FRANKFURT, Germany — The best news for Borussia Dortmund came a few days before Friday's Bundesliga match against Stuttgart, when emerging midfield star Mario Goetze agreed to a contract extension.
Goetze's decision to stay in Dortmund until 2016 underlined Dortmund's ambition to become Bayern Munich's permanent rival and a second German powerhouse.
Dortmund is five points ahead of Bayern as it attempts to win back-to-back championships and is also investing in the future.
Before Goetze, Dortmund secured the transfer of Marco Reus from Borussia Moenchengladbach, another highly regarded midfielder. Bayern had expressed interest in both players.