Borussia Dortmund: Risk of trauma at BVB – but it is unnecessary

Borussia Dortmund: Risk of trauma at BVB – but it is unnecessary

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Risk of trauma at BVB – but it is unnecessary

Status: 02.06.2024 | Reading time: 3 minutes

“I hope I don’t fall into such a small hole”

The defeat in the Champions League final against Real Madrid is extremely bitter for Borussia Dortmund. But the next highlight is soon waiting for German international Nico Schlotterbeck: the European Championship.

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The defeat in the Champions League final will be hard for Dortmund to digest. Especially after 2023. And because they were so close. It was also a lesson in psychology in top-level sport – in a way that should also encourage BVB.

The sensation was palpable. Borussia Dortmund, who went into the Champions League final as a huge underdog, had caused Real Madrid to falter. However, they lost their reward through stupid mistakes. After losing the German championship last year, Dortmund missed out on another major title. That’s depressing. But they shouldn’t tell themselves they have a psychological problem.

Anyone who thinks that the BVB players will easily get over the defeat at Wembley should take another look at the aftermath of this biggest game in international club football. Above all, they should look at the faces of Nico Schlotterbeck, Ian Maatsen and Julian Brandt. There was nothing but emptiness to be seen.

Even if hardly anyone had expected Dortmund before kick-off, they were so close that it hurt all the more afterwards. He hoped that he would not “fall into such a small hole,” Schlotterbeck said afterwards.

The danger exists. Last summer, the national player witnessed how BVB gambled away what they thought was a secure German championship. That left scars. Now in London he got to experience what it feels like not to win the trophy – even though they were clearly the better team for long stretches. That hurts, makes you think and maybe even doubt.

First mentally strong, then skittish and nervous

But that would be fatal – especially because of Dortmund’s special history. The trauma from May 2023 had just been somewhat processed. Back then, BVB had failed to beat Mainz 05 at home on the last matchday. Everything was set for the championship party. But then the trophy went to Bayern – who to this day don’t know how that could have happened.

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The fact that BVB could only finish the following Bundesliga season in a disappointing fifth place is also a consequence of the unexpected collapse a year earlier. It was only in the second half of the season that Edin Terzic’s team found their way back on track.

Things only went really well internationally. Possibly because it was a different competition. The players exceeded their own expectations – against opponents such as AC Milan, Newcastle United, Atlético Madrid, Paris St. Germain and indeed even against the record winners of the Champions League. Until, yes, until Dortmund suddenly felt on Saturday: We have something to lose after all. The favorites themselves became skittish and nervous.

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In many ways, the final was also a lesson in the importance of psychology in top-class sport. It wasn’t just that the Spaniards won because of their undoubtedly greater quality. The game also showed that differences can be balanced out – with mental strength, conviction and carefreeness.

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The Dortmunders should remember this once the initial frustration has passed. They owe it to themselves. Above all, they should not tell themselves that they have a psychological problem or even a trauma.

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