Dortmund - Lights, camera, action. You'd be forgiven for thinking Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park was the location for the next Box Office smash on Wednesday.

Back from the brink, the Yellow-Blacks' tale is everything that makes Hollywood tick, but for all the apparent glitz and glamour, what the photographers, camera crews and journalists wanted more than anything was a glimpse into the most talked-about club in football ahead of their UEFA Champions League final showdown with FC Bayern Munich.

"Too soon"

"Come kick-off [at Wembley], all my players will know that anything is possible," BVB coach Jürgen Klopp told 160 quill-happy journalists at Dortmund's Open Media Day. "We're actually in the final too soon - just like the team won the league prematurely two years ago. And just like last year when we won the double. But that hasn't stopped us from trying to win every title out there."

Bold and honest words, all with that trademark wink and smile. Klopp knows what to say, how and when to say it. And the media love him for it. Be it in his native German or highly competent English, here sits a man who journalists simply cannot get enough of. "It's the kind of thing you daren't even dream of, something you regard as impossible," he added.


Yet this is no chimera. A nightmare for the likes of Manchester City, Malaga CF and Real Madrid perhaps, but something very real for Dortmund - and it's a position they've been in before. "We weren't the favourites back then [1997] either," recalled former Borussia captain and current sporting director Michael Zorc. "Juventus had just won the Italian league and no one could see them losing the game. And now we go into the final, once again, as the underdogs."

Dortmund went on to claim their first and, to date, only Champions League title all those years ago, ironically enough in Munich. Zorc, an 89th-minute substitute on the night, and current Bayern director of sport Matthias Sammer played their part as the Yellow-Blacks defied the odds, etching their name in the footballing annals with a memorable 3-1 win.


Fast forward 16 years, and Klopp wants the Borussia beast to do it all again. "We want to write history," affirmed the 45-year-old to a chorus of clicking camera lenses. "In the last three years, we've developed a great rivalry with Bayern. In the final, we want to be their conquerors. If we win we are not the best team in the world, we have beaten the best team in the world."

The scene suitably set, the Dortmund camp and satiated media ensemble made their retreat. An intense ten-day rehearsal schedule awaits Klopp and Co, before the final curtain call - the epic denouement at London's Wembley Stadium on May 25.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge