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The German titleholders crashed out of Europe at the group stage in 2011-12, but the club legend believes that they have taken something from the experience

EXCLUSIVE
By Falko Bloding

Borussia Dortmund hero Lars Ricken believes that the team have learned their lesson from last season's failure in the Champions League.

Fresh from their Bundesliga triumph in 2010-11, Jurgen Klopp's side flattered to deceive on the European stage, finishing fourth in their group.

However, going into their matchday three clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday, they already have four points to their name, and the 36-year-old feels that they have turned the corner.

"The team learned a lot about playing in Europe last season," he explained to Goal.com.

"Most recently, they showed against Manchester City that they are capable of doing remarkable things. I think Wednesday is a good day to deliver something extraordinary."

"Anticipation in the area is very great, especially with a team of real superstars visiting"

- Lars Ricken

Ricken was part of the team for the 1997-98 semi-final against Madrid, which was delayed when the goal posts collapsed, and the 2002-03 meeting of the two sides in the second group stage.

And the former Germany international has revealed that the Dortmund locals are anxious as they seek revenge for their previous eliminations at the hands of the nine-time champions.
"Neither I, nor the fans, can forget what's happened here over the last few years. We're all very grateful"

"I look at the area. Of course, the anticipation is very great, particularly with a team of real superstars visiting. I was there in 1998 at the ominous game where the goal fell.

"Then again in 2003, when Madrid were on the brink of defeat, only for us to collapse in injury time. You don't forget these quickly."

The Schwarzgelben fell 12 points behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga title race when they lost 2-1 to Schalke at home on Saturday, and the one-time Germany midfielder admitted that Klopp's side are unlikely to turn it around, but still saluted the former Mainz trainer's influence on the club.

"[What's missing] is the coolness. What's more, I think many teams have become eager to beat Dortmund, the champions.

"Right now you have to wonder: who will stop Bayern? I believe, at this point in the season, there is no way back.

"Neither I, nor the fans, can forget what's happened here over the last few years. In 2005, Dortmund were almost bankrupt, but we're all very grateful for the last two years."

Ricken scored the winning goal for Dortmund in the 1997 Champions League final against Juventus, and spent his entire professional career at the Westfalenstadion.

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