Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic has the chance to leave Germany as a Bundesliga champion after bidding a fitting farewell to the Signal Iduna Park on Saturday.Stepping out in front of the Yellow Wall for the last time as a Dortmund player ahead of his summer move to English Premier League club Chelsea, Pulisic opened the scoring in a 3-2 win over Fortuna Düsseldorf that – coupled with leaders Bayern Munich’s goalless draw at RB Leipzig – ensures the 2018/19 Bundesliga title race will be decided on the final weekend of the season.”We have to keep believing,” said Pulisic, whose team must win at Borussia Mönchengladbach next Saturday and hope Bayern slip up at home to Eintracht Frankfurt to have any chance of winning the title. “We have to give everything we’ve got to win. We can only control what we do and it obviously depends on Bayern, but the coach has always said that everything is possible. We’ll see what happens.”Pulisic set Dortmund on the road to a priceless win over Düsseldorf. – imago images / Jan HuebnerPulisic was fighting off the tears as he was presented with a bouquet and commemorative canvas prior to the Düsseldorf game, but the 20-year-old dynamo did anything but hold back in a performance befitting his final act on Dortmund soil.He posted the second highest number of sprints (29), fired off the joint most shots (three), swung in the most crosses (four) and won the most tackles (15) of any BVB player, while his goal – his 13th in the Bundesliga – resparked the Black-Yellows’ title charge following the disappointment of the previous weekend’s 2-2 draw with Werder Bremen.”It was the perfect way to start an amazing day for me,” said Pulisic after sticking away the first headed goal of his Bundesliga career, late in a nervy first half. “To be out here and to be able to score a goal today in my last game, in front of these fans. It  was emotional, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. It’s been five wonderful years.”Watch: Christian Pulisic reflects on “a very emotional day”The story began in February 2015 when Pulisic – who trained at Barcelona’s vaunted La Masia academy as a 10-year-old – left the Pennsylvania Classics developmental team for Dortmund. He was only a teenager at the time but because his paternal grandfather was born in Croatia, the Hershey native was able to acquire a EU passport, enabling him to play in Europe at 16, rather than 18. He hasn’t looked back.A Bundesliga youth title winner at U17 and U19 level, Pulisic made his top-flight debut within weeks of being invited to train with the Dortmund first team during the 2015/16 winter break. He took his senior international bow in March 2016, and scored his first Bundesliga goal the following month.Records tumbled as ‘Captain America’ surged up the career ladder, becoming – among other notable best-marks for club and country – the youngest American to register a goal and assist in the UEFA Champions League, and the youngest American to lift a major European trophy (the 2016/17 DFB Cup). All between the ages of 17 and 20. All under BVB’s edifying gaze.”Without you fans I would not be here,” Pulisic told the Dortmund supporters before the Matchday 33 meeting with Düsseldorf. “Dortmund will always feel like home.”Pulisic is “eternally grateful” for making 89 Bundesliga appearances in his three-and-a-half seasons with the Dortmund first team. – 2019 Getty ImagesPulisic’s sincerity was well received, and not just because he addressed the crowd in German. “I’ve been here for five years, so it was only right I learn German,” he told bundesliga.com. “I just thought it was the right thing to do, to say goodbye in German even though my German’s not perfect, but I try my best.”A for effort. Aside from the moments of magic in the final third that have put Pulisic the player on the world football map, it is the work ethic of Pulisic the man that has endeared him to the old steel communities of Dortmund.Even in 2018/19, stymied by niggling injuries and fighting for regular playing time, the 23-time USA international has proven himself an invaluable cast member with a direct hand in a goal every 119 minutes, compared to one every 257 minutes in 2017/18.”It’s perhaps not been perfect, but it’s not been a bad season for me either,” Pulisic told Ruhr-Nachrichten, having started eight of his 23 Bundesliga appearances this term, chiming in with four goals and three assists across six games in which Dortmund took 14 from a possible 18 points – without the slightest hint of disgruntled diva.”I hope the fans remember me as someone who always gave their everything for Dortmund,” he said.”Now I just want to give it one last push. The title would be the perfect ending.”Chris Mayer-Lodge



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