Dortmund suffer Gotze transfer blow before Madrid duel in Champions League

Klopp’s pre-match press conference ahead of today’s first leg was dominated by talk about Gotze following the shock announcement the attacking midfielder would be joining new Bundesliga champions Bayern on July 1.

Mario Goetze and Kevin Grosskreutz
Dortmund’s midfielder Mario Goetze (left) with midfielder Kevin Grosskreutz during a training session in Dortmund yesterday. Pic/AFP

The news of the 20-year-old’s impending departure has been greeted by fierce criticism from Dortmund supporters, and the timing could hardly have been worse for the club ahead of the visit of Madrid to the Westfalenstadion.

However, Klopp does not want the transfer bombshell to be an issue amongst the fans when Dortmund take the field — pointing out the team come before any individual.

He said: “If anybody doesn’t manage to realise by tomorrow how much effort has gone into getting us to where we are, then maybe they should not bother turning up. It is now up to every single one of us to show that Borussia Dortmund comes first.

“If anybody cannot hide their disappointment, then it would be nice if they would pass their tickets onto somebody who can. This team deserves to be supported.

“Since this will be my last chance to appeal to our fans, I want to say once again: leave the negative thoughts at home, come here and give us everything you’ve got and let us beat Real Madrid.

“This chance is too big for us to concern ourselves with any other issues. The match is far too important.”┬áDortmund are in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1998.

That semi-final 15 years ago saw Dortmund suffer a 2-0 aggregate defeat to Madrid, who would go on to replace the German side as European champions.

Dortmund have had the better of the Spanish giants so far in this year’s Champions League though, beating Jose Mourinho’s men 2-1 at home in the group stage and only being denied an identical scoreline at the Bernabeu by an 89th-minute Mesut Ozil equaliser.

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