Borussia Dortmund have been the best team in the Champions League this season. Drawn in a group alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Ajax, and Manchester City, one could forgive Dortmund for cowering under the mighty prescence of Real Madrid and Manchester City and even Ajax, who have a storied history in the competition. Dortmund have not only held their own against this stature of comepetition, they have laughed at it. Dortmund were unlucky not to take all three points against the petro-dollars backed Manchester City, with only a referee decesion giving City the draw. Dortmund would then utterly dominate Real Madrid not just in Germany, but at the Bernebeau too, taking four points against one of the favorites for the title. Ironically, it was Ajax, the team precieved to be the weakest team in the Group of Death, that gave Dortmund their hardest game in the Champions League this season. Make no mistake, Dortmund have underachieved in the Bundesliga this season (they currently sit 4th with 19 points from 11 games) by their own impeccable standards, with the low point coming in a painful 2-1 home defeat to arch-rivals Schalke. However, in Europe, Dortmund are firing on all cylinders. Though the may only have 8 points thus far, the way the dominated Real Madrid with their free-flowing style of play has shown us that this team has what it takes to win it all. City are on the brink of elimination, Barcelona have been shown to be beatable after the loss against Celtic, Real Madrid have been unuasually poor this season, Manchester United have not impressed against the mediocre opposition in their group, Chelsea and Juventus have been dominated by Shaktar, Bayern looked beatable in the loss against BATE Borisov, Arsenal and Milan have been overshadowed by Schalke and Malaga respectivley, while Porto and Paris St. Germain do not have the depth nor experiencie necessary to win the Champions League. Dortmund have shown they can compete with the world’s best and their squad depth is adaquete to make a run, it’s just a question of experiencie. One thing cannot be deinied though, Dortmund have the talent to win the Champions League.
When a team can boast one of the best central defence pairings in world football in Matt Hummels and Neven Subotic, the creative talents of Mario Gotze, the flair of Marco Reus on the left flank, and one of the best strikers in the world in the mould of Robert Lewandowski, you have one of the best teams in the world. Throw in the safe hands of Roman Widenfeler in goal, the maurading runs of Lukas Piszeck, the steel and workmanlike effort of Sven Bender, and you have a team capable of winning it all. Though Dortmund did lose talismanic Japanesse midfielder Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United over the summer, they more than adaquetly replaced him with Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus. Reus and Gotze in particular, have reinforced their status as two of the best young players in the world at the moment and future staples of the German national team. However, having a good core of talent is one thing, it takes someone to mould that core into a winning team. That’s where Jurgen Klopp comes in. Over the past three years, Klopp’s dilligence and efforts have transformed Dortmund from a perennial mid-table team to Bundesliga winners. Klopp has this team ready to take the next step to Champions League contenders, though Dortmund’s current form in the Bundesliga suggests this team can be streched in terms of squad depth, while a lack of experiencie will be another challenge to overcome. However, with Jurgen Klopp at the helm and a few good buys in January, Dortmund have the talent to make a run, and, ultimatetly, win the Champions League.