In the modern game, success is often bought just as much as it is earned. To challenge on all fronts, the common view is that you need massive financial backing. As unromantic a viewpoint as this is, in the past decade or so, it has been very much the case.
But, every now and then, a team will buck the trend and triumph against the odds.
Saturday's clash between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich may not matter much in the end of the Bundesliga season, but it could have a major effect on their upcoming match for the biggest prize in Europe.
Bayern, winners of a record 14 straight Bundesliga matches, have already clinched this year's league crown and Dortmund, last year's champions, have second place in the table all but officially wrapped up.
Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has agreed a deal with another club and is set to leave the German club this summer according to his agent who says, "We are in agreement with a club and have the right to change this summer. All the claims of Dortmund are met."
FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich will square off in the UEFA Champions League semifinals, setting up a tasty match-up between Pep Guardiola's former club and his future club.
The current league leaders in Spain and Germany will meet in the semis after Friday morning's draw, which also set up a group stage rematch between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund in what should be another quality match-up.
When Malaga's Eliseu put the ball in the net in the 82nd minute to give Malaga a 2-1 lead over Borussia Dortmund, it looked as though the reigning German champions had given themselves too high a hurdle to overcome in too short an amount of time. They couldn't dwell on the fact that the goal looked to be offside.
Malaga scored first in Germany to setup one of the most thrilling Champions League matches since the tournament's inception. Robert Lewandowski scored next for Dortmund to make things level but it was Eliseu who scored for Malaga in the 82nd to give the Spanish side incredible hope for advancing to the next stage.
It is a tough question because during his Arsenal career he has always been injury prone and missed large chunks of the season. Even when he has been fit and playing matches he has sometimes underperformed compared to the rest of the team but then again in some matches he has been the driving force for an important win.
Since Bacary Sagna's statement last week that he is open to PSG, Monaco or any other offer this summer has made it clear that he has not entered into talks with Arsenal over a contract extension, which seems to point to the fact that he will definitely be leaving at the end of the season.
So, as Arsenal are likely to be in the market for a talented right-back, the Mail reports that the Gunners scouts have been looking around for his replacement, and the two top targets are said to be the Polish international Lukasz Piszczek, who is currently playing for Dortmund, and the Feyenoord right-back Daryl Janmaat, who has recently become a regular in the Dutch national team.
Should Arsenal break the bank for Lewandowski? By Twig
Lewandowski is certain to leave Borussia Dortmund this Summer, however his destination is still uncertain. It appears the club at the forefront for his signature is local Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, but as a story on Yahoo Sports goes today, Dortmund are seriously averse to losing Lewandowski to Bayern after losing Gotze to the same side.
The young Dortmund star Mario Gotze has been the subject of many Arsenal transfer rumours lately, and it has been mentioned that Arsene Wenger was willing to break his transfer record to bring the talented midfielder to the Emirates, but now the player himself seems to have ruled out any possible move to Arsenal either now or in the future.
There have been many Arsenal transfer rumours about possible striker arrivals this summer, and it would seem that Borussia Dortmund's Robert Lewandowski is one of the favourite fantasies for most Gooners, especially as he will be entering the last year of his contract at the end of the season.
It would appear that this is simply Pie-In-The-Sky wishing from us if this story I have found from Suddeutsche.
Navas, Dragovic and Son is not a removal company by the way, it is three different football players who have been linked with a possible summer transfer switch to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger and the club will have a good idea of the players they want to sign this summer, but a lot could still depend on where we finish in the table.
It's early May, which in footballing terms generally means one thing: it's business time. And AFR Voice is punching in for this week's audio shift with plenty to talk about. Whether it be a 33-man match in Norway, horror challenges on reporters in Denmark, or the hottest thing out of the Madrid branch of IKEA since someone burnt the meatballs, we've got it covered.
Borussia Dortmund say that they have received more than 500,000 ticket applications for this month's Champions League final at Wembley.
This will be Dortmund's first final since winning the trophy in 1997 and supporters of the eight-time Bundesliga winners have been clamouring for a place at the London showdown, with 502,567 applying through the club for just 24,042 tickets.
Dortmund played Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga on Saturday evening and, as well as being a sneaky little preview of the Champions League final, the game marked the first meeting between the two sides since the announcement that Dortmund fledgling Mario Götze is to join Bayern at the end of the season.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich both scored within the first half hour on the way to a 1-1 draw Saturday that ended with Jurgen Klopp and Jupp Heynckes avoiding each other. With Bayern already Bundesliga champions this season, the match was rather meaningless from a domestic league perspective, but as a prelude to their meeting in the Champions League final it provided a glimpse of the fury to come.
Through Ryu's Lens: Madrid a moment away from history
While there was only one club that looked fit for a Champions League final after 90 minutes in Dortmund, Real Madrid strung together an amazing final 10 minutes in their 180 minute battle with the German giant.
Milan have released a statement on their official website debunking a salacious quote attributed to Mario Balotelli by news organizations far and wide. Spanish outlets AS and Marca started it all by publishing brief items that claimed the Milan striker said, "If Real Madrid comes back against Borussia Dortmund and make it to the final of the Champions League, I will let my girlfriend sleep with all the players.
