Mats Hummels and his Borussia Dortmund teammates

Borussia Dortmund will contest the biggest game in club football after reaching the 2023/24 UEFA Champions League final that takes place at Wembley Stadium.

Mats Hummels headed in from a corner at the start of the second half to hand the visitors a 2-0 aggregate win at Paris Saint-Germain. The first goal the Germans have ever scored away at PSG has now booked a spot in the final for the first time since 2013, where they will face either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich on June 1. 

Edin Terzic’s side condemned PSG to another embarrassing European exit but the Frenchmen have themselves to blame for their profligacy across the tie as they hit the post four times in the second leg.

Dortmund were defensively solid as they managed to nullify Kylian Mbappe over both games and he now gets to leave the club without their most coveted trophy.

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BVB have been incredibly resilient in this season’s competition as they were winless and goalless after their first two games (including a 2-0 defeat to PSG). Yet, they finished top of the ‘Group of Death’ and have grown from strength to strength in each round. 

Vets more like it

The Dortmund squad is made up of the usual array of some of the most talented young players across Europe as well as seasoned veterans.

While the likes of Emre Can, Niclas Fullkrug, Julian Brandt, Marcel Sabitzer, Niklas Sule and Sebastien Haller represent experienced pros across the Dortmund ranks; Marco Reus and Mats Hummels are part of the furniture. 

Mats Hummels and Kylian Mbappe

Reus and Mats Hummels both started against Bayern Munich in their last UCL final 11 years ago and they will be desperate to make amends at Wembley, the same venue of their despair in 2013.

The Black and Yellow are somewhat used to getting over heartbreak after also missing out on a first Bundesliga title for 11 years with only minutes to the end of the final match of last season. Now, they have the opportunity to win their second European Cup.

Edin Terzic is focused on the task at hand and dedicating their notable achievements to their loyal supporters.

“Last season, we lost the championship at home on the last matchday. I’m happy that we can now give something back to the fans,” Terzic said, remembering how Bayern Munich snatched the Bundesliga title from Dortmund on goal difference. “Now we’ll do everything to bring the trophy back home.”

Hummels and Reus will be sounding out the importance of this game to the rest of their teammates while eyeing a glamorous climax to their respective careers in Yellow and Black. 

Both men have had to live through many of Dortmund’s epic disappointments (bar Hummels’ three-year return to Bayern Munich) and a coronation at Wembley would be a rare reward for royalty in today’s game. 

Reus endured several injury problems in his time but he stayed put with Dortmund despite interest from elsewhere down the years. Whereas Hummels was written off after returning to Signal Iduna Park from Munich as a 30-year-old, he was the official Man of The Match in both semifinals against PSG.

Although they are underdogs against record champions Real Madrid or domestic rivals Bayern, BVB will be counting on the fighting spirit that has brought them to the final. 

Fuelled by passion and hungry youngsters looking to write their own stories, Dortmund’s veterans will be hoping to inspire their side to the holy grail. 

The final step requires a huge physical and psychological effort against a giant in the competition. But are Dortmund ready to slay the beast when it matters the most?


Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin

Chief Editor of the Football Castle, Bolu Alabi-Hundeyin is a football junkie and writer of the beautiful game.

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