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‘Like champions’ – Dortmund put brave face on title misery

(L-R) Dortmund’s Portuguese defender Raphael Guerreiro, Dortmund’s English midfielder Jadon Sancho and Dortmund’s Danish midfielder Thomas Delaney applaud after the German First division Bundesliga football match BVB Borussia Moenchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund in Moenchengladbach, western Germany, on May 18, 2019. (Photo by LEON KUEGELER / AFP) / DFL¬†

Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said his team played “like champions” after they narrowly missed out on the Bundesliga title on Saturday.

Dortmund beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0 but finished two points behind champions Bayern, who sealed the title with a 5-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt.

It was a bitter end to a brilliant season for Dortmund, who led Bayern by nine points back in December.

“If we had won one more game, we would have been champions,” said Watzke, and insisted that young stars such as Jadon Sancho can still hope to win trophies at Dortmund.

“This is only the beginning of our development, we saw today how much potential this team has.”

“We will try to keep the pace with Bayern in the coming years.”

Captain Marco Reus, meanwhile, could not hide his disappointment.

“We really felt we could win the title today, but Bayern deserved it in the end,” he said.

“They were a bit better because they have more experience and showed a different mentality on the pitch.”

Dortmund picked up their third-highest points tally ever in the Bundesliga this season, and coach Lucien Favre said that his team could be “satisfied”, despite their disappointment.

“It was a very good season with a lot of exciting games,” he said.

“We conceded some unnecessary goals which proved to be costly, but everything was possible until the end.

Players’ director Sebastian Kehl also put a positive spin on Dortmund’s title anguish.

“We have achieved more than we could have dreamed of at the start of the season,” he said.

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