Marco Reus and the Value of Loyalty

While Marco Reus’ time with Borussia Dortmund wasn’t rife with trophies, he displayed a rare sense of loyalty to a club he had ties to since his childhood days.

Since Marco Reus announced his departure from Borussia Dortmund, a picture of him as a child in a BVB kit has recirculated across the internet. It’s one of those gems from the past that depict a present that was meant to be — a timeline where things went according to plan.

marco reus

Born in Dortmund, Reus is one of the beacons of hope when it comes to loyalty in modern football that we romantics still cling to. The dynamic midfielder came up through the Dortmund academy, and despite spending time away from the club after leaving the youth ranks, he made his way back and has since slotted himself into the bracket of players who rated commitment over individual success.

The German international made his return to Dortmund in 2012, where he’d become part of a beloved trio alongside Mario Gotze and Robert LewandowskiJurgen Klopp’s side would earn cult hero status, especially with an appearance in the UEFA Champions League final in 2013, albeit losing to rivals Bayern Munich. Regardless, Reus and Co. had captured the hearts and minds of world football.

While he’s garnered plenty of individual awards, Reus’ collection of trophies is quite sparse for a player of his caliber and reputation — a mix of bad timing and luck. He joined Dortmund a year after the club’s back-to-back Bundesliga titles, and just before Bayern Munich’s 11-year run of dominance. He was injured during Germany’s 2014 World Cup title run, and was not part of the 23-man squad that made the trip to Brazil. Three Super Cups and two DFB Pokals are all he has to his name.

But there’s no shame in that. There’s no denying the amount of chances Reus had to depart Dortmund and get glory elsewhere. Bayern went through a period of purchasing BVB’s best players — Gotze, Lewandowski, and Matts Hummels all switched allegiances, and Reus surely could have too. But unlike his counterparts, he chose to stay. Maybe it was because of his childhood ties to the club, but still, his loyalty is admirable.

It’s fitting that the Champions League final was his farewell moment. He’s been an instrumental part of Borussia’s Dortmund last 10-plus years, cementing himself as a legend at der BVB, regardless of what he has or hasn’t won. His commitment to the club is rare in football, meaning when it comes about, it must be acknowledged and appreciated.

Sadly, his goodbye to Borussia Dortmund didn’t end on the high that it so deserved. Instead, it was indicative of the modern landscape of football. Real Madrid — who like Bayern Munich have a penchant for poaching star players and reportedly have another massive one in Kylian Mbappe on the way — eked out a victory in a match that saw Dortmund in the driver’s seat for significant stretches of time.

Losing isn’t the way Reus, or anyone associated with the club, wanted it to end. Heck, I suspect only Real Madrid and Schalke fans were the only ones hoping for last Saturday’s result. But Reus can depart Borussia Dortmund with his head held high knowing he stuck to his roots, showed wonderful loyalty, and still remains one of Europe’s top talents over the last decade.

Leave a Reply