Sonny and Kevin's guide to Borussia Dortmund
09 March 2016|Tottenham Hotspur
Having played against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga as recently as last season, both Heung-Min Son and Kevin Wimmer are well-placed to speak about our opponents in the Europa League this week.
And it’s fair to say, if his past encounters with the men from Signal Iduna Park are anything to go by, Sonny particularly enjoys taking on Dortmund!
Indeed, the South Korean international forward has scored five times in his last five matches against them for Hamburg and then Bayer Leverkusen, memorably netting the only goal of the game in a 1-0 triumph for the latter side at Dortmund in December, 2013.
During the 2012-13 season, his last with Hamburg, he fared even better, scoring twice both at home and away to help his team earn respective 3-2 and 4-1 victories.
Defender Kevin, meanwhile, encountered Dortmund twice last season with 1. FC Köln. Having played in a 2-1 home win, he was suspended for the return match at Signal Iduna Park but was still in attendance as his side battled out a goalless draw.
With all that experience behind them, we caught up with the duo – who are good friends off the pitch here at Spurs – to find out a bit more about Dortmund ahead of the first leg of our Europa League round of 16 tie in Germany on Thursday evening.
Sonny, first of all, tell us about your memories of playing against Borussia Dortmund previously…
Heung-Min Son: “I’ve played against them for the past five years and a great memory for me was when I played against them for Hamburg in 2012, we won 3-2 and I scored twice. That was a big moment in my career.”
You’ve scored five goals in your last five games against them. How confident are you of adding to that tally this week?
Heung-Min Son: “Borussia Dortmund are a huge team and these sorts of games motivate me a lot, which might explain my record against them. I’ve got good memories from the past against them, I have a really good feeling every time I play inside their stadium and it’ll be great to play against them again this week. It’s a big game against a big team and we’re all motivated to go and get a good result.”
Kevin, what are your recollections of facing Borussia Dortmund with 1. FC Köln last season?
Kevin Wimmer: “I played against them last season at home when we beat them 2-1 and then saw the team draw 0-0 in the away game. They were tough games but hopefully in Dortmund on Thursday we can get a good score for the return match at White Hart Lane. I think we have a good chance to get through to the next round.”
Although you were suspended when 1. FC Köln played there last year, what can you tell us about Signal Iduna Park?
Kevin Wimmer: “It’s quite close in, everything is tight together and usually there are 80,000 people in the stadium so the atmosphere, for sure, is one of the best in Germany. You will see on Thursday what I mean. The atmosphere is incredible, especially with the fans behind one goal. I think there are 20,000 of them in the one stand and it’s called the Yellow Wall – it’s unbelievable.”
Sonny, do you agree with Kevin’s analysis of their stadium?
Heung-Min Son: “For me, it’s the best stadium in Germany with a fantastic atmosphere – their fans are brilliant and it’ll be great to play there. As a team, we will need to be very strong to get the victory.”
Kevin, how do you feel about the challenge of taking on Borussia Dortmund once again?
Kevin Wimmer: “I think it’s always a special feeling to play against Dortmund because in Germany they are, along with Bayern Munich, one of the best teams. They have some very good players, especially offensive players with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Marco Reus so we will have to be strong.”
Sonny, have you got any tips on how to get the better of Dortmund?
Heung-Min Son: "I don’t have any tips, it’s just important that we approach it like every other game. They’re a great team and we’ll need to be focused for both of our games, but we’re a very strong team as well and I think we have a great chance to get through."
Finally, Kevin, we have a young squad so how tough is it going to be for us to take on such a strong side in Dortmund?
Kevin Wimmer: “It’s going to be a good experience for every one of us and I think it’s a very good opportunity for us as well to show where we are. Hopefully we can put on a good performance and show everyone that we have a very good team. Of course, we want to get back to winning ways after last week too.”