Berlin - Just as die Gelbe Wand waved a heartfelt farewell to Robert Lewandowski last weekend, Hertha Berlin aficionados will follow suit in Adrian Ramos' final game for the capital club against future employers Borussia Dortmund at the historic Olympiastadion on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 13:30 GMT/15:30 CEST).
The Colombian international has scored 16 times in the top flight in 2013/14 and will be expected to post similarly high numbers in the unmistakable black and yellow of BVB next term.
"It's a strange feeling," Ramos explained. "It's going to be a sad day because it's my last game for Hertha. I've been here for five seasons. Hertha have had my back from the word go, but moving to BVB is a step forward that I'm very excited about. They're one of the best in the world and every player wants to play for a side like that."
Aside from playing inside the pressure-cooker environment of Signal Iduna Park, the 28-year-old's next step on the career ladder comes with the added pressure of filling the prolific boots of a certain Polish goalgetter himself set to kick-start the new campaign in alternative surrounds at FC Bayern München's Allianz Arena.
"Lewandowski is a player that has scored many goals, but I will just concentrate on doing my job," Ramos continued. "For now, I just want to enjoy my final game for Hertha. The coach here has shown a lot of faith in me. I'm really grateful for that and want to thank him. My motto has always been to work hard and get results. I've scored goals and it's gone well."
The fact that the shy and retiring forward will go into the final round of fixtures joint-third in the leading scorers' charts with BVB's Marco Reus speaks volumes for his accelerated development under Jos Luhukay. Barring a two-plus-goal salvo on the final day, however, the Torjägerkanone looks set to go home with either the departing Lewandowski or Bayern's Mario Mandzukic (both on 18).
'A world-class striker'
"For him [Lewandowski], it's all about winning it," admitted Dortmund head coach Jürgen Klopp. "If we get a penalty, he'll be taking it. No one will begrudge him that. Everyone wants to give him a good send-off. If Ramos ends up scoring three and finishes up as the Torschützenkönig, I'll be a little peeved."
Dortmund, of course, will return to the capital a week later to contest the DFB Cup final in what Klopp hopes will be Lewandowski's definitive hurrah for the club against holders Bayern. "You look back at the film of the last four years and can say: yes, he's given his all," the 46-year-old acknowledged. "He came as a class striker and leaves as a world-class striker. He deserves it all."
Hertha: Kraft - Pekarik, S. Langkamp, Brooks, J. van den Bergh - Hosogai, Kobiashvili - Allagui, Skjelbred, Ben-Hatira - Ramos
Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Sokratis, Hummels, Schmelzer - Jojic, Sahin - H. Mkhitaryan, Reus, Großkreutz - Lewandowski
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