He had high hopes of emulating Robert Lewandowski, but life in Dortmund hasn’t exactly gone to plan for Ciro Immobile. As Borussia Dortmund prepare to face Juventus, Coach Jurghg线上投注en Klopp joked Immobile’s recent illness may be in his head: “In his case, I have to determine if it’s really about his fitness or the fact that we are playing Juventus next week.”
It started with Thomas Hassler that summer, but his stay lasted only a season. That didn’t deter Juve, who signed a pair of world champions from Bayern Munich. Stefan Reuter only featured during 1991-92, while Jurgen Kohler became a defensive mainstay partnered by Brazilian Julio Cesar, signed alongside Hassler.
When Marcello Lippi took charge in 1994, Portuguese international Paulo Sousa became the Old Lady’s midfield lynchpin. Cesar and Moller traded Turin for Dortmund. Kohler added to the list a year later. When he left, Juventus had ende365足球论坛d their Scudetto drought and knocked Dortmund out of the UEFA Cup semi-finals.
He’ll be hoping a meeting with Juve is the spark needed. Before December’s draw the Italian international stated a desire to face Juventus, but only in the semi-finals. The Round of 16 clash may be premature in Immobile’s mind, but his aim is to eliminate the Bianconeri.
If Immobile felt more at home against Arsenal than Augsburg, it was a reflection of Borussia’s form. It took until December – 14 matches – to equal their four European victories. But where the team has picked up after the winter break, Immobile has not found his range.
Reuter was the first to make the move to BVB, but in stepped another German to fill Juve’s foreign quota. The exciting Andreas Moller – who had played for Dortmund earlier in his career – graced the Stadio delle Alpi and ended his first season with a UEFA Cup triumph over the Yellow and Blacks.
Battling ill-health last Friday was not exactly the ideal 25th birthday for Immobile, who watched on as his side won for the third time in succession. The striker is expected to be fine tomorrow, yet his participation from the first whistle is doubtful – sick or not. In a way, Immobile’s start to life in Germany mirrored that of the club. Like Dortmund, he’s experienced happier times in the Champions League, bagging four goals compared to three Bundesliga strikes.
Massimiliano Allegri has stressed the importance of Juventus not conceding at home in this first leg. But could Immobile join the group of Dortmund’s ex-Juventini to shatter Bianconeri dreams, while rekindling his own fortunes?
Germans made their way to Serie A once the borders to foreigners reopened in 1980. Inter led the charge, responding to Milan’s金沙正网 Dutch trio with the West German trident of Lothar Matthaus, Jurgen Klinsmann and Andreas Brehme. West Germany’s Italia ’90 success led to further arrivals and Juventus grabbed a slice of the pie.
Sunday Oliseh would end a short Juventus stint in 1999 to call the Westfalenstadion home, but there would be no further transfers between the clubs until 2007, with both enduring difficult years. Juventus were newly promoted following Calciopoli and Dortmund had survived the threat of bankruptcy when Robert Kovac signed.
Immobile returns to the peninsula following his reported-€20m summer move, one that – indirectly at least, he last played for Torino in Serie A and was only co-owned by Juventus – was the latest in a list of transfers between the clubs. An occurrence which peaked during their frequent 1990s battles.
As if to make the journey come full circle, Hassler joined Borussia in 1998.
Now there’s Immobile. In four prior meetings with Juventus he has scored once. Starter or not tomorrow he can offer valuable insight about the Old Lady and her players as both a teammate and opponent. “Ciro gave us trouble when he was at Toro, and he can do the same for Borussia,” Gianluigi Buffon warned in December.
The battles would shift to the Champions League stage, where Ottmar Hitzfeld and his ever-growing army of ex-Bianconeri would slowly turn the tide. The next addition to the ranks was Paulo Sousa, who ended his Juventus stint on a high as a Champions League winner. He was one of the final pieces of the puzzle as Dortmund sought European glory.
Such was the Bianconero tinge that when the pair met in the 1997 Champions League Final Borussia started four ex-Juventus players. Only Julio Cesar was not included in the 16-man squad on a night which ended with Dortmund – and those who traded white for yellow – celebrating a maiden European crown. Kohler highlighted his affection for his former club by draping a Juventus scarf thrown to him during the lap of honour around his neck.