A Sting in the Tale : The Borussia Dortmund Guide


Complete Legend
Dec 11, 2009
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---------- BVB : A Sting in the Tale ----------

The complete guide to Borussia Dortmund, The Black & Yellows


Ballspiel-Verein Borussia Dortmund

Nation: Germany
Year Founded: 1909
Status: Professional
Reputation: National
Nicknames: Die Borussen (The Borussians)
Die Schwarzgelben (The Black Yellows)

Chairman: Dr Reinhard Rauball
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Finances: Rich
Value: £116m (Loan Debt:£54m)
Transfer Budget: £170k - £190k
Wage Budget: £625k (currently spending £615k)

Stadium: Signal Iduna Park
Capacity: 80708 (53619 seated)
Condition: Very Good
Training Facilities: Top
Youth Facilities: Excellent & Youth Academy
Youth Recruitment: Established

Position Last Season: 5th
Media Prediction: 7th
Fierce Rivals: Schalke
Other Rivals: FC Bayern, Leverkusen
Icons: Stefan Reuter, Lars Ricken, Michael Zorc,
Ottmar Hitzfeld, Matthias Sammer

---------- A Place in the History Books ----------

Ballspielverein Borussia (BVB) Dortmund is a German club based in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia and is well known as one of the most successful clubs in German football. In addition to six German football championships and two German Cup victories, Dortmund won the Cup Winners' Cup in 1966 (becoming the first German team to win a European title) and the UEFA Champions League in 1997.

The club was founded on 19 December 1909 by a group of young men unhappy with church-sponsored Trinity Youth, where they played football under the stern and unsympathetic eye of the local parish priest. The name Borussia is Latin for Prussia, and was taken from the nearby Borussia brewery. The team began play in blue and white striped shirts with a red sash, and black shorts. However, in 1913, they donned the black and yellow stripe so familiar today.

The Oberliga West, a first division league which included Borussia, dominated German football through the late 50s. In 1949 Borussia reached the final in Stuttgart against VfR Mannheim, which they lost 2–3 after extra time. The club claimed its first national title in 1956 with a 4–2 against Karlsruher SC. One year later, Borussia won their second national title, with exactly the same team. In 1963 Borussia Dortmund won the last final before the Bundesliga started. It was their third national title.

In 1962, the DFB met in Dortmund and voted to finally establish a professional football league in Germany to begin play in August 1963 as the Bundesliga. Borussia earned its place among the first sixteen sides to play in the new league by winning the last pre-Bundesliga championship. In 1965, Dortmund captured its first German Cup. They had a mixed result the next year when they won the European Cup Winners Cup, but surrendered a commanding position atop the Bundesliga by losing four of their last five league games and finishing second, three points behind champions 1860 Munich. The 70s were characterized by financial problems and relegation from the Bundesliga in 1972 and the opening of the Westfalenstadion, named after its home Land, Westphalia in 1974. The club earned its return to Bundesliga in 1976, but continued to suffer from financial problems through the 80s, narrowly avoiding relegation again in 1986. The club did not enjoy any significant success again until a German Cup win in 1989.

In 1993, BVB made it to the UEFA Cup final, which they lost 1–6 on aggregate to Juventus. They won Bundesliga championships in 1995 and 1996 — with Matthias Sammer from the '96 side being named European Footballer of the Year. In a memorable 1997 UEFA Champions League Final in Munich, Dortmund faced Juventus again, winning 3-1. Borussia then went on to beat Brazilian club Cruzeiro 2–0 in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup Final.

Borussia Dortmund became the first—and so far the only—publicly traded club on the German stock market. Two years later they won their third Bundesliga title. The club had a remarkable run at the end of the season to overtake Bayer Leverkusen, securing the title on the final day. In the same season, Borussia lost the final of the 2002 UEFA Cup to Dutch side Feyenoord.

Dortmund's fortunes have steadily declined since then. Poor financial management led to a heavy debt load and the sale of their Westfalenstadion ground. However, the employment of coach Jurgen Klopp has seen a recent upturn in fortunes, both on and off the pitch, culminating in their best Bundesliga finish in 2009/10 since the turn of the decade.

--------------- The Staff ---------------

Generally, the coaching staff at Dortmund aren't great, with De Beer and Bartlett the notable exceptions. However, due to long term contracts and tight finances, it will be very difficult to replace the dead wood at the beginning of the campaign. The limited wage budget could be better spent in other areas.

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Manager: Jurgen Klopp
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Assistant: Zeljko Buvac * * *
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Assistant: Peter Krawietz * *
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GK Coach: Wolfgang De Beer * * * * *
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Fitness Coach: Oliver Bartlett * * * * *
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General Coach: Florian Wangler *

* rating out of 5, (*) = potential

--------------- The Squad ---------------

Goalkeepers :
The Dortmund squad is reasonably covered in this area, with a good first choice in Weidenfeller and an improving deputy (Langerak). The third choice 'keeper, Johannes Focher is nothing more than that, a back up that will most likely receive no game time, but without any prospective youth goalkeepers, it's a good idea to keep hold of him.

