Dortmund Squad Numbers: #1
Welcome back to the latest edition of BVB Squad Numbers. Today we’ll look at the most constant number for players of the same position across the world and that is the #1 jersey. The #1 jersey has traditionally been worn by goalkeepers since the introduction of shirt numbers in football and the tradition is still being followed today. The final line of defense for every team, let’s have a look at a few talismanic custodians who have donned the number for the Yellow-Blacks.
Klos, who played for only two clubs in his entire career, the other club being Glasgow giants Rangers FC, made an astounding 349 appearances for the Ruhr club over the course of 9 years. He joined the club from neighbouring TSC Eintracht Dortmund in 1990, making his debut in 1991 and soon became an undisputed starter replacing then first-choice keeper and current BVB goalkeeping coach Wolfgang de Beer. Klos stood at 6 feet tall and was a solid goalkeeper but he never earned a cap for Germany owing to the depth the national team had back then and the luxury of depth in that position still exists till to this day. Klos won two Bundesliga, one UEFA Champions League, and one Intercontinental Cup with Dortmund before leaving for Scotland to become one of the best-paid players in Europe.
Lehmann, who spent the most of his Bundesliga career at Ruhr district rivals Schalke and his stint with Arsenal, is not a very popular figure among Dortmund fans, but he was definitely one of the most talented and eccentric players to play for the club. He moved to Dortmund after a subpar six-month stint at Milan and was brought in to replace former stalwart Stefan Klos in the 1999 winter break. Lehmann did not have the most auspicious of starts and there were a lot of calls for his departure but he ended up staying and his next season was very solid. He ended up making 179 appearances for the club but he holds the unwanted record for most red cards received by a BVB player. He even earned a respectable 61 caps for Germany and was the understudy of Oliver Kahn for many years before eventually replacing him as first-choice for the national team.
Weidenfeller, who joined the club in 2002 from 1. FC Kaiserslautern has become a club legend and a fan favourite. The German capped five times internationally has gone on to make 450 appearances for the club and has the second most appearances for the club, surpassed only by current Sporting Director and former captain Michael Zorc. Eventually bought in as a backup to Jens Lehmann, he became first-choice after Lehmann left for Arsenal and Weidenfeller cemented his place as a starter for over a decade. His international career has been spent on the bench as he was backup to Jens Lehmann and then the emergence of Manuel Neuer again prevented him from becoming the first-choice goalkeeper. Weidenfeller has seen the club go through financial trouble and then re-emerge as a powerhouse in German football over the course of his career being constant in an otherwise constantly shuffled team. He has won two Bundesliga, two DFB Pokal and was even part of the FIFA World Cup winning German team in 2014.
Weidenfeller still occupies the #1 jersey but is now a backup to Roman Burki and recently signed a one-year contract extension to 2018, extending his stay to 16 years with the club and is at the waning end of his career, but his experience and presence in the dressing room is invaluable and it is looking increasingly likely that he will continue in a coaching role when he finally bids farewell to his long and relatively successful career.