Club football is now on international break, for the next six weeks or so, to accommodate the 2022 World Cup, and perhaps no club on Earth needs extended time off more than Borussia Dortmund right now. In injury crisis for most of this season, all the time off will give several BVB players a chance to heal.
The players to have missed time due to injury include, but are not limited to: Thorgan Hazard (thigh), Donyell Malen (thigh), Karim Adeyemi (foot), Gregor Kobel, Sebastien Haller, Mahmoud Dahoud, Jamie Bynoe-Gittens and Mateu Morey.
Dortmund go into this period on a low, having lost their last two and sitting in sixth place in the Bundesliga table, two points out of the top four. And while things will be quiet now at Signal Iduna Park for a week or so, Borussia Dortmund will be very busy during the World Cup break. The Black and Yellow will use this period to visit South-East Asia with the members of the first-team squad who are not on international duty. The tour begins 24 November to 1 December, where they’ll take on Lion City Sailors at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
BVB announced the tour back in early September, and the other opponents are as follows.
“Following the agonisingly long period of restrictions due to the corona pandemic, it is a great pleasure for us to finally be able to pay a visit to our many fans and partners in South-East Asia once again. We’ve felt very welcome in the region for many years and can’t wait to personally thank the people for their passion, but also for their patience.”
Not sure if any other club, in the entire world, will be doing something like this, at that time, so it provides a great advantage for the Bundesliga side. It’s a very unique experience, at a time when interest in football/soccer/futbol will be very high. Since before covid-19, the world hasn’t really seen international football tours on nearly the same scale.
BVB sporting director Sebastian Kehl released a statement:
“The unique interruption to the season in November and December represents an unusual challenge for all clubs. It was also important for us to use these weeks as well as possible for the players who are not taking part in the World Cup. That also includes players from our U23s and our U19s, whom we want to introduce to the senior squad at a high level. This exciting trip will help in that regard and we’re looking forward to it, because in addition to the sporting challenge, we see it as an obligation for Borussia Dortmund to represent our club and the entire Bundesliga internationally.”
And current senior team manager Edin Terzic chimed in with this:
“When there’s a tight fixture schedule, there’s usually hardly any time on trips abroad to get in touch with the country and its people. It’s different in this exceptional case, and in addition to some enticing sporting match-ups, I’m looking forward to meeting as many Black & Yellow fans as possible from countries in South-East Asia and celebrating our shared passion for our BVB with them.”
Having covered two Borussia Dortmund tour matches on site, via media credential, I can tell you first hand what a wonderful experience these matches are. I was there vs Manchester City in Chicago in 2018 and against Liverpool at Notre Dame in 2019. I can tell you, these are great opportunities for everyone involved. For the club, it’s chance to build the brand, at a time when the world will be watching the beautiful game.
For the players, it keeps them sharp during a prolonged rest period. For the fans, well- that’s been covered already in the quotations. Enjoy the show everybody.
What Borussia Dortmund is doing this World Cup break, going out on tour in Asia, is a very bold idea that other clubs may soon, or should follow.
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Paul M. Banks is the Owner/Manager of The Sports Bank and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”Follow paulmbanks