Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid: A primer for new fans

Dennis Grombkowski

Every year the Champions League draws new people to the sport of soccer and there's likely a learning curve involved with lots of terms and names that will be thrown your way. We're here to help prepare you for Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid.

Carrying on from yesterday's post about Bayer Munich and Barcelona, let us again take a look at the two teams involved in today's other Champions League semifinal tie. If you're confused at all about how these home-and-home ties work, just check back to yesterday's post for an explanation.

Just another quick reminder, if you're a soccer geek like us and you don't need to be caught up, go ahead and head over to our StoryStream with the rest of our coverage for today's match.

Borussia Dortmund were the two-time defending Bundesliga champions coming into this season, though Bayern Munich has already reclaimed the title. They've become a very popular team among soccer fans due to their young and talented roster, their charismatic head coach Jürgen Klopp, and the fact they typically play an attractive style of soccer. Dortmund won the Champions League once back in 1997.

When watching the match be sure to keep an eye on Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels.

Mario Götze is a 20-year-old phenom who will be leaving Dortmund in the summer to join their rivals Bayern Munich. Götze is one of the most creative and exciting young attacking midfielders in soccer and is capable of playing both centrally and on the wings. The fact that news broke just over 24 hours ago about his departure could lead to an interesting response from the Dortmund fans, many of who are none too happy about his decision.

Robert Lewandowski is a talented Polish striker who will need to have a big game for Dortmund. Lewandowski has scored 30 or more goals two straight seasons and is another player who could be leaving the club this summer or next. Rumors have swirled around him joining either Bayern or Manchester United.

Mats Hummels is a German international defender and one of the best young defensive talents in the game. He's a big, strong player who is capable of playing in either a traditional central defense role or a defensive midfielder position. He's an excellent reader of the game and can often help start a Dortmund counter attack with his excellent long passing ability. Hummels is another player who could have a new team this summer with rumored interest from Barcelona. Hummels has been compared to German legend Franz Beckenbauer.

More from our team blogs: Real Madrid blog Managing Madrid

Real Madrid are one of the true "giants" of European soccer. With their nine trophies, no team has won the Champions League/European Cup more than Los Merengues and becoming the first team to ten is extremely important to the club. Los Merengues is one of their nicknames by the way, they're called that because they traditionally wear white jerseys.

Madrid are coached by Jose Mourinho, one of the most successful and controversial coaches currently working the game. If he wins the Champions League, he would be the second coach in history to win three European cups and the first two win it with three different teams. Liverpool's Bob Paisley is the only other coach to win three.

Madrid feature two the best players currently playing in the world today. Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is right up there with Lionel Messi in terms of his stature among the media and fans. His creative ability is tremendous and he is one of the most dangerous free kick takers around. His brash and cocky style often makes him a disliked figure but there's no doubting his tremendous talent. He also played for Manchester United until 2009 when he was sold to Madrid for a staggering $122 million.

Mesut Özil is Madrid's other amazing midfielder and is their offensive mother in the center of the field. Few players posses the combination of vision and the ability to make accurate passes like the German international can. His footwork is second to none and he has a knack for making plays that others can only dream of. Be sure to watch him when he's on the ball, you're likely to see something special.

Madrid also feature a young French defender named Raphaël Varane who has rocketed onto the world stage this year thanks to several tremendous performances against Madrid's biggest rival Barcelona. He's a tall and physically strong defender with excellent vision that has help given him a reputation as a player who rarely makes the wrong step with his positioning.

Kickoff is at 2:45 p.m. ET. If you live in the United States, you can catch the game on FX, FOX Deportes or FOX Soccer 2 Go.

Follow @SBNationSoccer on Twitter | Like SB Nation Soccer on Facebook

More in Soccer:

Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid: Features and live coverage

The FA’s incompetence doesn’t exonerate Luis Suarez

Bayern Munich vs. Barcelona: Reliving the Bavarians’ romp

Manchester United mythbusting

Full coverage of the NWSL

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.