Marco Reus has been a man on a mission for Borussia Dortmund in the first half of the 2018/19 season. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
Marco Reus has been a man on a mission for Borussia Dortmund in the first half of the 2018/19 season. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
bundesliga

Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus: The man of the Hinrunde

After years of injury and suffering, the Bundesliga is being blessed with a fully fit and firing Marco Reus. The Borussia Dortmund captain has inspired his team to lead the league into the winter break with a record-breaking first half of the season for the BVB No.11.

Reus has featured in all but 37 minutes of the current Bundesliga campaign, after making 20 appearances in an entire league season only once over the last five years. The 29-year-old has returned to fitness as a man reborn, with the captain’s armband giving him super-human powers and highlighting what we’ve missed from him during his troublesome injury periods.

It’s most certainly been a team effort from Dortmund to produce their record start to a Bundesliga season, leaving them nine points clear of Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich. But it has been a record-breaking campaign personally for the Dortmund star born and raised in the city.

For the first time in his career, Reus has scored 11 goals in one half of a Bundesliga campaign – a record he sealed in the win against Gladbach on Matchday 17, on his 250th Bundesliga appearance. He’s contributed to 17 goals in total, with six assists alongside his goal tally.

“The most important thing is to be healthy because without it you can’t perform,” Reus told German broadcaster ZDF after the win over Gladbach. “It’s also just about having a lot of fun. After a lot of bad injuries, it’s, of course, more important to have fun, being on the pitch and taking every opportunity to test your body.”

Reus said earlier in the season that he didn’t believe he was at his best, because that would mean he can’t get any better. The combination of health, his new leadership role and being reunited with “the best coach I’ve ever had” in Lucien Favre has helped Reus become super-human. And he’s done it in the biggest games of 2018/19 so far, too.

Marco Reus scored his 11th goal of the season - his best Hinrunde tally ever - on Matchday 17 against Borussia Mönchengladbach. - Bongarts/Getty Images

His last goal of 2018 against Gladbach ensured that the Foals would be nine points behind BVB heading into the second half of the season. He bagged a goal and an assist in Dortmund’s incredible 4-2 comeback win away at Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 6, and, of course, scored twice in the stunning Der Klassiker win over Bayern Munich on Matchday 11.

“He’s had a super first half of the season,” Favre said. “He only missed one Champions League game, otherwise he played every game. It was a lot for him, but he’s been great.”

Reus also knows how important Favre has become not just for himself, but also for the rest of the Dortmund team. A squad made up of new and old stars, both experienced at the Signal Iduna Park and fresh on the scene. But Reus believes Favre is taking it all in his stride.

Marco Reus has been an inspirational figure for the young members of the Borussia Dortmund squad, such as Jadon Sancho. - Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images

“It’s important to have a coach like him,” Reus said. “He talks to us about what we need to do right, rather than being negative. It’s especially important for the young players, who hang on every word of a coach at the start of their career.”

With 17 matches to play, Dortmund’s fans are beginning to believe in a first Bundesliga title since 2012. If there is indeed a chance of Bayern’s dethroning to become reality, Dortmund’s superhero will need to stay healthy and on the pitch. The rest, as he has already proven, seems to come easily to the man of the Hinrunde.

Click here for more Borussia Dortmund news, views and features!