Gundogan: We are not just athletes

BVB's tireless running on the pitch have seen them reach the Champions League final but the Germany midfielder insists their ability is also vital
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has insisted that there is more to his side than just running.

Jurgen Klopp's side have become famed for their work rate in recent years and reached this season's Champions League final.

However, the Germany star insists that other factors, such as their passion and teamwork are also vital to their success.

"Everybody runs a lot on this team, that's true," he told the club's official website.

"But of course that isn't everything. The combination of passion and technical skill - that's our style."

Star forward Marco Reus, meanwhile, has also underlined the importance of teamwork to the club.

"We can only do it together," he adds. "Every player works hard for the team. Everybody is important. It's all for one and on for all."

BVB regularly attract crowds of more than 80,000 people and winger Jakub Blaszczykowski says the atmosphere in Sigal Iduna Park is indescribable.

"Borussia is like a religion in this city. I cannot explain this, you have to experience it for yourself," he adds.

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller also believes that the stadium is a pilgrimage for locals.

"Football is holy here. People go to the games here, the way other people go to church."

Gundogan, who grew up in BVB's Ruhr heartland, believes that the fans' fervour for football is born out of a sense of belonging.

"It's perfectly normal here that we have 80,000 people at the ground every fortnight, no matter which club we're playing. That's not normal anywhere else.

"A part of our success can be ascribed to the fans. They belong to the team."

Club captain Sebastian Kehl - who has been at the club for 13 years - believes that the city lives and breathes for the game because there is little else to do in the city.

"It's because football is everything in this city. There was a time when Dortmund used to be famous for things like steel mills and breweries.

"Now there is only football. The city lives through football."