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Borussia Dortmund History- All about the Club

Borussia Dortmund, also known as Dortmund or BVB, is a professional sports club located in Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Borussia Dortmund history has been marked by significant achievements and a strong commitment to developing young talent. The club was established in 1909 by eighteen football players from the city and has since grown to become the second-largest sports club in Germany, with over 145,000 members.

The club is renowned for its men’s professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the highest level of German football. The team has achieved numerous accolades in its history which are considered Dortmund honors, including eight league championships, five DFB-Pokals, one UEFA Champions League, one Intercontinental Cup, and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

The team’s home stadium is the Westfalenstadion, which is the largest stadium in Germany, and Dortmund has the highest average attendance of any football club in the world. Borussia Dortmund’s colors are black and yellow, which has earned them the nickname die Schwarzgelben. The team has a significant rivalry with their Ruhr neighbors Schalke 04, with whom they play the Revierderby, and also competes against Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker.

Borussia Dortmund has been ranked as the second richest sports club in Germany and the 12th richest football team in the world according to Deloitte’s annual Football Money League in 2021. In recent years, the club has developed a reputation for spotting and developing young talent under the directorship of Michael Zorc in the 2010s.

Borussia Dortmund History

Many details about the club are going to be included in this article, details such as Borussia Dortmund badge history, Borussia Dortmund Champions league history, Borussia Dortmund kit history, Borussia Dortmund logo history, Borussia Dortmund jersey history, Borussia Dortmund honors, Borussia Dortmund trophies history, Borussia Dortmund mascot history, Borussia Dortmund Stadiums, Borussia Dortmund rivalries history, and Borussia Dortmund managers history.

When it all Began, 1909 to 1949

Borussia Dortmund history - When it all Began, 1909 to 1949
credit: passionemaglie.it

Borussia Dortmund history dates back to December 19, 1909, when a group of dissatisfied young men formed the club in response to their negative experiences playing football under the strict guidance of their local parish priest.

The founding members included Franz and Paul Braun, Henry Cleve, Hans Debest, Paul Dziendzielle, Franz, Julius and Wilhelm Jacobi, Hans Kahn, Gustav Muller, Franz Risse, Fritz Schulte, Hans Siebold, August Tonnesmann, Heinrich and Robert Unger, Fritz Weber, and Franz Wendt.

The club’s name, Borussia, meaning Prussia in Latin, was taken from a local beer brand, Borussia, from the Borussia brewery in Dortmund. Initially, the team played in blue and white striped shirts with a red sash and black shorts, but in 1913, they switched to black and yellow stripes.

Despite its early establishment, the club had only moderate success playing in local leagues for several decades. In 1929, the team faced financial troubles when an attempt to boost the club’s fortunes by signing paid professional footballers failed and left them in significant debt. Fortunately, the team was rescued from bankruptcy by a generous local supporter who covered the shortfall from his own pocket.

The Nazi Era
Borussia Dortmund history - The Nazi Era
credit: usatoday.com

During the 1930s, the Third Reich gained power and reorganized sports and football organizations to align with the regime’s objectives. Borussia Dortmund’s president was replaced when he declined to join the Nazi Party, and a few members who used the club’s premises to produce anti-Nazi materials were executed near the end of World War II.

Although Borussia had more success in the newly established Gauliga Westfalen, the club would not achieve a breakthrough until after the war. During this period, they established a fierce rivalry with Schalke 04, the most successful team of the time (known as the Revierderby).

After the war, like all other German organizations, Borussia was disbanded by the occupying Allied forces to distance the country’s institutions from its recent Nazi past. The club briefly attempted to merge with two others before making their first appearance in the national league final as Ballspiel-Verein Borussia (BVB) in 1949, where they were defeated 2-3 by VfR Mannheim.

The Old German League, 1946 to 1963

Borussia Dortmund history - The Old German League, 1946 to 1963
credit: bvb.de

During the period of 1947 to 1963 in Borussia Dortmund history, the club was a prominent team in the Oberliga West, which was the premier division in German football during the late 1950s. The club reached the national final in Stuttgart in 1949, losing 2-3 in extra time to VfR Mannheim.

In 1956, Borussia Dortmund won their first national title by defeating Karlsruher SC 4-2, followed by another national title win in 1957 with a 4-1 victory against Hamburger SV. The three Alfredos (Alfred Preibler, Alfred Kelbassa, and Alfred Niepieklo) became legendary figures in Dortmund after the second national title win.

