Supporters at Signal Iduna Park are famed around the world for their vociferously vocal support of Borussia Dortmund.
For some clubs, jersey numbers are just numbers, but for the European elite, they can be symbolic. A quick look at the last 10 players to wear the famous black & yellow number 7 jersey reinforces the cosmopolitan nature of the beautiful game.
🐝 Notable recent wearers of the Dortmund number 7:
- 🏴 Jadon Sancho
- 🇫🇷 Ousmane Dembélé
- 🇩🇪 Jonas Hofmann
- 🇯🇵 Shinji Kagawa
- 🇩🇪 Moritz Leitner
- 🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski
- 🇧🇷 Tinga
- 🇿🇦 Delron Buckley
- 🇨🇮 Guy Demel
- 🇩🇪 Stefan Reuter
Teenage American sensation Gio Reyna is the next player to be handed the honour.
Looking down the list and five continents are represented. Guy Demel and Delron Buckley flew the flag for Africa in a Dortmund number 7 jersey, Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa was a fan favourite too, Brazilian star Tinga spent four years in the engine room at Westfalenstadion, and talented teenage playmaker Giovanni Reyna will be the first North American to don the famous number on his back for BVB. 2021-22 is set to be a huge campaign for the emerging Stars & Stripes superstar.
The European contingent is made up by Englishman Sancho, Frenchman Dembélé, Pole Lewandowski, and German trio Hofmann, Leitner and club legend Stefan Reuter.
🏴 Jadon Sancho
After a protracted transfer saga, Jadon Sancho is finally and officially a Manchester United player, and the €85m fee that the Red Devils shelled out for his signature might turn out to be a bargain. Sancho has lit up the Bundesliga with 41 assists in his last three top-flight seasons, having contributing double figures for both goals and assists in consecutive Bundesliga campaigns in 2019 and 2020.
Since the 2006/07 season, a player has scored 15+ goals and provided 15+ assists in the same top-five European league campaign on 10 occasions.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 23, 2021
Jadon Sancho is one of them. 💫 pic.twitter.com/VT5rjfusTA
🇫🇷 Ousmane Dembélé
The left-footed Frenchman made an eye-watering €135m move to Barcelona back in 2017. Chronic injury issues have stalled his development at the Nou Camp, but there can be no question about the natural ability, flair and unpredictability he possesses. A fit-again Dembélé could be key to Barcelona's hopes of a revival in 2021. We say he's left-footed, but it's often quite difficult to tell for sure which foot he prefers.
🇯🇵 Shinji Kagawa
One of Asia's most recognizable superstars this millennium, Kagawa won the Bundesliga in 2011 and 2012 with the Dortmund number 23 on his back before moving to Man United, where he won the Premier League in 2013. The flamboyant playmaker returned to Dortmund for a second stint at the club in 2014 and that's when he inherited the number 7 jersey. Since then, he's popped up at Beşiktaş, Real Zaragoza and now PAOK in Greece. Inconsistency and injuries have plagued Kagawa's career, but when he was at his best, he was a lot of fun to watch.
🇵🇱 Robert Lewandowski
We all associate seasoned goal-machine, Robert Lewandowski, with the number 9 jersey, but he did don the number 7 for one season at Signal Iduna Park in 2010-11. Dortmund won its first league title in nine years in 2011, with Lewandowski chipping in with nine top-flight strikes.
🇩🇪 Stefan Reuter
Whichever way you look at it, Stefan Reuter is a Borussia Dortmund icon. He made 421 appearances for the club over 12 years, placing him third on the all-time charts in that metric. Reuter joined BVB as a 26-year-old and retired there when he was 38 with three Bundesliga titles and a 1997 Champions League winner's medal under his belt. Reuter collected World Cup and European Championship trophies with Germany, captained Dortmund in the 2002 UEFA Cup final, was deployed in a variety of roles, and donned the number 7 on his back for over a decade.
What a great selection of players from all corners of the globe!