Borussia Dortmund may have come up short against Bayern Munich in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League final, but BVB’s thrilling run to the Wembley Stadium showpiece - which included victories over Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax - will remain etched in the memories of Schwarzgelben supporters for many years to come.
Some of today’s biggest stars turned out for BVB in the English capital on 25 May 2013, but where are they now? bundesliga.com investigates…
It’s a testament to Weidenfeller’s longevity and great talent that at 37, he’s still on the books at Dortmund, where the former Kaiserslautern custodian retains the No.1 shirt, despite playing back-up to Roman Bürki. A two-time Bundesliga winner with BVB prior to helping his team reach the 2013 Champions League final, Weidenfeller played every minute of Die Schwarzgelben’s run to the Wembley showpiece, even keeping four clean sheets along the way. The ex-German international has racked up almost 500 appearances with Dortmund since signing on a free transfer in 2002.
Another of those still at the club, full-back Piszczek had his hands full trying to keep France speedster Franck Ribery quiet during the final - no mean feat considering the Pole was due to have surgery on a long-standing hip problem. Crucially, however, it was Ribery’s wonderful back-heeled pass that freed Arjen Robben for the matchwinner. Like Weidenfeller, Piszczek won two Bundesliga titles with BVB, and a league and cup double in 2012. The Polish international is currently working hard to help Die Schwarzgelben push for a runners-up spot this season.
Watch: Piszczek's top five Bundesliga goals
Serbia international Subotic started alongside central defensive partner Mats Hummels in the 2013 Champions League final and even produced a stunning last-ditch sliding clearance to deny Robben what looked an easy tap in with the game locked at 1-1. Now plying his trade for Saint Etienne in Ligue 1, the 29-year-old was a firm crowd favourite at the Signal Iduna Park, scoring 18 goals in 262 games across all competitions for the Bundesliga giants and winning five titles.
A doubt up until the last because of an ankle sprain, Hummels recovered in time to take his place at centre-back for the final and was kept on his toes throughout thanks to a dynamic Bayern forward line led by Mario Mandzukic. Hummels originally left Bayern to join Dortmund on loan, later making the move permanent having impressed enough to become a first-team regular with the club. Some 309 appearances later, the 29-year-old returned to his boyhood club and the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner with Germany has since continued to add to his reputation as one of the planet’s best central defenders, eyeing what seems certain to be more titles with Bayern.
Now Dortmund club captain, the man they call ‘Schmelle’ was inches away from poking out Robben’s cut-back for Mandzukic’s opening goal in the 2013 showpiece. Present in all 13 of BVB’s Champions League games in 2012/13, the Magdeburg native scored the winning goal in his team’s group stage triumph against Real Madrid. Currently in his eleventh season with the Bundesliga giants, the former European Under-21 champion with Germany has won six major trophies while clocking up well over 300 games for the Black and Yellows, and the 30-year-old is showing no signs of stopping yet.
Injuries restricted Bender to just 20 Bundesliga appearances for BVB during the 2012/13 season, but the 1860 Munich youth product featured in all but two of his side’s 13 Champions League encounters, starting nine. Having played every minute of both semi-final legs against Real, Bender turned in another tireless performance at Wembley Stadium and went close to putting Dortmund ahead midway through the first half, firing straight at Manuel Neuer from inside the penalty area. After making 224 appearances for the club in all competitions, the seven-time Germany international swapped Die Schwarzgelben for Bayer Leverkusen last summer, describing the chance to team up with twin brother Lars at the BayArena as “a real bonus”.
Tasked with filling the boots of the departed Nuri Sahin in 2011, Gündogan helped Dortmund to a domestic double in his very first season at the club and played a crucial role in Borussia’s route to the final the following campaign. He was widely heralded as their best player against Real in the last four, but struggled to stamp his authority on the final as Bayern enjoyed the lion’s share of possession at Wembley. The Gelsenkirchen native kept his cool from the penalty spot midway through the second half, sending Neuer the wrong way after Dante had fouled Marco Reus inside the area, but it was not enough to prevent Jupp Heynckes’ side from claiming the victory. Hampered by injuries during his time at the Signal Iduna Park, Gündogan still managed 157 outings for the Yellow-Blacks in all competitions before joining Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in summer 2016.
Watch: Ilkay Gündogan - made in the Bundesliga
The Polish dynamo gave Bayern left-back David Alaba a torrid time in London but did not shirk his defensive responsibilities in the slightest, often tracking back to help compatriot Piszczek deal with the effervescent Ribery. After joining the club from Wisla Krakow in 2007, ’Kuba’ wasted little time in establishing himself as a firm favourite at the Signal Iduna Park, playing a key role in the club’s double-winning 2011/12 campaign. Blaszczykowski’s displays for BVB that season even earned him a place on UEFA’s 32-man shortlist for the Best Player in Europe Award. Now at Wolfsburg, the diminutive winger netted 32 and assisted a further 52 goals in 253 appearances for the North Rhine-Westphalian giants.
After joining from Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2012, Reus hit the ground running in his first season at the Signal Iduna Park, scoring four goals and setting up as many in Dortmund’s run to the final. Calm and composed in possession at Wembley - particularly in the first half - Reus seldom allowed Bayern’s central defenders any time on the ball and won the penalty from which BVB drew level in the 68th minute. Named Germany’s Footballer of the Year in 2012, his performances in 2012/13 also earned him a place in the 2013 UEFA Team of the Year. Having recently returned to action following a severe knee injury, Reus has plundered three goals in just six league appearances for Borussia and has his sights firmly set on a place in Joachim Löw’s squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Criticised in some quarters for his semi-final second-leg display against Madrid, Dortmund-born utility man Großkreutz was a bundle of energy in the first half at Wembley Stadium but tired in the second as Bayern’s attacking midfield trio of Robben, Müller and Ribery began to turn the screw. A diehard BVB supporter, Großkreutz clocked up 236 appearances for his boyhood club before joining Turkish side Galatasaray in 2016. A 14-month spell at Stuttgart was followed by a move to Darmstadt, with whom Großkreutz is currently battling relegation from Bundesliga 2.
The prolific pole came into the Wembley showpiece having netted 36 goals in 48 appearances for BVB in 2012/13 - including a remarkable four-goal haul in the semi-final first leg against Real. He started brightly in the English capital and was only denied a first-half opener by an excellent Neuer save, but was marshalled relatively comfortably by Bayern centre-backs Dante and Jerome Boateng after the break. Lewandowski netted 103 goals in 187 outings for BVB before leaving to join Bayern, where he continues to add to his reputation as one of the best strikers - if not THE best - in the game. He recently became the club’s all-time leading foreign-born goalscorer, overtaking club legend Giovane Elber, and is set to get his hands on a sixth Bundesliga title in May.
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Having masterminded BVB’s Bundesliga and DFB Cup double the year before, Klopp went into the 2012/13 campaign determined to re-establish Dortmund as a European force. Despite being drawn alongside Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax in the so-called “group of death”, the Stuttgart-born coach not only guided Borussia to the top of Group D but also led the club to a first Champions League final since 1997, establishing himself as one of the world’s brightest tactical minds in the process. The 50-year-old is currently in his second full season in charge of Liverpool, who have already plundered over 100 goals in all competitions in 2017/18. He has also guided the Reds into the Champions League quarter-finals, where they will face Gündogan’s Man City.