Ex-Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Doll has declared his former club must discard the underdog tag ahead of the UEFA Champions League final.
Saturday’s decider will pit Dortmund against Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, who dominated the German top tier this season to win the title by 25 points ahead of Doll’s former employers.
Following Bayern’s 7-0 demolition of Barcelona over two legs in the Champions League semi-finals, plus the Bavarian club’s emphatic season in the Bundesliga, Dortmund have been installed by most as the underdog in the first all-German final of Europe’s premier continental competition.
But Doll, who was head coach of Dortmund in the 2007/08 campaign before Juergen Klopp took over, said his old team have shown enough in the past couple of seasons to believe they can defeat Bayern.
“The time for being an underdog is over,” Doll said on Tuesday.
“Dortmund have won the (Bundesliga) championship twice.
“They have won the (German) Cup and they developed this year as a team, especially on the international stage.
“They’re a really, really young side and they had good games last year but they often got punished because they were wasteful when they had chances.
“I don’t think anybody can be an underdog in a final.”
Until this season, Dortmund seemingly had a mental advantage over Bayern, having won five-straight matches against the Bavarians in all competitions from October 2010 to the German Cup final last season.
But Dortmund have failed to win in the four clashes since, with Bayern victorious on two occasions.
With the recently crowned Bundesliga champions having tasted defeat in two of the past three Champions League finals, Doll reckons Klopp’s side still have a ‘psychological advantage’.
“(Bayern’s) whole season can be destroyed (if they lose the Champions League final) and it will be Dortmund again that stands their way,” Doll said.
“They (Bayern) know it, so Dortmund have the psychological advantage.
“Nobody expected them to get to the final after what they did in the Champions League in the last few years.
“They don’t have as good a bench as Munich.
“So, if Borussia lose, nobody is going to lose their heads.”