Borussia Dortmund are the "record champions" in a competition about which Jürgen Klopp once said: "The losers aren't sad afterwards and the victors have something to celebrate". The 21st edition of the Super Cup will kick off at 20:30 CET on Sunday in front of a sell-out crowd of 81,360 at Signal Iduna Park. ZDF are showing the match live.
While the Super Cup, which pits the Bundesliga champions against the DFB Cup winners – or vice-champions against champions if the latter have won the double – is held in high esteem in other countries, it does not yet carry the same sporting significance in Germany. "Every time I go overseas, people start talking to me about this match. But that's less the case in Germany," club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke said to kicker magazine. Sporting Director Michael Zorc said: "It's the first highlight of the season."
Borussia Dortmund have never regarded the Super Cup as a prestigious friendly. Not in 2011, when they were defeated on penalties by FC Schalke 04; nor in 2012, when they suffered their first and only loss to FC Bayern in this competition (2-1 in Munich). The Black and Yellows have won the Super Cup six times to date – more than any other club. And they have often put on a spectacle: in 1989 Borussia prevailed 4-3 over Bayern at Kaiserslautern's Betzenberg stadium; in 2008 the Klopp era kicked off with a 2-1 win over the men from Munich; and in 2013 and 2014 Signal Iduna Park shook as FC Bayern were beaten 2-0 and 4-2 respectively.
Sunday represents the 21st edition of this competition, the 09th in which Borussia Dortmund have been involved. "We have been in better positions to take on FC Bayern" said Thomas Tuchel in reference to the 1-0 friendly defeat against Spanish outfit FC Bilbao, though that will have zero impact on the Black and Yellows' objective of lifting the trophy high into the night sky late on Sunday evening. "The team has the self-confidence to play at a high level in this match," Tuchel added. After all, it should not be forgotten that BVB beat Manchester United, England's new Super Cup winners, 4-1.
Quite how the team will line up is currently a tough task for the coaching staff. Because part of the squad have already been training for five weeks, while Julian Weigl, Lukasz Piszczek, Raphael Guerrero, André Schürrle and Mario Götze only returned from their summer breaks 10 days ago. It goes without saying that the quintet will not all feature at the same time on Sunday. Tuchel pointed out the lack of substitutes allowed in comparison to friendlies. He can only make three changes. In this case, a change to the rules would do the competition some good.