For the first time in 28 years my club Fortuna Düsseldorf is in the semi-finals of the DFB-Cup. I was ten years old then and I was sitting at home in front of the television. A 2-0 defeat against Karlsruher SC destroyed the dream of the final.

Today I am 38 years old and I still have this great dream. Go to the final in Berlin. Soak up the atmosphere of the city. Transfer to the Olympic Stadium with 30,000 Fortuna fans. An opportunity to get a title. Once in life.

How many chances do we have to experience this together?

My grandfather was a Fortuna fan. From a young age he enjoyed the only German championship in 1933. My father is a Fortuna fan. He was in Basel in 1979 when Fortuna lost 3-4 in extra time to FC Barcelona in the European Cup final. He witnessed cup victories in 1979 and 1980.

1980. The last Fortuna final. He 44 years ago. If things go well, that's half a life.

Entire generations of Fortuna fans have never seen our team play for a title. And much less win it. But now, today, tonight, the opportunity is within our reach.

We have an opportunity that many of us have never had in our lives. And that for most of us may never happen again. What we have now may never come back until we die. My father will be 70 years old this year. How many chances will we have to go to Berlin together?

It's time to fulfill your big dream

Unfortunately, tonight's opponent is Bayer Leverkusen. Xabi Alonso's team remains undefeated in three competitions this season and is currently considered by some experts to be the best team Europe designated. As if the mammoth task wasn't big enough, the game also takes place in Leverkusen. There was no more bad luck.

But this is not the time to complain. It's time to fulfill the big dream. Fortuna is playing exciting football this season. We are in third position in the second division and we have scored the most goals in the league. In the cup we experienced a rollercoaster of emotions after the initial victory against fourth division Illertissen (3-1).

In the second round, Fortuna were losing 0-2 against Unterhaching from the third division until the 64th minute. Many doctors would have issued the death certificate. But Fortuna raised the temperature and turned the game around. In the end, in extra time, the result was 6:3. I was at the stadium with seven friends and my five-year-old son. Unforgettable.

“I haven't seen you this excited in a long time.”

The third round was played at the beginning of December with second division rival Magdeburg. Fortuna was 0-1 down until the 87th minute and little had been achieved up to that point. Then substitute Jona Niemiec came on and with two goals (87th, 90th + 2) he took Fortuna to the quarterfinals.

The next draw took Fortuna to the undefeated second division leader, FC St. Pauli. Three days earlier, Fortuna had lost 2-1 at home to Kiezkicker. But this incredible team played the best game of the season and tactically outplayed the league leaders in prime time. Only in the last minute of extra time did Hamburg escape the penalty shoot-out.

There Fortuna was left behind again. But two diabolical actions by goalkeeper Florian Kastenmeier and a penalty by top scorer Christos Tzolis took Fortuna to the semi-finals. How the guys ran to the block and slid on the grass in front of the damn fans. He had tears in his eyes as he watched television. “I haven't seen you this excited in a long time,” my wife said.

Of course everything has to go well tonight.

That's right. He would also have applauded if Fortuna had been eliminated in the quarterfinals with his head held high. But I also realized how much it means to me that this dream is still alive. May this hope remain until spring.

We are now at the beginning of April. There are still 52 days until the cup final. Like me, millions of football fans from many clubs dream of being there one day. We can do it. Of course, tonight everything has to fall into place. The players have to improve themselves. The coach has to do everything well. Fans should never give up. Then it can work. This only time.

Who is Leverkusen?


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