Hibs to face Borussia Dortmund and a striker likened to Robert Lewandowski in UEFA Youth League play-off round
Hibs have learned their UEFA Youth League opposition for the competition’s play-off round.
The Easter Road side’s reward for seeing off Molde of Norway and French side Nantes in the previous two rounds is a one-legged home game against Borussia Dortmund, to be played at Easter Road on February 7/8.
Hibs were given a special mention ahead of the draw in Nyon from UEFA’s Head of Club Competitions and Calendar Tobias Hedtstück as one of four teams to reach the play-off round on their tournament debut, along with Eintracht Frankfurt, Panathinaikos, and Rukh Lviv.
Dortmund finished runners-up in Champions League group G behind Manchester City with a record of two wins, two draws, and two defeats. The Germans scored nine and conceded nine, beating Copenhagen home and away and recording one draw and one defeat each against Manchester City and Sevilla.
The team are unbeaten so far this season and currently sit second in the A-Junioren Bundesliga West. Former Hearts striker Mike Tullberg is head coach, having taken up the position in May 2020.
Dutch striker Julian Rijkhoff has scored eight goals in eight league games, and notched three in the Youth League group stage. Plucked from the famed Ajax academy as a 16-year-old, he has been likened to former BVB forward Robert Lewandowski and scored 17 goals in his first 20 games for Dortmund’s under-19s. He reportedly opted to leave the Netherlands on the belief he would find a better pathway to senior football with Dortmund and they shelled out £115,000 to secure his services. Paris Brunner,who can play on the left of a front three or partner Rijkhoff in attack, has three goals in the UYL so far. Still just 16, he has netted 16 goals in just six games for Dortmund’s under-17s.
Dortmund’s Youth League history
2013–14: Finished third in group stages, did not qualify for play-off round
2014–15: Finished fourth in group stages, did not qualify for play-off round
2015–16: Did not qualify
2016–17: Round of 16, lost to Barcelona
2017–18: Finished third in group stages, did not qualify for play-off round
2018–19: Finished fourth in group stages, did not qualify for play-off round
2019–20: Play-off round, lost to Derby County
2020–21: Tournament cancelled
2021–22: Quarter-finalists, lost to Atlético Madrid