Borussia Dortmund have helped develop some of the best players in Europe over the past decade – but many have been enticed away to other clubs.
Dortmund won back-to-back titles at the turn of the decade under Jurgen Klopp, but that team was broken up soon after and you can make an incredibly impressive XI of players they have had to sell – with a number of stars still missing out.
Note: Ladies and gentleman, Borussia Dortmund will be playing four-four-f*cking-two.
Okay, it’s a bit of an underwhelming start, but Dortmund’s goalkeeping departures have been nowhere near as painful as some of the outfielder talent to have left the club.
Langerak spent five years at the German giants, winning five trophies at an average of one every seven appearances.
The Australia international left for Stuttgart, who he helped win promotion, and after a six-month spell at Levante moved to Japan to join Arsene Wenger and Gary Lineker’s favourite club, Nagoya Grampus.
Hardly the sexiest name in this 11, but boyhood Dortmund fan Grosskreutz was a hugely reliable performer for the club, winning five trophies in his six years with the side, while also being a member of Germany’s World Cup-winning squad.
A valued utility man, Grosskreutz started at Dortmund as a winger but gradually evolved into a full-back, meaning he gets the nod at right-back in our XI.
Now we’re starting with the big lads. Hummels was one of the key members of Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund side which left Bayern Munich in the shade for a while in Bundesliga.
The Germany international had actually joined Dortmund from Bayern but returned to the Death Star in a £30million move in 2016.
With the likes of Hummels and Neven Subotic ahead of him in the pecking order when he first arrived at Dortmund, it took Sokratis two seasons before he fully established himself as first choice at the club.
Now at Arsenal, we’re starting to wonder whether he has the densest head in world football.
— Sandra Goldschmidt (@SanBorussia) March 10, 2015
The most forgettable World Cup winner to be playing in the Premier League? Durm was a non-playing member of Germany’s 2014 squad, but it marked a remarkable rise for the player after being converted from a striker to a full-back by Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund.
“Jürgen had a big influence on me; he was the first one who told me to start in a defending position because I was a striker before,” Durm told Huddersfield Town’s official website in 2018.
“He came into training and told me, ‘I want you to be a defender, left or right-back,’ so he had a big influence on my career.
“I’m very happy that he made this solution and that he saw that I could play in this position.”
Still a Dortmund player until the end of the season, Pulisic will be plying his trade with Chelsea next term after joining the Blues in a £58million deal.
Despite being overshadowed by Jadon Sancho this season, Pulisic has established himself as one of the hottest prospects in Europe since breaking into Dortmund’s first team in 2016.
We were spoilt for choice in midfield but have opted for Gundogan to sit as a classy operator in front of the back four.
The midfielder was signed by Dortmund for just €4million in 2011 and was a key member of the side which won the Double in 2011-12, while he also scored in the Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich the following season.
Described by Klopp as a “complete midfielder”, injuries have somewhat stunted Gundogan’s career, although you can’t be too bad to be playing for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City.
Gotze’s career path makes us slightly sad. After becoming the golden boy of European football under Klopp at Dortmund, the attacking midfielder struggled to adapt under Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, while health and injury issues have stalled his career in recent years.
Despite making his Dortmund debut in 2009, Gotze is still just 26 and has managed to fit 13 trophies and the winning goal in a World Cup final into his career.
May 2016: Dortmund sign 18-year-old Dembele from Rennes in a deal worth around €15million.
August 2017: Dortmund sell Dembele to Barcelona in a deal which could rise to €145million.
Alongside Gotze and Hummels, Lewandowski’s departure will have hurt Dortmund supporters the most given he left to join the evil empire of Bayern Munich.
It only made matters worse that the striker moved to Bavaria on a free transfer.
Four titles and 173 goals in 219 games suggest Bayern got the better end of the deal.
Just scores lots and lots of goals, doesn’t he? 141 of them in 213 games for Dortmund, and already 26 in 40 appearances for Arsenal.
We’re quite disappointed he’s not brought his Spiderman mask over to England to celebrate with.
Honorable mentions: Nuri Sahin, Ivan Perisic, Shinji Kagawa, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Sven Bender, Marc Bartra, Andriy Yarmolenko.