Reminiscing about European times
On Thursday evening, Borussia will celebrate its (hopefully glorious) return to the big European stage of Europa League. This is enough reason for us to take a look back to all Borussian accomplishments in the recent past, which means since the start of the new millennium. It will turn out that our last steps in European competition were not really successful but we will hope the best to get to the group stage this year and get a big advantage on Thursday.
The last success
The last big success in Europe goes back to season 2001/2002. After qualifying for Champions League against Donezk with two victories (2-0 away, 3-1 at home), Borussia was out of competition after the group stage of the Champions League. The squad who will win the Championship later that season lost 0-2 in Liverpool and got the third rank with 6-7 goals and eight points. However, this was enough to qualify for the third round of the UEFA-Cup. From there on, Borussia defeated Copenhagen two times (1-0 away after a last-minute goal of Heiko Herrlich, 1-0 at home after one of the few goals of Jan-Derek Sörensen) and managed to overcome Lille without winning one of the matches (1-1 in Lille, Ewerthon scored for BVB, 0-0 at home). In the quarterfinal of the UEFA-Cup Liberec was our opponent and away, we only got a 0-0. But in beautiful Westfalenstadion, they didn’t stand a chance and we sent them home 4-0 with goals by Amoroso, Koller, Ricken and Ewerthon (players of glorious times as you all will remember). So we were one step away from the final of the UEFA-Cup, but with AC Milan being our opponent in the semi-final it seemed not to be very easy. However, BVB impressively won 4-0 at home with three goals of Marcio Amoroso and one goal by Jörn Heinrich. Away, we lost 1-3 with a goal by Lars Ricken, but that was enough to get to Rotterdam, where the final took place against Feyenoord. Therefore, it turned out to be an away match and we had our problems with it. In his last European match of his career, football god Jürgen Kohler was sent away from the pitch in minute 31 and Feyenoord was awarded a penalty which Pierre van Hooijdonk used to get the lead in minute 33. Seven minutes later, it was again van Hooijdonk who doubled the score and Borussia seemed to be beaten. But BVB came back, Amoroso scored with an penalty in minute 47 only to get the 1-3 by Tomasson three minutes later. However, Borussia fighted back again, Koller managed to score the 2-3, but that was the end of the story. A memorable match, even if we lost it, since it was the last European success of Borussia. Here is the line-up of the match against Feyenoord:
Jens Lehmann - Christian Wörns , Jürgen Kohler , Evanilson , Stefan Reuter , Tomas Rosicky , Lars Ricken (70. Jörg Heinrich) , Dede , Ewerthon (61. Otto Addo) , Jan Koller , Marcio Amoroso
One year later, BVB was qualified for the Champions League as German Championship Winner, where in the group stage they managed to overcome Arsenal London, AJ Auxerre and PSV Eindhoven. All in all, we got 10 points and 8-7 goals to qualify for the second group stage (a stupid concept which is abolished nowadays) as the second-ranked club in our group. Against Real Madrid, Lokomotive Moskau and AC Milan, we managed to get 8-5 goals and 10 points, but unfortunately and unusually, this was not enough to qualify for the next round. In Bundesliga, BVB lost his second place in the ranking due to a terrible draw against Cottbus on the last day of the season and as we all now, this was the beginning of the nearly-end. The third rank meant that we had to qualify for Champions League and against Brügge, things did not develop the way we want it. After a 1-2 defeat away (goal by Amoroso) and a 2-1 victory at home (goals by Amoroso, who scored for Brügge, too and Ewerthon), we lost to penalties and had to start in UEFA-Cup again. In the first round, we were successful against Austria Vienna (2-1 away, goals: Addo and Ricken, 1-0 at home, goal by Ricken), but in the next round, there was the FC Sochaux out of France. After overcoming a 0-2 deficit at home and finally getting a 2-2 after goals by Senesie and Ewerthon, we totally lost control away and lost 0-4. Compare the squad of that day with the line-up of the final against Rotterdam and you will notice the big difference between the two seasons:
Roman Weidenfeller - Juan Ramon Fernandez , Christian Wörns , Stefan Reuter , Niclas Jensen (59. David Odonkor) , Sebastian Kehl , Flavio Conceicao (78. Guy Demel) , Tomas Rosicky (74. Lars Ricken) , Jan Koller , Ewerthon , Salvatore Gambino
The last matches on European Grounds
The following two years are very easy to summarize. In the Intertoto-Cup, the old and now abolished chance to qualify for UEFA-Cup we lost our chance. 2004/2005 against Genk, we managed to win away (1-0, goal by Odonkor), but lost 1-2 at home (goals for Genk by De Camargo, now playing for Mönchengladbach). One year later, we could not qualify against Olmütz after having played 1-1 at home (goals by Ricken and an own goal by Koller) and only getting a 0-0 away. After making it to the German Cup Final in 2008, Borussia qualified for UEFA-Cup again thanks to Munich being qualified for Champions League through Bundesliga. However, our appearance in that season was very soon forgotten. We lost 0-2 in Udine, Italy and had to overcome that deficit at home. With great fighting spirit and a great Tamas Hajnal, who scored shortly before halftime and before the final whistle, BVB got to penalties, but lost to Udine at the end of a long and heart-breaking evening. Here is the line-up of the last BVB match on European Ground:
Roman Weidenfeller - Young Pyo Lee , Neven Subotic , Robert Kovac , Marcel Schmelzer , Tinga (68. Nelson Valdez) , Sebastian Kehl , Florian Kringe (84. Bayram Sadrijaj) , Tamas Hajnal , Jakub Blaszczykowski , Alexander Frei (77. Nuri Sahin)
So it is time to be successful in Europe again since we have witnessed terrible defeats in European competition recently. So let’s hope to win against Agdam Qarabag next Thursday to make a big step directed to the group stage of the Europa League and to advance as often as possible. Not only for financial reasons, but also because Borussia and the best fans of the world deserve it. By the way, all the stats are taken from our archive at schwatzgelb.de which can be reached here. Nearly 4000 matches of Borussia are in it so if you are looking for a line-up or just want to live in memories for a few minutes, take a close look at it.