′Cinta sejati′ - ′Echte Liebe′ in Indonesia | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 02.11.2017
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'Cinta sejati' - 'Echte Liebe' in Indonesia

It's not only BVB fans in Germany who are looking forward to Saturday's clash with Bayern Munich. Thousands of kilometers away In Indonesia, Borussia Dortmund games are just as eagerly anticipated.

It's hot. The thermometer in Jakarta reads 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) and it's really humid as Wirnandi Nurul Huda battles his way through the traffic in the Indonesian capital on his motorbike. It's easy to go unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of a city of 30 million people – but not for Wirnandi.

The 30-year-old stands out a mile away thanks to a huge sticker emblazoned on his white helmet, featuring the logo of his favorite football team:Borussia Dortmund. Add a small BVB rucksack and a yellow-and-black jersey and it's easy to see how proud Wirnandi is of his club.

"I've been a Borussia Dortmund fan since 2002," he says. "I love the club because they have fantastic fans. The stadium is always full and the atmosphere really is unique." It's not just the atmosphere at the Westfalenstadion, which he only knows from television, that led to Wirandi's love affair with BVB.

"My favorite player is Jan Koller – he was our striker and was exactly 202 centimeters (6 feet, 7 inches) tall!" he explains, laughing as he casts his mind back to November 9, 2002, when the then-defending Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund were away to Bayern Munich.

"Our goalkeeper, Jens Lehmann, was sent off after an hour and Koller had to go in goal," he exclaims. 

Since then, Wirnandi has followed the fortunes of his favorite club.

'It's about pride and honor'

Indonesien Fanklub Borussia Dortmund (DW/T. Klein)

Match day in Indonesia

The game that made Wirnandi a BVB fan featured the second-placed team in the Bundesliga against the league leaders – a situation which will be repeated on Saturday. In the 15 intervening years, the game has acquired the moniker of Der Klassiker – the rivalry is intense and the games are always something special.

"It's about more than just three points," Wirnandi says. "It's about pride and honor. We know that Bayern have been the dominant team in the last five years, but that's all the more reason to attack them and get the title back." Although he is disappointed with Dortmund's current bad run of form, Wirnandi still believes victory is possible against the mighty Bavarians.

"I'm optimistic! We have to rediscover our strengths and deliver our best performance. Then we'll have a chance."

The true meaning of Echte Liebe?

As in Germany, BVB fans in Indonesia find themselves in the minority in comparison to Bayern.

"I think our fan club is still too young to be compared to Bayern's," Wirnandi explains. "We founded the BDFCI in 2012 but we've only really been properly active for about two years."

Unlike in Germany however, there is little rivalry between the fans themselves. It's a more friendly relationship and the football is the main focus.

"Of course, some of the fans are typical glory-hunters but not all. Most are very friendly, too," he says. "The Bayern fans have been supporting their team for years and are very loyal, just like us."

Ahead of the clash on Matchday 11, there will even be a futsal match against the Bayern fan club.

"Then maybe we'll watch the game together," says Wirnandi, who describes a less intense rivalry. "Being a football fan isn't just about loving your own club but also respecting other clubs and their fans – that, for me, is Echte Liebe (true love), the slogan of Borussia Dortmund - or as the Indonesians say: cinta sejati.

Indonesien Fanklub Borussia Dortmund (DW/T. Klein)

Like father like son: Wirnandi and Orvala

Orvala: Future professional footballer?

Wirnandi sits on his bed and packs his football boots, socks, shorts and a jersey into his bag. All in BVB colors, of course. Then he picks up a football, grabs his son, Orvala, and together they head to a small football pitch nearby. Orvala is also a Dortmund fan (what choice does he have?).

"Because of me!" says Wirnandi, proudly as he helps his son put his boots on. "When Orvala was just a baby, I bought him every piece of Borussia Dortmund kit I could get my hands on."

The two of them kick the ball around the asphalt pitch, both in full kit, both having fun. After an hour, they finally give in to the pressing humidity and "training" is over. "I have one dream," says Wirnandi, catching his breath. "I want Orvala to play for Borussia Dortmund." Then he pauses and thinks for a second. "But if that doesn't work out then he can just be a Dortmund fan like me."

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