BV Borussia Dortmund captain Stefan Reuter is desperate for a UEFA Cup winners' medal.
If BV Borussia Dortmund are to defeat Feyenoord and lift the UEFA Cup tonight, they will need to draw on the experience of stars like captain Stefan Reuter.
The Dortmund stalwart, who has earned 69 caps for Germany, has played against Feyenoord in Europe before, with two tough encounters in the first group phase of the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League. “We drew 1-1 in Rotterdam and in the home game as well,” he says. “They were two very interesting matches, so you can be sure that it is also going to be tight this time in the final."
'We must neutralise their strengths'
After those games, the Dutch side progressed from the group at the expense of Dortmund, and the 35-year-old Reuter is determined to make sure that history does not repeat itself. “They have technically very interesting players in their side. We know that they are dangerous up front, that’s for sure, and you need to neutralise those strengths. Pierre Van Hooijdonk is one player we will have to mark carefully.”
But Reuter, who was an integral part of the Ottmar Hitzfeld side who won the Champions League in 1997, is at pains to stress that Dortmund must be confident and take the game to their opponents. “We have very good qualities in our team and we will have to impose our strengths on them. We simply have to create chances. We play a strong and determined attacking game and I hope that will be enough to get us through.”
'Moving in the right direction'
One thought that is driving Reuter on is the memory of the 1992/93 UEFA Cup final, which Dortmund lost to Juventus FC. “At that time we didn’t have a chance and lost both matches [the final was over two legs]. It is something very special to take part in a final and I haven’t won the UEFA Cup yet. It would be a dream to win this title. And for Borussia it would be confirmation that they have developed into a good side over the last two years and that we are moving in the right direction.”