Berlin, Olympiastadion, Saturday. 20.00 central European time – that’s when the DFB Pokal final between Borussia Dortmund and VfL Wolfsburg will kick off. This will truly be the last match for Jürgen Klopp and Sebastian Kehl. One way or another an era will come to an end in Dortmund – a seven year journey with Jürgen Klopp is heading on the final straight. However the outcome, Klopp will leave a legacy.
Yet, Dortmund fans are truly desperate for this win. More desperate than in the last Cup final – because it’s the final opportunity to share one last great memory. Like the last kiss before the loved one steps on a plane, it’s about experiencing one last title celebration with Jürgen Klopp, before the inevitable farewell will happen. “We need many years to understand how precious moments can be” stood on the banner beneath the huge “Danke Jürgen” chorea, that was pulled up ahead of the Südtribüne on the final match day against Bremen.
It won’t take long to understand how precious a title celebration will be for everyone, because it will make this farewell even more emotional and without emotions football is nothing – life is nothing. I don’t want to imagine how this season would peter out after a belying cup loss in Berlin. Would something happen on the next day in Dortmund or will this simply be it after the final whistle?
250.000 fans are expected in Dortmund, if der Ballspielverein Borussia 09 wins the cup. 80.000 Dortmund fans will be in Berlin without a ticket for the match, just because they want to be near their team – which is because BVB has many fans in and around Berlin from the outset. Nonetheless these are impressive numbers for a cup, that is the fourth cup final in a row. Public viewings for Dortmund fans – the German term for a huge crowd coming together to watch a football match (or other events) – have been organized in Berlin and, of course, in Dortmund. It’s another occasion that shows, how passionate BVB fans feel about their club and how powerful Borussia Dortmund really is.
Now it’s up to the players to make all these people happy. Volkswagen can find another way to promote their brand for all I care. But of course the football match will be a great part of the memories and it has a lot of potential for an absolute thriller. VfL Wolfsburg is a good side with terrific players, managed by a coach who prefers football that is easy on the eye. Dieter Hecking has implemented a fast breaking transmission in his side. The match on the 33 match day has shown, how quickly Wolfsburg players can lethally appear in front of Dortmund’s goal if any space is offered.
It’s almost impossible to imagine that Borussia Dortmund will keep a clean sheet against this attack, driven by Kevin De Bruyne (and Naldo). So, obviously it will be up to BVB’s attack to score one more than the opposition. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Shinji Kagawa, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marco Reus have combined in style against Werder Bremen and it didn’t look like they were only superb because of mediocre opposition.
For Dortmund the line up is more or less clear. Will it be Weidenfeller or Langerak in goal and Kehl or Bender next to Gündogan? The only two questions left ahead of Saturday. For Wolfsburg Naldo is doubtful. It would be a huge blow for the wolves if they had to play without their best centre-back, but he will most likely play.
Jürgen Klopp and Dieter Hecking joked around ahead of the game when asked about the fitness status of several players. “I will tell, who plays in goal, if you tell whether Naldo is fit.” Klopp jested into the microphone. “I bet it will be Langerak in goal and Naldo on the field.” Hecking replied and the Wolfsburg coach is not known for dishonesty or putting up smokescreens. So we can all look forward to an entertaining cup final with both teams facing each other in full strength.
Borussia Dortmund: Langerak – Durm, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer – Kehl, Gündogan – Mkhitaryan, Kagawa, Reus – Aubameyang
VfL Wolfsburg: Diego Benaglio – Vieirinha, Naldo, Knoche, Rodriguez – Arnold, Gustavo – Perisic, De Bruyne, Caligiuir – Dost