Robert Lewandowski is set for a move to Bayern München in the summer in a deal dubbed ‘the most expensive Bosman transfer in history’. His exit will not be the first, as Mario Götze also left for BVB’s rival club last summer. This has led many to believe that the Bundesliga is a one-horse race and that Dortmund cannot compete with the budget and attraction of their South-German counterparts. However, Borussia Dortmund still remain amongst the best teams in Europe, with one of the best young manager’s in the game in Jurgen Klopp. Does this mean that BVB are the best selling club in the world?
Klopp certainly has an eye for potential. Taking Matts Hummels from Bayern Munich at the start of his career at the Westfalenstadion has proved a masterstroke, and the puzzling signing of former Sunderland striker Ji Dong-Won may prove to be inspired.
Players also significantly improve at Dortmund. One of the prime examples of this is Nuri Sahin. Having struggled with spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool, Sahin has flourished since his return to Dortmund. The player says he belongs at the club and, ‘returned as both a footballer and a human being’. This shows the type of amicable atmosphere Klopp creates at the club.
Their training facilities are admired around the world, especially their Footbonaut, a cube in their stadium which feeds balls to players and then lights up a goal they have to score in. Their performance is then tracked by the Footbonaut and is used to show precision and fitness. Klopp also trains his players to their limits. This has been a controversial practice during the season as many key players have picked up injuries due to this. However, the intensity of their training was tantamount to their exploits in the Transfer Window when it came to firing Dortmund to the Champions League final.
However, there is one thing that means that Dortmund struggle to compete with the European big boys in the long term. They do not have the finances to secure their best players on big-money long term contracts. With Götze and Lewandowski leaving, and speculation surrounding the future of fellow big hitters Marco Reus and Ilkay Gündogan, Dortmund will have to continue to rebuild, rather than continue with the players they have developed. There is hope for the future however. With the signing of Gabon starlet Pierre-Emerrick Aubameyang, and youth striker Marvin Ducksch breaking into the first team, BVB will have no trouble securing Champions League places in the future. However, if they want to consider themselves as serious contenders for the Champions League and the Bundesliga, money will be needed to compete with the likes of Bayern München, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.