Erling Haaland scoring the first of his two goals on the night
18 February 2020, Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund

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Paris Saint-Germain

Borussia Dortmund
Anastasia Gradl

We are leaving Bavaria at 6am, 500km from Dortmund; our seven-hour journey is even longer than that of some of the Parisian fans’, as one of them later tells us. But we don’t mind taking this particular journey.

We are very hungry when we arrive in Dortmund and decide to grab a Currywurst each: a traditional German sausage dish that is very special to the Ruhrpott, the region Dortmund belongs to. After refuelling, we start exploring Dortmund; you can sense the people’s love of football by wandering through these streets. Everywhere you go, you find black and yellow: merchandise in the shops, graffiti on the walls and flags in the windows.

Even the Dortmunder U-Tower, a landmark of the town, shines in these colours. The excitement sets your pulse racing, because this only happens on special occasions: matchdays. Looking down from the U we see that the streets are starting to fill with PSG and BVB fans; we meet some as we head to a pub for a beer. It’s great to see how football is able to bring different people of different cultures together.

The walk to the stadium is long and cold but the atmosphere makes it worth it. Together we enter the temple: Westfalenstadion. When the whole stadium starts singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, I always get goose bumps – and this feeling doesn’t stop the whole game because it’s very intense and exciting to watch.

The teams seem equal. BVB’s young shooting star, Erling Haaland, is the first to score but the joy doesn’t last long: Neymar equalises a few minutes later. However, Haaland isn’t done yet and scores another goal! We are all screaming and celebrating, and the south stand is going crazy. The final whistle blows 15 minutes later, which tells us we’ve won the first leg and allows our team – and especially Haaland – to enjoy being hailed as heroes on the night.

Now all of us have our fingers crossed for another chance to celebrate on 11 March…

Our Champions Journalist winner:
Anastasia Gradl
Anastasia got into football during the 2014 World Cup – and hasn’t looked back since. Her favourite Dortmund player is Marco Reus (she appreciates his loyalty and down-to-earth nature) and her standout memory as a supporter is the time she met a group of British football fans in a Cologne pub, found out they had a spare ticket to Dortmund v Dusseldorf and joined them at the match the next day.
About Champions Journalist: Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.
Champions Journalist
With thanks to our Champions Journalist winner
Anastasia Gradl
Champions Journalist is an annual competition that gives fans a chance to write about their club for Champions Journal.