BERLIN, Sept. 14 — Most fans of Borussia Dortmund claim they can already feel the forthcoming parting pain.
A natural force like power and 63 goals in 64 games in addition to 18 assists for the Black and Yellows have turned Erling Haaland into the supporters’ favorite star, whom they in a few months will greatly miss.
It seems a done deal that the 21-year-old is leaving next summer counting on his exit clause worth 75 million euros.
As Real Madrid is said to be the most promising target for the Norwegian goal-machine, the club fans decided not to grieve about the inevitable but enjoy the spearhead on his farewell tour in Borussia’s shirt as long as possible.
For reason, Haaland’s departure could be crowned with a title as his last season’s wavering side seems to have discovered a strong mentality and robust fighting will.
Ahead of the curtain raiser of group C in the 2021/2022 Champions League campaign against Besiktas Istanbul this Wednesday evening, many see a significant upswing.
German record international Lothar Matthaeus expects Dortmund to challenge national rival Bayern Munich when it comes to this season’s Bundesliga campaign.
“They appear more robust and determined. Borussia has improved compared to last year, they will be Bayern’s most serious rival,” the 1990 World Champion said.
Haaland is Borussia’s mentality monster from Matthaeus’s perspective.
No other German team has been standing for a similar spectacular football, but this year Dortmund seems ready to turn around tight games in their favor such as the thrilling league duel against Leverkusen (4-3).
While coach Marco Rose complains about the annoying number of conceived goals (9 in 4 league games), the club behind closed doors is talking about a surprise on the international stage.
When surviving the group containing Besiktas, Ajax, and Sporting, Dortmund’s journey could well last for some time.
Counting on Haaland’s goals (12 in 10 Champions League games), the knock-out stage is the minimum goal. In case of a lucky draw, some think about the last four.
Dortmund’s staff prepared its team for an exceptional emotional duel in Turkey “as we know how enthusiastic fans there can be. But it’s up to us, to clear the way. We know we have the quality to succeed,” team director Sebastian Kehl said.
Cold-blooded Haaland seems the best choice to face the delicate issue against Besiktas. Dortmund coach Rose is certain that the Norwegian will deliver his share for the teams’ success until his last day in Borussia’s shirt.
“I have the same problem as the Norwegian national coach. We always try to convince Erling to consider a break, but he likes to score his third goal in extra time even when playing against smaller teams,” Rose said.
“Goals,” the 45-year-old assumed with a wink, “seem like recovery time for him.”