It wasn’t meant to be: BVB gambled away the German championship in the last few meters. Of course, there was a hangover among the fans afterwards, although this will probably only really start on Sunday. A mood report from Dortmund.
There was dead silence in the Westfalenstadion when referee Marco Fritz ended the game and the dream of the ninth championship trophy. The players fell to the ground, stunned, while numerous stewards gathered in front of the south stand to prevent a storming of the pitch. But nobody wanted to be on the field. Due to the bitter 2-2 draw against Mainz 05, only one club was able to celebrate at the end of the 2022/23 season.
After the brief state of shock, however, there were heartbreaking scenes that probably would not have happened in Cologne if BVB had finally gotten their hands on the bowl. Numerous FC Bayern supporters had already proven that on the penultimate match day after the defeat against RB Leipzig. The Dortmund fans didn’t blame their team at all, instead they sang consolation. Nobody had left the stadium at that time, not even on the main and opposite stands. An unconditional romantic, based on the club’s motto, would probably say: Real love despite great pain.
Coach Edin Terzic also felt the unanimous support. The 40-year-old stepped in front of the yellow wall a few meters away from his devastated players, patted his heart with his right hand and let his emotions run free while being celebrated with loud chants. He wiped the tears from his face with both hands. At this point it was no longer possible to understand his own words. Then he did a lap of honor all by himself to thank all the spectators.
“It feels completely shitty today,” Terzic said a little later skymicrophone and spoke from the soul of all fans: “When you see the emptiness with the boys, it feels very unfair today.” There was “absolute silence” in the dressing room, added Sebastian Kehl in the mixed zone.
BVB: “I can’t understand it”
At this point you could of course make a lot of accusations against BVB. What if the point haul in the first half of the season hadn’t been so weak? What if goalkeeper Gregor Kobel doesn’t hit the ball in Munich and what if Sébastien Haller doesn’t screw up the penalty? It is still difficult to look for an explanation.
Kehl also looked for him in vain. “Everything went against us from the course of the game today. I don’t know why yet. I’ll have to think a long time about why and why it happened here today, but I can’t understand it,” said the sports director to the ARD. Today he has “no strength” left for an analysis: “I’m that honest. I think that as the person responsible in such a situation, you can allow that.” The whole season can be summed up as a rollercoaster ride that ended in a low point against Mainz.
A low point that BVB fans didn’t deserve after this Saturday. Even during the game there had been constructive reactions after every goal conceded, before panicked looks towards the TV sets in the VIP area could be seen shortly before the end because of the score in Cologne. A permanent state of emergency that had prevailed around the stadium and in the city hours before kick-off. That’s how it should have been on Sunday at the celebrations on Borsigplatz, which was already closed on Saturday for preparations. Now the city is probably expecting an unexpectedly quiet day.
BVB: Bee Gees and “a lot of beer”
It wasn’t really quiet around Signal Iduna Park after the final whistle, where thousands of black and yellow jerseys were still gathering. “Now only a lot of beer helps,” said a fan SPOX and GOAL and quickly walked back towards the drinks stand, which could hardly save itself from the customers. Appropriately (or ironically) the Stobels bar adjacent to the arena played the Bee Gees’ hit song Stayin’ Alive. It is important to “survive” such painful days and crises – and in Dortmund Brinkhoff’s No. 1 remedy.
There would certainly have been beer and other alcoholic beverages at the planned meeting of the players in the evening. Unsurprisingly, however, it fell through. “We won’t do anything more today. We’ll speak to the team again tomorrow and will certainly hug everyone again,” Kehl explained in the catacombs of the stadium: “Everyone will have to sort it out for themselves to a certain extent. They will give each other support, far too much has grown for that in the last few weeks. Nevertheless, these are the moments that everyone takes home and experiences with their families.”
Now it’s time to get up again until the new season and end the next roller coaster ride with a climax. The emotionally agitated Terzic made that clear at the press conference that followed: “In the end we were a goal away from that. Tomorrow we’ll be 34 matchdays away from that again. Then we’ll process it, we’ll get up and we’ll invest everything again at the beginning of July to do it even better than this year. (…) Now it’s again about using the next 34 match days to finally make it.”