Ahead of Roman Weidenfeller’s testimonial match on Friday, we take a look back at the career of a man who bled Black and Yellow for 16 years.
Roman Weidenfeller enjoyed quite a career with Borussia Dortmund. The goalkeeper joined Der BVB on a free transfer in 2002 and went on to make a total of 453 appearances for the club. Weidenfeller stood by the club through all the highs and all the lows and gave his all on the pitch for his beloved team. The 38 year old has quite an honors list to show for his loyalty to Borussia Dortmund. Weidenfeller won two Bundesliga titles, two DFB-Pokals and the FIFA World Cup during his stay with the Black and Yellows.
Weidenfeller started his Dortmund career as backup to Jens Lehmann. But when the latter left for Arsenal in 2003, Weidenfeller was given the opportunity to make the starting spot his own. He took his chance with both hands and became the mainstay in the Dortmund lineup for the next decade.
Weidenfeller was a leader both on and off the pitch. His calmness and confidence helped those around him become better players. And he played a vital role in all of Dortmund’s successes during the Jurgen Klopp era. He played 33 games and captained the side on 30 occasions as Borussia Dortmund won the Bundesliga title in 2011.
Weidenfeller played a crucial role once again as Jurgen Klopp’s side retained their Bundesliga crown the following year. His penalty save from Arjen Robben on matchday 30 helped Dortmund beat Bayern 1-0 and maintain their lead at the top of the table. An year later, Weidenfeller was hailed as the best goalkeeper in the world by his manager after he saved the most one on ones in the UEFA Champions League, helping Dortmund reach the final.
In November 2013, Weidenfeller became Germany’s oldest debutant, when he made his bow in his side’s 1-0 win against England. He then went on to serve as Manuel Neuer’s understudy, as Germany won the FIFA World Cup in 2014.
When Thomas Tuchel became Dortmund head coach in 2015, it looked like Weidenfeller would have to give up his spot between the sticks to Roman Burki. But the veteran astonished Tuchel with his work rate and went on to become Dortmund’s Europa League goalkeeper. Weidenfeller went on to make 11 appearances in the season after, but he only appeared three times last season. Weidenfeller knew that it was time to retire and he made the decision to hang his gloves last season.
There is absolutely no doubt that Roman Weidenfeller is one of the best players to ever play for Borussia Dortmund. His commitment, desire and his loyalty towards Borussia Dortmund will remain unmatched. Let us hope that that his farewell is as grandiose as his career was.