Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund Legends had a friendly match at the Hong Kong Stadium last Saturday (8th June). Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke who came along with the team views Hong Kong as one of the important bases in Asia and hopes to have the opportunity to visit Asia again the coming year.
Dortmund CEO Watzke said that his visit to Asia is a manifest of how the team values Asian market. “I believe it is important for Dortmund to come to Asia. It is an important step for professional teams to go to America and Asia, be it China, Hong Kong or Singapore. We decided to have the match in Hong Kong because it is a wonderful city.”
Watzke flaunted his knowledge on the history between Dortmund and Liverpool in detail. He recalled how Dortmund defeated the Red in the 1986 UEFA Cup Winners Cup in Glasgow when the Army of Honey Bees won 2-1 in overtime, claiming the club’s first triumph in UEFA Champions League.
For the visit this time, apart from Márcio Amoroso, other big names such as Karl-Heinz Riedle, Paul Lambert, Jan Koller were present. He personally was most looking forward to Lambert’s performance. When asked about his views on how European club’s legend teams getting more and more popular, he said it was a response to fans’ needs.
“It would be difficult for current players to participate in games from around the world, but legend teams have more freedom to travel. We have a lot of fans from Asia and America, having legends team to play in different places is part of the club’s branding and image and is important to both the teams and the fans.
“Maybe China, or participate in the International Champions Cup. Nothing is confirmed yet; we have to wait till winter for the decision. But we are definitely coming back to Asia.”
“For the past decade, Dortmund has shown progress and improvements in different aspects. I will be a lifelong fan of the Dortmund even if I no longer work for it. Our goal is to play beautiful attacking football. Next year, we will continue to advance to the Bundesliga and compete with Bayern for the championship.”
Watzke said he has been a Dortmund fan since the age of six and his love remains monogamy till this day. Now at the age of 53, he is dedicated to making Dortmund one of the most successful clubs in Germany. Watzke said instead of buying stars with big transfer fees, they would continue to nurture potential players who are 15-16 year-old just like what they did with Christian Pulisic.
Dortmund has signed Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz to date for next season. Watzke said the team might have one or two more acquisitions prior to the start of the season. But to him, emerging star player Jadon Sancho is the most special in the team.
“Sancho is very special. It is difficult to compare him to other players. I dare say he is the most talented person I’ve ever seen. He manages to goal as well as assist and he is 19 years old only, a very young talent. There are surely obstacles in future waiting for him but I hope he can grow steadily.”
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