BV Borussia Dortmund might have been Germany's first winners in Europe, but this has been no guarantee of success for the 1. Bundesliga club.
Long wait for success
Thirty-one years separate their two triumphs on the continental stage - the 1966 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and the 1997 UEFA Champions League. In between times, they even endured a spell in the German second division. That was in the 1970s, and it was only two decades later that the team from the Westfalenstadion re-emerged to challenge for the game's top honours under
coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.
The winning habit
First, though, they had the disappointment of losing the 1993 UEFA Cup final to Juventus FC. Dortmund had seen off Celtic FC, Real Zaragoza, AS Roma and AJ Auxerre but were no match for the Italians - falling to a 6-1 aggregate defeat. Four years on, they would not make the same mistake against the same opponent. By now ex-Juventus stars Julio Cesar, Jürgen Kohler and Andreas Möller had swapped sides and brought that winning habit to the luminous-yellow corner of the Ruhr.
No more seconds
A runners-up berth in their Champions League group behind Club Atlético de Madrid would be Dortmund's last experience of second best as they beat Auxerre and Manchester United FC to reach the final. Here, at Munich's Olympiastadion, they surprised favourites Juventus with two goals from Karl-Heinz Riedle and another from Lars Ricken in a 3-1 victory.
Back on top
Thus Dortmund regained the lofty position they had occupied in 1966 - when as their country's chief flag-wavers they lifted the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. This was just three seasons after the arrival of professional football in West Germany and the fruit of a hard-earned win against Liverpool FC in the final at Hampden Park. An extra-time effort by Reinhard 'Stan' Libuda made the score 2-1 to Dortmund after Roger Hunt had equalised Sigi Held's opening goal. Libuda's shot took a wicked deflection but kept Dortmund on course for the spoils promised by wins against FC CSKA Sofia, Atlético and West Ham United FC.
Do not fade away
Yet the glory did not last and Dortmund faded out of contention at home and abroad. They will be back there in bold relief if they can beat Feyenoord in the UEFA Cup final on 8 May.
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