Finally, in 1963, Borussia Dortmund won their third national title and the last edition of the German Football Championship before the introduction of the new Bundesliga.

1962 to 1989

1962 to 1989
credit: sportschau.de

Borussia Dortmund history dates back to the early days of German professional football, with the team earning its place in the inaugural Bundesliga in 1963 by winning the last pre-Bundesliga national championship.

Although they lost their first Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen, Dortmund would go on to win the DFB-Pokal in 1965 and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1966. However, financial difficulties plagued the team in the 1970s, leading to relegation from the Bundesliga in 1972.

Dortmund bounced back to the top league in 1976 but continued to struggle financially throughout the 1980s, narrowly avoiding relegation in 1986 before winning the DFB-Pokal and DFL-Supercup in 1989.

The Golden Era, 1990 to 2000

The Golden Era, 1990 to 2000
credit: thesefootballtimes.co

Borussia Dortmund history saw a change in management after Horst Koppel was let go following a tenth-place finish in the Bundesliga in 1991. Ottmar Hitzfeld was hired as the new manager and led Dortmund to a second-place finish in the Bundesliga in 1992, coming close to winning the title if it weren’t for VfB Stuttgart’s last-game victory.

Despite losing the 1993 UEFA Cup final 6-1 on aggregate to Juventus, Dortmund received DM25 million in prize money, which they used to sign players who later helped the team win back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 1995 and 1996 under the captaincy of Matthias Sammer.

Dortmund also won the DFL Supercup in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, Dortmund reached its first European Cup final, defeating Juventus 3-1 in a memorable match at the Olympiastadion in Munich.

In 1997, Borussia Dortmund became world club champions by defeating Brazilian team Cruzeiro 2-0 in the Intercontinental Cup Final. This victory made Dortmund the second German club, following Bayern Munich in 1976, to win the Intercontinental Cup.

In 1998, as the defending champions, Dortmund made it to the semi-finals of the Champions League. However, they faced a challenge as several key players were missing due to various reasons. Matthias Sammer, whose career was cut short by injury, only played three first-team games after the Champions League win.

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert had left in November to return to Scotland, and Andreas Moller and Jurgen Kohler missed the first leg against Real Madrid, with Kohler missing both games in the tie.

Real Madrid won the first leg 2-0 at home, and although Dortmund played better in the second leg, they were unable to capitalize on their opportunities and lost 2-0 on aggregate, resulting in their elimination from the tournament.

More Success, 2000 to 2008

More Success, 2000 to 2008
credit: trivela.com

In Borussia Dortmund history, the club achieved a significant milestone in October 2000, becoming the first publicly traded club on the German stock market. Two years later, in 2002, the club won their third Bundesliga title with an impressive end-of-season run that saw them overtake Bayer Leverkusen and secure the title on the final day.

Dortmund managers history tells us that this achievement was made even more special by manager Matthias Sammer, who became the first person in Borussia Dortmund history to win the Bundesliga both as a player and manager.

However, the club’s success was short-lived as they lost the final of the 2001-02 UEFA Cup to Dutch side Feyenoord, and their fortunes steadily declined due to poor financial management.

Borussia Dortmund faced a heavy debt load, leading to the sale of their Westfalenstadion grounds, and failure to advance in the 2003-04 UEFA Champions League further compounded their situation. Bayern Munich even loaned €2 million to Dortmund in 2003 to help pay their payroll. In 2005, the club was again driven to the brink of bankruptcy, with the value of its shares having plummeted by over 80% on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

In response to this crisis, Hans-Joachim Watzke was appointed CEO and implemented a series of measures, including a 20% pay cut for all players. The Westfalenstadion was renamed “Signal Iduna Park” in 2006 as part of efforts to reduce the club’s debt.

Barely Escaping Relegation
Barely Escaping Relegation
credit: eurosport.com

Despite a difficult start to the 2005-06 season, Borussia Dortmund managed to turn things around and finished in seventh place. However, the team was unable to secure a spot in the UEFA Cup through the Fair Play draw. The club’s management reported that they had recently made a profit, largely due to the sales of David Odonkor to Real Betis and Tomas Rosicky to Arsenal.

