Delight for Dortmund

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The Independent Online
Borussia Dortmund's first Bundesliga title for 32 years has brought a breath of fresh air to a struggling industrial region and one of Germany's most downtrodden footballers.

For many of the thousands of supporters who swept into Dortmund to celebrate the title- winning 2-0 victory over Hamburg on Saturday, football is an escape from the problems of living in the Ruhr, one of the country's highest unemployment regions.

The Dortmund midfielder, Andy Moller, Germany's biggest disappointment at last year's World Cup, could celebrate with them after scoring a superb goal.

As the title race hotted up in April, the 27-year-old former Juventus player became the first German to be suspended for faking a foul. He was clearly moved as Dortmund clinched their fourth title. "This is the best day of my life. I want to thank the trainer and the team who have always stood by me," he said.

Moller curled in a long-range free-kick in the eighth minute before Lars Ricken's header secured victory 20 minutes later. Dortmund finished one point clear of Werder Bremen, who threw away their title hopes with a 3-1 defeat at Bayern Munich.

Roberto Baggio has confirmed he may join a Japanese club, and said the move should not affect his chances of playing for Italy in next year's European Championship.

Baggio, who is set to leave Juventus after failing to agree a new contract, said he may play for Yomiuri Verdy before returning to Europe towards the end of 1996. He will make a final decision next month. Milan are reported to be interested in signing Baggio, but are said to be baulking at a transfer fee of around pounds 9m.