Are Borussia Dortmund Still Contenders?

By Joel Musambi
Borussia Dortmund
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Emerging onto the scene as a soccer powerhouse is difficult and these attributes are needed to succeed: a great manager, ton of luck and steady flow of cash at a manager’s disposable to overspend on superstar players. Teams who’ve have established themselves as elite teams in the last few years have also outspent the competition.

Manchester City, PSG and now AS Monaco are proving that the more you spend, the more likely you’re going to be successful. Few teams follow the traditional route, which is progressing on the foundation of the youth program. If teams don’t want to follow the likes of City and PSG, they are likely unambitious, a bit too arrogant or simply, Borussia Dortmund.

Borussia Dortmund in the last few years has played soccer that’s been pleasing to the eye and also effective enough to compete for titles. Dortmund came out of nowhere winning the Bundesliga in consecutive years two years ago. They won with players virtually unknown at the time and turned them into superstars, receiving attention from the top European clubs. Borussia also have some of the most dedicated fans and a beautiful stadium that draws the marvel from viewers who get to witness the euphoric Dortmund supporters. They became everyone’s second favorite club. Dortmund haters are lost in obscurity as it seems everyone wishes they perform well. Even though every so often a Bundesliga team would shock Bayern Munich and win the title as the underdog and then later fall from grace back to just a good team, Dortmund’s performances led people to believe they were here to stay. Banking on their future success seemed like a sure bet last year, but as they continue to struggle in the domestic league, the probability of Dortmund’s past title campaigns being considered as an aberration is quite high.

They are currently in third place behind the amazing Bayern Munich and a decent club in Bayer Leverkusen. Being placed behind Bayern is no sign of failure. They won the treble last year and could repeat their efforts this year, but Leverkusen doesn’t have the talent and personnel to compete with Dortmund and it boggles the mind.

Having lost Shinji Kagawa, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski for next year, Dortmund have become a selling club and selling clubs don’t last too long at the top. That is why the upcoming match against Zenit is so important. Dortmund must prove they are still worthy of being a contender for the Champions League trophy and that will attract top players back to them. They are in danger of becoming a fad like former Bundesliga title-winning clubs.

I’m not sure what the future holds for Dortmund, but I do hope they’re forever challengers. A breath of fresh air they were, coming into the scene as pretenders, only to then surprise everyone by proving their worth. It’s unlikely they will get back to the Champions League finals, but who knows? They’ve had a knack for upsets in recent years.

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