Serie A reigning champions Juventus will meet last season’s Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund in a UEFA competition for the first time since May 1997 after both sides were pitted together in today’s Champions League last 16 draw.
Among the seven fixtures contested between the duo in Europe, there are two noteworthy ties that stand out from the crowd: a 6-1 1993 UEFA Cup final triumph for the Bianconeri, followed by Borussia’s revenge four years later in the Champions League final, 3-1 the final score in Munich.
Managed by well respected coach Jurgen Klopp, BVB have won eight German championships, three DFB-Pokals, five DFL-Supercups, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and an Intercontinental Cup since being founded in 1909.
The Bundesliga outfit – who were last crowned champions of Germany back in 2012 – play their matches at the noisy 80,645 seater Signal Iduna Park (commonly known as the Westfalenstadion), which is the country’s largest capacity stadium and the seventh biggest in Europe.
Klopp’s charges possess talent in abundance in all areas of the field including the likes of defensive stalwart and captain Mats Hummels, superstar Marco Reus and former Bianconeri striker Ciro Immobile who already has seven goals in all competitions since transferring from inter-city rivals Torino in the summer.
Following a seven-year exile from the Champions League proper, BVB returned to Europe’s elite contest during the 2011/12 campaign after winning their seventh German domestic title a year earlier.
But it was in the 2012/13 season that they would enjoy considerable success as they reached the final for the first time since beating the Bianconeri back in 1997. The fairytale would ultimately end on a sour note, however, as they were defeated 2-1 by rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley in the competition’s first ever all-German final.
Their attempts to reclaim a spot in the final hit the buffers when they came up against eventual winners Real Madrid in the quarter-finals last year, while a joint-top finish in Group D alongside Arsenal has taken them through to the last 16 as group winners on goal difference this time around.
Although they have enjoyed a successful Champions League campaign thus far, it’s been a whole different story with regards to their league form. Borussia Dortmund – who finished runners-up behind Bayern Munich by a mammoth 19 points last season – currently sit 16th in the Bundesliga, one place above the dreaded relegation zone with four victories, two draws and nine defeats to their name.