May 25, 2013, 10:30 PM EST
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.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:28 PM EST
The entire R’s family has joined the world in hoping for the best, as 162 people are missing.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:19 PM EST
Mourinho claims Chelsea are being victimized for simulation, as Fabregas denied penalty kick.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
They’re still bottom of the table, but not by much anymore.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:09 PM EST
The point Sunderland pulls four points clear of the drop zone, while Aston Villa is a point above the Black Cats.
Dec 28, 2014, 12:03 PM EST
City remains three points back of Chelsea, and now sit 7 points ahead of No. 3 Manchester United.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
There was little for fans to latch onto at Loftus Road, and it appropriately ended goalless.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
What stood out from the clash at St Mary’s? Here’s three things.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:55 AM EST
One quality goal from the Stoke forward plus one lucky one meant West Brom slumped to yet another defeat.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:54 AM EST
The win moves Arsenal into fifth place with 33 points, while West Ham drops to sixth with 31.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:20 AM EST
With just a point taken from White Hart Lane, the Red Devils manager was hard on his team for not finishing.
Dec 28, 2014, 11:06 AM EST
10-man Saints hold on, frustrate Chelsea in lively top four clash.
Dec 28, 2014, 10:58 AM EST
The ball hammered off the underside of the crossbar before nearly bounding back up to meet it.
Dec 28, 2014, 10:54 AM EST
Meanwhile, Newcastle will again turn to 21-year-old keeper Jak Alnwick, with 17-year-old striker Adam Armstrong headed back to the bench for Papiss Cisse.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:38 AM EST
With Leicester on six straight losses, Nigel Pearson can’t afford another with the holidays in the rear view mirror and the Foxes five points alone at the bottom.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:32 AM EST
Villa Park looks to see if their home side can pick up three points against fellow strugglers Sunderland on Sunday morning.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:27 AM EST
Manchester City looks to keep up its fine play with a home win against improving Burnley on Sunday morning.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:23 AM EST
Bojan Krkic proven himself fit to start for Stoke City despite coming off against Everton with a slight back injury.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:20 AM EST
Arsenal’s second London derby in three days comes at the Boleyn Ground, as Sam Allardyce’s West Ham United play host to the Gunners on Sunday morning.
Dec 28, 2014, 9:11 AM EST
A red-hot Charlie Austin looks to increase his Premier League goal tally at Loftus Road against the Eagles.
Dec 28, 2014, 8:58 AM EST
Spurs thwart United, as Red Devils fire a blank.
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