Borussia Dortmund legend Marco Reus will leave the club at the end of the season. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund legend Marco Reus will leave the club at the end of the season. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga

Marco Reus: "I just feel a great sense of gratitude"


Ahead of his final home game for Borussia Dortmund, Marco Reus spoke to about his time at the club, his emotional exit and his desire to end his time at the Signal Iduna Park on a high... Marco, when you look back at your first years following your return to Dortmund as a professional, what do you think of?

Reus: "That I came back home. I immediately felt at ease, and I felt that there is a family atmosphere around the club, especially within the team. At the time of my arrival, the squad was close-knit. There were few outgoings so we were able to utilize our potential very well.

"Accordingly, it was easy for me to find my way into the team and I was very well received, so it made it easier for me to gain a foothold and perform immediately. I knew quite a lot of players, also away from football, so that made it easy for me to have a strong start."

Watch: Reus announces decision to leave Dortmund Down the years, several big names have left the club. How did you manage to stay at the top despite those exits?

Reus: "I have already said before that it isn’t easy to sell two or three of your best players every year. You then have to start again from the beginning and try to build a new framework, but still look to compete on all fronts; that is not always so easy. It affects a lot of the quality because if you sell  a 30/40-goal-a-season striker, it is difficult to reproduce that, and the incoming transfers always have to be spot on. However, I think the responsible people have always managed to do that well, although it wasn’t always easy for the team’s structure." Jürgen Klopp, your former coach, sent you a message to congratulate on your Dortmund career. He also said you are one of the best players in the club’s history. Not bad, right?

Reus: "Of course, these are wonderful words and it is an honour to hear him say that. In the end, it isn’t for me to say. I am glad that I took this path here and that I got so many opportunities to play in this stadium and for this club. I just feel a great sense of gratitude." Looking at the bigger picture, what makes BVB so special?

Reus: "Definitely the fans. For the first time, I was in the middle of them at the Parc des Princes after the game against PSG. The club would not be the same if these fans did not exist – they give everything. Even when we have bad games, they support us in the same way. The club has also evolved so much over the last years. Not just in Germany, but the club has also gained so many fans in Europe and around the world.

"That is because there are many players who have represented Borussia Dortmund so fantastically while also fitting in character-wise. Everything here is like a family. Every player that arrives here feels very comfortable. It is wonderful to see that they can integrate so easily and can have the feeling that it is like a second family." You recently mentioned Mario Götze as one of your best teammates. What made him that exceptional?

Reus: "When it comes to the whole package, Mario was incredible during that time, and was also very mature in the head. It was a lot of fun to play with him, although it wasn’t that long – I wish it would have ended differently. However, Mario was definitely one of the guys with whom it was very fun to play with."

Watch: All of Reus's 155 Bundesliga goals The way the fans celebrated you following your announcement that you will be leaving shows just how much you mean to them. That is something you can’t buy. How did that adulation feel?

Reus: "I don’t have words to describe how it was to be celebrated like this, to be received like this. It was just a wonderful feeling, that the work you put in throughout the years is appreciated so much. That means so much, and I would never have dared to dream of that when I first signed. I know that the moment to say goodbye is coming, but to be celebrated like this is a different dimension. I am very thankful that the fans out there are behind me in this way." Klopp also mentioned how things have come full circle, from the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley to your last game for Dortmund in the same stage of the competition at the same stadium. Incredible, right?

Reus: "Yes, it is a wonderful story. Now we must make sure to finish the story and make it perfect with the win. There are 90 more minutes where we have to give our all together, the whole region, the whole club. Of course, we want to get over the line."

Watch: Farewell Marco Reus: The story of a Borussia Dortmund legend How has the time been since you said you will be leaving? Are you feeling melancholic?

Reus: "I'm enjoying the time together with the guys in the dressing room more; I'm perhaps staying a little bit longer on the pitch, and after training we talk a bit more and make more jokes - I know it won’t be like this again. One thing I will miss more than anything is this time together with the guys, because they are like family. Sometimes, you see them more often than your actual family, and you are therefore building relationships and friendships. I’ll miss that the most so I’m just trying to take it all in. I am completely aware of the decisions that have been made, that it had to be this way. That means we can prepare well for this next big final and hopefully finish in perfect fashion."

Reus will play his final home game as a Dortmund player against Darmstadt on Saturday