Jurgen Klopp spent seven memorable years in charge of Borussia Dortmund and his legacy continues to live on at the club. Today we take a look back at his glorious reign.
The now Liverpool manager had great success at Borussia Dortmund. He led the Black and Yellows to two Bundesliga titles (2010-11, 2011-12), the DFB Pokal (2011-12) and two DFL-Supercup wins (2013, 2014). Klopp also took Borussia Dortmund to the UEFA Champions League final in 2012-13, and while they lost to arch rivals Bayern Munich in the final, reaching the final was still a fantastic achievement.
Jürgen Klopp arrived at Borussia Dortmund at the start of the 2008-09 season and he made his mark on the club straight away. The Black and Yellows had finished 13th in the season before Klopp’s arrival. But the former Mainz manager made instant impact at his new club, helping Borussia Dortmund finish sixth in the Bundesliga, just two points behind fifth placed Hannover. Dortmund’s biggest achievement in the 2008-09 season was their form at home. Jürgen Klopp’s side did not lose a single game at the Westfalenstadion in the Bundesliga, winning eight and scoring 34 league goals in the process. Borussia Dortmund’s greatest moment in that season came at home against local rivals Schalke 04 on matchday four. The Royal Blues took a 3-0 lead after 54 minutes, but goals from Neven Subotic and Alex Frei (2) helped Borussia Dortmund fight back and earn a credible draw. Frei’s equaliser came in the 89th minute and sent the majority of the 80,552 people in the crowd into raptures. It was the game that announced Jürgen Klopp’s arrival at Borussia Dortmund.
In Jürgen Klopp’s second season in charge of Borussia Dortmund, the Black and Yellows took a step further and finished fifth in the Bundesliga, helping them earn a spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League. This season showed the first signs of Klopp’s revolution taking shape at the Westfalenstadion, as Dortmund got more accustomed to playing his heavy metal football with high pressing and counter attacking. Dortmund finished the season with 57 points, scoring a total of 54 goals in the Bundesliga. Lucas Barrios scored 19 goals for Dortmund, while the likes of Mats Hummels, Neven Subotic and Nuri Sahin started to make their mark on the team. It was Klopp’s dream to bring European football back at the Signal Iduna Park, and Dortmund’s fifth place finish in the 2009-10 season helped them book a return to the Europa League after a seven year long wait.
Klopp’s third season saw the youthful and unfancied Borussia Dortmund shock the world by winning the Bundesliga title. It was a remarkable achievement by Jürgen Klopp and his men, who went from being a mid table side to Bundesliga champions in the space of just three years. Dortmund brought in some very talented, yet unknown players in the summer of 2009 and Klopp worked wonders with that squad. New signings Shinji Kagawa, Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek all played a vital role in helping Dortmund win their seventh league title. While Mario Gotze enjoyed his breakthrough season, making 41 appearances and scoring eight goals. Borussia Dortmund won the league title by seven points in the end, and to make things even sweeter, arch rivals Schalke finished 14th. Dortmund scored a total of 67 goals in the Bundesliga and conceded only 22. It was the ultimate underdog story and earned Borussia Dortmund and Jürgen Klopp plenty of plaudits and recognition around the world.
It wasn’t easy to top the previous season’s title winning campaign, but Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund followed it up with a historic double. The Black and Yellows lifted their second successive Bundesliga crown and also won the DFB-Pokal, thrashing Bayern Munich 5-2 in the final. On their way to winning the double, Dortmund broke many records. Their points tally of 87 was the highest in Bundesliga history. Dortmund also equalled the record of most league wins in a season with 25. While their 28 match unbeaten run was the best ever record in the German top flight. Dortmund played some beautiful football throughout the season. They scored a total of 80 goals in the Bundesliga, while conceding only 25. It was a truly magical season for Borussia Dortmund and helped them earn their place in the history books.
After topping the group of death, which featured Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax and then beating Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 16, Borussia Dortmund took on Malaga in the 2012-13 Champions League quarterfinals. With Dortmund underperforming in the league, Jürgen Klopp put all his eggs in the Champions League basket. And with 90 minutes gone in the second leg of their tie against Malaga, it looked like Dortmund would be coming up short in Europe once again. But goals from Marco Reus and Felipe Santana in injury time helped Borussia Dortmund turn the tie around and continue their wonderful story. The 3-2 win helped Dortmund earn their place in the semi final of the UEFA Champions League, which brings us to our next great Jürgen Klopp moment.
Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid were the favorites heading into the 2012-13 Champions League semi final, but Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund blew them out of the water by beating them 4-1 in the first leg at the Signal Iduna Park. Robert Lewandowski produced a striker’s masterclass and scored all four goals as Borussia Dortmund dispatched the Galacticos to earn one of the finest wins in their Champions League history. It was a tactical masterclass by Jürgen Klopp which made it all happen and it helped them all but seal their place in the final. While Dortmund did lose 2-0 in the return leg, their first leg triumph was enough to take them to the Wembley showpiece, their first Champions League final since 1997. The season ended in heartbreak as Bayern Munich prevailed in the final thanks to an 89th minute winner by Arjen Robben, but it was a campaign to be proud of for Borussia Dortmund.
Things just haven’t been the same since his departure, which has left many fans longing for the return of the glory years under Jürgen Klopp. Klopp built quite a legacy at the Westfalenstadion and his contributions to the club will never be forgotten.