Borussia Dortmund fans filled with optimism despite missing out on Bundesliga title | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.05.2019
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Borussia Dortmund fans filled with optimism despite missing out on Bundesliga title

As the last matchday of the Bundesliga season approached, many were thrilled by the prospect of Borussia Dortmund winning the title. Despite that not happening, their fans had their reasons to celebrate.

Borussia Dortmund's season was one of ups and downs. The side that finished the first half of the season with one of the club's highest ever points totals was also the one whose progress seemed to have slowed after the season restarted. The result was the title staying in Munich for a seventh season in a row.

When it comes to the club's fans though, it wasn't all doom and gloom. Far from it.

Adam is a Borussia Dortmund fan who spent most of this season watching BVB live, in the stadium. While he expected Dortmund to get the result they needed, he hardly sounded optimistic about his club's chances of winning the title.

"It's not very likely, but we're Borussia Dortmund," he said in a car full of Dortmund fans while driving towards the city of Mönchengladbach. Some live in Germany, some came all the way from as far as Israel.

'Here to thank the team'

When it comes to Borussia Dortmund's 2018-19 season, the mood seemed to be rather reflective.

"We didn't expect to win the league this season, and we're here to show the team that we support them after a very good season," Adam said.

Fußball | Bundesliga 34. Spieltag | Borussia Mönchengladbach - Borussia Dortmund | Tor 0:1 (Reuters/T. Schmuelgen)

Jadon Sancho scores the opener for Dortmund, who lost out on the Bundesliga title by two points

As the buses carrying the away fans arrived at Mönchengladbach's Borussia Park, spirits seemed high. "Only Borussia Dortmund will be German champions," many of the fans sang. If they did feel like Adam, they weren't showing it. When the Borussia Dortmund players first took to the pitch, it was clear to them that their fans believed.

Reflection of BVB's season

The game started with the ball going from side to side. As Gladbach's Ibrahima Traore's shot looked as if it had been going in after 12 minutes, the ground has turned silent for a second. The ball hit the post, to a loud sigh of relief from the away end.

Gladbach kept on looking like the better team on the pitch, with Borussia Dortmund handing over possession to their rivals through some rather simple passes that quickly turned into lost balls. It felt like the Borussia Dortmund of the second half of the season: Tired, lacking confidence, vulnerable. Similarly to many other Dortmund games from the first half of the season, it was a moment of brilliance from Jadon Sancho that put the away side on the front foot.

The second half, funnily enough, started with a Borussia Dortmund that looked like the BVB side from that fantastic first half of the season. The Dortmund players were brimming with confidence, their passing looked impressive, and Marco Reus' finish reminded the away fans what they were missing in the last two games, in which the Dortmund captain was suspended. Just like the good, old times, just like in November.

Optimism in the stands

Ofer, a Borussia Dortmund fan from Israel said that while Dortmund had "a lot of luck in the first round," BVB's 2018-19 season has left him feeling rather optimistic.

"If we strengthen our team in a few key positions, our squad is very young and good, and we have good reason to look forward to next season," he said.

This optimism seemed to represent the general mood among the Borussia Dortmund faithful that made it to the Borussia Park on the final day of the season.

There wasn't a single moment of silence in that away end. "No matter what happens, we'll sing for you until we die!" they chanted after the stadium screens had indicated another Bayern Munich goal. It certainly felt like the sense of thankfulness projected by Adam and Ofer before the game was shared by the 5,000 traveling supporters.

After the game, the Borussia Dortmund players stood in front of their fans, cheering for them, appreciating their support. The supporters in the away stand returned the favor with chanting that went on for about 20 minutes. No one left their seat, giving departing Christian Pulisic and former captain Marcel Schmelzer a special reception.

Despite not winning the league, it's this sort of optimism that Borussia Dortmund will be happy to take with them into next season.

Head coach Lucien Favre reflected that sentiment afterwards. The Swiss said in the post-match press conference that while the team were "disappointed" to miss out on the title, "we can all be happy with our season."

Adam, Ofer and the thousands of other devoted Borussia Dortmund fans will be there.

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