But supporters know the 90 minutes is only part of it.
“The feeling is such a positive, such a high, that football is back, the Bundesliga is back and so are Dortmund,” adds Ben McFadyean, president of the London branch of his team’s fan club.
English-based players, managers, doctors and administrators will have watched the first major European football since the coronavirus became a pandemic for lessons if and when the likes of Sheffield United, Leeds United and Doncaster Rovers get back out, but it was about more than just the game.
“Would I want to sit alone just watching on BT? Not really,” says McFadyean. “It would be more isolating and dispiriting.”
In German football, fans are much more than the customers too many English clubs seem to view them as, and a sense of community inspired McFadyean as he watched Dortmund beat their derby rivals, David Wagner’s Schalke, 4-0 at an echoey Westfalenstadion.
“We had a Zoom meeting where club members could watch it together,” he explains. “The pictures of everybody went across the top and underneath the match was running. We were able to celebrate the goals together and that was really fun.
“The chat and the banter was almost as important as the game. There was something so eerie about the atmosphere I was kind of watching it out of the corner of my eye.
“I don’t think we’ve realised how important community is in so many aspects of life.”
Even though he says “The first priority is winning the title, then winning the derby, then getting into Europe,” and despite being starved of live football since early March, the game itself did little for McFadyean.
“They could easily have won by more because there was a big gulf in class but I think they held back because it would have been poor form,” he claims. “The goals were very skilful but it was clinical and not attractive at all. The one thing that made it was being on Zoom.
“That sense of togetherness is really missing in 21st Century life but football’s problem is the commercialisation to exploit that. If people feel you’re going after their money they’re not going to feel connected. Football is so much more than a TV show.
“The derby lifted us all up. The feeling was first of all thank God it’s back, people hadn’t died and our team was still going, thank God some normality had returned and good on the Black-and-yellows for stuffing Schalke! Well done to the Bundesliga for leading by example and well done the players for the way they went about it, knocking elbows with each other after each goal.
“It just kind of worked.
“The players spontaneously went up to ‘The Yellow Wall’ (the Westfalenstadion’s famous kop) at the end. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ was on the advertising hoardings at the start and they played all the songs.
“It’s brought us together. We were anticipating the game and I felt we’d overcome it together.
“We fans have got to make sacrifices by staying at home. It’s as eerie and weird for us as the people taking part on matchday. If it means watching boring games, we have to do that. We have to be disciplined.”
He hopes the surreal images hammer home to English football the importance of fans and community.
“The glory of Borussia Dortmund is it’s a living, breathing community and when you take all that away and you’ve got a sterile spectacle, you don’t have anything,” he argues. “They might as well be on the training ground kicking a ball around.
“I watched Wolves versus Olympiacos (behind closed doors in the Europa League) in February and it was totally dead. I had to put some music on.”
Meetings continue today to try to resume top English football, and McFadyean hopes it returns with a more human touch.
“I would say, ‘Put your heart into it,’ remember you’re dealing with human beings,” he urges. “Give the fans a chance to participate in your fundraising, be very frank about the challenges the club is having. Fans will want to help however they can, so it’s important to let your guard down.
“Dortmund had been incredibly open about how they and the local community were affected. They were saying they wanted to help but they wanted us to help them too. In a kind and subtle way, they showed their vulnerability and it created an even greater sense of community.
“That’s when football is at its absolute best.”
Editor’s note: First and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.
Almost certainly you are here because you value the quality and the integrity of the journalism produced by The Yorkshire Post’s journalists - almost all of which live alongside you in Yorkshire, spending the wages they earn with Yorkshire businesses - who last year took this title to the industry watchdog’s Most Trusted Newspaper in Britain accolade.
And that is why I must make an urgent request of you: as advertising revenue declines, your support becomes evermore crucial to the maintenance of the journalistic standards expected of The Yorkshire Post. If you can, safely, please buy a paper or take up a subscription. We want to continue to make you proud of Yorkshire’s National Newspaper but we are going to need your help.
Postal subscription copies can be ordered by calling 0330 4030066 or by emailing [email protected] Vouchers, to be exchanged at retail sales outlets - our newsagents need you, too - can be subscribed to by contacting subscriptions on 0330 1235950 or by visiting www.localsubsplus.co.uk where you should select The Yorkshire Post from the list of titles available.
If you want to help right now, download our tablet app from the App / Play Stores. Every contribution you make helps to provide this county with the best regional journalism in the country.
Sincerely. Thank you. James Mitchinson, Editor