Klopp demands united front from fans
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has urged his side's fans not to vent their frustration at Tuesday's revelation that Mario Gotze will be joining Bayern Munich this summer and focus their efforts only on supporting the team during their Champions League semifinal clash with Real Madrid.
Klopp's pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday's first leg was dominated by talk about Gotze following the shock announcement the attacking midfielder would be joining new Bundesliga champions Bayern on July 1.
The news of the 20-year-old's impending departure has been greeted by fierce criticism from Dortmund supporters, and the timing could hardly have been worse for the club ahead of the visit of Madrid to the Westfalenstadion.
However, Klopp does not want the transfer bombshell to be an issue amongst the fans when Dortmund take the field on Wednesday night - pointing out the team come before any individual.
He said: "If anybody doesn't manage to realize by tomorrow how much effort has gone into getting us to where we are, then maybe they should not bother turning up. It is now up to every single one of us to show that Borussia Dortmund comes first.
"If anybody cannot hide their disappointment, then it would be nice if they would pass their tickets onto somebody who can. This team deserves to be supported. Since this will be my last chance to appeal to our fans, I want to say once again: leave the negative thoughts at home, come here and give us everything you've got and let us beat Real Madrid."
He added: "This chance is too big for us to concern ourselves with any other issues. The Real game is far too important."
Dortmund are in the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1998 and Wednesday's clash has been presented as 'The most spectacular home game in the history of Borussia Dortmund' on the Bundesliga club's website.
That semi-final 15 years ago saw Dortmund suffer a 2-0 aggregate defeat to Madrid, who would go on to replace the German side as European champions.
Dortmund have had the better of the Spanish giants so far in this year's Champions League though, beating Jose Mourinho's men 2-1 at home in the group stage and only being denied an identical scoreline at the Bernabeu by an 89th-minute Mesut Ozil equalizer for Madrid.
Dortmund midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski hopes his side can emulate those performances once again tomorrow night.
"That (the home win) was a fantastic game," said the Poland international. "We then went to Madrid and played one of our greatest ever performances. We have a lot of respect for Real, but we have already shown what quality we have in the team and we want to show it again.
"What we have achieved so far is outstanding. We are undefeated and we hope to maintain that record right through to the end."