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* * * Roman Weidenfeller (* * * *)
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* Mitchell Langerak (* * *)
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* Johannes Focher (*)


Key Player | Roman Weidenfeller

A free signing from Kaiserslautern, Weidenfeller was understudy to Jens Lehmann for a number of years. After Lehmann's departure to Arsenal, Weidenfeller took his chance and hasn't looked back since. He is the club's number 1, amassing 187 appearances for the club as well as providing back up for the national team. Despite this, he is yet to be capped for Germany. At 29 years old and approaching his best years, there is no reason to believe that he cannot compete for the goalkeeping position for several years to come.

Youth Prospect | none


Defenders :
The Dortmund squad boasts outstanding young talents in Subotic and Hummels, with Santana a more than capable back up. Schmelzer is a young and improving full back, with the experienced Dede as his deputy. There is little strength in depth though, and both Owomoyela and Piszczek might well struggle at right full back. Both are more attacking than the usual full back requirements. Sobiech is a young centre back with some potential, and can even be loaned out to aid his development.

Central Defenders
Dortmund are blessed with two of the most gifted centre backs in the Bundesliga, with Santana a good back up player. In my experience, Hummels and Subotic rarely succumb to injury, and with the club'spoor financial state, investment in this area of the team isn't necessary. Sobiech is one to watch for the future.

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* * * * Mats Hummels (* * * * *)
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* * * * Nevan Subotic (* * * *)
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* * * Felipe Santana (* * *)
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* Lasse Sobiech (* * *)

Left Sided Fullbacks
Schmelzer ia an emerging talent in the division, and should retain a first team spot ahead of the aging Dede. With good coverage here, investment would seem unlikely. Dede will need replacing in a few years once he retires, and it is advisable to encourage the Brazilian to move into coaching.

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* * * Marcel Schmelzer (* * * *)
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* * * Dede (* * *)

Right Sided Fullbacks
Probably the weakest area of the team, yet both Owomoyela and Piszczek will do a reasonable job. They are both very attacking, capable of playing in a midfield role, but lack the defensive abilities of the top full backs in the division. On a tight budget, look to sign a youngster such as Brazilian Romario (Vitoria - up to £500k).

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* * Patrick Owomoyela (* * *)
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* * Lucasz Piszczek (* * *)


Key Player | Mats Hummels

The centre back enjoys a growing reputation in German football, having joined from rivals FC Bayern for a sizeable fee in 2008. Already a German international, Hummels is amongst the brightest German talents. He has potential for further improvement and will be a key player for Dortmund, as long as they can avoid selling with a number of top European sides circling ominously. Along with Subotic, Hummels will be key in providing a solid base at the back.

Youth Prospect | Lasse Sobiech

A product of the successful Dortmund youth academy, Sobiech has the potential to make it at this level. With a lack of central defenders at the club, Sobiech will likely need to kept as back up. With enough game time, he could progress to become a decent squad player for the club.


Midfielders :
Dortmund have a great mix of youth and experience, arguably the strongest area of the team. Defensively, Sebastien Kehl still has a lot to offer, and will be pushed for a starting place by the talented Sven Bender. Nuri Sahin provides the creativity from midfield, with attacking players Hajnal, Kagawa and Gotze battling for a central midfield birth. All three are also capable of playing in wide positions. Left winger Kevin Grosskreutz, another academy graduate, is another youngster with huge potential, while right winger Blaszczykowski will look to utilise his blistering pace. There is a great balance in the midfield, with versatile players capable of performing a number of roles.

Defensive Midfielders
Club Captain Sebastian Kehl is nearing the end of an injury plagued career, but is still reguarded as one of the best defensive midfielders in Germany. He still has a few seasons left in the tank, but should definately be encouraged into coaching at the earliest opportunity. With Kehl's injury problems, his deputy Sven Bender will likely see ample game time, and is another promising youngster. He will develop into Kehl's long term replacement.

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* * * * Sebastian Kehl (* * * *)
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* * * Sven Bender (* * * *)

Central Midfielders
Nuri Sahin is a class apart when it comes to this area of the field, but will struggle with his fitness throughout the season. His poor stamina and natural fitness may result in his withdrawal towards the end of games, or some rotation for easier home fixtures. Kringe is home grown but average, while new signing Feulner is no better. Move him on in January, and look to cash in on Kringe at the earliest opportunity (he is injured until Oct).

