Marcel Schmelzer stands for commitment, integrity and consistency - not to mention loyalty to one club. When he first came to BVB as a 17-year-old, few could imagine that the blonde-haired youngster from Magdeburg would go on to spend his entire career at the club. As of August 2020, he’s made a total of 404 appearances in Black & Yellow.
Schmelzer’s contract will keep him at the club until the summer of 2021, by which point he’ll be 33 years old. “Borussia Dortmund is and remains my sporting home. The local area is the place where my family and I have felt at home for many years now,” said the left-back upon signing his latest contract extension in 2016.
Schmelzer moved to Dortmund back in 2005. “I had thought that it would be difficult - coming here alone, not knowing anyone, making a big step-up in footballing terms - but it didn’t end up being so bad.” The youth centre in Dortmund, where lots of BVB academy players are housed, undoubtedly made things a lot easier. Schmelzer worked his way up through the U19s and the U23s before making it to the first-team squad. His debut appearance in the Bundesliga came on 16 August 2008. Schmelzer’s enormous ambition and confidence in his abilities helped him pin down a place in the starting line-up. He has made a total of 69 appearances in European competition - only three players in club history have played more European matches in the Black & Yellow jersey: Stefan Reuter (85), Lars Ricken (74) and Lukasz Piszczek (73).
“Marcel Schmelzer isn’t just one of the best left-backs in Europe; he’s also a wonderful person, who shows BVB as much appreciation and respect as we do him,” says managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke. Sporting director Michael Zorc praises “a player, who we developed in our own youth system. Marcel is a true Borussia man, who fully identifies with the club and enjoys a high level of sporting respect among everyone here.”
Schmelzer is all about putting in hard work and covering as much ground as possible. He is one of those players who always wants to win, especially when it comes to the big, important matches. In the legendary Champions League quarter-final against Malaga, he was the one who drove the team forward in a seemingly hopeless situation. Former teammate Nuri Sahin recalls: "When I looked Schmelle in the eyes through his face mask, which he wore for his broken nose, I knew: we can do this. I saw how much he wanted it, and how firmly he believed - and I believed too. From that moment, all I was thinking about was hoofing the ball up the pitch into the penalty area!"
In May 2018, Schmelzer stepped down as team captain after wearing the armband for two years. “These were exhausting and intense years. It took a lot out of me,” explained the then 30-year-old, adding: “I’m proud to have captained the side for two years - and to have won trophies with the club, including one I lifted as captain
Although a regular in the matchday squad for the 2019/20 season, the longest-serving Black & Yellow’s playing time was restricted to just seven substitute appearances. Among them were the 6-1 win away to Paderborn, in which he scored and assisted a goal - the first time in his long career that he’s registered two scorer points in a single game.
One goal and one assist in just 61 minutes - it could be argued that Schmelzer was the most effective player in the 2019/20 season...