In 2017, for the first time since doing the double in 2012, BVB had the chance to win a major trophy. Marcel Schmelzer became the fourth captain in club history - after Alfred Schmidt (1965), Michael Zorc (1989) and Sebastian Kehl (2012) - to have the honour of lifting the DFB-Pokal trophy. The triumph was celebrated by 33,000 Black & Yellow fans under the floodlights of Berlin's Olympiastadion. 

BVB came into the final as favourites after finishing the Bundesliga season in third place. Opponents Eintracht Frankfurt recorded 22 fewer points than Borussia and ended the campaign in 11th place. ''We showed that we wanted to do whatever it takes to win,'' said Schmelzer after the final whistle. The club captain's involvement in the big game had been in doubt due to a muscle injury and he ultimately had to be substituted off at half-time: ''It doesn't matter! At the end of the day we won the cup, we can be unbelievably proud of that as a team.'' Schmelzer and teammate Lukasz Piszczek became the first players in Bundesliga history to play in major finals six seasons in a row (DFB-Pokal 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and Champions League 2013). 


''We've got back on our feet again and again, we've grown together. All of us deserve this title, every single one of us,'' said Marco Reus after the narrow 2-1 victory over Frankfurt. ''Now we'll enjoy the moment, enjoy the night. In moments like this you just have a feeling of pure joy.'' This perhaps explains why Reus didn't quite have a sense of what had happened to his knee. As he played a crossfield ball to Piszczek to set up the opening goal, Reus tumbled to the ground after contact from Timothy Chandler. ''I thought I might have hurt my cruciate ligament a bit.'' In reality, it turned out he had hurt it more than a bit. The official diagnosis a few days later read: ''Partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament in the right knee.'' In the end, Reus was sidelined for a total of 220 days.

The Black & Yellows, with Nuri Sahin surprisingly left out of the matchday squad, got off to an excellent start in front of a crowd of 74,322 fans in the Olympiastadion and managed to grab a deserved lead in the eighth minute. A perfect touch from Piszczek guided Reus's diagonal ball into the path of the onrushing Ousmane Dembélé. The Frenchman glided past Vallejo and drilled the ball into the far corner from near the right of the six-yard box. The encounter developed into a high-octane cup game, with both sides creating plenty of chances. Ante Rebic managed to finish one off in the 29th minute to draw Frankfurt level at 1-1.

Both Reus and Schmelzer had to come off injured at half-time. Nonetheless, as they had done in the first half, Borussia came out firing on all cylinders. Aubameyang's spectacular bicycle kick was cleared off the line by Frankfurt's Fabián in the 64th minute. Three minutes later, Christian Pulisic was played in on the left of the Frankfurt box before being felled by goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted the resultant penalty with an ice-cold finish down the middle (67). It was the 15th and, for the time being, last goal scored in a cup final by a BVB player.

Boris Rupert/cr