It's that time of the year when a particularly special occasion comes round, one which makes all other concerns suddenly appear insignificant: BVB's annual visit to the Dortmund children's hospital. This year's visit marks the 23rd time that this festive tradition has taken place.

The team bus had barely rolled into the car park when all of a sudden it became rather hectic in the hospital entrance: many an excited youngster could barely conceal their joy at finally getting the chance to meet the stars of Borussia Dortmund. The players split up into four groups and made their way around the hospital bearing gifts of black and yellow and, more importantly, spending lots of time with the children.

The hospital was truly painted black and yellow: many children wore their jerseys, which were then of course signed by the players. Selfies were taken, group photos too, but above all it was the conversations shared with children and parents that brought forth the most joy and made for a welcome departure from the everyday reality of hospital life.

The children certainly had stars in their eyes on this special day of countless autographs and hugs. ''This day is and always will be something that is very close to our hearts,'' said Marcel Schmelzer.
Carolin Krämer