During the 2006-07 season, Borussia Dortmund experienced a surprising downturn in their performance and were at risk of relegation for the first time in a while. The team had to make several coaching changes before appointing Thomas Doll on March 13, 2007, when they found themselves just one point above the relegation zone. Additionally, Christoph Metzelder departed from the team on a free transfer.

During the 2007-08 season, Borussia Dortmund suffered several defeats against lower-ranked Bundesliga teams. Although they finished in the 13th position in the league table, they managed to qualify for the UEFA Cup as they reached the DFB-Pokal Final against Bayern Munich, losing 2-1 in extra time.

As a result of their final appearance, they earned the UEFA Cup spot since Bayern had already secured a spot in the Champions League. Following this season, Thomas Doll resigned from his position on 19 May 2008 and was succeeded by Jurgen Klopp.

Greatness with Jurgen Klopp, 2009 to 2015

Greatness with Jurgen Klopp, 2009 to 2015
credit: uefa.com

In the 2009–10 season, Borussia Dortmund history saw an improvement in their performance under Klopp, finishing fifth in the Bundesliga and earning a spot in the UEFA Europa League. However, the team missed the chance to qualify for the Champions League after failing to win against VfL Wolfsburg and SC Freiburg in the final two games of the season.

Moving into the 2010–11 season, Dortmund had a young and dynamic squad. They became Herbstmeister or “Autumn Champion,” a title given to the league leader at the winter break, on 4 December 2010, achieving this feat three matches before the break and sharing the record with Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FC Kaiserslautern who achieved this earliest in 1993–94 and 1997–98, respectively.

On 30 April 2011, they defeated 1. FC Nurnberg 2–0 at home, while Bayer Leverkusen lost, leaving Dortmund eight points clear with two games to go. This victory helped the club equal the seven national titles held by their rivals Schalke 04 and ensured their participation in the 2011–12 Champions League group stages.

In the following year, Borussia Dortmund defended their Bundesliga title by beating Borussia Monchengladbach on the 32nd match day, and they broke a new record by gaining 81 points in one Bundesliga season by the final match day.

Right Behind Bayern
Right Behind Bayern
credit: en.as.com

However, this record was later surpassed by Bayern Munich the next season with 91 points. With this eighth championship title, Dortmund ranked third in total national titles, and players were now authorized to wear two stars over their uniform crest to recognize the team’s five Bundesliga titles.

The winning roster included prominent names such as Lucas Barrios, Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, and Mats Hummels. In the 2011-12 season, they won the double for the first time by beating Bayern Munich 5-2 in the final of the DFB-Pokal.

Borussia Dortmund was named Team of the Year 2011 at the Sportler des Jahres (German Sports Personality of the Year) awards.

In Borussia Dortmund Champions league history, we see that in the 2012-13 season, Dortmund finished second in the Bundesliga and lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League Final, which was the first all-German club final held at Wembley Stadium.

Klopp Saying Goodbye
Klopp Saying Goodbye
credit: goal.com

Borussia Dortmund history saw the team win the 2013 DFL-Supercup against Bayern Munich in the 2013-14 season. The season began strongly for Dortmund, winning their first five games, but it was marred by injuries to key players. The team was only able to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League, where they lost 3-2 on aggregate to Real Madrid.

However, Dortmund finished the season on a high note, ending up second in the Bundesliga and reaching the DFB-Pokal final, although they lost 2-0 to Bayern in extra time.

The team began the following season by defeating Bayern in the 2014 DFL-Supercup 2-0, but struggled in the early stages of the season with various results, including a 0-1 loss to Hamburger SV and two 2-2 draws against VfB Stuttgart and Paderborn 07.

Dortmund even found themselves at the bottom of the table on multiple occasions but managed to avoid relegation with four consecutive wins in February.

After seven years, Jurgen Klopp announced his departure from Dortmund in April 2015, but the team managed to finish his final season on a high note, qualifying for the Europa League and gaining a DFB-Pokal final with VfL Wolfsburg, ultimately finishing seventh in the Bundesliga.

2015 to Present

2015 to Present
credit: bvbbuzz.com

In the 2015-16 season, Dortmund started strong and won several games but lost the top spot to Bayern Munich. They continued to perform well and were the best Bundesliga runner-up team of all time. They made it to the quarter-finals of the Europa League but were knocked out by Liverpool.

The team also reached the DFB-Pokal final for the third year in a row but lost to Bayern Munich on penalties. In 2017, three explosions occurred near the team’s bus, and they lost a Champions League match to AS Monaco.

