Football Features

Where are they now? Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund Champions League finalists

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 17:35, 8 December 2021


Borussia Dortmund have failed to make it out of the Champions League group stage for just the second time in 10 years, dropping down to the Europa League.

The German side finished third in Group C, behind second-placed Sporting CP due to their inferior goal difference when going head-to-head. Ajax did the double over Dortmund including a 4-0 humiliation, while they could only beat Sporting 1-0 and Besiktas (who lost every game) twice.

It’s four years since they last dropped down to the Europa League, but they have also only made it past the last 16 once in past three seasons, reaching the quarter-finals in 2020/21. A sad fall from the 2012/13 campaign.

With Jurgen Klopp at the helm (and coming off two consecutive Bundesliga triumphs) that year, Dortmund snuck by Malaga in the quarter-finals at the very last second, survived an epic encounter with Real Madrid in the semis and made it all the way to the final, where they heartbreakingly lost to Bayern Munich late in the day.

But what happened to the incredible BVB side that reached the final in London? Where are they now?

Starters:

Roman Weidenfeller

Age: 41
Position:
Goalkeeper
Dortmund appearances: 453

Where are they now? This legendary goalkeeper was so cruelly beaten in the 89th minute of the final by Arjen Robben. He played for Dortmund from 2002 all the way through to 2018 before retiring, cementing his status as the club’s second-highest appearance-maker, behind only the legendary Michael Zorc.

Lukasz Piszczek

Age: 36
Position:
Right-back
Dortmund appearances: 382

Where are they now? This hard-hitting attacking full-back only recently left Dortmund as a club legend, joining Polish third-tier side Goczalkowice where he started his career.

Neven Subotic

Age: 32
Position:
Centre-back
Dortmund appearances: 263

Where are they now? The gigantic Serbian international looked like he was going to become a world-conqueror back in 2013 but injuries had other ideas. He is currently without a club, leaving Austrian Bundesliga side SCR Altach in the summer – his fourth team since departing from Dortmund in 2018.

Mats Hummels

Age: 32
Position:
Centre-back
Dortmund appearances: 416

Where are they now? The impossibly handsome Mats Hummels has been on a whirlwind career since the 2013 final. He’s won the World Cup, betrayed Dortmund to join Bayern, where the Champions League eluded him further, and has since returned to Dortmund, where he now acts as a squad leader as they try to go again.

Marcel Schmelzer

Age: 33
Position:
Left-back
Dortmund appearances: 367

Where are they now? The tenacious left-back is still technically at Dortmund, but he hasn’t played since June 2020.

Sven Bender

Age: 32
Position:
Defensive midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 224

Where are they now? Jurgen Klopp’s workhorse midfielder (the proto-Wijnaldum) left Dortmund in 2017 and called time on his professional career in the summer at the age of 32 due to injury problems (at the same time as his twin brother Lars).

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Ilkay Gundogan

Age: 31
Position:
Central midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 157

Where are they now? Dortmund’s goalscorer (from the spot) in the 2013 final, then Gundogan was seemingly the perfect heir to Xavi’s throne as the world’s premiere controlling midfielder, but injuries devastated him both at Dortmund and at subsequent club Manchester City. He’s fit and healthy now, however, and is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League, finding his goalscoring form especially in the past few seasons.

Jakub Blaszczykowski

Age: 35
Position:
Winger
Dortmund appearances: 253

Where are they now? After what seemed like an eternity playing for Borussia Dortmund (it was in fact only nine years) Blaszczykowski left the German side to play on loan for Fiorentina, then he moved to Wolfsburg. Currently he’s playing for Wisla Krakow in his native Poland.

Marco Reus

Age: 32
Position:
Forward
Dortmund appearances: 337

Where are they now? The slick-haired Marco Reus is yet another one of Klopp’s ingenious Dortmund acquisitions who, unfortunately, has spent much of his career being ravaged by injuries, to the point where it prevented him from winning the World Cup in 2014. He’s still a Dortmund player, by the way, and forms a very important part of their youthful squad as the experienced captain.

Kevin Grosskreutz

Age: 33
Position:
Winger
Dortmund appearances: 236

Where are they now? The endless workhorse winger retired in 2020, last playing for KFC Uerdingen in the lower leagues of German football.

Robert Lewandowski

Age: 33
Position:
Striker
Dortmund appearances: 187

Where are they now? Oh, hey, this guy! Currently Robert Lewandowski is the world’s best striker (but not the best player according to the Ballon d’Or), absolutely ripping the heart out of every opponent he faces including and especially Borussia Dortmund, who he left in an outrageous free transfer back in 2014. Lewandowski is the only player from this Dortmund side to eventually win the Champions League as his Bayern romped to a sensational treble in 2020.

Used subs:

Julian Schieber

Age: 32
Position:
Striker
Dortmund appearances: 57

Where are they now? Schieber retired in the summer of 2021.

Nuri Sahin

Age: 33
Position:
Central midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 274

Where are they now? Sahin was the first of Klopp’s proteges to fly the coup back in 2011. His stint at Real Madrid and Liverpool ended in failure so he ended up back at Dortmund where he was a sub in 2013. He’s currently playing for Antalyaspor in Turkey, having joined them from Werder Bremen (he left Dortmund for good in 2018).

Unused subs:

Mitchell Langerak

Age: 33
Position:
Goalkeeper
Dortmund appearances: 35

Where are they now? The giant Aussie goalkeeper is currently playing for Nagoya Grampus in the J-League.

Felipe Santana

Age: 35
Position:
Centre-back
Dortmund appearances: 113

Where are they now? The goalscoring hero of their quarter-final victory over Malaga, Felipe Santana left Dortmund just months after the 2013 final and is currently playing for Chapecoense back in his native Brazil.

Sebastian Kehl

Age: 41
Position:
Defensive midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 362

Where are they now? Kehl was old even in 2013 and so it should surprise no one that he retired in 2015 having spent a frankly ridiculous 13 years in Dortmund colours.

Oliver Kirch

Age: 39
Position:
Defensive midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 30

Where are they now? Oliver Kirch retired in 2016.

Moritz Leitner

Age: 29
Position:
Central midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 67

Where are they now? One of the two young sensations in Klopp’s Dortmund, Leitner is currently in Switzerland with FC Zurich, joining from English side Norwich after three years.

Injured:

Mario Gotze

Age: 29
Position:
Attacking midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 219

Where are they now? Oh, Mario. The once magical wunderkind of German football, Gotze is now (fitness permitting) playing for PSV in the Eredivisie. The brilliant youngster agreed to leave Dortmund for Bayern Munich during the last month of the 2012/13 season and then conveniently didn’t recover from injury in time to play the 2013 final where Klopp’s men most definitely needed him. After one year as a Bayern player he scored a World Cup-winning goal, but his career peaked there with injuries and poor form dogging him even as he returned to Dortmund and, now, escaped to Eindhoven.

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