Dortmund in talks to play in Singapore next year
If everything goes to plan, the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus and Christian Pulisic could be strutting their stuff at Singapore's National Stadium next year.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke told The New Paper in an exclusive interview that talks are underway for the Bundesliga leaders to play a match in Singapore against an English Premier League team, as part of their 2019 pre-season tour.
"We are discussing it at the moment. There are pretty intense discussions about that," he told TNP in an interview in his club office.
"The plan is to go to Asia in the summer again and we will also maybe stage a match in Singapore against a big team from the Premier League.
"We surely will travel to China in 2019 and probably also to Singapore. Everyone will definitely be happy if we return to Singapore."
During a visit here last year, Dortmund's chief operating officer Carsten Cramer told TNP that they were planning to add South-east Asia to their 2019 itinerary.
Recalling that trip, Watzke said: "We went (to Singapore) in 2017 and were very much impressed about the structure, how clean it is, the discipline that the people show over there.
"That is why we definitely plan to go back there and everybody who will then participate will be very happy if the plan will be to go back to Singapore."
If Dortmund's visit is confirmed, they would be the first German club to play in Singapore since arch-rivals Bayern Munich's appearance under Carlo Ancelotti at last year's International Champions Cup (ICC), where they beat Chelsea 3-2 and lost 2-0 to Inter Milan.
Dortmund are hoping to match Bayern not only on the pitch, but also in terms of their market reach.
Should they consolidate their current standing, Dortmund could end this season with their first Bundesliga triumph since 2012 and break Bayern's six-year stranglehold on the title.
And Watzke admitted that the prospect of coach Lucien Favre delivering domestic success in his debut season would have a great significance.
"We don't want to make any predictions about what can happen or what the effect will be in the near future. But... the club have managed to win titles in each decade," he said.
"We are not a club of rich people. We are a club of the hard-working part of society and that's something very special for them. If we can give them success, it's something unique.
"This city is Borussia Dortmund, and Borussia Dortmund is the city. It's different to other clubs. For example, if you look at Munich or Berlin, it feels like the club is a part of the city.
"Here, there's only one club. 99.9 per cent of the inhabitants are Borussia Dortmund fans."