundered 15 league goals and tallied nine assists – a goal involvement total only bettered that season by Robert Lewandowski – as Frankfurt finished narrowly outside the top four. He also contributed five European strikes to their Europa League semi-final run, all of which must have Dortmund fans licking their lips with Haller happily on the route to recovery.
"My first target is to come back on the pitch, play in front of the Yellow Wall and score my first goal in front of them,” he said after attending a Champions League game at the Signal Iduna Park in September. “It will be a good and emotional moment because I received a lot of support from everyone [at Dortmund], even though I was only there for two weeks. I want to say think you to everyone who gave me the power and the strength to go through. And thanks to them I will be back on the pitch really quick.”
Andre Silva: Eintracht Frankfurt 2019-2021
Silva made his Bundesliga debut against Augsburg, but - unlike Haaland and Aubameyang - failed to score in a defeat after joining on loan from AC Milan in summer 2019. Given the Portugal international striker’s aim was to boost his stuttering career, it was hardly the start he wanted. Fortunately, things got a whole lot better.
With the heavy burden of almost single-handedly replacing Jovic, Haller, and Rebic, who moved to Milan as part of Silva’s deal, the former Porto prodigy showed he had the shoulders to bear it. After 12 goals in 25 Bundesliga matches in his maiden season in Germany, he struck a fantastic 28 goals in 32 league appearances in 2020/21, helped by a prolific January.
"I started in football because I wanted to feel this type of fire inside of me,” Silva told bundesliga.com en route to breaking Bernd Hölzenbein’s 44-year-old club record for a single season tally before joining RB Leipzig in 2021.
“I always felt fire in me to achieve a lot of goals and to make my best all the time, and I think one thing is to make the best for me, and the other thing is to make the best for the people that are supporting us. It feels very good, and I can say it makes my day when this happens. That's what I play for."
Randal Kolo Muani: Eintracht Frankfurt, since 2022
In his first 10 appearances in the German top flight, he scored three goals and provided six assists, displaying both a sharp cutting edge and an understanding with his new teammates that has developed with incredible speed, despite not quite having hurdled the language barrier.
Watch: Kolo Muani and Daichi Kamada - Frankfurt's deadly duo
“It’s exactly what I was looking for: discover a new league, a new lifestyle, a new environment,” Kolo Muani, whose form earned him a first-ever call-up to France’s senior side for the first international break of the 2022/23 season, told French sports daily L’Equipe recently. “The language is still a bit difficult, but I’m having two lessons a week, and for the moment, we get by speaking English in the dressing room.”
“I’ve become ‘shy Randal’ again,” added the forward who grew up in Bondy, the same Parisian suburb as Kylian Mbappé, William Saliba and Jonathan Ikoné. “I’m focused on football, even if I try to make fun of a few of my teammates from time to time.”
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