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* * * * Nuri Sahin (* * * * *)
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* * Florian Kringe (* *)
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* * Markus Feulner (* *)

Attacking Midfielders
The strongest area of the team, with Hajnal, Kagawa and Gotze all vying for a first team slot. Kagawa should be 1st choice and has great promise. Give Gotze some game time too, so that he can fulfill his phenominal potential. Da Silva is newly signed, but is old and will remain back up. All four can play in various wide positions should other options become limited.

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* * * Tamas Hajnal (* * *)
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* * * Shinji Kagawa (* * * * *)
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* * Mario Gotze (* * * * *)
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* * Antonio Da Silva (* *)

Left Sided Wingers
Grosskreutz is yet another academy graduate and an important player for the club. He lacks the physical abilities of an out and out winger, but is strong mentally and technically. A clear 1st choice for the position.

View attachment 122917
* * * Kevin Grosskreutz (* * * *)

Right Sided Wingers
Blaszczykowski has great pace and will provide a threat from the right wing. Set his individual training to 'crossing' and he could become a real weapon to supply the talented Lucas Barrios. Blaszczykowski starts as 1st choice, with Gotze a capable replacement.

View attachment 122922
* * * Jakub Blaszczykowski (* * *)


Key Player | Nuri Sahin

Sahin is quality. His creativity and passing enables the team to unlock even the tightest defence, and he is one of the most technically gifted players in the Bundesliga. An established international, Sahin has come through the ranks at Dortmund and, at just 22 years old, will be a key Dortmund player for years to come.

Youth Prospect | Mario Gotze

Another academy graduate, Gotze is widely reguarded as the brightest young talent in Germany, winning numerous awards during his rise through the youth teams. Technically brilliant, his only obvious weakness appears to be physical attributes, but at just 18 years old, time is clearly on his side. With the correct training and tutoring, he has the potential to be one of the worlds greats.


Attackers :
Lucas Barrios has been a revelation since his arrival at the club, and is head and shoulders above the other forwards at the club. There are a number of potential replacements however, with Le Tallec, Lewandowski and Ginczek all young and eager to impress. Zidan offers an experienced alternative who can be lethal in the correct supporting role.

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* * * * Lucas Barrios (* * * *)
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* * * Robert Lewandowski (* * * *)
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* * * Mohammed Zidan (* * *)
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* * Damien Le Tallec (* * *)
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* Daniel Ginczek (* * *)


Key Player | Lucas Barrios

The Paraguayan is an assasin in front of goal, able to perform a number of roles to devestating fashion. He has all the attributes to score 30+ each season, but is also a capable supporting striker with great strength and aerial ability. It wont take long for teams such as Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea to come calling.

Youth Prospect | Daniel Ginczek

Ginczek is a reserve player to start, and would be best placed on loan during the next year or two. He has the capabilities to play at this level, but is behind both Lewandowski and Le Tallec in the pecking order. Much like Sobiech, he will make a useful squad player, and his home-grown status could prove to be important in the future.


Squad Summary :
The Borussia Dortmund squad is a very young and improving one, with only a few experienced campaigners that can hold down a first team place. There is a very solid core, with the weakest areas in wide positions. Dortmund can also boast strength in depth for most areas of the team. I would suggest that it could be strengthened in the following areas:

* Right Full Back- weakest position in the first team
* More experienced players- to aid the development of youngsters
* Coaching Staff- a complete overhaul required if funds allow

Potential Transfer Targets :
With little finances to start with, you will have to become a bit of a wheeler-and-dealer (sorry to all those Redknapps out there). You will, however, see your budget extended by up to £3m before the January transfer window.

* Moritz Leitner (1860 Munchen - £2m) - a real life signing by BVB, he has the potential to become a quality player, and is very versatile

* Romario (Vitoria - £300k) - a potential right back, but will not be eligable to make the move until summer 2011

* Alexandre N'Gadi (free agent) - a decent player with the potential to exceed the abilities of Hajnal and Blaszczykowski. Can play on the right or centre

* Gauthier Mahoto (free agent) - a promising youngster who could provide decent back up to Nuri Sahin

* Rivaldo (Mogi Mirim - 10k) - capable for at least one more season, a legend of the game with unrivalled technical ability. Great added experience to compliment the young squad, and a useful tutor

--------------- The Tactics ---------------

Jurgen Klopp has utilised the 4-2-3-1 formation to great effect in reality this season, guiding Dortmund to top spot at the mid-season stage with a comfortable gap opening up. Looking at his squad, it comes as little surprise that this tactic has achieved such success.

The 4-2-3-1 and it's variants

Tweaking the positioning slightly will alter the entire tactic. The standard tactic is very attacking, and will require a short, probing passing game looking to feed the poacher Barrios. Kehl is the ball winner, where Sahin and Kagawa are playmakers and the wide players are deployed as inside forwards, allowing the full backs to overlap.

