Close to the disaster (nd current)

Dortmund’s defender Mats Hummels (M) scored the 1-1 next to Frankfurt’s goalkeeper Kevin Trapp (l).

Photo: dpa / Pool AP / Martin Meissner

When Borussia Dortmund’s footballers took the noble away suits for the Champions League out of the closet for the last time for a long time, the boss’s kick-off was still echoing in their ears. “I’ve always defended the crew. But I can’t do that for the game against Eintracht Frankfurt. It’s a question of will, and the team disappointed me immensely, «said managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke before the seemingly unsolvable task at Manchester City.

The mood before the quarter-final first leg at the star ensemble of Pep Guardiola this Tuesday is explosive, not only Watzke tore the patience after the 1: 2 defeat against Frankfurt. “I’m not in the mood for the Europa League,” scolded national player Emre Can. But BVB will have to get used to the first season without the premier class in six years with seven points behind and seven games still to go – with all the consequences. “Of course, that has financial consequences, and you may not be able to buy one that you want and have to sell one that you want to keep,” said Mats Hummels.

The head of defense should have primarily thought of the young stars Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho, who is still injured. Most recently, visits from consultant Mino Raiola and Haaland’s father Alf-Inge caused a sensation at several top European clubs. But an exit clause of 75 million euros will only apply in the summer of 2022. “There is no alternative plan,” said Watzke. But the Norwegian elemental force wants to compete with the best. A season without a premier class? Actually unthinkable. The current competition offers a back door: with a triumph in the Champions League, Borussia would have bought the ticket for the new season.

The duel in the first quarter-finals for four years with the winning machine Manchester City, however, dampens hopes. City has won 26 of the last 27 competitive games with the currently outstanding former Dortmund player Ilkay Gündoğan. Watzke therefore pointed out the players to the chance of a clear distribution of roles. “I’ve never had the feeling that our team is particularly humble. It’s a very interesting constellation because you can really only win, “said the 61-year-old. “If you kick her out, of course it’s a world sensation. As a result, as a player, you have fun with something like that. ”However, the possible consequences of leaving were with the BVB players when they took off on Easter Monday. »Not reaching the Champions League would be a sporting and financial disaster. We’re close, ”said Hummels. SID/nd


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