bundesliga.com outlines the careers and key facts of the protagonists.
In a similar fashion to the speed at which Dortmund have become one of the world’s best teams this season, has enjoyed a similarly meteoric rise to the top. As fate would have it, he was actually born in Gelsenkirchen, the home of Dortmund’s arch-rivals FC Schalke 04, and even played for the club in his youth. However, at the age of 15, Gündogan moved to the youth team of VfL Bochum, and then to 1. FC Nuremberg in 2009, where he was given his debut in the Bundesliga in August of that season. He established himself as a top-tier midfielder for the club, and his potential was noticed by the Yellow Blacks, who took him to Signal Iduna Park in 2011. He struggled somewhat in his first few months at the club, but benefited hugely from a run in the team in the second half of last season, and was one of the unsung heroes of Dortmund’s maiden league and DFB Cup double in 2011/12. His good form has continued into this season, and he is perhaps the best exhibitor of the tactically adept, high-energy pressing game that has served the side so well on the continent this season.
Opting to represent Germany, he made his international debut under present coach Joachim Löw in October 2011. However, it was in early 2013, and specifically a friendly against France in Paris, that really marked him out as having the quality for international football, with Löw praising his "outstanding assuredness in possession" and more than a few people tipping him to be the long-term successor to FC Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger at the heart of die Nationalmannschaft's midfield.
Champions League key facts
• After playing just twice in the Champions League last season, Gündogan is now one of the first names on the teamsheet, and has missed just one game in the competition this term, the last sixteen first-leg clash at Shakhtar Donetsk.
• For a defensive midfielder, his tackling statistics might be better this season, as he has only won 43 per cent of his challenges. However, he is also the man that pulls the strings in the BVB midfield and the starting point of almost every attack.
• The 22-year-old has only been directly involved in one goal in Europe this season, providing the assist for Jakub Blaszczykowski to make it 3-0 against Donetsk in the second leg.
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