Marco Reus is named the new team captain. "He's a role model, he's very experienced and he's been at the club a long time. He's the logical choice," says Lucien Favre. Reus is delighted to wear the armband. "It's an honour and I'm proud to represent this club and this team on the pitch and off it as well," he says.
One of his team-mates for the new season is Axel Witsel, who is the seventh and final summer signing. "I'm very happy and proud too. For me, Borussia Dortmund are one of the continent's top clubs. I can hardly wait to run out in front of 81,000 people," says the incoming Belgian midfielder.
The 29-year-old makes his competitive debut in a DFB Cup First Round tie in Fürth. It is an intense, exciting and entertaining cup tie that BVB began brightly, but despite creating significantly more chances in the first half it is the second-tier side that take the lead. Witsel comes on from the bench on the 74-minute mark and gets a last-gasp leveller in the fifth minute of stoppage to take the game to extra-time, before another late goal − again for Borussia Dortmund, this time from Marco Reus − puts BVB through to the next round.
Late goals soon become a Borussia Dortmund trademark, although they are not needed on Matchday 1 of the Bundesliga campaign as the Black & Yellows comfortably beat RB Leipzig 4-1 thanks to some outstanding saves from Roman Bürki. He is only beaten once − when Augustin slots home after 31 seconds. Mo Dahoud equalises with a header on 21 minutes, before a two-goal salvo before the break − a deflected free-kick from Reus (40) and a strike from Witsel − put the home side 3-1 up and firmly in the driving seat. Reus then adds gloss to scoreline in second-half stoppage time when he rounds off a counter to send his team top of the table. But the momentum is halted in their next game as BVB spurn a number of good chances − Reus and Philipp both strike the woodwork − and are held to a goalless draw by Hannover 96.
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund GmbH & Co. KGaA report a record turnover of €536.0 million for the previous financial year (1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018). One of the main reasons for the record revenue is transfer income, which has increased by €145.4 million to €222.7 million. The prior-year figure had been €77.3 million.
The Legends Team make their debut in front of 30,000 people and claim a 3-2 victory over their Liverpool counterparts thanks to goals from Stéphane Chapuisat, Mladen Petric and Marcio Amoroso. But their attacking prowess is soon to be overshadowed as Paco Alcácer, a prolific marksman and serial goalscorer, joins the senior squad a few days later − initially on loan − from FC Barcelona. Borussia Dortmund agree a purchase option with the Catalan club that gives them the right to tie down the player for a further four years.