bundesliga.com outlines the careers and key facts of the protagonists.
Dortmund left-back was born on 22 January 1988 in Magdeburg. As an eight-year-old, Schmelzer took his first steps towards becoming a professional footballer by playing for 1. FC Magdeburg, before joining Borussia Dortmund’s U-19 team at the age of 17. When head coach Jürgen Klopp took over at BVB in July 2008, he wasted little time in introducing the then 20-year-old Schmelzer to first-team duties. The very first game of the 2008/09 Bundesliga campaign saw Schmelzer handed his debut for the Yellow-Blacks, as he stepped ahead of long-serving fan favourite Dede in the pecking order. The left-footed German international has since made 130 appearances in Germany’s top flight, finding the back of the net once - during BVB’s 5-0 win over 1. FC Köln on 22 October 2011. He became a Bundesliga winner with Dortmund in 2011 and celebrated defending the title and winning the double with BVB a year later.
However, it’s not just domestically that Schmelzer has experienced the thrill of success, having been crowned European Champion in 2009 with the German U-21 side. A year later the left-back made his debut for the full national team in an international friendly against Sweden in November 2010. Schmelzer travelled to UEFA EURO 2012 with Germany, but did not feature at the tournament.
- Schmelzer’s personal highlight this season came in the group stage encounter with Real Madrid, as he scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 win against the Spanish champions.
- Schmelzer has added two assists to his tally in the current campaign, including the pass that set up Robert Lewandowski to make it 3-1 in the semi-final first-leg against Real.
- However, none of his 21 crosses in the Champions League have led to a goal. The same goes for David Alaba.
- The left-back could also do with working on his passing game. Just 25 per cent of his passes have failed to find their intended target, hardly an ideal return for a defender playing at the top level.
- There’s also room for improvement on the tackling front, having won just 56 per cent of his challenges in 2012/13.
The 22 heroes of Wembley:
Dortmund:Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer - Gündogan, S. Bender - Blaszczykowski, Reus, Großkreutz - Lewandowski
Bayern:Neuer - Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba - Schweinsteiger, Martinez - Robben, Müller, Ribery - Mandzukic