The year was 2013, April when I first saw Dortmund play against Malaga in Champions league. That match just made it clear for me that this is a special club, a club which has a spirit, an essence with which I can definitely relate myself. The fans are a pride of the club, it makes Dortmund stand apart from other clubs. Since then the love for the club has become completely unconditional. Every year I used to see The Yellow Wall showing what Borussia Spirit is and what Dortmund stands for. Seeing the Yellow Wall I wished that someday I will be there in that stadium, besides The Yellow Wall chanting, pushing the club.
Fast forward to the years, 2019 September 28th cloudy, cold afternoon welcomed me as I stepped out from Dortmund Central station with a big smile to watch Dortmund play Bremen. My first match at the famous Singa Iduna Park (will always be Westfalenstadion for me) and that too an evening match. I will be honest in the whole tour, I visited quite a few places but this was and will always be the highlight of the tour. The moment I stepped out of the station I had a sense of belongingness. Seeing the station crowded with people wearing the black and yellow jersey just pushed me to cover myself in black and yellow. A match in Dortmund is nothing less than festival. And you could see that. The citizens will wear their jersey with pride, and will be an ambassador of the best club in Europe
As the time came closer to the kick off the metros started to turn black and yellow, I saw fellow Dortmund fans; families, covered in black and yellow. I could sense the excitement, the passions in the fans, slowly building up a crescendo. And finally that time arrived when the metro stopped at Westfalenstadion where I stepped out to a huge structure painted in black and yellow visible at distance. I forgot everything, it was pouring down heavily but I could not stop myself from moving towards the stadium. And as it continued to pour down heavily, I walked briskly towards it, and there it was magnificent, beautiful Westfalenstadion painted black and yellow buzzing in front of me.
As I entered from the gates and moved towards the stadium there was an energy which will gripped me. And then I entered into the stadium and I was at home. The first thing I saw in front of me was The Yellow Wall! Yes! The heart of the club was beating right in front of me, and I could feel it. That thought that journey sitting at home to Dortmund completed there. The ground, the whole atmosphere just blended with me, and the word awe couldn’t justify how I felt in that moment. As the kickoff approached the team came out to the ground, and I for the first time saw fans and players become one. Waving flags, and waving black and yellow mufflers welcomed the players to the field with a traditional Dortmund song being played in the background, and yes, you’ll never walk alone!
As the game progressed, I could see what a football game means to Dortmund. It is never is driven by passion. When Dortmund was playing it never felt that only 11 players were on the field. There were 81,000 fans pushing through their chants to not go down without a fight. The famous Dortmund spirit was visible, whenever Dortmund went down the first reaction of the fans was to start chanting, to cheer players up, and that cheering soon changes to passionate chants to push the team to do something magical, make impossible, possible. And they team use to respond with an increased intensity. It felt as if the fans converse with players and this goes throughout the match. And this spirit is what Dortmund stands for, it is driven by fans, this spirit is signified by The Yellow Wall, which never stops beating, it drives the whole stadium. Those 90 minutes were the quickest of my life. I never wanted the match to get over, because It still hasn’t dawned in me that I was watching Dortmund play live with Yellow Wall waving flags right in front of me, chanting, supporting Dortmund throughout. As I left Westfalenstadion with a promise to come back again, It is the Borussia spirit that touched me, and something I have taken back and applied in my life. With chants reverberating in my head and the images fresh in my head, I have a luxury to go back to that match, sit beside the Yellow Wall, support my team unconditionally. This is what defines Echte Liebe for me.