Well well, it is good to see a little bit of arrogance from your manager now and then, and Arsene Wenger is not all impressed with the possibility of having two German teams in the Champions League final. He doesn't believe that Arsenal would have been beaten in Germany like Barcelona and Real Madrid were this week.
Fans as family, not customers, and the rise of Dortmund
By Anthony Lopopolo
They're made of steely stuff, these people, and a few stories in the tabloids and the press didn't do much to break their nerves. After all, Dortmund almost went bankrupt in 2005, and even when they lost so much – millions of dollars, sponsorships and players – the fans never died down.
Watch highlights of Borussia Dortmund versus Real Madrid from the UEFA Champions League semi-final, first leg.
Few would have expected such an eyeopening result as this one before the match kicked off. With all of the controversy heading into the game after it was revealed that Dortmund's Mario Gotze is joining Bayern Munich, the big question was how this would impact Borussia Dortmund's performance on the pitch.
Borussia Dortmund beat Real Madrid 4-1 to follow up on Bayern Munich's 4-0 win against Barcelona to bring the Champions League semifinal first-leg aggregate score to Germany 8, Spain 1. Since the second legs of each tie will likely be formalities on the way to an all-German final, let's go back take one more whiff of the faint scent of competition before it completely disappears.
Dortmund's Yellow Wall meets Real Madrid's Dreams of La Décima
Some of the best fans in the world welcome Real Madrid & their dreams of a 10th Champions League title to Dortmund. As they did for Bayern vs Barça, KICKTVagain called on our manDan Leydonto show what happens when Galacticos face a wall of 70,000 screaming Germans.
Mario Gotze was always going to be one of the more difficult to acquire of the Arsenal transfer targets this summer. Now it appears that difficult has become impossible. The German newspaper Bild has reported that an agreement has been reached between Gotze, his current club Borussia Dortmund and the club that have just taken the German Bundesliga title away from them, Bayern Munich.
The Champions League semifinal draw at UEFA headquarters put Bayern Munich up against Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund against group-stage foes Real Madrid. In addition to separating the two Spanish and two German sides, this also set up the opportunity for a few different outcomes that each carry the potential for drama, intensity and mass destruction.
It was a textbook case of "So close, Yet so far" for Malaga in the Champions League last night, as they crashed out to Dortmund on a 3-2 aggregate after Felipe Santana scored a last-gasp and controversial goal in the dying minutes of the game. Was it an offside goal?
Few gave Málaga a chance. And sure, they lost in the end, but what a fight they put up in Germany. The Andalusians climbed on top of the yellow wall, and silenced the 70,000 fans. The game was there for the taking, and Manuel Pellegrini's side was absolutely defiant of any storylines that were supposedly set in stone.
Borussia Dortmund supporters won even more respect tonight in the UEFA Champions League with an incredible tifo that was displayed before kick-off in their match against Malaga.
The creative tifo can be seen in the video below.
In the meantime, Dortmund supporters also deserve respect tonight for their yellow wall (pictured above) in the South Stand of their stadium where 24,000 fans cram into the end of the ground to form a human wall filled with supporters wearing yellow shirts and scarves.
Holy God, don't those Dortmund fans do a mighty good tifo. Following on from their stupendous skull extravaganza, the Black Yellows' faithful put together quite an astonishing tifo ahead of their uber-dramatic Champions League clash with Malaga.
Real Madrid supporters were obviously upset about the team's 4-1 loss in Dortmund. This, after all, was a match that had a score of 1-1 at halftime. So when the team arrived at Dortmund's airport to make their trip home, their traveling fans were there and ready to make themselves heard.
"Menos milliones, mas cojones," (less millions, more balls) they chanted as the squad filed past them.
Endlich gibt es auf Fritten, Fussball & Bier wieder einmal einen Biertest. Kommt ja überhaupt viel zu selten vor bei uns, weil wir das Bier lieber trinken als darüber zu schreiben. Aber manchmal muss man dann doch über seinen Schatten springen, sich beim Trinken etwas zurückhalten und sich überlegen, was man zu dem Bier, was [.
Just a day after destroying Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, his agent strongly hinted that the Polish striker will be joining his Dortmund teammate Mario Goetze at Bayern Munich next year
Lewandowski's contract expires at the end of next season, and reports in Germany today suggest that Dortmund have decided to cash in on the striker rather than have him leave for free in a year.
Despite having just pressed the flesh over a €31.5million move to Bundesliga top dogs Bayern Munich, it's not all rainbows and unicorn sighs in Mario Götze's world at the moment, with reports in Germany that his family are being traumatised by angry Dortmund Ultras.
So we're going to have an all German Champions League final after Bayern rather smashed Barcelona last night. Added to the first leg victory it gave them a 7-0 aggregate win and, based on our results against them, means we're 4-0 better than the soon to be Spanish champions.
Of course it doesn't quite work like that but it does put our 2-0 win at their place into some better perspective, and the fact they spent the last 5 minutes of the game running the ball into corners is a testament to how nervous they were at the end.