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Inked up Grosskreutz hoping to knockout ex-club Dortmund

08 February 2016, 19:36

Berlin - Stuttgart's World Cup winner Kevin Grosskreutz is relishing his new club's German Cup quarter-final at home to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday as he looks to knock his ex-club out.

Such is Grosskreutz's passion for Dortmund that he has a tattoo of the city's skyline on his right calf and Borussia's 2011 and 2012 German league titles celebrated in ink on his left shoulder.

"For me personally, it's a special feeling to run out against Dortmund," Grosskreutz said having made 178 league appearances for Borussia, whom he left in September.

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"It was my club and I'm looking forward to seeing my friends again," he said before adding "but we won't be friends on the pitch".

"I'm from there and really looking forward to the game.

"We'll put everything in so that we can pull off a surprise. We want to reach the next round.

"Dortmund have a world-class team, it's not for no reason that they're second (in the Bundesliga), but we believe in our chances."

According to Borussia's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, Grosskreutz "embodied" what the club is about, even if he courted controversy during his six years as a Dortmund player by urinating in a Berlin hotel's foyer and throwing a kebab at a fan in Cologne during separate late-night incidents.

The 27-year-old was part of Germany's World Cup squad, but didn't play a single minute of Brazil 2014 and will be up against former Borussia team-mates he only waved goodbye to a few months ago.

The right-back will be tasked with ensuring Dortmund's Germany star Marco Reus has a quiet game on the left wing and that striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fails to add to his tally of 29 goals in all competitions this season.

Grosskreutz has been a revelation since signing for Stuttgart in January, helping his new club to three wins in as many games, after an unhappy three-month stint at Galatasaray when he did not play a competitive game.

Having been a Dortmund regular under Jurgen Klopp, Grosskreutz left at the start of the current season due to a lack of opportunities under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

"There won't be much time for a chat, but there are no personal reservations," said Tuchel.

Grosskreutz switched to Istanbul's Galatasaray in late August, but a problem with the paperwork before the transfer window closed meant he could not play in competitive games for the Turkish club for the rest of 2015.

Homesickness kicked in and Grosskreutz seized the chance to return to the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in January.

"I was made to feel super welcome in the team and feel really well in the city and in the stadium," he said.

"In the league, it is all about staying up and we aren't talking about anything else, but of course we want to try and take something out of Tuesday."

He is not Stuttgart's only ex-Dortmund player looking forward to playing last season's German Cup finalists.

Australian goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak is set to make his first start for Stuttgart having been plagued with injury since his transfer before the start of the season.

Resurgent Stuttgart will test high-flying Dortmund, having won all of their last five matches since needing extra-time to beat Eintracht Braunschweig 3-2 in the third round of the German Cup last December.

League wins over Wolfsburg, Cologne, Hamburg and Eintracht Frankfurt have catapulted 2007 German league champions Stuttgart from the relegation places to 12th in the Bundesliga table.

- News 24


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