Dortmund talent must first go to school and then flies to Paris for Champions League

Kjell Wätjen did not travel with the Borussia Dortmund squad to Paris. This is despite the recently emerged eighteen-year-old midfielder being on the list. He has to take his high school exam on Tuesday first, after which he will still be present at the Champions League semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Dortmund talent must first go to school and then flies to Paris for Champions League Embed from Getty Images

Borussia Dortmund is set to defend a 1-0 lead against PSG in a crucial Champions League semi-final match this Tuesday.

While the team focuses on securing their place in the final, there’s added pressure for the young Kjell Wätjen. The German teenager must first tackle a significant personal milestone completing his school exam before he can join his team in Paris. Dortmund's sporting director, Sebastian Kehl, highlighted the unique challenge facing Wätjen during this intense period.

'He is currently under exam stress,' Kehl remarked to BILD at the airport on Monday. 'First, he has his high school exam on Tuesday. But afterward, we will bring him to Paris, and he will be there on time.'

Wätjen's journey to this moment has been swift and notable. Just last Saturday, he made his first-team debut for Borussia Dortmund under the guidance of coach Edin Terzic, who did not hesitate to place significant trust in him. Starting against Augsburg, Wätjen not only completed the entire match but also played a pivotal role in Dortmund’s dominant 5-1 victory, providing an assist to Marco Reus. His performance was a statement of his potential and readiness to compete at the highest level, despite the concurrent academic demands.

The situation underscores the often-overlooked personal challenges that young athletes face, balancing rigorous sporting schedules with educational commitments. As Wätjen prepares for both a decisive exam and a key match, his ability to manage stress and perform under pressure will be tested, adding another layer of intrigue to Dortmund’s campaign in the Champions League.

Updated: 12:07, 7 May 2024

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