BVB loses 3-1 at Sporting Lisbon and is eliminated from the Champions League. An individual mistake opened the door for hosts who had been weak until then, a red card for Emre Can, which was again controversial from a black and yellow point of view, and a clumsy blunder by Dan-Axel Zagadou did the rest. And we, we are all Michael Zorc.
At BVB – this must not be forgotten despite all the criticism and deep-seated frustration – everything comes together at the moment. In terms of personnel, the team has been on the gums for weeks. Then there is Michael Oliver. And the trainer and the processes are still in their infancy. The team wants, you can’t deny that. She just can’t.
Marco Rose had to replace not only Mats Hummels (he was replaced by Marin Pongracic) in the “Do-or-die” against Sporting, but also Raphael Guerreiro (muscular problems, Nico Schulz started for him).
And the truth is: BVB was extremely well positioned in Lisbon and played a very good game for 30 minutes. Sporting did not take place at all, Dortmund acted tactically and controlled the game. An individual goat so typical for BVB then opened the box for Sporting and the door to the Europa League. Nico Schulz slouched a long and uninspired ball from the hosts completely uncontrollably to Pedro Goncalves, who said thank you very well and suddenly pushed in all alone in front of Gregor Kobel to make it 1-0. That same Goncalves took a heart nine minutes later, completely unprotected, from 23 meters and pounded the ball into the Dortmund goal to make it 2-0 for Kobel. Cover on, flap closed.
In the second half, they couldn’t deny BVB the will to play this game. Borussia bit their teeth at the Sporting defense bar. When Emre Can then saw a questionable red card after a pack formation – yes, BVB and the incomprehensible relocations in the premier class – the fair was over. Substitute Dan-Axel Zagadou failed shortly afterwards and put Paulinho unnecessarily in the penalty area – penalty, 3-0, after work. Donyell Malen’s follow-up goal in stoppage time remained a goal for the statistics.
Shortly after the 2-0 win, the director sent a snapshot of the Dortmund bank. Michael Zorc sat there, his face buried in his hands and the burden of this tremendous realization on his shoulders: that’s all there is to BVB.
Zorc, who rehabilitated this club in over two decades, brought it into shape and gave everything to land the big hit. It would have been a wish for “Susi” in his last black and yellow season. And somehow it was there too, this belief at the beginning of the season: with this team, with this constellation, this great success can be achieved.
We are all Michael Zorc. We all have these eventful last years behind us, in which we were allowed to taste what it tastes like to be at the top and then to be disappointed year after year. To want but not to be able to. We are all Michael Zorc, who knows: what I have created ends here for the time being. We are all Michael Zorc, who knows: cleaning your mouth and ticking off is no more. This is the end of the circle and it’s kind of disappointing.
I have to build this bridge to Michael Zorc because this defeat is not a knockout as such. At BVB, with the new faces – Marco Rose, Sebastian Kehl, Edin Terzic – something good is emerging, I am convinced of that. This season is simply no longer possible, which can be put into perspective with unbelievable bad luck with injuries. I’ve already experienced BVB very differently and, above all, a lot more heartlessly – I’m a fan of the team I see this season.
And a part of me can wipe my mouth, hooks behind, that’s okay. The other part has been waiting for the continuation of the Jürgen Klopp success story for years. On this intoxicating magic of success, this feeling that BVB is inviolable in this place in the sun. And it is Michael Zorc’s dejection that shows me at this moment that the Jürgen Klopp chapter and the hope for a sequel are over. The beginning of a new age – for me and for everyone who we are Michael Zorc. It is Michael Zorc’s inglorious farewell to the Champions League that shows me: here we are and this is where the energy that Jürgen Klopp, Zorc and Hans-Joachim Watzke unleashed over ten years ago ends.
BVB buys into the Europa League. The 3: 1 against Sporting means that the Portuguese win the direct comparison and BVB are eliminated. Third place, Europa League. The fact that BVB does not make it to the round of 16 in this group is an all too sobering tribute to the mediocrity.
How does it go from here? BVB has to somehow end the year and stay in the league. Then at national level, when (hopefully) the long-term injuries return in the second half of the season, everything is possible.
I tick off this bitter evening. Not as the end of the Champions League, but as the end of an era. Perhaps it is good for the club to step out of the shadow of Klopp’s years, to set new standards and to give BVB a new, fresh coat of paint. Because let’s be honest: there is currently nothing more than that. And maybe that can just be okay.