Lars Ricken, the current co-ordinator of the BVB youth programme, today extended his contract with the club until the end of June 2017. The 38 year-old one-time BVB international took up the role in 2008. Hans-Joachim Watzke, BVB’s chief executive, was happy to be able to say “We are so pleased that Lars Ricken, such a symbol for quality work, has agreed to stay with Borussia Dortmund.”
BVB sporting director Michael Zorc added, “Lars is doing remarkable work. He has produced players who have gone on to win the Champions League. His own example shows any aspiring youngsters that dreams really can come true. He is a true role-model.”
As a player Lars Ricken pulled on the BVB short 301 times scoring 49 goals and creating a further 21. Having already won the German youth championship with the club in 1994 he went on to win three Bundesliga titles, the Champions League and the World Club Cup. In 2002 he was part of Germany’s runner-up World Cup squad. Perhaps he is best remembered for his goal in the Champions League Final against Juventus in May 1997. Having come on as a substitute in the 71st minute he contrived to curl a 25 yard shot into the net with his first touch to seal the 3-1 win. The goal was voted ‘goal of the season’ that year and was also assigned the title of Borussia’s goal of the century.
Lars Ricken put it simply, “The contract extension allows me to continue to live the dream. I get on with and work so well with everyone in both the youth and professional ranks. In the recent past so many of our youngsters have been able to go on and taste first team life. Hannes Wolf has only just won the Under 17 German championship whilst last season our Under 23s were the strongest ‘shadow’ squad in the Bundesliga. All of this proves we are on the right road. I am just pleased to be given the chance to help frame the future, too!”