Immediately before Bayern embarked on this current, unprecedented period of dominance, Borussia Dortmund were Germany’s top dogs. Die Schwarzgelben won back-to-back titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12, and the second of those two triumphs was accompanied by a DFB Cup triumph. bundesliga.com takes a look back at BVB’s double-winners…
Roman Weidenfeller (goalkeeper)
Weidenfeller is a bona fide Dortmund legend – only two players have made more than the shot-stopper’s 453 appearances for the club – and the 2011/12 campaign was his finest hour. He played in 32 of his side’s 34 league matches and missed just two games during the victorious Cup run. The 15 clean sheets he kept were unsurprisingly a division high, while his save from Arjen Robben’s penalty against Bayern on Matchday 32 all but secured the Meisterschale. His season ended on something of a sour note as he was forced off with an injury early on in the DFB Cup final against the same opponents, but by that point, he had already made a telling impact.
Łukasz Piszczek (right-back)
Piszczek arrived at Dortmund in 2010 after six years at fellow Bundesliga outfit Hertha Berlin, and he could hardly have joined at a better time. The Poland international immediately became Jürgen Klopp’s go-to right-back as Dortmund won the 2010/11 title, and he remained ever reliable as BVB remained on top of the pile the following year. Although a solid defender, Piszczek was more than adept going forward, scoring four goals and providing a further eight assists in 32 league appearances that campaign. He was also an ever-present in the Cup, playing every single minute of that particular journey.
Neven Subotić (centre-back)
Every team needs a no-nonsense defender, and Subotić fit the bill. Standing at just under 6'4", he was a colossus who used his height and power to bully opposing attackers. Injuries kept him on the sidelines at intervals throughout this term, but he still played 25 league games and five Cup ties, including the final. He would go on to spend a further six years at the Signal Iduna Park before moving on to Union Berlin in 2018, and will forever be remembered for his role in Klopp’s best Dortmund XI.
Mats Hummels (centre-back)
The Subotić and Hummels centre-back partnership began in 2008 as the two replaced the departing duo of Christian Wörns and Robert Kovač, who had conceded a league-high 62 goals during the 2007/08 season. As such, by the time 2011 came around, the Germany international and his Serbian counterpart had found a fantastic chemistry that allowed them to become the foundation of the side. Hummels was omitted from the starting line-up just once in the Bundesliga and even scored in the Cup final. The North-Rhine Westphalia native was already a rising star, but his performances this term cemented his status as one of European football’s best central defenders.
Marcel Schmelzer (left-back)
Injury hampered Schmelzer in the opening weeks of the season, but once he returned to full fitness, he was an immovable object at the left of the back four as Dortmund dispatched almost all before them. Although not as offensively-minded as Piszczek on the opposite flank, “Schmelle” still managed one goal and four assists in all competitions – that solitary strike was his first Bundesliga goal in his 79th outing. Throughout his time at Dortmund, he was a popular figure both amongst the playing staff and supporters, and his presence helped keep the team moving in the right direction.
Sebastian Kehl (central midfielder)
It is a testament to Kehl’s experience and importance to Dortmund at the time that the only three Bundesliga games Dortmund lost that seasin were in the absence of their influential captain. Much like Subotić behind him, the skipper was an enforcer, doing the dirty work so that those around him could express themselves in the right area of the pitch. That isn’t to say he wasn’t capable of contributing going forward, picking up three Bundesliga goals and assists apiece. Kehl had already been at the club for nine years by August 2011, making him one of the elder statesmen in the dressing room, and therefore knew exactly what was expected of him.
İlkay Gündoğan (central midfielder)
Upon his arrival during the 2011 summer transfer window, Gündoğan was something of an unknown, having just two Bundesliga seasons with Nuremberg under his belt. His lack of experience, therefore, may have contributed to his disappointing first half of the season, during which he started the first nine games before being dropped and subsequently criticised by pundits for his performances. However, after the winter break, he improved drastically and was a key player during the run-in. After helping Dortmund to the title, he scored a 120th-minute winner in the Cup semi-final before playing the whole 90 minutes in Berlin. His stock has been on the rise ever since.
Jakub Błaszczykowski (right winger)
Few players, German or otherwise, have understood what it means to play for Dortmund quite like Błaszczykowski. The pacey winger was a fan favourite during his time in the Ruhr and, while he wasn’t quite at the peak of his powers in 11/12, he proved to be someone Klopp could lean on as the season progressed. Admittedly, he started slowly, but by May, he was proving decisive almost every week, ending the campaign with six goals and 10 assists. Often with a smile on his face, “Kuba” continued to delight fans until his departure for Wolfsburg in 2016.
Shinji Kagawa (attacking midfielder)
Thanks to his showings this season, Kagawa had the world at his feet, proving himself to be one of the leading playmakers across the continent. He didn’t contribute to a goal until Matchday 6 of the Bundesliga term but, after that, he did so almost every matchday. His technique and creative vision consistently had opponents in knots, and his display in the DFB Cup final was the cherry on top of the Dortmund cake – he scored and assisted at the Olympiastadion as Bayern were torn to shreds.
Mario Götze (left winger)
Born and bred in the city, Götze was Dortmund’s prodigal son, and had already starred in 2010/11 as he and his teammates reigned supreme amongst the German elite. Unfortunately, a serious hip issue arose in January 2012 and kept him out of the majority of the season’s remainder, but he still shone when he was available. He ended the term with six goals and five assists in 17 league outings, hardly a poor return, and he was at least able to be a part of the matchday squad for the Cup final.
Watch: Mario Götze - the Dortmund years
Robert Lewandowski (striker)
Where else could we end than with the incomparable Lewandowski? The centre-forward’s record-breaking days at Bayern were still a fair way off when he was doing the business week-in, week-out for their perennial rivals, although his goals still led to the same, inevitable conclusion – trophies. As Dortmund stood on the top of both the league and cup podiums, the now-35-year-old scored 22 and seven in each respective competition, including a hat-trick in the latter’s final. That was one of two three-goal domestic hauls, while he netted a further seven braces as he developed into one of Europe’s leading marksmen.
Watch: Dortmund's history of great goalscorers, featuring Robert Lewandowski
Statistics don’t always tell the full story, but this time they most certainly do – throughout those 12 months, Lewandowski was close to unstoppable.