Approaching the Bundesliga season’s final matchday could evoke strong emotions for Marco Reus.
Apart from the excitement gripping the entire club and millions of supporters, achieving success this Saturday could, in a peculiar way, serve as a crowning moment in the career of the soon-to-be 34-year-old forward.
Despite a lengthy career encompassing over 370 competitive games, the Borussia Dortmund striker, who has been capped 48 times for Germany, has never joined the exclusive circle of Bundesliga title winners.
A combination of unfortunate injuries and the dominance of title rivals Bayern Munich over the past decade resulted in Germany’s Footballer of the Year for 2012 and 2019 securing only two German Cup victories, in 2017 and 2019.
The upcoming encounter on home soil against Mainz, with Borussia Dortmund holding a two-point lead in the Bundesliga table, could help bridge the somewhat painful gap in Reus’ career.
While a victory is imperative to keep Bayern at bay, it is noteworthy that the attacker finds himself on the brink of clinching the trophy despite the captain losing his place in the starting lineup.
Accepting his new, temporary role demonstrates the significance of the forthcoming success for the forward, particularly in terms of national glory.
Reus subordinating himself and relegating his ego into the background paints a compelling narrative. Dortmund’s captain has sacrificed personal interests for the sake of the team’s progress.
Having contributed 12 goals and assists in 24 games, the Dortmund-born player has become vital to his side’s fortunes.
Or, as sporting director Sebastian Kehl puts it, “Marco has woven an extensive tapestry of stories with our club, and the current one will bring his era at Borussia to a close.”
With 21 years in the BVB shirt, the striker is better placed than most to comprehend the significance of the 2023 title, not only for himself but for the entire club.
The 2022/23 season has been a rollercoaster ride filled with setbacks and comebacks for him and his squad.
In recent months, Reus may have lost his place in the starting lineup, but his indispensable role in fostering team spirit remains undisputed.
It is highly likely that Reus will once again start from the bench against Mainz if everything goes according to plan and BVB secures their first league title since 2012, during the tenure of club icon Jurgen Klopp.
When discussing the player most deserving of the crowning moment, Kehl unequivocally points to the striker. “There’s no doubt he deserves it immensely,” Kehl affirmed.
Should the desired outcome materialize, Reus would be the one to lift the trophy first due to his captaincy.
It is a touching detail that Reus’ story with Dortmund will not conclude with the 2022/23 title, as the forward recently extended his contract for another year. This could potentially mark Reus’ first season as a Bundesliga champion. ■