BVB first-team player Neven Subotic is set for a new sporting challenge with AS St. Etienne in the French Ligue 1. Hans-Joachim Watzke, the Chief Executive Officer, and Michael Zorc, the Sporting Director, granted the player's request to terminate his contract "due to Neven's extraordinary contribution to the club, both on a sporting and personal level".

"We've had huge success in the almost ten years Neven has been with us and in terms of character he has been a great person to have within our ranks. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him warmly on behalf of all Black & Yellows," said Watzke of Subotic, who joined Borussia Dortmund from Mainz 05 in the summer of 2008. He made 265 competitive appearances for the club, scoring 19 goals. As for honours, he became a German champion in 2011, won the Bundesliga and DFB Cup double in 2012 and finished as a runner-up in the 2013 Champions League final.

One moment that will live long in the memory is when Subotic stood on the roof of his car celebrating the 2011 Bundesliga title with the fans. Michael Zorc added: "Neven has come to represent a great and successful era for BVB. He is a special and worthy player. Our doors in Dortmund will always remain open for him!"

"I would like to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for the nine years at BVB. Throughout that time we have experienced a lot together and gone through highs and lows together. This time will remain forever in my heart," said Neven Subotic, who added: "Thank you to all the Borussia fans for this wonderful time, because without your support it would not have been possible. It was an honour for me to battle for the ball and celebrate amazing titles for our team, and together with the whole city. These moments have created a connection between me and the club – and especially the people associated with it. This connection will always be there."