Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller wants the team to make their mark in the history books by winning the Champions League.
Dortmund conquered Serie A giants Juventus 3-1 in 1997 to be crowned European champions despite being underdogs, and they are once again unfancied to beat Bayern Munich at Wembley on Saturday.
Weidenfeller hopes Juergen Klopp’s men can follow in Ottmar Hitzfeld’s charges’ footsteps this weekend and believes victory would see the team reach the same legendary status.
“Everyone still speaks today with unbelievable admiration about the ’97 team,” Weidenfeller told Kicker.
“Should we now also succeed in lifting the trophy in London, we would probably achieve a similar status.
“But Bayern will be determined to do everything to beat us on Saturday.”
Dortmund were beaten 2-1 by Hoffenheim in the final game of the Bundesliga season, though they were also beaten 2-1 by Hamburg ahead of the 1997 Champions League final – a comparison the German goalkeeper hopes will bode well.
“Sure, it’s a good omen,” he said. “Again we are the underdogs. Just as it applied to the team of 1997, it applies to us: in one game, anything is possible.”
Weidenfeller was adamant the defensive frailties which have haunted Klopp’s side in the Bundesliga – allowing Bayern to romp to success, finishing 25 points clear – will not plague them on Saturday in London.
“Unfortunately, we have shown bad concentration too often at times this season. We were also not as determined as in the previous season in the league,” he said.
“However, in the Champions League we have played very differently. It was clear from the first whistle in every encounter that we have tried our hardest with maximum effort.”