Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp hopes to leave with German Cup title against Wolfsburg

bug


We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

People:

Organizations:

Subjects:

Places:

 


FRANKFURT, Germany — Borussia Dortmund could give departing coach Jurgen Klopp the perfect farewell present with a win over Wolfsburg in the German cup final on Saturday.

Klopp will be in charge of BVB for the last time at the Olympic stadium in Berlin before he leaves the club.

The 47-year-old is walking away after seven highly emotional and productive seasons in Dortmund, and his lasting legacy could be enhanced further with another title.

Dortmund's turbulent season saw them bottom of the Bundesliga in February, before recovering to finish seventh and clinch a place in the Europa League.

Here are some things to know about Saturday's final:


KLOPP'S RECORD

When Klopp arrived in Dortmund having previously coached Mainz, a small club by comparison, Borussia was a club rich in tradition but had barely escaped bankruptcy and was toiling near the bottom of the standings.

Klopp revamped the team and installed an aggressive pressing style that led to league titles in 2011 and 2012. Dortmund also completed the club's first domestic double in 2012 by beating Bayern Munich 5-2 in the German Cup final.

The next two seasons Dortmund finished behind Bayern in the Bundesliga and lost the Champions League final to Bayern in 2013.

"We would not have been so successful with any other coach on the planet," Dortmund chief Hans-Joachim Watzke said ahead of the final.

Having lost stars Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski to Bayern in successive years, Dortmund fell into a surprise slump this season before recovering. He will be replaced by Thomas Tuchel, who also coached Mainz before taking a one-season sabbatical.


CUP RECORD

Borussia Dortmund has won the German Cup three times, in 1965, 1989 and 2012.

Wolfsburg is in its first final. Dortmund is a six-time finalist.

Bayern Munich holds the German Cup record with 17 titles but it lost to Dortmund in the semifinals this season. The match ended in a 1-1 draw and Bayern failed to score in the penalty shootout.


WOLFSBURG'S SEASON

Wolfsburg is enjoying its most successful season after surprisingly winning the Bundesliga title in 2009. Backed by the financial clout of giant car maker Volkswagen, Wolfsburg has been able to attract talented players, such as Kevin de Bruyne. De Bruyne topped the Bundesliga with 21 assists, while also scoring 10 goals.

Another high-profile signing was Germany's World Cup star Andre Schuerrle, but he has failed to make a big impact in his first half-season.

Coach Dieter Hecking has a calm demeanor, unlike the emotional Klopp, who will dominate the spotlight when the two sides meet.

Hecking took over in 2012 and has stabilized the club, whose ambition is to become a permanent fixture in the Champions League. Wolfsburg's successes this season includes a 4-1 thrashing of champion Bayern.


REMEMBERING MALANDA

Wolfsburg players will be wearing a specially designed shirt to remember Junior Malanda, a 20-year-old Belgian international who was killed in a traffic accident during the winter break.

The shirt will bear the German Cup symbol on the right chest side, with a green heart with the No. 19 on the left, signifying the number Malanda wore on his shirt.

All content copyright ©2015 Daily Journal, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Click here to read our privacy policy.