Emre Can at BVB: a symbol of Dortmund’s upswing – sport

Emre Can at BVB: a symbol of Dortmund’s upswing – sport

Emre Can has recently revealed a lot about herself. In a documentary on the sports channel Dazn, he revealed that his thyroid gland was removed in 2018 along with a tumor and that he would therefore have to take pills for the rest of his life. But that didn’t have any effect on his football game, nor on the mixed three years that he has since spent at Borussia Dortmund. “Things weren’t always good,” Can says of his time at the BVB“but I wasn’t as bad as I was sometimes made out to be.”

Can, 29, basically struggles a bit with his lack of acceptance in German football. That is close to him. Perhaps that’s why the Frankfurt-born son of Turkish parents says one of his greatest sporting goals is playing in the national jersey for Germany again at the European Championships at home in 2024.

After a meager first half of the season before the long World Cup winter break, Can is currently well on the way to presenting itself as a symbol of a stable Dortmund upswing. He was always in the starting XI in BVB’s five most recent victories and has played through four times. You’ve never seen him so constant in Dortmund before. In the central defensive midfield he balances the Dortmund game quite reliably. In the Bundesliga, his winning streak has brought his team within three points of leaders Bayern Munich. In the DFB-Pokal Dortmund – also thanks to Can’s 50-meter goal last week in Bochum – has reached the quarter-finals. And in the Champions League Chelsea FC are guests from London for the round of 16 first leg this Wednesday (9 p.m.). Only in this game will we see what the upswing is really worth.

Last summer was Emre Can in Dortmund still as a candidate for sale. He stayed, but made only three starts in 15 league games before the winter break, he was substituted on seven times and five times he was completely absent. “I came back from summer vacation with an injury and felt like I was behind the whole time after that,” he said in January. “I didn’t play as much as I hoped.” He then only followed the World Cup in Qatar in the media.

Kehl lists: “Conviction, dynamism, aggressiveness – and an absolute will to win!”

Can came to Dortmund from Juventus Turin three years ago because BVB had a mental deficit. Can, who according to his own information was also in contact with Paris St. Germain and FC Barcelona in 2020, decided “for Germany” after four years in Liverpool and one and a half years in Turin. For Dortmund. He was at Borussia as a so-called Aggressive leaders planned, but he rarely slipped into this role. Neither under coach Lucien Favre nor under Marco Rose were Can and BVB able to access their potential. Since the end of January, however, Dortmund have suddenly and surprisingly been rushing from victory to victory.

Sports director Sebastian Kehl says: “In the first half of the season, Emre wasn’t the constant he would like to be himself. He said himself that you have the best Emre Can over a longer period of time Borussia Dortmund Haven’t seen it yet.” But Kehl currently sees the desired qualities in Can: “Conviction”, “Dynamics”, “Aggressiveness” – and “unconditional will to win”. And Kehl has one wish: “I would be happy if this phase with Emre is lasting for a very long time now and it retains that importance to us.”

An “Aggressive Leader”, but never the shining hero

In these weeks, Can has experienced the kind of appreciation that he longs for as a footballer. In 2013 at FC Bayern, the then new coach Pep Guardiola signaled to him that he would not play much, after which Can switched to Bayer Leverkusen at the age of 19 and a year later to Liverpool. There he learned a lot in four years, from coach Jürgen Klopp as well as from one Aggressive leaders named Steven Gerrard.

But Can’s never always been forward, regular setbacks are part of his career. In 2015 he suffered a 5-0 embarrassment with the German U21s in the European Championship semifinals against Portugal. In 2018 he lost the Champions League final with Liverpool to Real Madrid. And in 2021 he was eliminated with Germany at the European Championship in the round of 16 against England. Can was never the shining hero like Toni Kroos, who became Germany’s footballer of the year in 2018, was champion with Bayern three times and won the Champions League five times with Real. Can always had to fight, just like he did as a child in Frankfurt’s Northwest City, a “hot spot” as he says himself.

That’s why he needs trust above all else. He wants to feel it, from coach Edin Terzic, from his teammates, from the audience. At the moment he is on the right track. BVB fans see him as a leader who has the back of the thriving game designers Jude Bellingham and Julian Brandt in defensive midfield. And if Can continues to play like this, he might even become an issue for national coach Hansi Flick again. He has not once appointed Can since taking office.

That’s another reason why the round of 16 duel with Chelsea is a milestone for Can. If he can confirm his form, then victory, sympathy and Flick’s attention beckon him. Success and recognition, almost everything Can desires, he can achieve against Chelsea.

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