Where are they now? The Borussia Dortmund squad that won the Bundesliga in 2011-12

by 24britishtvMarch 31, 2024, 7 p.m. 19
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Bayer Leverkusen are set to become the first side that isn’t Bayern Munich to win the Bundesliga since a stacked Borussia Dortmund side won the German league in 2011-12.

While all eyes are on Xabi Alonso and the work he’s done at Leverkusen as they hunt down what will be a first top-flight title for the club, it’s fascinating to look back on the side that were last able to topple Bayern over a decade ago, before the took the Bundesliga title hostage.

Managed by Jurgen Klopp, 2011-12 was Dortmund’s second successive league title win and also saw them win the DFB-Pokal, beating Bayern 5-2 in an epic final.

We’ve looked back at Dortmund’s iconic starting XI from 2011-12 that finished eight points ahead of Die Roten, as well as a few of that season’s rotation players, and what they’ve done since.

The German stopper was imperious between the sticks for Dortmund in 2011-12, missing just two league games and playing every game in the DFB-Pokal cup run, while keeping 15 clean sheets in the league.

His form late in his career sparked a late international debut, becoming the oldest German to make his debut in 2013, and a year later he travelled to Brazil and served as backup as they lifted the World Cup. Weidenfeller retired in 2018 after slipping into a backup role at Dortmund, and now works as an ambassador for the club.

Dortmund snapped up Piszczek on a free transfer in 2010 and immediately got their money’s worth as he contributed massively to back-to-back league titles, with Klopp relying massively on the Polish international during his time in charge.

He proved integral in their run to the Champions League final the following season and remained at the club until 2021, pushing back initial plans of a 2020 retirement. After over a decade in yellow, Piszczek left in 2021 to return to hometown Polish side Goczałkowice-Zdrój, where he still plays now at the age of 38.

A man with an incredible upbringing that involved moving to Germany aged five to flee the Bosnian War and then moving to the United States after that, Subotic was one half of one of the strongest centre-back pairings of the 2010s and made 25 appearances as Dortmund lifted the title.

Always the more underrated and overlooked player at the back, he remained at Dortmund for the bulk of his best years and was a constant through peaks and troughs, before fading out of the picture and eventually leaving the club in 2018.

Subotic played in France, Turkey and Austria before retiring in 2022. He never quite managed a stint in the Premier League despite constant links.

Completing an outrageously solid defensive duo was Hummels, who blossomed into one of the best in the world in his position after leading Dortmund to back-to-back titles.

Hummels made the inevitable move to Bayern Munich in 2016 – having played for Die Roten before moving to Dortmund – but spent just three years in Munich before returning to Dortmund in 2019.

Now 35, he still plays for Dortmund and has been capped 78 times for Germany in what has been an extraordinary career, without ever having to leave Germany.

A one-club man to complete an iconic backline, Schmelzer is currently 11th on Dortmund’s all-time appearance list and overcame injury to become an important figure in retaining the title.

The German full-back was only capped 16 times at international level, but remained adored in Dortmund right up until his 2022 retirement.

Dortmund’s midfield metronome, it was clear from the minute you watched Gundogan that he was destined for greatness, even if fitness issues did threaten that for a while.

His first season saw him start slow, but pick up tremendously after the winter break and set the tone for a glorious few years after their league and cup double where he blossomed on the big stage.

In the time since, Gundogan has fought off injury woes to become one of the greatest midfielders of the current generation and has the unique honour of being the lynchpin for both Klopp and Pep Guardiola, the latter of whom he won the treble with at Manchester City.

He’s now keeping things ticking over at Barcelona as the veteran in a youthful midfield.

QUIZ: Can you name every club that’s won the Bundesliga title?

Across a mammoth career that saw him become essentially timeless, Kehl had somewhat of a second coming around the time of Dortmund’s brief domestic dominance.

He was absent from the only three league games they lost in 2011-12, which tells you all you need to know about his presence. The German midfielder – capped 31 times by Die Mannschaft – eventually retired in 2015 and currently serves as the club’s Sporting Director.

The Japanese midfielder was near enough unplayable in 2011-12, making a name for himself as one of the most dangerous creators in the game with 13 goals and 12 assists in the Bundesliga.

Kagawa’s form earned him a move to Manchester United that summer, where he won the league during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season, but quickly got lost in the shuffle after that. He returned to Borussia Dortmund in 2014 and remained there until 2019, enjoying a strong second stint.

Now 35, the midfielder is still going, playing for Cerezo Osaka in his second spell after playing in Turkey, Spain, Belgium and Greece.

Another criminally underrated baller, Blaszczykowski scored six times and assisted 10 from 29 Bundesliga appearances that season and quietly blossomed into one of Europe’s most exciting wingers during his peak.

Nicknamed ‘Kuba’, the Polish wideman actually played his best football in the years following their league title wins as Bayern kept a tight grip of the title and left in 2016 after nine years with the club, spending three years with Wolfsburg before retiring at former club Wisla Krakow.

Blaszczykowski retired in 2023 and is now a part owner of Wisla.

A man who needs no introduction, Lewandowski scored 30 goals and assisted a further 12 across all competitions in an outrageous second season with Dortmund, notably bagging a hat-trick in the final of the DFB-Pokal against future employers Bayern.

With Europe’s biggest clubs queuing up for the Polish forward, Lewandowski inevitably settled on Bayern in 2014 and spent the next eight years in Bavaria hoovering up honours and scoring records.

He’s had an up-and-down second season at Barcelona, but does continue to find the back of the net for La Blaugrana aged 35, following his 2022 transfer.

Joining the club at age eight, winning a league and cup double with Dortmund was the stuff of dreams for Gotze, who only stayed at the club for one more season before Bayern came calling.

It never quite worked out for Gotze in Munich, however, despite his iconic winning goal in the final of the 2014 World Cup, and he returned to Dortmund in 2016.

After overcoming a number of health issues which derailed his career, he got things back on track and is now balling out for Eintract Frankfurt at 31 years old.

READ: Ranked: The 10 best players of the modern era to never win a league title

It’s easy to forget that Perisic played for Dortmund given his glittering CV, but an important role in Klopp’s double-winning side was the beginning of a seriously impressive career for the Croatian.

He’s currently in Croatia at Hadjuk Split, on loan from Tottenham.

Twin of Lars, Sven enjoyed a storied career at Dortmund from 2009 to 2017, albeit one seriously impacted by injuries.

He spent four years with Bayer Leverkusen before retiring in 2021 and currently is back at Dortmund as Edin Terzic’s assistant manager.

After being an important player in Dortmund’s title wins, Grosskreutz’s influence at Dortmund faded throughout the 2010s and he left for Galatasaray in 2016.

Remarkably the 35-year-old is still playing, but has slipped down to Germany’s regional fifth tier with TuS Bovinghausen.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every manager to win a title in Europe’s major leagues since 2000?

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