There promises to be a special atmosphere before Borussia Dortmund‘s -Europa League quarterfinal first leg against Liverpool on Thursday as fans of both clubs sing their adopted anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone。”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will be making an emotional return to Dortmund having only walked away from Borussia in May after seven years at the Bundesliga club。
But there promises to be a stirring rendition of the anthem both clubs have adopted at Borussia‘s Signal Iduna Park stadium with a sellout crowd of 81，000 expected。
“You‘ll Never Walk Alone” is from the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel， which was a hit on Broadway。
The 2014 documentary Walk On traced how the song became a soccer anthem。
The song migrated over the Atlantic to Merseyside when Liverpudlian group Gerry and the Pacemakers made it a No.1 hit in Britain in October 1963。
It became the signature tune of -Liverpool FC around that time， but was adopted by Celtic and Borussia Dortmund after they met Liverpool in European competition。
Liverpool‘s run to the 1965-66 European Cup Winners’ Cup final saw the song exported around Europe。
On a bitterly cold April night in 1966， Liverpool beat Celtic 2-0 at Anfield in the semifinals。 But the traveling Scots fans took the song back to Glasgow with them and it soon became popular on the Celtic Park terraces。
When the final that May was played in Glasgow， Liverpool lost 2-1 to Dortmund after extra time。
But the Scouse fans‘ rendition of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” so impressed the German fans that the song found its way back to the Ruhr Valley。
Now the song is sung before every home game at Borussia‘s Signal Iduna Park。
On March 13， both sets of supporters sang it as a mark of respect following the final whistle of Dortmund‘s 2-0 win at home to Mainz after an elderly fan suffered a fatal heart attack during the league match。
The second leg of the Liverpool--Dortmund tie will be played at Anfield on April 14。
BALTIMORE Men's Nike Air VaporMax Grey White UK , July 20 (Xinhua) -- Xu Guiyuan is running into history as the first player from MLB's three development centers in China to sign with a Major League club.
The 19-year-old outfielderfirst baseman inked a deal with the Baltimore Orioles on Monday.
They call him Itchy. Or if the staff members of MLB's Development Center in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, are feeling particularly clever, they call him Itchy Shoe, because ""shoe"" is how his surname is pronounced.
At his first week at the MLB DC in July 2010 Men's Nike Air VaporMax Black Gold UK , Xu named MLB All-Star outfielder Ichiro Suzuki as his baseball idol, and coach Dave Palese ran with it. But now, five years later, Xu made history by himself.
""Xu has been working hard at the MLB Development Center and we hope he'll be the first of many future Major League players from China,"" said Orioles executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette.
""He has excellent balance at the plate and very good left-handed power, which we think will play well at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.""
Rick Dell Men's Nike Air Presto Safari Black Yellow UK , MLB's director of game development in Asia, has been watching Xu play for several years, and he agrees with Duquette.
""With Itchy, you have to like his hitting,"" Dell said. ""He really swings the bat well and has been doing a lot to continuously improve. He's a lefty hitter with a good swing and good bat speed.""
Xu was a two-time China National Youth Baseball League Most Valuable Player -- in 2012 and '14 -- as well as a two-time MLB Taiwan Elite Camp All-Star, in 2013 and '14. He also won the 2012 China National Youth Baseball League Home Run Derby and was the winner of the 2011 Shenzhen Baseball League Best Hitter Award and Most Improved Player honor.
For MLB Men's Nike Air Max Plus TN Ultra White Black UK , though, Xu's growth, improvement and success represents the success of their Chinese development centers. China had a rich baseball history in the first half of the 20th century, with Chinese teams traveling overseas to play, and American All-Star teams, including the likes of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig Men's Nike Air Max TN Black Blue UK , traveling to China for exhibition games.
""All the ethereal things about baseball -- no clock, the sacrifice, the journey around the bases that starts and finishes at home -- it all resonates in Chinese culture,"" said MLB vice president Jim Small, who oversees all of Asia. ""I'm convinced that if baseball was around during Confucius' time, he would have been a huge fan.""
In 2000 Men's Nike Air Max TN Red Navy UK , MLB's international ownership committee decided it needed a strategy for developing Chinese players, and in 2009, the first MLB DC was opened at the Dongbeitang School in Wuxi, with 16 local players. In 2010, the DC's first full year of existence, the team played approximately 130 games Women's Nike Air Max TN Black Pink UK , which set the standard for years to come and is 100 games more than those played by the highest level professional teams in China. Now, MLB has three DCs in China, with the other two in Changzhou and Nanjing. All are attached to academically strong high schools, with the goal of producing student athletes.
""Before we started the development centers, we discovered how much emphasis the Chinese place on education,"" said Small. ""We knew the philosophy of the DC had to be education first 2017 Men's Nike Air Max Flair Black Grey UK , baseball second, or Chinese parents wouldn't let their sons attend.""
To that end, MLB's Chinese student-athletes live in dormitories at the schools, attend classes every day and study halls at night, and play baseball after school and on weekends.
Last year, six of eight graduating student athletes went on to play baseball at Chinese universities. This year Men's Nike Air Max 97 OG GS All White UK , there will be 22 graduates, 14 of whom have already committed to Chinese universities. Several others are still waiting to hear back, and the vast majority of those teens would never have had the opportunity to attend college if not for the DCs.
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