It's games like these that make football so fascinating and highlight its charm. Schweinberg, a village of 700 in North Baden, won the right to play Borussia Dortmund and it proved to be a memorable evening of football for everyone in attendance. The result – a 10-0 win for the Bundesliga club – was of secondary importance.
For Borussia Dortmund, the first of six pre-season friendlies proved to be an easy run-out: their opponents, fearless amateurs FC Schweinberg – who play their football seven tiers lower in the Kreisliga – were deserving of both the lasting applause from the 5,000 (!) spectators at a sold-out Sportanlage am Hummelberg and the respect they were afforded by their opponents. They kept the score at a respectable 1-0 until the 39th minute, defending intelligently – and fairly – for as long as their legs allowed. "No injuries, all perfect, and we won," said head coach Lucien Favre after the match, which naturally did not tell him too much he did not already know. The gulf in quality between the sides was too great for that, plus BVB were missing (15!) players. It was the easy game it was supposed to be. "It was very nice: 5,000 spectators at a match in a village of 700 people," said Favre admiringly.
"We've been waiting for this game for 60 years. We're sending out the best XI of all time for this one," declared the stadium announcer of FC Schweinberg, who were founded in 1959, prior to kick-off. One of their players, 42-year-old striker Markus Greulich, was making his final appearance after 24 years in the first team. And although he might not have signed off with a goal, few careers in amateur football have probably had a better end than this one: a match against a top team from the Bundesliga.
"Football here is the way it should be: up close and personal," said BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watzke, adding: "They gave everything they had and really got struck into this match in the first half."
Maximilian Philipp stated his claim by scoring four goals, Tobias Raschl marked a successful senior debut with a brace, while Marius Wolf, Mateu Morey, Emre Aydinel and Shinji Kagawa all got on the scoresheet too. "A heartfelt thank you to the officials" of FC Schweinberg, said managing director Carsten Cramer after the final whistle. "The conditions were outstanding. Thank you for the hospitality – we've very much enjoyed being here."
Monday marks the start of the one-week USA Tour featuring friendlies against the Seattle Sounders and Champions League winners Liverpool. The opponents during the subsequent training camp in Switzerland (from 27 July to 2 August in Bad Ragaz) will be Udinese and St. Gallen.
BVB will have fond and lasting memories of FC Schweinberg.