By Nathalia Araujo, dpa
Berlin (dpa) – Marco Reus came off the bench to become Borussia Dortmund’s saviour as he scored a late goal to secure his side a win against Hoffenheim and the third place in the table on Saturday.
This was his first Bundesliga goal since February, when he suffered a muscle injury and once again was sidelined for a long time. These types of absences, however, have become part of Reus’ career.
The first big blow came right before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Reus was enjoying a great moment in his career and it was set to be one of Joachim Loew’s starters in the competition that ended up with the German title.
But a week before the tournament he suffered an ankle injury and was then ruled out of the entire showpiece event.
“If one day before the departure to Brazil you get the bad news that you cannot fly, it is very painful,” he said at the time. “If you see how the World Cup ended, it hurts twice that I could not be there.”
Since then Reus missed several games with club and national team due to major injury or fitness issues. The last one, in February, forced him to miss basically the entire second half of the 2019-20 season.
“It’s tough when you’re injured, so obviously I want to come back and play my part,” he told BVB TV before his long-awaited comeback at the start of the current season.
“Hopefully, I can bring a different kind of energy to the team. I always try to show my quality, and hopefully I’ll be able to do that next season. I’m always looking to improve.”
A fitter Reus could mean trouble for the opponents. Even with his injury setbacks, he has managed to register 128 goals in 283 Bundesliga appearances.
Against Hoffenheim he started on the bench alongside team-mate and assist provider Erling Haaland. Coach Lucien Favre explained the German picked up an injury after the game against Freiburg on October 3 and was sidelined for eight days.
Once Reus and Haaland were on the pitch they were able to provide the team the missing offensive push. Reus goal also secured Dortmund’s first win at Hoffenheim since 2012.
“It was crucial that we scored the goal,” Reus said after the game. “Early in the game it was clear that whoever scored first would win. We have always struggled at Hoffenheim and it was an even game.”
As the 31-year-old tries to have a regular season at last, he will now have a bigger challenge with the coronavirus-related new calendar, which includes several midweek games.
“This year will be just a little tighter,” Reus said. “You have to regenerate a lot, take good care of your body, eat well. Then hopefully everyone will get through.”