C Cultura

Dortmund and Reus firing on all cylinders ahead of derby

From Bundesliga | It’s the ‘Mother of all derbies’.  Matchday 12 sees the first Revierderby of the season as Borussia Dortmund take on FC Schalke 04 on Sunday.  At the centre of the action will be local hero and in form superstar Marco Reus.

Reus was on hand on Matchday 11 to lash in two goals and lead his team to a 3-1 victory over SV Werder Bremen.  It was the extension of a fine run of form for both the 26 year old and his club as the crunch clash with Schalke approaches.


Scoring spree

After a four game winless run which ended with their humiliating defeat to FC Bayern München at the beginning of October, Dortmund have rediscovered their form as autumn has drawn on.  They have won all of their last five in all competitions, all of them by a margin of at least two goals.


The club's greatest weapon at the moment is the partnership between Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.  Aubameyang is on delicious form, having delivered seven goals and two hat tricks in October.  If victory over Bremen showed anything, it was that Reus steps up when Aubameyang is misfiring.  The German international game changing goals came just as the Gabonese had squandered several opportunities, a rarity in recent weeks.  Reus and Aubameyang complement each other wonderfully, their versatility adding a fluidity to Dortmund's attack. Ahead of the derby against Schalke, however, it is Reus, more than anyone else, who is in the spotlight.


‘Blood, sweat and tears’

This, after all, is Germany's fiercest and most iconic local rivalry.  Both Dortmund and Schalke hail from cities in North-Rhine Westphalia, the heartland of both Germany's industrial and footballing tradition.  The Revierderby is more than a game between two clubs.  In the public consciousness at least, it remains a game between the miners of Gelsenkirchen and the coal and steel workers of Dortmund.  Between two proud icons vying for supremacy in a region which has given more to German football than any other.


When Dortmund were struggling for form in the middle of last season, the club's chief executive gave a dramatic speech calling for “blood sweat and tears”, from his players.  After all, said Watzke, “the Borussia Dortmund way is the same as that of the people of this region: it is drenched in more sweat than in any other region”.  Reus fits perfectly into the narrative.  The son of a fitter and metalworker, the superstar grew up in Dortmund.  He joined BVB's youth academy at the age of six, and developed alongside the likes of Mario Götze and Kevin Großkreutz.  At the age of sixteen, he left, to return in 2012 after seven years of playing for Rot-Weiß Ahlen and Borussia Mönchengladbach.


Local hero

It speaks volumes that, despite never having played a first team game for Dortmund, Reus was greeted like a long lost son upon his return.  He has repaid the unquestioning faith of the fans by becoming an invaluable element in this Dortmund team, increasingly so since the departures of Mario Götze and Robert Lewandowski.


It is his status as a born and bred Dortmund boy that gives the fans hope ahead of the derby.  More than anyone else, he understands the emotional significance of clashes with Schalke.  It can't harm, either, that the local hero is currently in breathtaking form.  With 11 goals and 2 assists already this season, Reus continues to grow as a leader, an icon, the heartbeat of this Dortmund team.  Ahead of the most emotional derby of the year, Dortmund fans could ask for little more.


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