One of the biggest derbies in the world is upon us, as we play Schalke 04 this weekend. The Revierderby is a rivalry unlike any other, with the clubs being mortal enemies from 1925 onward. So, instead of looking at all the reasons we love Schalke, let's look at the reasons why we don't
The first three games the teams played were all Schalke victories, with the first game played in 1925. At the time Dortmund were still a low key club, whereas Schalke was just starting to gain the steam that would propel them into their decade of dominance in the 30s-40s. BVB struggled to win against Schalke following the first few games.
Our rivalry really kickstarted in the 1930s and 1940s when Schalke were at their peak, winning six German Championships in that time period. Now the backdrop of this time period of course, is the darkest period in German history. The rise of the Nazi party affected every part of German society, and the soccer leagues were being restructured at the time as well. The Nazi's wanted to control soccer in the country, to show their people how powerful they were. BVB's president at the time was arrested for refusing to join the party and there were BVB supporters were imprisoned for anti Nazi sympathies. Schalke was used as Nazi propaganda at the time, as well as the fact that they were the most successful club in the country. Now this is not to say that BVB supporters didn't fall under the sway of the Nazi party as well. This rivalry was mostly born out of Schalke being hyped up as the best club in the country, by the reigning government, than some sort of political battle between supporters. I felt this was important to point out, because I know lots of non-german supporters of BVB may focus on Schalke being used for Nazi propaganda and just label them a Nazi club. The entire country bears the burden of the crimes of the Nazi era, and foreign BVB fans shouldn't try to diminish the success of our main enemies due to a horrible period that affected the whole country.
Now that that's been dealt with, back to the soccer. During that time we were absolutely dominated by Schalke in the Revierderby. Schalke scored 6-7 goals on us regularly and even beat us 10-0 once. However, we did get our first win over Schalke, with August Lenz scoring the single goal that would put us over the blues.
Our luck would soon change, as we would go on to dominate them in the Revierderby for the next 18 years between the war and the creation of the Bundesliga. We won 16 in this time and only lost seven times out of 33 matches. By this point the Revierderby was a country wide famous derby, as fans enjoyed watching an old soccer power house being beaten by the then new kid on the block. We also won a few titles during this period, while Schalke won none. Good times.
When the Bundesliga started, things started out well for us - at first. We won eight of our first 10 matches. Then things started to go way south after our first European trophy. Schalke returned to dominance over us soon after and beat us on the regular. During this time, the rivalry flared even more as Schalke was embroiled in a huge cheating scandal that had many of the clubs players banned from German football. A couple of years after the scandal, Schalke beat Dortmund late in the season to help send Dortmund down to relegation. After BVBs' relegation, we would not play Schalke for a few years. Out of all of our losses to Schalke, that one stings more in BVB fans hearts, than most.
Of course BVB came back, and we went right back on top in the Revierderby, winning 11 over the next decade. This all culminated in 1988 when we eliminated Schalke from the Pokal, and helped take points from them in the league, where they were relegated this time. Oh joy.
In the 90s Schalke had the advantage in the Revierderby. However, BVB was the better club of the time, winning league titles, and another European championships. Schalke may have won the UEFA Cup, but one upping them with another European championship felt good for the fans of BVB. Another confirmation of our league and cup dominance over Schalke.
Damals als er noch zu den Guten gehörte pic.twitter.com/BYwoK7rqYi— bvb⚽️history (@bvb_history) April 9, 2016
I'd say the best victory for BVB in the Revierderby in recent years has to be May 12th 2007. For those that don't know, Schalke was winning the league as they travelled to Signal Iduna to try and close out the season. BVB defeated them 2-0 taking the title away from Schalke. Schalke has still not won a league title in over 50 years, and BVB fans are proud to be apart of stopping them in their best chance since.
The Revierderby is always unpredictable. Sometimes we are the better team and lose and sometimes it's the other way around. While we may always have an eternal hatred and rivalry with the evil club in blue, we're glad they're around for us to hate. So Schalke 04 while we don't love your club, we do love to hate your club and for that we thank you.