Borussia Dortmund are gearing up for an exciting evening on Wednesday, when they face Real Madrid at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu needing to match Apoel Nicosia's result at Tottenham Hotspur if they are to continue their European adventure this season.
"We'd obviously love to continue playing in Europe," declared Hans Joachim Watzke. Neven Subotic was even more emphatic when he joined head coach Peter Bosz on the podium to field questions from the media on the eve of the match. "I've been a Borussia Dortmund player for nine years. A club like BVB belong in the Europa League at the least. We need to prove that tomorrow." Bosz added: "Reaching the Europa League is an obligation for me."
The Black & Yellows are in control of their own destiny, although the size of the task at hand will not be lost on them. They will be coming up against reigning champions Real, who have won 32 of their last 38 UEFA Champions League home games, losing only once.
"We'll try to put in a good performance," announced Bosz, adding: "That's important for our self-confidence. And if possible, we want to come away with one or even all three points." If they are to achieve that aim, "we need to defend as a unit," said Subotic. "Only by doing so can we nullify the threat of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema or the other guys."
"This game is a big challenge for us," said André Schürrle before boarding the plane for the Spanish capital. "We'll need to run, we'll need to fight, we'll need to win the tackles and we'll need to create goalscoring chances if we are to gradually pull ourselves out of the hole we are in."
Borussia Dortmund's objective in Madrid will be two-fold: to remain in European competition and to continue the positive trend after turning the corner in Leverkusen. "A successful result – let's say, a draw at Real Madrid – would be top stuff" said Watzke.