Jakub Blaszczykowski breathed a heavy sigh after his Wolfsburg side lost 1-5 to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday night. The Pole was caught up in emotions when staring at the away end of the Volkswagen Arena, where a few thousand Dortmund supporters chanted his name. They paid their tribute to eight years of active service by “Kuba”, which entailed many emotional highs and lows.
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“The fans showed time and time again that they are a class act,” the 30-year-old told polish paper Przeglad Sportowy on Friday, where he said: “I couldn’t thank the fans earlier for the years we shared together. On Tuesday, I finally had the chance. This wasn’t a normal Bundesliga match to me, but a highly emotional matter. I will forever hold those years with Dortmund close to my heart.”
The winger didn’t have to say any of these words. Everyone who looked into his face on Tuesday knew everything there is to know about the close bond between him and the supporters of the Ballspielverein.
Not as harmonious was the way Blaszczykowski left the club this summer, as he was set to return after a one-year loan at Fiorentina and a strong Euro 2016 campaign. “Did you lose your manners in the internationalisation craze? Thank you Kuba and Neven,” read a banner from the very heart of the Yellow Wall before the match against Darmstadt.
It alluded to the fact that the 30-year-old was never officially seen off by the club representatives, as nobody went out of his way to emphasise Blaszczykowski’s contributions to BVB’s success over many years. He was one of the few players to remain from the pre-Klopp years, as “little Figo” arrived in Dortmund in 2007 from Wisla Krakow. His unbroken determination on the field saw the quiet Kuba become one of the most cherished players among Dortmund fans. One can still find his name written the on the back of many replica shirts on matchdays. Yet, the club was eager to point out the veteran’s age in their official statement of his transfer to Wolfsburg before anything else.
On Monday, Thomas Tuchel told a news conference ahead of the Wolfsburg match that the club played with the thought of playing Kuba on the right-back position, as he previously did under Dieter Hecking on matchday 3 against Hoffenheim.
“In that case he would have had to compete with his close friend and compatriot in the national team Lukasz Piszczek. Ultimately, he opted for the switch,” Tuchel said.
Blaszczykowski, meanwhile, came across a bit irritated by Tuchel’s statements in the interview with Przeglad Sportowy: “I have no idea why the coach would say something like that. I didn’t talk to Mr. Tuchel in more than a year.”
He added: “Our last conversation took place prior to my loan to Fiorentina. Which is why I was very surprised to read his statements. But it’s not my job to comment any further on that.”
One can only speculate whether Tuchel considered to utilise Jakub Blaszczykowski as right-back or completely excluded him from his plans. Either way, the chances of playing time at the Westfalenstadion looked slim for the fan favourite, which is why he now wears the Wolfsburg crest. In the end, it’s business as usual that a player moves on to the next club once his services are no longer needed. Nobody did anything wrong per se, however, many supporters would have wished for a better communication between all parties to see off a deserved player.
The club will most likely do exactly that in the next home match against VfL Wolfsburg.