After weeks of speculations, Borussia Dortmund have confirmed that Lucien Favre in their new coach, replacing Peter Stöger.
It was widely-expected that the 60-year-old would take over as Stöger’s reign increasingly looked an interim one, with the formalities completed once his left OGC Nice after their final game of the season at the weekend.
He has signed a two-year deal at Signal Iduna Park, and will be formerly unveiled by the club in July.
Favre returns to the Bundesliga
Favre in no stranger to the Bundesliga, following spells in charge of Hertha BSC and Borussia Mönchengladbach. In Berlin, he led Hertha to a fourth-place finish in the 2008-09 season, but resigned the following September after just one win in seven left the club bottom of the league – they were ultimately relegated.
However, it was with the Foals that he had his most significant success. He made himself an instant hero by helping them to survive relegation, via a play-off victory over VfL Bochum, in the 2010-11 season, before leading them straight into the top four the following year.
Although they would miss out on a UEFA Champions League place in the play-off round, Favre would get them into the group stages courtesy of a third-place finish three years later, with Gladbach now an established force in German football after many years in the doldrums. Like with Hertha though, he left just a few months after a winless start to the season, although the club recovered to finish in the top four under André Schubert.
In 2016 he moved to France to take over Nice, and he immediately led them to third-place in Ligue 1, behind AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain. After sacking Thomas Tuchel, Dortmund tried to appoint Favre last summer but Nice held firm and he remained, eventually guiding them to eighth this season, but he resigned after their final game against Olympique Lyonnais on Saturday with his next destination seemingly already decided.
Favre to lead Dortmund’s “fresh start”
He arrives at Dortmund to replace Stöger, who did not have his contract renewed after filling the void left by the sacking of Peter Bosz in December. Including Tuchel, he is their fourth coach in a year, a stark contrast to the stability under now-Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp.
Speaking on the appointing, Sporting Director Michael Zorc called it “an important aspect of our fresh sporting start this summer,” referring as well to the appointments of Matthias Sammer and Sebastian Kehl in backroom roles. With regards to Favre specifically, Zorc said he is “highly regarded” due to “the technical qualities that he demonstration in impressive style many times” in his managerial career.
Favre called his new role “an excited task that I’m delighted to take on.” He described Dortmund as “one of the most interesting clubs in Europe” and added that he is “looking forward to returning to the Bundesliga.”
There will be familiar faces once he gets going later in the summer, having previously managed Marco Reus and Mahmoud Dahoud at Gladbach. One of his first tasks will be to select a new captain, with the club confirming later on Tuesday that Marcel Schmelzer had stepped down from the role. Reus will no doubt be one of the favourites to replace him.
Quotes via Borussia Dortmund.