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Dortmund hope fourth time lucky for German Cup final

Dortmund hope fourth time lucky for German Cup final

BERLIN: Borussia Dortmund are desperate to snap a losing run of three consecutive German Cup finals when they take on outsiders Eintracht Frankfurt in Berlin on Saturday.

Dortmund are the only team to have reached four straight German Cup finals but have missed out on the trophy since they won it in 2012.

Players such as German international Marco Reus and Bundesliga top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have failed to win any major silverware with the Ruhr valley club in the past few seasons.

Dortmund lost the 2013 Champions League final to Bayern Munich and were beaten in last three domestic Cup finals.

“Such a title would be very special after such a season,” said coach Thomas Tuchel, whose future at the club is unclear despite finishing third in the league and securing a Champions League group stage spot for next season.

“We hope it will be a special finale of the season. A lot of players have been here more often. Last year we wanted to get to Berlin, this year I sense we have upped our demands a notch. We want to win it.”

Crowd favourite Reus, considered among the best players of his generation in Germany, has lost every final he has played since joining Dortmund in 2012. He also missed Germany’s 2014 World Cup victory through injury.

“Marco will play tomorrow, no surprise there,” said Tuchel. “He is very important for us.”

Tuchel also brushed aside speculation about his future. He has a contract until 2018 but a row with club bosses has soured relations in recent weeks.

The 43-year-old fell out with CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke after insisting he was not consulted about whether to play their home Champions League quarter-final less than 24 hour after the April 11 bomb attack on the Dortmund team bus.

Watzke says that is not true and the pair will have clear the air talks after the cup final.

Aubameyang’s future is also in doubt with a reported interest from major European clubs.

“If you say it is his last game tomorrow then you know more than me,” Tuchel said. “My situation also plays no role. I am very calm.”

Outsiders Frankfurt are bidding to end their 29-year wait for the German Cup and will be without defender Guillermo Varela.

After playing their last five games, the 24-year-old right-back, on loan from Manchester United, was kicked out of the Frankfurt squad for getting a tattoo on Monday, despite being told not to, which then got inflamed.

“Guillermo’s path with the club has been ended by his actions,” said Frankfurt’s sports director Fredi Bobic.

“The club can’t tolerate the fact that a player opposes the instructions of the coach and the team doctor before such an important game.”

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2017

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