Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund have extended the contract of youth coordinator Lars Ricken until 30 June 2025. The BVB board of management is also entrusting the 44-year-old with more responsibility. In addition to his current position – which he will continue to hold – Ricken will also serve as youth performance centre director from 1 January 2021.
“Lars Ricken has done a fantastic job over the past few years and has won many titles with his teams. Our offer of a long-term contract extension and a director role demonstrates the esteem in which he is held at the club. We are also taking this step to account for the huge development we’ve witnessed in our youth performance centre,” says BVB chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke.
“Youth performance centres have become significantly more important for clubs in recent years, and this development will continue in the years to come. It only makes sense for us to reward the good work that Lars Ricken has done. And of course we’re delighted to be able to fill the role of youth performance centre director with a Dortmund native who is an important figure at the club and lives and breathes BVB,” says sporting director Michael Zorc.
Ricken, born in Dortmund, made a total of 407 competitive appearances for the BVB first team, scoring 68 goals in the process. He won three Bundesliga titles (1995, 1996, 2002) as well as the UEFA Champions League and the Intercontinental Cup (both 1997). His goal in the Champions League final against Juventus was voted ”BVB Goal of the Century.” He has overseen a total of six German Championship title wins in his role as youth coordinator.
“I would like to express my thanks for the trust that has been placed in me. It has always been my goal to be able to work successfully at this club – as up-close and as long as possible,” says Lars Ricken, adding: ”As the person responsible for the strategic, personnel and financial direction of the youth performance centre, my primary goal will continue to be helping youth players make the step-up to senior football. It feels good to be part of the club’s overall strategy.”