Thomas Tuchel stepped down as manager, and Peter Bosz took over but was eventually replaced by Peter Stoger. Lucien Favre was appointed as the new manager in 2018, and they narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga title in the 2018-19 season.

They won the DFB-Supercup but no other trophies in the 2019-20 season, and Favre was replaced by Marco Rose in 2021. They won the DFB-Pokal but finished third in the Bundesliga under caretaker Edin Terzic who is now become the head coach of the team.

Borussia Dortmund Kit History and Sponsors

Borussia Dortmund Sponsors History
credit: 90min.com

Evonik is Borussia Dortmund’s primary advertising partner and current shirt sponsor. The Westfalenstadion was renamed Signal Iduna Park until 2025 after the insurance company Signal Iduna purchased the naming rights.

Puma has been the main equipment supplier since the 2012-2013 season, and the contract is still in effect. In 2017-2018, Opel became the club’s first-ever sleeve sponsor. Borussia Dortmund history includes three different levels of partners: BVBChampionPartner, BVBPartner, and BVBProduktPartner.

These partnerships include various companies such as Opel, Coca-Cola, and TEDi. Since 2012, Brixental in the Kitzbuhel Alps in Austria has also been a sponsor of Borussia Dortmund, and the region is the venue for one of the club’s annual summer training camps.

Borussia Dortmund Philanthropy

Borussia Dortmund Philanthropy
credit: bvbbuzz.com

Over the years, Borussia Dortmund has contributed to various charitable causes. In May 2011, the club organized a charity match against “Team Japan” to raise funds for the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The proceeds from the game and a donation of €1 million from their main sponsor, Evonik, were donated to the cause.

In November 2012, the club established a charitable trust named “leuchte auf” to support social projects financially. The trust’s logo features a star made up of the streets that intersect at Borsigplatz, where the club was founded. In July 2013, the club organized another charity game to help victims of the 2013 German floods in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Borussia Dortmund and three other German UEFA Champions League teams, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen, collectively donated €20 million to support Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga teams that were facing financial difficulties.

Since 1996, the players of Borussia Dortmund have been visiting a children’s hospital in Dortmund during Advent to meet with patients and give them gifts.

Borussia Dortmund Stadiums

Borussia Dortmund Stadiums
credit: wikipedia

Borussia Dortmund plays their home games at the Westfalenstadion, which is the largest stadium in Germany and the seventh-largest in Europe, with a maximum capacity of 81,365 spectators for league matches and 65,829 for international matches.

The stadium is officially named Signal Iduna Park due to a naming rights deal with an insurance company, but this name cannot be used during FIFA and UEFA events, which require non-sponsorship from non-official partners. During these events, the stadium is referred to as “FIFA World Cup Stadium, Dortmund” and “BVB Stadion Dortmund,” respectively.

The Westfalenstadion replaced the Stadion Rote Erde in 1974 due to the growing popularity of Borussia Dortmund in the 1960s, which led to an increasing number of supporters. The city of Dortmund lacked the funds to finance the stadium, but in 1971, the city was chosen to host World Cup games after Cologne withdrew its plans, and the funds originally designated for Cologne’s stadium were allocated to Dortmund.

The stadium has undergone several renovations over the years, including an expansion for the 2006 World Cup. The Borusseum, a museum about Borussia Dortmund, opened in the stadium in 2008, and in 2011, a partnership with Q-Cells resulted in the installation of 8,768 solar cells on the stadium roof to generate renewable energy.

Their Training Grounds

Borussia Dortmund Training Grounds
credit: goal.com

Borussia Dortmund’s training ground and academy, known as Hohenbuschei, can be found in Brackel, a district in Dortmund. The complex has a range of facilities, including areas for physical exercise, rehabilitation robotics, physiotherapy and massage, remedial and hydrotherapy pools, sauna and steam rooms, weight rooms, classrooms, conference halls, offices, a restaurant, and a TV studio for interviews.

There are five grass pitches, two of which have under-soil heating, one artificial grass field, three small grass pitches, and a multi-functional sports arena, all covering a total area of 18,000 square meters. The club also owns a Footbonaut training robot.

Damian Cade
Damian Cade
He is an enthusiastic senior writer for Footbalium who leans towards writing and researching the history of football clubs and players' life stories.
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