Tomorrow afternoon Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich will play for the UEFA Champions League title. Despite both playing in the German Bundesliga, the two clubs share very little in common.
Bayern are the richest and most popular/hated club in the Bundesliga. They are loved and hated in the same way that the Yankees are here in the States.
Dortmund on the other almost went bankrupt in 2005. They saved themselves from football exile by devoting all of their resources to developing a dynamic youth system and scout network. This approach has yielded incredible rewards as Die Schwarzgelben won back-to-back Bundesliga Titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Bayern responded by spending tons of cash and winning this year’s Bundesliga by an incredible 25 point margin.
The oddsmakers like pretty much everybody else aren’t giving the Borussians much of a chance. That won’t phase Dortmund’s animated but extremely likable coach, Jurgen Klopp. When Dortmund defeated Real Madrid earlier in the competition, Klopp said it was like “Robin Hood taking from the rich.”
Aside from its talent-oozing squad, Dortmund’s best asset is its maniacal fan base.
Every home game is absolute chaos at Westfalenstadion. It holds 80,000-plus but the real magic in the stadium lives in the Sudtribune Stand where 25,000 wild Borussians take there place and form the Yellow Wall.
Dortmund is an industrial town that doesn’t offer much else to visitors aside from a chance to revel in one of the most exciting scenes in modern football. They almost lost that in 2005. Eight years later, they are staring at a chance to claim club soccer’s most coveted trophy.