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Borussia Dortmund

As a Champion Partner with deep roots in the region, we – like all fans of the black and yellow – are highly impressed by the amazing achievements of our local football team, Borussia Dortmund. With 140 years of experience in German engineering, we know that a passion for technology, quality and performance is what keeps you ahead of the competition – both on and off the pitch. That's why we're especially proud to support our local team by providing pumps for heating the pitch, preparing the field for high-energy matches, promoting young players and recruiting skilled workers.

2013/07/15 BVB News

The new: Micki, Aubame and Sokratis

Trainer Jürgen Klopp and the three players newly added during the 2013 summer break: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Sokratis and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. (Photo: Firo/Augenklick)

A newspaper wanted to award a prize to Borussia Dortmund. The reason for the not so serious suggestion is that the BVB acquired new players whose names would be the most difficult to pronounce. Henrikh Mkhitaryan (24), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (24) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (25) were listed. No one can argue that these are names like Jones, Miller or Smith. For the Armenian Mkhitaryan, a midfielder obtained from Shakhtar Donetsk, the situation is actually downright complicated, as it turns out. "Henrikh Mkhitaryan" is the correct transcription of the Cyrillic spelling into English according to the homepage of Borussia Dortmund, but "Henrich Mchitarjan" is also widespread and at least is really close to the phonetic pronunciation.  The player himself says that "Machitarjan" is correct, but he can also live with "Mikitarjan". As so often in football, the nicknames "Mücke" (German for "mosquito") and "Micki" were quickly created, and one of these surely could catch on.

For the Greek defender who came from Werder Bremen, it is really simple, because he is known in the industry by just his first name Sokratis anyway. That sounds almost philosophical. And his first name will also be displayed on his jersey. And the name of Aubameyang from AS Saint Etienne, who was born in France and who plays on the national team of Gabon because of his roots, is certainly not a tongue twister. In France, he is called "Aubame" for short, which would sound like "Obam", says his friend Jeremie Janot, his former teammate at St. Etienne, who is now a goalkeeper at Le Mans. The online service Sport1 drove the abbreviation forward and created "Auba".

In any case, the opinions and assessments of trainer Jürgen Klopp and manager Michael Zorc are interesting. "The three have shown that they can kick", said the trainer after he had observed the new Black and Yellows long enough on the ball. "Aubameyang gives us new possibilities in finishing, and Mkhitaryan creates playful moments. And Sokratis radiates great confidence, that is very cool", says Klopp at the training camp in Bad Ragaz. Spirits were high in mid-July in the Rhine Valley in Switzerland. Although the BVB was the last club in the Bundesliga to begin preparations, everything was just right: the performance of the players in training and in the trial matches, the mood overall was simply magnificent – thanks in large part to the performance of the new trio.

Mkhitaryan is the most expensive new addition to the BVB
The BVB has invested about 50 million euros. Such numbers are rarely officially confirmed by the clubs, but because the clubs letting players go present corresponding numbers, it can be assumed that the amount is not far from the number that the BVB will fix in its books. It is a lot of money for sure, but after the departure of Mario Götze bitterly learned of in April for 37 million euros to Bayern Munich, extra funds were available in addition to the impressive income from the Champions League. In the opinion of authorities on international football, Dortmund has certainly strengthened greatly.

For Mkhitaryan, Borussia Dortmund was even ready to part with the highest transfer fee that the club had ever paid. 27.5 million euros changed hands. Aubameyang came for 13 million and defender Sokratis for 9.5 million. Some worried that the club was taking a giant 50-million-euro risk. Michael Zorc sees it differently. Mkhitaryan was not acquired to replace Götze, says the manager. "Our football has always changed a little when players have left us and new players have arrived. That was the case when Sahin was replaced with Gündogan, and it was no different when Kagawa left and Reus came." Without the unbelievably rapid upward development of the BVB, this transfer would not have been possible, stresses Zorc. Mkhitaryan also had offers from the English Premier League clubs Tottenham and Liverpool. "Two years ago, we would have certainly skidded off the track in a race against these clubs", says Zorc in an interview with the newspaper BILD.

Things should get more colourful for the seven-time champion, perhaps even a little looser and merrier. "I see that basically like the trainer", said Zorc, referring especially to Aubameyang. He stood out at St. Etienne in October 2012 because of a Spiderman celebration in which he donned the mask of this comic book and film figure after a goal. He did this to cheer up his aforementioned teammate Janot, who was sick. The magazine SPORT BILD wrote that the striker stands out because of his spectacular hairstyles, his clothing, his Swarovski shoes, and his cars. Janot confirms this: "Of course, Aubame is extremely crazy. No question. He loves these things and occupies himself with them a lot." But the new Dortmund player lives seriously and professionally, does not drink any alcohol, and always has full concentration on the field. No one thought the new Greek could be such a strange and beautiful creature. "We are so happy that we have him in our ranks. 'Papa' has excellent qualities, can play centre back or right back", said Zorc about Sokratis, bringing into play the new nickname "Papa" derived from the surname Papastathopoulos.

The most expensive of the new players is also uncomplicated, says Zorc. Mkhitaryan quickly learned his first German words. Kevin Großkreutz was assigned to him as double-room partner, so he will get the right lessons in club culture and songs. "I have been very well received, and the club is looking after me well. That is important to a new player," explained Mkhitaryan, and he went on to praise his new team and their fans: "I joined a very good team. This atmosphere, this mood, these fans are unique in Europe." There is nothing to add to that, except the hope that the new players make the BVB even better.