Marcel Schmelzer is Borussia Dortmund’s new captain. Thomas Tuchel was quoted saying “this decision was a logical one.” Here are some reasons why.
“Schmelle” joined BVB when he was 17 years old, leaving
Backstreet Boys Magdeburg in 2005 to join the youth academy and remaining in Dortmund ever since. He made his league debut on the opening day of the 2008-09 season against Bayer Leverkusen, thrown into the deep end after club legend Leonardo Dédé tore an ACL. Since then, he has appeared in 283 matches for BVB.
On April 25th, the 28-year-old signed a new contract that will keep him in Black and Yellow until 2021. When his current papers expire, he will have spent 16(!) years at the club.
Schmelzer is one of the most consistent players in the Bundesliga. He is rarely flashy, but just gets the job done, making him one of the more underrated players in Germany. The left-back rarely shows his frustration or loses his cool, remaining even-keeled on the pitch – all good qualities for a captain to have.
His consistency is twofold. One of Dortmund’s most consistent performers on the pitch, his reliability has seen him play in 22910 of 30510 possible minutes since he became first-choice left-back in 2009/10.
Nurtured by Jürgen Klopp, Schmelle can regularly be seen talking to his team-mates on the pitch – often the young or new guys, coaching them during the match or mentoring them off the field. He doesn’t shy away from post-match interviews after bad performances and always points out what was good and what can be done better.
After Dortmund’s 2-1 win against Mainz, he said: “We’re aware that not everything worked as we’d hoped, but we played a good game in parts – especially when you consider the temperature in the stadium. A compliment to all new signings that stood on the pitch today, they all played very well.”
Schmelzer’s instensity complements his leadership and has much do to with his unbreakable will to win every single match. His determination helped him become the player he is today, considering there were always more talented players around him.
That intensity is most clear, however, when Dortmund’s backs are against the wall. In the legendary 3-2 win over Malaga in 2013, he was the one who drove the team forward in a seemingly hopeless situation.
Teammate and fellow veteran Nuri Sahin told the club website: “When I looked Schmelle in the eyes through his face mask, which he wore for his broken nose, I knew: we can do it. I saw how much he wanted it, and how firmly he believed – and I believed it too. From that moment all I was thinking was ‘hoof the ball up the pitch into the penalty area!’,”
For those who remember Dortmund’s dramatic last-minute win over Karpaty Lviv in the Europa League group stage in 2010, it was clear Schmelzer was destined to wear the club’s armband one day.
It remains to be seen if Marcel Schmelzer will wear the armband when Marco Reus returns from injury. But there are many arguments why he should keep it.
Do you think Marcel Schmelzer should stay on as captain or should Marco Reus wear the armband once he gets back?