Borussia Dortmund will soon be off to mesmerise Brazil! The BVB Legends, who have the likes of Roman Weidenfeller, Jan Koller and Karl-Heinz Riedle in their ranks, will take on FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and host club FC Sao Paulo in the Legends Cup Brasil on 15 December.
It will be a wonderful event for the whole Black & Yellow family, who will be watching with excitement back home in wintry Germany as their idols from the not-so-distant past take to the field. The trip will be a particularly special experience for Borussia’s Brazilian stars such as Evanilson, Dedé, Julio Cesar, Tinga, Marcio Amoroso and Ewerthon. “We’re all really looking forward to it,” said Dedé, who still lives in Dortmund and plays a key role in fostering close relations with the country of his birth. “There are many BVB fans in Brazil, and they’ll finally have the opportunity to see their club live.”
That opinion is shared by Ewerton. “Having already travelled halfway around the world with the Legends and played in Thailand and Hong Kong, we’re obviously immensely looking forward to playing for BVB in our homeland,” said the former striker, who was part of the title-winning side of 2002. “The public in Sao Paulo are incredible, and we all know how popular BVB are in Brazil. It’s going to be one big party.
More than just a game. A religion.
Football is more than just a game in Brazil. The sport enjoys a religion-like status in the fifth-largest country on earth, and it has done much for the nation’s self-esteem with five World Cup titles won since 1958. The Brazilians have produced some wonderful players such as Pelé, Garrincha, Zico, Socrates and Ronaldinho. They eulogise football as “o jogo bonito”, the beautiful game, and this requirement takes precedence over all else. Brazilian players are always pursuing this national mission of showcasing the beauty of the game across the world.
Ewerthon is an example. The elegant forward was born in Sao Paulo, growing up in the metropolis before making a name for himself as a footballer with Corinthians and later playing for the tradition-steeped club Palmeiras in his hometown. The striker notched 47 goals and 17 assists in 119 Bundesliga matches. Now 38, he has returned to Sao Paulo and sees himself as an ambassador spreading the love for the Black & Yellows. He was the first player to score a goal for the Legends when they played their first overseas match in the Far East in the summer, and he celebrated with the panache you would expect from a Brazilian: a jig by the corner flag.
World Cup winner Weidenfeller with glorious memories of Brazil
One man with particularly special memories of Brazil is Roman Weidenfeller. Borussia’s title-winning shot-stopper was part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup at the famous Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, and to this day he still lauds the hospitality that was shown to him and his team-mates in the country. “That makes me even more excited about returning and playing in the Legends Cup Brasil,” said Weidenfeller, whose side will face an FC Barcelona team containing legends Edmilson and Juliano Belletti – the duo won the 2002 World Cup with their country and the 2006 Champions League with Barca – at the Estadio Morumbi. The match will consist of two halves of 25 minutes each. The second semi-final will be contested between an FC Bayern side boasting the evergreen Ze Roberto and FC Sao Paulo. Following a short break, the final will be played later on that evening.
As well as the Brazilian contingent, the Dortmund delegation will include the aforementioned Jan Koller, Karl-Heinz Riedle and Roman Weidenfeller, plus Black & Yellow legends Jörg Heinrich, Patrick Owomoyela, Florian Kringe, Miroslav Stevic, Mohamed Zidan and Mladen Petric.