With five Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups and one UEFA Champions League victory to their name, Borussia Dortmund are one of the undisputed heavyweights of German football.
The North Rhine-Westphalia giants are known to millions of supporters worldwide, their thrill-a-minute brand of football and passionate fanbase luring fans to the Signal Iduna Park from across the globe. But what else is there to know about the Yellow-Blacks? bundesliga.com investigates…
1) Europe's highest attended stadium
The Bundesliga remains one of the best attended leagues in Europe, thanks in no small part to Dortmund and their legions of loyal supporters. Last November, BVB’s world-famous Signal Iduna Park topped a study by DeporFinanza as the highest attended football arena on the continent with an average attendance of 80,830 - 6,000 more than record Premier League champions Manchester United. Crucially, fans don’t need to delve too deep into their pockets to see their yellow-and-black heroes in action, with the club’s most expensive season ticket costing just €907 in 2018/19.
2) The Yellow Wall - "150,000 people going nuts!"
Is there a better sight in world football than the world-famous ‘Yellow Wall’? Germany’s largest stadium also happens to boast the largest single standing terrace on the continent, with 24,454 filling its awe-inspiring Südtribüne (South Stand) to create a sea of luminous shirts, scarves and flags - not to mention a cacophony of noise! "There's nothing compared to the Yellow Wall," former BVB coach and current Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp said in 2015. "You look to your left and it seems like there's 150,000 people up on the terrace all going completely nuts."
Watch: From the archive - The Yellow Wall up close
3) English fans' second club?
The opportunity to experience the Signal Iduna Park’s spine-tingling matchday atmosphere attracts football fans from around the globe, including UK-based supporters of the beautiful game. In the year following BVB’s 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich, approximately 1,000 British fans were reported to be attending every home match - an astonishing figure. It is a love affair that continues to this day. "We've now got over 15,000 followers on our Facebook page," Benjamin McFadyean, founder of the Borussia Dortmund London Fan Club, told ESPN recently. "Our page is filled with reviews from people who've been out to Germany. Almost all of them say they are longing to go back."
4) Timo Konietzka - Bundesliga history maker
On 24 August 1963 - just over a year after the Bundesliga was founded in Dortmund - BVB’s Friedhelm 'Timo' Konietzka scored the division's first ever goal, just 58 seconds into the Yellow-Blacks' home game against Werder Bremen. Incredibly, the striker repeated the trick two seasons later as an 1860 Munich player, netting the first goal of the 1965/66 campaign inside the opening minute of Die Löwen's clash with local rivals Bayern. Konietzka remained the only player to have twice scored the opening goal of a Bundesliga season until 2014, when Thomas Müller equalled that feat by breaking the deadlock in Bayern's curtain-raiser against Wolfsburg.
5) Kings of Europe
Having gone into the inaugural Bundesliga campaign as defending German champions, Dortmund had to wait another 32 years before claiming the national crown again. Then, like London buses, two came along at once! Under legendary head coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, BVB won consecutive Meisterschalen in 1995 and 1996, before lifting the UEFA Champions League in 1997 with victory over Italian giants Juventus on an unforgettable night at Munich’s Olympiastadion. After a string of mid-table finishes in the mid-noughties, the arrival of a certain charismatic head coach marked the beginning of the most successful period in the club’s history…
6) Enter Jürgen Klopp
The appointment of Klopp in 2008 breathed new life into Borussia on and off the pitch. During his seven-year tenure at the Signal Iduna Park, the affable Stuttgart native won two league titles and a DFB Cup, conquering the hearts of BVB supporters the world over with his self-declared brand of “heavy-metal” football. After guiding the club to their first Bundesliga crown in nine years in 2011, Klopp helped BVB retain the title 12 months later before clinching the domestic double with a thumping 5-2 victory over Bayern in the DFB Cup final. Heartbreak followed in the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley Stadium, but Klopp had already cemented Dortmund’s place back among football’s elite.
Dortmund have seen a number of world-class centre-forwards come and go in recent years, but the Yellow-Blacks have developed an impressive knack of filling the void left by their departing marksmen. When Robert Lewandowski joined Bayern after plundering 74 goals in 131 BVB appearances, a certain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang rebranded himself as a goalscorer supreme, netting 98 times in 144 outings all told before signing for Arsenal.
Watch: Paco Alcacer's perfect Dortmund start
Michy Batshuayi took up the baton following the Gabon international’s departure, registering in victories against Cologne, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Hannover and Stuttgart to help Borussia to a top-four finish in 2017/18. Dortmund’s latest high-profile marksman, Paco Alcacer, looks well equipped to emulate his predecessors this term.
8) Young blood
Dortmund are renowned as a fertile breeding ground for world-class footballers, and in Lucien Favre Borussia now have a head coach who has forged a reputation for nurturing and developing up-and-coming stars (just ask Marco Reus!). Chief among BVB’s enviable pool of young talent are 2018 Golden Boy award nominee Christian Pulisic, the USMNT poster boy who is set to make his 100th appearance for the club on his 20th birthday, and 18-year-old England youth international Jadon Sancho, whose skilful performances have drawn favourable comparisons with Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil star Neymar. The likes of Dan-Axel Zagadou (19), Mahoud Dahoud (22) and Abdou Diallo (22) will also be hoping to catch the former Borussia Mönchengladbach coach’s eye this season.
9 ) Ruhrpott rivalry
One of the most passionately contested encounters in the world game, the Revierderby means more to fans of Dortmund and their regional rivals, Schalke, than any other meeting in the footballing calendar. Just 32 kilometres separate the two clubs, who are both based in Germany’s industrial heartland of the Ruhr Valley. Dortmund have more in common with their Royal Blue counterparts than they would care to admit, including shared roots in the coal and steel industries and a predominantly working-class fan base. Rest assured, however, the two sets of supporters enjoy nothing more than to put one over their bitter rivals.
10) Echte Liebe - more than a slogan
Dortmund fans will have seen the words “Echte Liebe” - or “true love” - emblazoned all around the Signal Iduna Park, on club merchandise and across BVB’s social media platforms. But who came up with Borussia’s famous slogan? “As CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has often alluded to, there was a lot of aimless to-ing and fro-ing at the club before Jürgen Klopp’s arrival,” Carsten Cramer, Dortmund’s Director of Marketing and Sales, told SPOX. “Back then, we had to ask ourselves: ‘What does BVB stand for? What’s its identity?’ Together with our partners, fans and club members, we eventually came up with that slogan. ‘Echte Liebe’ is in BVB’s DNA. No-one can take it from us.”
Watch: Dortmund's Echte Liebe in action
Borussia Dortmund honours
Winners (8): 1956, 1957, 1963, 1995, 1996, 2002, 2011, 2012
Winners (4): 1965, 1989, 2012, 2017
Winners (5): 1989, 1995, 1996, 2013, 2014
UEFA Champions League
Winners (1): 1997
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup
Winners (1): 1966
Leading Bundesliga goalscorer: Manfred Burgsmüller, 135
Leading Bundesliga appearance-maker: Michael Zorc, 462