“Madrid? A myth!”: Lucien Favre speaks before the final between Dortmund and Real

“Madrid? A myth!”: Lucien Favre speaks before the final between Dortmund and Real
“Madrid? A myth!”: Lucien Favre speaks before the final between Dortmund and Real

Former Dortmund coach, Lucien Favre gave a long interview to Keystone-ATS before the Champions League final between BVB and Real Madrid (to be followed in free access from 8:00 p.m. Saturday on blue Zoom). The 66-year-old Vaudois technician particularly praises the merits of the current coach of the German club Edin Terzic.

Lucien Favre was Dortmund’s coach between 2018 and 2020.

KEYSTONE

For this football connoisseur, such a poster is not a surprise. The teams from Spain and Germany convinced him more than the rich representatives of the Premier League. “It is not the truth that England has the best league. And other championships also have very good coaches.”

Carlo Ancelotti’s team management philosophy impresses Favre, two years his senior: “He stays calm, he never loses his cool. Ancelotti had six complicated years in Munich, Napoli and later Everton. Despite everything, he never renounced his principles.

Lucien Favre recalls his own furtive encounter with the Italian gentleman: “I played against him once with Dortmund – he was coach at Napoli then. Carlo is a nice person.”

Terzic’s signature

But the former Swiss international obviously knows Dortmund better, this football-crazy city. For more than two seasons, the Vaudois set the pace there. “It’s a special place. The yellow wall, the incredibly noisy audience. They live with crazy strength. I will never forget the importance of football in this region of Germany,” he enthuses.

Lucien Favre cooperated closely with Edin Terzic during his two and a half years at BVB. The young coach, then on the rise, played an extremely active role in the staff: “I remember him as a very important member of the staff, who developed a lot of personal initiatives and who also brought ideas. Edin was preparing for his coaching career – this is nothing less than normal.”

When Favre’s era at BVB ended on December 13, 2020, the club’s leadership was indeed immediately clear: Terzic, a (young) man from the coach’s own ranks, took over the position. “It was understandable from the club’s point of view,” Favre emphasizes, without the slightest resentment. “We never had any problems together.”

The esteem is mutual. Terzic was able to learn a lot from Favre, he stressed. Favre praises his full commitment to the club: “He was already a BVB fan when he was a child. Edin is an emotional person, but he also thinks very analytically. He was already partly analyzing matches as an assistant.

Favre recognizes a writing, a plan, a deep conviction: “Dortmund are able to wait from time to time, they can play incredibly compact. I see a lot of variations: sometimes they press high, then they wait and counterattack.”

Of course, no detail escapes the coach who has a background of more than 800 professional matches. He likes the speed of the Germans: “Players like Adeyemi and Sancho can make the difference at any time with their speed.” He considers his former player Jadon Sancho a key figure after his return to Dortmund: “He can change the course of a match. He feels football and is now enjoying his old self-confidence again.”

Speaking of difference, Gregor Kobel is also particularly appreciated by Lucien Favre: “The BVB can count on him. He’s at the top – period! Even in the next ten years, Switzerland will not have a goalkeeping problem,” he slips.

Gregor Kobel: an exemplary journey

The Dortmund goalkeeper reaches a career high with the Champions League final. The 26-year-old looks back on his career and his goals. Some traveling companions and ex-trainers also talk about the evolution of the Zurich resident.

28.05.2024

“Madrid? a myth, of course!”

According to Favre, it is impossible to make a clear prediction for the final. “Are the people of Madrid the best in the world? Difficult to say, they have been at the top for a long time. Real is almost always there. A myth, of course! An incredible club. He is fascinated by the hard work of the current team of stars on the pitch: “They are a unit. Sometimes ten players defend – only Vinicius doesn’t like to come back.”

In addition to the spectacular Vinicius Jr, Favre mentions the German captain Toni Kroos: “I still remember how he was the stabilizer of the Munich attack at Bayern during the matches against Gladbach. An incredible player, a winner. They will miss him in Madrid.

Favre also knows perfectly another main player at Real: Jude Bellingham. At the tender age of 17, the XXL English talent tasted the Bundesliga for the first time in the fall of 2020 under the BVB jersey and under the direction of Favre.

“His mother accompanied him to training, because he was not allowed to drive himself,” smiles his ex-mentor. Often the coaching staff would call him in for a special session: “Coordination, technique, footwork, finishing, volleying. At the beginning, he still had potential for improvement in shooting.”

Almost four years later, Bellingham is the top scorer for Real, the Spanish champions, with 19 goals. Experts estimate its market value at 180 million euros. For Favre, his evolution was predictable: “Jude was very ambitious from a very young age. He showed mentality and fun – and he always wanted to improve.”

ATS, by Sven Schoch

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