Back on top
Whilst off the field Hans-Joachim Watzke and his team led the club to financial stability and wealth clearing some 126 million Euros worth of debt, on the field things were progressing well, too. Jürgen Klopp arrived to give the team a new impetus and purpose. Following the narrow defeat to Bayern in the Cup Final a door was opened into European competition for the first time since 2003. Klopp so impressed with his character and his desire to play ’full-throttle‘ football. And boy did his team buy into the mantra, particularly at home where in 2008/09 the team remained unbeaten for the first time in almost 20 years. 59 points meant that UEFA Cup qualification was missed by the smallest of margins.
The new philosophy, to build around young, hungry players worked from the start. The team played its way into the hearts of football fans across Europe. That 5th place finish was followed by a Bundesliga win with the youngest ever side to take that title, the seventh in the club’s history. On May 14 2011 DFB president Dr Reinhard Rauball handed Roman Weidenfeller the championship trophy and a whole region swelled with pride. Dortmund celebrated that title like no other city before.