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Can Borussia Dortmund remain a force next season or will they fade?

May 25, 2013, 10:30 PM EDT

FBL-EUR-C1-DORTMUND-BAYERN Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund fell just short in this season’s Champions League final to Bayern Munich, something they’ve heard all too much in the recent months.

But the pain of the loss may be felt the most knowing that the chance to hoist that trophy may not come again for a long time.

The rigor of a lengthy Champions League run can take its toll on a squad, even into the following season. Klopp admitted following the defeat that the squad was visibly drained by the 75th minute of the classic at Wembley

More daunting, however, is the prospect that next season will see Dortmund’s bitter Bavarian rivals get even stronger…at their own massive expense.

Bayern have already triggered Mario Gotze’s €36.8 million ($47.6 million) activation clause, and now outgoing manager Jupp Heynckes strongly hinted that Robert Lewandowski will follow in Gotze’s footsteps.

Dortmund’s two most dynamic players will be leaving Westfalenstadion with the intent of of creating a dynasty at the club they failed to upstage at any point this season.

It’s been a pretty rapid climb for manager Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund since arriving five years ago.  He inherited a team that finished 13th of 18 in the Bundesliga, and has since brought them two Bundesliga championships and this season’s blistering run through the Champions League.

Klopp has vowed to return to the finals of the Champions League, saying, “We will come back, maybe not to Wembley but we will try to come back to another final.”

But that feat is one of the most difficult to promise – even “The Special One” Jose Mourinho, armed with this year’s Champions League top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo couldn’t get past the semifinals in each of the last three years.

Unfortunately for Dortmund fans, Klopp has pretty much capitulated to the notion that he will have a lot to replace next season, but at least he’s confident. “I have much work to build a new team. I think we’ll get a pretty decent team together, I wouldn’t worry about that.”

He will certainly have a lot of resources to work with, given the massive haul he’s already been guaranteed for Gotze, plus the equally large sum he will most likely get in return for Lewandowski. But if you injected the boss with truth serum, it’s a guarantee he would tell you he’d rather have the players than the money.

Can Klopp replace Lewandowski, who the enigmatic German boss bought in 2010 for a measly €4.5 million ($5.6 million)? Can he replace the 20-year-old Gotze, who cost the club literally nothing having come through their youth system?

It’s a massive task ahead of him, but he’s shown this season he’s at least up to the challenge. Any challenge.

  1. ndnut - May 26, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    One reason I LOVE Euro soccer. In the US, a team could go into “rebuilding mode” for a few seasons, draw enough fans interested in the future, and be no worse for wear. In Europe, relegation would threaten that club, and BVB doesnt want to play 2nd division games in the largest stadium in Germany. So while some people claim there is no parity, there is always competitiveness, due to what I just wrote.

  2. footballer4ever - May 26, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    I hope BvB can quickly rebound even by losing players to rival Bayern Munich. For the sake of football, it’s important that not only big $ clubs win championships, but for not so $ money clubs to upset them too. I really had no favorite between the two, but i rooted for BD due to the “treason-like” announcement before the final that Goetz was moving on to Bayern Munich. I don’t mind he wants to earn more money, but the classless timing to his current team is regrettable. Timing in life is essential in life and in football.

  3. thememyselfandiguy - May 26, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    I cant belive that so many soccer fans dont know the dark history of Borussia Dortmund. This club had mismanagement over years and years. Bayern Munich helped them with a loan to avoid bankruptcy. They had a ton of money earier. Borussia Dortmund is at the stock market as is Manchester United. So please dont listen to fairy tales, that this is a small club. look at the history of Bayern Munich. This club was so steady for the last 40 years. Dortmund cant hold their players even when the offer more money as Bayern Munich, because when you are a elite player you want to play for a team that plays for the big championships every year. Not once every 10 years. And for all that think Dortmund is so honest they would never pull off a deal like the Munich Goetze deal, look at last years deal they did for Reuss. Karma is a bitch. And here you have it again, all Bayern Munich player contracts are without exit clause. Some player contracts in Dortmund have a exit clause. When you cant get good players without it, its a bad sign. Schalke = Meister der Herzen, Dortmund = Champions League Sieger der Herzen, Bayern = THE REAL DEAL!!!!!

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