Football Features

Where are they now? Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund last Bundesliga winners

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 9:24, 27 May 2023

Borussia Dortmund are just one win away from the Bundesliga title.

It’s one of the best Bundesliga title races in recent years with the champions yet to be decided going into the final day of the 2022/23 season. In seasons past we’ve been used to Bayern Munich having wrapped up the title by now with their challenges by the wayside, but this year the eternal champions are the ones to have dropped the ball.

A defeat to RB Leipzig on the penultimate weekend of the season allowed Borussia Dortmund to move two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with their 3-0 win over Mainz, putting Edin Terzic’s side on the brink of a first league title since 2011/12.

What a side that 2011/12 team were too. Led by Jurgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund won back-to-back trophies in 2010/11 and 2011/12, threatening to interrupt what would eventually become Bayern’s period of dominance. In 2011/12 in particular, Borussia Dortmund won the league by eight points ahead of Bayern, with just three defeats and 25 wins from their 34 matches — also wrapping up the DFB Pokal.

But what happened to that incredible BVB side and its most frequent appearance makers? Where are they now?

Roman Weidenfeller

Age: 42
Position:
Goalkeeper
Dortmund appearances: 453

Where are they now? This legendary goalkeeper kept 15 clean sheets in 32 appearances en route to the title, conceding just 22 times. 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: 37
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: 34
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 2012 but injuries had other ideas. After leaving Dortmund in 2018, Subotic had spells with Saint-Etienne, Union Berlin, Denizlispor and Rheindorf Altach before retiring in 2022.

Mats Hummels

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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: 35
Position:
Left-back
Dortmund appearances: 367

Where are they now? The tenacious left-back spent his entire career at Dortmund before retiring last summer. Sadly, his last appearance for Dortmund came in 2020 due to a long-term knee injury.

Sven Bender

Age: 34
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).

Ilkay Gundogan

Age: 32
Position:
Central midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 157

Where are they now? Growing as part of this young side, 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: 37
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.

Kevin Grosskreutz

Age: 34
Position:
Winger
Dortmund appearances: 236

Where are they now? The endless workhorse winger retired from professional football in 2020, but is still seen in the amateur game, currently with TuS Bovinghausen.

Robert Lewandowski

Age: 34
Position:
Striker
Dortmund appearances: 187

Where are they now? Oh, hey, this guy! Currently Robert Lewandowski is the world’s best striker, absolutely ripping the heart out of every opponent he faces including including Borussia Dortmund, who he left in an outrageous free transfer back in 2014. Since leaving Dortmund, Lewandowski has won nine league titles, eight with Bayern Munich and one with Barcelona.


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Felipe Santana

Age: 37
Position:
Centre-back
Dortmund appearances: 113

Where are they now? Felipe Santana was a rotational player in the 2011/12 campaign but would get his moment the following season, scoring in the quarter-finals of the Champions League as Dortmund made it all the way to the final. That would be his final season with Dortmund, with Santana currently a free agent having left Catarinense in April 2023.

Sebastian Kehl

Age: 43
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.

Moritz Leitner

Age: 30
Position:
Central midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 67

Where are they now? One of the two young sensations in Klopp’s Dortmund, Leitner is currently without a club, leaving Swiss side FC Zurich last summer.

Mario Gotze

Age: 30
Position:
Attacking midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 219

Where are they now? Oh, Mario. The once magical wunderkind of German football, Gotze never really hit the predicted heights as injuries and a bad move to Bayern Munich hindered his career. Gotze did return to Dortmund following his Bayern spell and spent four more years with the club before joining PSV. The World Cup-winner is now back in the Bundesliga, though, managing a pretty full season with Eintracht Frankfurt.

Ivan Perisic

Age: 34
Position:
Wide midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 64

Where are they now? Remember this spell? Ivan Perisic spent a season and a half with Borussia Dortmund, winning the league in his first campaign, before joining Wolfsburg in January 2013 – meaning he’d miss the Champions League final appearance. After Wolfsburg came Inter Milan and a loan spell at Bayern Munich, with Perisic now in the Premier League plying his trade for Tottenham.

Shinji Kagawa

Age: 34
Position:
Attacking midfielder
Dortmund appearances: 216

Where are they now? This was Shinji Kagawa’s last season for Dortmund as he made the move to Man Utd, which didn’t really work out. The Japanese star returned to Dortmund and spent five more years at the club, eventually leaving permanently in 2019 for Real Zaragoza via a loan spell with Besiktas. Kagawa is now in his native Japan with Cerezo Osaka, joining earlier this year.

Lucas Barrios

Age: 38
Position:
Striker
Dortmund appearances: 102

Where are they now? Back up to Lewandowski, this was Barrios’ final season and Dortmund and he has gone on to represent 12 different teams in the 11 years since, currently at Trinidense in Paraguay.

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