In 2001, Borussia Dortmund signed striker Marcio Amoroso for the then record transfer fee of 50 million marks. The Brazilian shot BVB straight away to the championship – but quickly developed into a scandalous personality.
“Somebody has to imitate that first,” exulted Borussia Dortmund manager Michael Meier. “If no one pats us on the shoulder for that, we’ll do it ourselves.” BVB head coach Matthias Sammer was a bit more sober, but still euphoric. An “optimal solution” is the transfer of Marcio Amoroso.
It was the year 2001 and Borussia had already caused a sensation on the transfer market: In January, 20-year-old Tomas Rosicky came from Sparta Prague for 25 million marks, and striker Jan Koller had also signed on Rheinlanddamm shortly before Amoroso’s transfer. Amoroso, however, was a proud 30 million marks more expensive than Koller: the total volume of the Brazilian man’s commitment from AC Parma was 50 million – at that time it was the most expensive transfer in the history of the Bundesliga.
What nobody suspected at the time: Amoroso walked between genius and madness in Dortmund and drove the club with his erratic behavior. “I was a real diva,” he said many years later kicker. Anyone who is aware that they have “a special talent” “sometimes wants to be treated accordingly,” said the attacker.
Already in Parma, where Amoroso moved in 1999 as the reigning Serie A top scorer (22 hits), he had fallen out of favor. After three serious injuries and a downtime of four months, doubts increased as to whether the then 27-year-old could find his way back to his old strength. The club finally lost patience: Parma coach Renzo Ulivieri let Amoroso know through the press that he no longer plans with him in the future.
BVB brought Amoroso for the record fee of 50 million marks
Dortmund, which had already tried to get Amoroso two years earlier – at the time in the service of Udinese Calcio – threaded a smart deal: Parma received BVB defensive player Evanilson for almost 30 million marks, but the Brazilian was immediately loaned out for six million and two seasons . Since the transfer fees were offset, Amoroso ultimately went to BVB for an additional payment of only 15 million.
“We saw him at Udinese. His team-mate at the time, Oliver Bierhoff, gave a positive assessment of Amoroso’s qualities. The interest was always there,” recalls Meier in an interview with SPOX and goal and declares that the deal was “a milestone in BVB’s transfer policy”. At that time, Meier confirmed that the new purchase had greater potential than the long-time Bundesliga scorer Giovane Elber.
Looking back, one could have guessed around Amoroso’s start in Westphalia in which direction he would be headed. The Brazilian was considered a capricious, narrow-minded contemporary and said about his move to Dortmund: “I want to enchant the fans with my passion, my tricks and my goals.” What does not belong to Amoroso’s world is “use of strength and body”. He concluded: “It would be pointless if I suddenly tried to play like a German.”
Amoroso played like a Brazilian throughout and was an instant hit. At the start of the 2001/02 season he scored both goals in a 2-0 win against Nuremberg, and two weekends later he had four goals on the account. Amoroso’s play was characterized by lightness, elegance and his killer instinct in front of the box. “Nobody plays as beautifully as Amoroso,” sang the south stand.
The teammates were also impressed by his qualities. “He was a great footballer, a complete striker – ice cold in front of goal, both feet and good at dribbling,” said Christian Wörns SPOX and goal. “Marcio was just a good guy and all in all a positive appearance.”
Amoroso countered and said that Borussia finally brought him in to score goals, which is difficult “when I’m too far away from the opponent’s goal”. Later he summarized his time under Sammer more clearly: “More work, less play.”
The dispute had its sporting origins shortly after Amoroso’s move, when he initiated the final score of 0-2 with an arrogant tunnel attempt in the top game against Bayern. Sammer raged, spoke of “fooling around” and that life is fair when “something like this is punished”.
Amoroso under Sammer: “More work, less play”
“I think that Sammer was still too young and inexperienced with this very sensitive type of player,” says Meier: “Amoroso said he would have shot BVB to the title on his own. Such players are artists and often behave like divas, but they have to also be led. ” The different views of football led to permanent friction, “which in the end resulted in an unsolvable situation,” explains Meier.
The club was in a bind. Borussia couldn’t afford the non-existent relationship between coach and star player, says Meier: “After all, the player cost a lot of money. In addition, there was the lack of income from the Champions League.”