AOn Thursday, around 10 am, Sergei W. will again be handcuffed to room 130 of the Dortmunder Landgericht. The accused admitted that he had detonated bombs, but he denies that he wanted to kill anyone in that attack on 28 people sitting on Borussia Dortmund's team bus on 11 April 2017. They had just left for the stadium to compete against AS Monaco in the quarter-finals of the Football Champions League. That team from French Ligue1 will return to Dortmund this Wednesday (21.00 in the F.A.Z. Liveticker for the Champions League and Sky) to compete against BVB in the most lucrative European football competition. This awakens memories of that gruesome evening, reported by the participating players as witnesses in court partly in tears. Most of them looked past Sergej W., who had put a lot of money on the crash of the BVB share in order to earn even more money.
Marc Bartra, who was injured in the attack, left Borussia Dortmund meanwhile, especially because of the traumatizing experience. Ten other players from the squad, who lost the catch-up game 2: 3 on the day after the attack, are now under contract with other clubs or have completed their careers. Thus, the possible influence on the sporting achievements, which had been discussed a lot in the past season, is dwindling. The leader collapsed in the fall after he started the season furiously.
Sporty there are parallels to the current season. BVB are back in the lead after six games and have not lost in the Bundesliga yet. But only the last two games were sensational: 7-0 against 1. FC Nürnberg and 4-2 at Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. The Dortmund picked up a 0-2, especially because coach Lucien Favre was correct with the Substitutes. Jadon Sancho came to the field in the second half as in the previous five games. And set off vehemently, as a goalkeeper. Nine assists in 18 Bundesliga games are now available for Sancho, five of them arrive this season with only 130 minutes of use, a hit against the "club" pretty beat the balance. Sancho is now considered "Super Joker". "He is brutally valuable when he comes from the bank," said Sebastian Kehl, head of the Dortmund licensing team, about Sancho, who is just 18 years old.
The days when Germans made fun of goalkeepers and lost penalty shootouts when they talked about English football are long gone. Even before the World Cup in Russia, for example, coach Joachim Loew said that the English would have caught up in the youth sector significantly, if not even passed the DFB. The performance of the youth teams in the tournaments of the last five years speaks for the latter.
In the U-17 European Championship 2017 England lost the final against Spain after – well – a penalty shootout. As the best player of the tournament Sancho was awarded. The German coach Christian Wück said about him and Phil Foden: "I have never seen better players at this age." Foden is still playing today Manchester City, Sancho left the English champions on the final day of the 2017 summer transfer season. It was one of the last deals that Borussia's former and legendary chief scout Sven Mislintat initiated and dealt with.
Transfers from English young stars to Germany are considered extremely difficult. The prospect of making a career at a Premier League club and earning more than on the European mainland is tempting. However, Sancho decided at the age of 17 to move to Dortmund, although Manchester City with coach Pep Guardiola should have offered him a contract with 30,000 pounds weekly earnings. The chance to be regularly used in the first team, Sancho and his father, who advises him to have been too small.
At BVB, who paid almost eight million euros for the fast-paced winger to City, Sancho is a regular participant. When FC Bruges, on the first matchday of Champions League, he was even in the starting eleven, but was only by unsuccessful dribbling and wrong decisions. After the game in Leverkusen, the Englishman expressed the understandable wish: "I do not always want to be a joker." For now, however, there is much to suggest that it remains at least in the league in this role. Kehl said: "It would be great if we could continue this successful model." The collaboration should continue even longer. One day before the game against Monaco, the club extended the contract of Sancho prematurely until the summer of 2022. "Jadon Sancho is certainly one of the most exciting players in Europe," said BVB sports director Michael Zorc.