Lars Ricken spent his entire career at Borussia Dortmund after joining the club as a teenager, winning three Bundesliga titles, the UEFA Champions League and two Supercups in his 14 years as a Schwarz-Gelben player.
Ahead of the latest edition of the Supercup between BVB and FC Bayern München, Ricken, who has occupied the role of Youth Coordinator at Borussia since 2008, spoke to bundesliga.com about Sunday’s clash, Dortmund’s summer recruitment and the effect Carlo Ancelotti’s appointment as head coach might have on the Bundesliga champions.
bundesliga.com: Lars Ricken, how important is the 2016 Supercup?
Lars Ricken: We'll see how important it is in the line-ups the teams put out. Both Bayern and us take the Supercup very seriously. Over the past few years the Bundesliga champions haven't usually won it, so maybe that gives us a slight advantage. Obviously we're expecting a very tense game. Furthermore, Mario Götze will be playing for us as a former Bayern player, and vice versa with Mats Hummels. For that reason alone there's already plenty of spice in the match. So the teams definitely won't approach this as another warm-up game; they'll be very motivated because it's taking place just before the Bundesliga starts up again.
bundesliga.com: The stadium is sold out, so the stage is set…
Ricken: Our fans can hardly wait for it to get going again. The summer break was long enough. I’m sure they’ll generate an atmosphere worthy of the Supercup.
bundesliga.com: What are you particularly looking forward to on Sunday?
Ricken: We arguably have the most exciting squad in the Bundesliga this season. We have lost several players, but have also made some very astute and exciting acquisitions. It’ll be interesting to see how they do on Sunday. In recent years we’ve had a very settled side that has grown together over time. Now we’re starting a new chapter with young, talented players, as well as players who have been here a long time. Mario Götze has also returned to the club. As I said, I believe our team is the most exciting [in the Bundesliga].
"Götze always shows his true qualities in big games."
"Carlo Ancelotti brings something new to the table at Bayern."