Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 30th 2015 Contents A61
Saturday, May 30, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
BERLIN---While he'd love to sign off with a win,
outgoing Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp
doesn't want to be the hero in today's German Cup
final against Wolfsburg.
"It's not my aim to be the hero tomorrow," Klopp
said yesterday ahead of his last game in charge. "I'm
happy to leave that to the players."
The 47-year-old coach is leaving Dortmund after
seven memorable seasons, having restored the club's
standing after its flirtation with bankruptcy in 2005
and brushes with relegation in subsequent years.
Klopp took over in 2008 and led Dortmund to the
Bundesliga title in 2011, its first league and cup double
the following year---when Dortmund defeated Bayern
Munich 5-2 in the cup final---and to the 2013 Cham-
pions League final, where Bayern exacted revenge
through a late goal from Arjen Robben.
Under Klopp, Dortmund was a persistent thorn in
Bayern's side though the Bavarian powerhouse left
Dortmund runner-up in the league in 2013 and 2014,
while Bayern also won last year's German Cup final
in extra time.
Dortmund reached today's final at Berlin's Olympias-
tadion by defeating Bayern on penalties in Munich,
where the home side missed all of its spot kicks.
"It was our target at the start of the season to be
here now, and I'm happy we are after such a difficult
season," said Klopp.
This was the first season that Klopp had to face
mild criticism, with some media commen-
tators wondering if he had lost his touch.
There were times it appeared he could do
little to stem the tide.
Dortmund lost stars Mario Goetze and
Robert Lewandowski to Bayern in successive
seasons and struggled to replace them,
while injuries to important players didn't
help either. Klopp's side maintained its
high-pressure intensive game but conceded
on counterattacks and the players appeared
to lack confidence both in defense and
attack. It seemed Klopp had no Plan B.
Dortmund slipped to bottom of the Bun-
desliga in February before the side eventually
recovered to finish seventh and clinch a
place in the Europa League.
If Dortmund beats Wolfsburg, Klopp
would become the club's most successful
coach with six trophies including the two
German Supercup titles. Ottmar Hitzfeld
When he announced his departure in
April, Klopp said his "last dream" was to
enjoy one final time on Borsigplatz, the
Dortmund square where the club celebrates
titles with fans.
"It's one of the best things you can expe-
rience," Klopp said yesterday. "It could
become a hobby of mine." (AP)
Aston Villa is one win away from ending a 19-
year wait for a major trophy and it's all getting a bit
too much for the second in line to the British throne.
"I'm nervous now. I'm terrified," said Prince William,
who has supported Villa since he was a schoolboy.
The prince won't be the only famous name cheering
for the central English club in today's FA Cup final
against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium. Hollywood star
Tom Hanks and British Prime Minister David Cameron
have also previously pledged their allegiance to Villa,
which was European champion in 1982 and has won
the English league seven times.
The club has fallen on harder times in recent years,
though, and is more likely nowadays to be battling
against relegation from the Premier League than com-
peting for trophies.
This year, Villa has done both.
Under vibrant new manager Tim Sherwood, Villa
avoided dropping out of England's lucrative top division
only on the next-to-last weekend of the season. And
it has reached the final of world football's oldest club
knockout competition by embarking on a surprising
run that has included wins over West Bromwich Albion
and Liverpool in the last two rounds.
Arsenal stands between Villa and a first trophy since
winning the English League Cup in 1996. And Sher-
wood is showing a lot more confidence in the team
that the prince.
"This is an opportunity to pick up another trophy
for this fantastic football club and for the players to
put themselves in the history books," Sherwood said.
"There's a hero in that dressing room somewhere."
Ever the optimist, Sherwood has revitalised Villa
in his three months as manager.
He took over a team that had plunged into the Pre-
mier League's bottom three on the back of a 10-match
winless run. Villa's paltry total of 12 goals in 25 games
to that point was the lowest in the Premier League's
Relegation beckoned, only for Sherwood to breeze
into Villa Park and shake things up.
"It's been an interesting season for Villa," Prince
William said in an interview with the BBC that will
be broadcast today. "The guys have battled through.
They've done seriously well, and I'm really excited
about Tim's leadership---he's doing a really great job
with them." (AP)
Underdog Villa aims
to spring a surprise
in FA Cup final
Klopp preparing for last game in charge of Dortmund
Klopp waves his hat
to say farewell to
Saturday. AP PHOTO
Links Archive May 29th 2015 May 31st 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page