Kuba, the big melancholic
It is mid-April in 2008, our BVB is playing the first German Cup final since 1989. Around 40 000 BVB fans went on board for a journey, colouring the wet and cold capital in blackyellow that weekend. The week before, we had been defeated big time. The 0:5 against our final opponent Bayern was actually overcome by a 1:3 home defeat against Hannover during the week. Shortly before the game we get to hear the rumour for the first time: Jürgen Klopp will replace Thomas Doll for the season 2008/2009. It is only a rumour so far, but it goes around quite quickly. We'd rather be redeemed today than tomorrow. But first we are heading into the Olympiastadium. Supporting the team for 120 minutes. On the pitch there are: Ziegler, Rukavina, Wörns, Kovac, Dede, Kehl, Kuba, Tinga, Kringe, Petric, Frei. On the bench are: Bade, Degen, Kruska, Hummels.
The beginning of April 2011. It wasn't a very good year for the last surviving actor of the Cup-team. Kuba, by now the team captain of the Polish Nationalteam, had lost his permanent place on the right side throughout the season. And even though he will be able to play 29 times during the season, only six of those will be played the whole game through, 14 times he will come in as a substitute player, nine times he will be taken out of the game. In the second half of the season Kuba will score exactly one goal, after he had scored twice in the first half of the season and achieved four assists as well. Again we hear words of his final season wearing the Dortmund jersey. He got too slow, too shy, his feared attacks and crosses had only been a legend after all. After he had been dressed in premature praise when he was bought in summr 2007, he has now been fighting for around three years to get back in shape- or so it seems. On the stands, fans tear each others hair whenever he gets close to the ball. "And this guy wants to be the Polish Figo? He better back off right away then." "You're so right, I prefer the Dortmunder Messi over him anyway." And so they cheer for another action played by Mario Götze. This shooting star had pushed Kuba on the bench throughout the season and despite the absence of Kagawa, Klopp keeps Götze on the flank and puts Kubas compatriot onto the center position.
In early April all of Kubas great moments of the first half of the season are forgotten; his amazing effort in the away derby and the defining drive at the 4:0 away victory in Hannover. The big melancholic in the team of the Young Guns, whose laughter has only been seen by a small number of people, whose facial expression tend to be gloomy, still has to get over one of the scences of the season. The build up from Lewandowski for the 3:1 in the away game against Freiburg. Not only Kuba, but a whole league remembers this moment. From a penalty shot distance there is Kuba, after coming into the game in the 61. minute, all alone, Freiburgs keeper is lying on the ground, defeated, after a duel against Lewandowski. But with his back behind his feet, the then 24 year old Polish player lost his nerves. From an eleven meters distance he hammered the ball into Freiburgs sky. On our Netradio, Norbert Dickel had to catch his voice again, various youtube videos have around 1.000.000 klicks up until today. "This cannot be true. There is no one there, no goalkeeper, and Kuba shoots the ball over the goal. This reminds me on 1986 and Frank Mill in the Olympiastadium in Munich. How he shoots the ball against the goalpost. But this one? This one was even more difficult to miss" Norbert Dickel then explains aghast after an endless minute of silence. Kuba wouldn't get over that one very quickly. Until the 9th of April, 2011. And even weeks after that, on the Championship truck, he will be reminded on that scene. Instead of being allowed to celebrate the party, our bad-ass coach Klopp, selects him along with Barrios, Sahin and Dede in order to practise penalty kicks.
Away game in Hamburg. Since the 39th minute of the game, our BVB is running behind the 0:1 score. Barrios, Götze and Co are wasting chances after chances. Once again the opposite goal keeper has a great day. At the end of the day, Rost will have parried six chances, exactly one too little. In the 92. minute of the game, Sahin conquers the ball at the centerline, after only a few seconds this ball finds its way into the penalty area, Owomoyela lengthens the ball with his head and on the right goal post, there is Kuba. In only a few seconds he can make us all (and himself) forget everything, he can defeat his Freiburg trauma. He succeeds. Taking the ball directly, he hammers it into the goal of the red-trousers, there was nothing to hold. Another person, not able to hold back was our Jürgen Klopp whose tension changed into euphoria. The coach knows as well: if the 1:1 from Götze the week before was the key to the Championship, then Kuba has put the key into the door now. A few weeks later Barrios and Lewandowski would open that door for good. We are the Championship winners and the big melancholic did his share. Unnoticed in front of the big masses.