Dortmund Have No Time to Lament Chelsea Defeat as Ruhr Derby Awaits

06 March 2023, United Kingdom, London: Dortmund coach Edin Terzic attends a press conference at Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match against Chelsea. (dpa)
06 March 2023, United Kingdom, London: Dortmund coach Edin Terzic attends a press conference at Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match against Chelsea. (dpa)
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Dortmund Have No Time to Lament Chelsea Defeat as Ruhr Derby Awaits

06 March 2023, United Kingdom, London: Dortmund coach Edin Terzic attends a press conference at Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match against Chelsea. (dpa)
06 March 2023, United Kingdom, London: Dortmund coach Edin Terzic attends a press conference at Stamford Bridge ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match against Chelsea. (dpa)

Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic gave his players a night to digest their Champions League Round of 16 exit to Chelsea on Tuesday before picking themselves up for their Ruhr valley derby against bitter rivals Schalke 04 on Saturday.

Dortmund, who were on a 10-game winning run in all competitions in 2023 prior to Tuesday, lost 2-0 at Chelsea and were eliminated. They won 1-0 win in Germany in the first leg.

With the club joint top in the Bundesliga on 49 points with Bayern Munich, but in second place on goal difference, Terzic said there was no time to bewail the defeat to Chelsea for too long.

"We know we were in a good form (coming to Chelsea). But confidence and good form won't be enough," Terzic told reporters.

"Our season started in July and we said we want a good run in all three competitions. We dropped out of the Champions League against Chelsea. It is not something you have to feel ashamed for."

Apart from their fine Bundesliga run where they hunt their first league crown in 11 years, Dortmund are also through to the German Cup last eight where they face RB Leipzig in April.

"But don't get me wrong. Tonight we are really disappointed," Terzic said. "But tomorrow morning we are going to stand up, recover and go for the next one. It is a big derby for us on Saturday."

Few Dortmund fans would remember the Chelsea exit if there was silverware at the end of the season for their club, even fewer would if that included victory at local rivals Schalke over the weekend.

The Royal Blues are back after a season in the second division and after a disappointing start they have turned their season around in recent weeks.

Schalke are unbeaten in their last six league matches, having won the last two, and have climbed off last place to 19 points and into 17th place, level on points with Hoffenheim and VfB Stuttgart in 16th and 15th respectively.

They have also conceded just one goal in the six matches.

"At the end of May we will see what we deserve," Terzic said. "This is what we want to do. We don't want anything for granted but we will see at the end of May."



Men’s Olympic Soccer Remains Stuck in the Game’s Second Tier

The last five champions have all been Latin American, largely because of the willingness of Argentina and Brazil to send major stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar.  (file photo/The AP)
The last five champions have all been Latin American, largely because of the willingness of Argentina and Brazil to send major stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar. (file photo/The AP)
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Men’s Olympic Soccer Remains Stuck in the Game’s Second Tier

The last five champions have all been Latin American, largely because of the willingness of Argentina and Brazil to send major stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar.  (file photo/The AP)
The last five champions have all been Latin American, largely because of the willingness of Argentina and Brazil to send major stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar. (file photo/The AP)

The Poststadion still stands, about 10 minutes’ walk north-west of Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. It’s set up for American football these days and this summer it was the centre of Berlin Pride. But in 1936, it was there that Adolf Hitler, for the only time in his life, attended a football match.

Hitler, like a lot of dictators, was suspicious of football. It was too unpredictable, the crowds that followed it too large and anarchic. But Germany had been impressive in beating Luxembourg 9-0, and nobody thought much of Norway, so Hitler, along with several other senior Nazis including Hermann Göring, Joseph Goebbels and Rudolf Hess went to the quarter-final.
Germany’s assistant coach was Sepp Herberger, who would later lead West Germany to victory at the 1954 World Cup. He had been sent to watch Italy v Japan, the winners of which would play the winners of Germany’s quarter-final, so he was not at the Poststadion. He returned to the team base and was tucking into a dinner of knuckle of pork and sauerkraut when he saw one of the other coaches, Georg Knöpfle, return. He knew from his face it had all gone badly wrong, pushed his plate away and never ate knuckle of pork again. Germany had lost 2-0.

Italy beat Norway in the semi-final and went on to overcome Austria in the final, adding Olympic gold to the World Cup they had won two years earlier. They would add another World Cup in 1938. But their coach, Vittorio Pozzo, always said that 1936 was arguably his greatest achievement given he was in effect leading a team of students (albeit five of them subsequently turned pro). In Germany, by contrast, there was no professional football and so the host’s squad was a full-strength one.

That’s always been the problem with men’s Olympic football. Unlike the women’s game, which has no limitations on who is eligible to play, the men’s tournament has dealt with restrictions and questions of amateurism. And different countries have interpreted amateurism in different ways, with a huge bearing on results. The Uruguay team that took gold in 1924 and 1928, for instance, was undeniably brilliant but very few of their players would have met more stringent European definitions of amateurism; Jules Rimet, the president of Fifa, essentially waved them through to enhance non-European participation and to give the competition a more global feel.

That’s why from 1952 to 1988, every Olympic football gold (bar 1984 when the eastern bloc countries boycotted the games) was won by a team from a communist nation. Their players were technically state employees working in the army or the interior ministry or for various factories or unions and so were deemed amateur as they were not officially paid for playing sport. That’s not to say none of them were great teams – the Hungary of 1952 went on to reach the final of the 1954 World Cup; the fine Soviet Union team of 1956 would be devastated before the next World Cup by the conviction of their centre-forward Eduard Streltsov for rape; the Poland side of 1972 eliminated England in qualifying for the 1974 World Cup at which they finished third – but neither were they competing against the cream of the rest of the world.

After the collapse of communism, the men’s tournament has been for under-23 players, with three overage players permitted from 1996. Spain in 1992 were widely regarded as one of the great home successes of the Barcelona Olympics, and their squad did include Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique. At its most generous interpretation, there was evidence there of the beginnings of the superiority of Spanish youth development, but it would be a long time before that manifested as a major international trophy.

There were thrilling victories for Nigeria in 1996 and Cameroon in 2000, which seemed part of a more general process of improvement in African football. Since then, though, at least in terms of getting closer to challenging seriously for a World Cup, African football has largely stagnated.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Cavan Sullivan looks on during Wednesday’s game against the New England Revolution at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The last five champions have all been Latin American, largely because of the willingness of Argentina and Brazil to send major stars such as Lionel Messi and Neymar. Kylian Mbappé seemingly wanted to play this time but after competing in the Euros, his club Real Madrid refused to grant him a waiver to play this summer. France’s overage players are Loïc Badé, Alexandre Lacazette and Jean-Philippe Mateta. Argentina are sending Gerónimo Rulli, Julián Álvarez and Nicolás Otamendi. Spain haven’t named a player over 24 and only two of their squad have ever won a full cap, suggesting how they regard the competition. The US, meanwhile, have named only one uncapped player, with their roster featuring 114 combined senior caps. Mali will lead the African challenge, while there will be obvious symbolism to Ukraine’s participation.

But the truth is that in men’s football, the Olympics doesn’t really matter and hasn’t done so since the advent of the World Cup, providing a tournament for all players, amateur and professional, in 1930. At best, it offers a snapshot of a political mood or provides evidence of promising young players who may develop over the decade to follow. No Olympic gold is entirely worthless, but few mean less than that in men’s football.

The Guardian Sport