Playing the deep variant will require a more direct passing game. Kehl will focus primarily on defensive duties, while Sahin becomes a deep-lying playmaker. The wingers maintain the width, while Kagawa is the attacking midfielder charged with bursting forward to support the Target man Barrios. Quick counter attacking and precise passing is required here.

The asymmetric variant is a compromise of attack and defence. Kehl is again defensive, while Sahin is given a license to get forward and support attacks. Blaszczykowski is an out-and-out winger, while Grosskreutz plays as a supporting wide midfielder. Barrios is the advanced forward capable of occupying both centre backs, creating more space for the supporting Kagawa. With a mixed passing game, Dortmund are more versatile and allowed more creative football to exploit opposition weaknesses.


I hope you have found this guide helpful, and it has persuaded you to start a save as Borussia Dortmund. They have great youth facilities and I have found it to be one of my favourite ever football manager games. Please make me aware of any mistakes, anything I may have missed and anything that you may disagree with. Would appreciate any feedback.
Last edited:
Alright, finally finished it! Was more work than I had anticipated and I had to close overnight in order to complete it. Hope someone finds it useful (A)
Really good guide Fuelled.

Always admired BVB as a club and their good prospects breaking into the first-team. Tried a BVB save earlier but shelved it. Will start it again.
very nice guide, very nice layout, very nice pictures, very nicely worded. The best guide on the forums, oh, and I'm starting a Dortmund save right this minute :)
Fantastic Guide, very neatly layed put nd quite informative
Awesome guide mate , was looking on taking Dortmund earlier.
Very nice guide, thanks for making it mate. A little while back I had a short save with Dortmund and in the first season I played Barrios up top on his own and at best he was average so second season brought in Luis Suarez and he's already matched the amount of goals he scored in the first season in December. So my advise would be to play him up top with someone else.
very in depth, enjoyed reading it and might actually get a save going for them :) havnt really played as dortmund since cm97/98 when sammer was amazing, and they had a few other great players too :)

great guide!
Very nice guide, looks like you've taken a lot of time to research all the players and history of the club. Just one question, how do the finances progress if you stay within budgets? I know in real life they get a huge crowd every home game, and was wondering if this happened ingame and improved the finances. On another note, I'd like to go to one of their games sometime, cheap tickets and a huge stand, what more could you ask for?!

Was thinking of writing a Partick Thistle guide, but interest would be minimal for that sort of team!
Very nice guide, thanks for making it mate. A little while back I had a short save with Dortmund and in the first season I played Barrios up top on his own and at best he was average so second season brought in Luis Suarez and he's already matched the amount of goals he scored in the first season in December. So my advise would be to play him up top with someone else.

This is a screenshot that I took in Jan of my first season. Barrios playing as a poacher or advanced forward on his lonesome for the majority of games:

Obviously not the best goal to game ratio posted on here, but a reasonable return​
Very good and in-depth guide
Very nice guide, looks like you've taken a lot of time to research all the players and history of the club. Just one question, how do the finances progress if you stay within budgets? I know in real life they get a huge crowd every home game, and was wondering if this happened ingame and improved the finances. On another note, I'd like to go to one of their games sometime, cheap tickets and a huge stand, what more could you ask for?!

Was thinking of writing a Partick Thistle guide, but interest would be minimal for that sort of team!

I'd love to go and watch them, they have phenominal support and by all accouts it is one of the best atmospheres in Europe. The derby with Schalke is known as being the biggest in Germany, and easily rivals any derby in this country.

Financially, I had a very successful first season and won a fair bit in prize money. They sell over 50,000 season tickets and the finances steadily improve, I was given a transfer budget of £18m in seasons 2 and 3. Also, producing players of the calibre of Sahin, Hummels, Subotic and Barrios, a tidy profit can be made if need be. I was offered £17m for Barrios in Jan 2011

---------- Post added at 03:49 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:46 AM ----------

I think you forgot one promising player, Sebastian Koch, RD I think!

I didn't see much improvement in him to be honest, and ended up selling him for £500k a few seasons in. He has some potential, though I don't think he is as good on FM as he should be
Maybe his potential varies from game to game, I remember that he was very good in FM 2010, I have a save in dortmund too and the scouts gave hima good rating, on the other hand, I remember that sobiech was an utter dissappointment because he doesn't improve much.
Great guide, though IIRC Rivaldo isn't free anymore? Either way, it's a superbly detailed and well-written guide, great job writing about a team I follow closely.
Yep, Rivaldo is not free anymore, he's playin in Mogi Mirim, and I think he's also the chairman of that club.. Not sure though.
Great guide, though IIRC Rivaldo isn't free anymore? Either way, it's a superbly detailed and well-written guide, great job writing about a team I follow closely.

Oh dear, wasn't aware of that. If anyone has any other recommendations of experienced free players that I can replace Rivaldo with in the guide, I'm all ears. Am I right in thinking Riquelme's a free agent?