Marco Reus Benched: The Surprising Tactical Decision by Dortmund for Champions League Final Against Real Madrid

Marco Reus Benched: The Surprising Tactical Decision by Dortmund for Champions League Final Against Real Madrid

Marco Reus Benched for Dortmund's Clash Against Real Madrid

As Borussia Dortmund prepares to take on Real Madrid in the highly anticipated 2024 UEFA Champions League final, fans and analysts alike were taken aback by the surprising exclusion of Marco Reus from the starting lineup. Despite being one of the club's most iconic players and a cornerstone of their attacking prowess, the 35-year-old midfielder will not be stepping onto the pitch at the opening whistle. This decision, orchestrated by head coach Eric Terzic, is seen as a strategic move rather than a consequence of any injury-related issues.

Reus, who has been with Borussia Dortmund for an impressive 12 years, has stated that he is in peak physical condition. However, this season has seen him take a backseat role in the Champions League knockout phases. Out of the 12 appearances he's made in the tournament, Reus has notably started just five and has seen even less playtime in the crucial knockout stages, with only one start to his name. His absence from the starting XI in the final is therefore not entirely out of character when considering his recent involvement in Europe’s premier club competition.

Strategic Reasons Behind the Decision

The decision to bench Reus is rooted in tactical considerations. Eric Terzic, a manager known for his astute game strategies, appears to be favoring a more dynamic and potentially younger lineup against the formidable Real Madrid squad. Terzic has opted to deploy players who offer greater speed and agility, qualities that are critical when facing a team known for its quick transitions and counter-attacks. While Reus remains a potent attacking force, his age and the heavy demands of a high-stakes match like the Champions League final might have influenced the coach's thinking.

Also, the midfield is expected to be a fiercely contested area, and Terzic might be looking to bolster it with players who are more defensively robust and capable of enduring the physical battles. This approach could prove key in neutralizing Real Madrid's attacking threats, given their strength in the middle of the park with players like Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. By maintaining Reus on the bench, Terzic retains a versatile and experienced option to turn to in case the team needs an additional spark or a different tactical adjustment as the game progresses.

Reus's Contributions and Future Plans

Reus's Contributions and Future Plans

Marco Reus's contributions to Borussia Dortmund over his 12-year tenure have been immense. He has been a talismanic figure, often leading by example with his creative playmaking, incisive dribbling, and knack for scoring critical goals. His presence on the field has inspired both teammates and fans, making his limited role in the Champions League this season all the more surprising. Nevertheless, Reus has always been a team player, and his professional attitude toward this decision is commendable.

Looking ahead, Reus has already announced that he will be leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. However, contrary to what some might expect given his age, retirement is not on his agenda. The German international has made it clear that he intends to continue his playing career, although it remains to be seen where his next destination will be. For now, Reus's immediate focus is on contributing to the team's success in the final, even if that means stepping up from the bench to deliver a match-winning performance.

Potential Impact as a Substitute

Reus coming off the bench could actually be a strategic advantage for Borussia Dortmund. In high-stakes matches like these, the ability to introduce an experienced and impactful player mid-game can often be a decisive factor. Should Dortmund find themselves in need of creativity or an offensive boost, Reus’s presence on the pitch could shift the momentum. His experience in big matches, coupled with his ability to read the game and influence play quickly, makes him an invaluable asset even as a substitute.

Moreover, the psychological impact of seeing a seasoned player like Reus enter the game cannot be underestimated. His presence alone can lift the spirits of his teammates and intimidate opponents, who know all too well about his capabilities. Given the unpredictability of football, having someone like Reus ready to make an impact can be the ace up Terzic’s sleeve.

Fan Reactions and Expectations

Fan Reactions and Expectations

The fan reactions to Reus's exclusion from the starting XI have been mixed. Many supporters are disappointed not to see one of their favorite players start, especially in such a significant game. Social media has been abuzz with discussions and debates, with some fans questioning the tactical wisdom behind Terzic’s decision. However, there is also a segment of the fanbase that trusts the manager’s judgment and is optimistic about the potential benefits of using Reus as a strategic substitute.

The expectations are high, and the pressure immense, as Dortmund seeks to add another Champions League trophy to their cabinet. While starting without Reus might seem risky, it reflects the team's depth and the trust Terzic has in his squad. Fans are hopeful that regardless of the starting lineup, the collective spirit and tactical acumen of the team will shine through, culminating in a memorable victory.

The Historical Context

To fully appreciate the significance of Marco Reus’s role in this final, it’s essential to understand his journey with Borussia Dortmund. Since joining the club in 2012, Reus has become synonymous with Dortmund's attacking identity. His time at the club has been marked by both triumph and hardship, including numerous injuries that have kept him out of several key matches over the years. Despite these setbacks, Reus’s commitment to the club has never waned, and he has continuously fought back to reclaim his place on the team.

Reus's decision to leave Dortmund at the end of the season adds an emotional layer to this final. It represents the end of an era, not just for Reus, but for Dortmund fans who have watched him evolve and contribute to the club's successes. Lifting the Champions League trophy as a parting gift would be a fitting tribute to his years of service and a poignant chapter in the club's history.



As the 2024 UEFA Champions League final draws closer, all eyes will be on Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid as they battle for European supremacy. The tactical decision to bench Marco Reus has added an intriguing subplot to what is already a highly anticipated match. While Reus might not start, his potential impact as a substitute could be the key to Dortmund’s success, demonstrating that even in a limited role, legends like Reus can shape the outcome of football’s biggest games. The stage is set, the stakes are high, and fans around the world are eagerly waiting to see how the drama unfolds.

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