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Another Costa winter break for Borussia Dortmund ahead of Bundesliga title push

The Dortmund players train, led by Witsel.
The Dortmund players train, led by Witsel. / FABIAN PAKULAT
  • The current leaders of the Bundesliga return to the Costa del Sol once again to prepare for the second half of the season

Borussia Dortmund clearly aren't the most popular team with the people of the province of Malaga after BVB, as they are known in Germany, eliminated Malaga from the Champions League in controversial circumstances in 2013. However, the draw of the Costa del Sol proves too strong and every January they return to the area for their winter break.

This year, curiously, the side are training on the new Dama de Noche fields. The influx of professional European teams in recent years has seen the Marbella Football Center struggle to cope with demand (even though they are continually expanding). However, many golf courses in Marbella and Estepona are now offering football facilities too to ensure each team can train in the best conditions.

This year, from the Bundesliga alone, Dortmund, Mainz 05 (in Estepona), Fortuna Düsseldorf (Dama de Noche), Hannover 96 (La Quinta), FC Nürnberg (Benahavís) and Freiburg (Sotogrande) has set up camp on the Costa.

Reus, Götze, Sancho, Alcácer...

However, compared to the other aforementioned clubs, Borussia Dortmund are by far and away the biggest.

Alongside the team, a sizeable number of fans and journalists from Germany have also followed with star names such as Marco Reus, Mario Götze, Jadon Sancho, Axel Witsel and Paco Alcácer attracting a lot of attention.

Dortmund have been training twice a day and couldn't be happier with the facilities, the infrastructure and the weather on the Costa del Sol. Coach Lucien Favre brought several of his former clubs to the area too, including Hertha Berlin. He follows in the footsteps of Thomas Tuchel and Jürgen Klopp who are both also fond of the area.

Their first friendly, on Monday last week at the Marbella Football Center against Fortuna Düsseldorf, attracted so many fans that the organisers had to close the complex and hang up a sign saying there were no more tickets, hours before kick-off. BVB won 3-2, putting on what was an entertaining game for a friendly for their fans.

Favre's side followed this up with a behind-closed-doors 3-2 friendly win against Dutch side Willem II last Friday before another victory, this time 2-1, against Feyenoord at the Estadio Antonio Lorenzo in Marbella.

Now back in Germany, the objective for Dortmund this season is clear: to win the Bundesliga.

Under Favre the team has improved a lot, especially in attack. They have a six-point lead over Bayern Munich who, under new coach Niko Kovac, have struggled. Dortmund want to take advantage of this to win the title for the first time since the Klopp era.