Borussia Dortmund's 2-1 victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League showed the German champions have matured into a force to be reckoned with in Europe after dominating domestic competitions for two years.
Dortmund's European adventure ended at the group stage last season when four points left them rooted to the bottom of the standings despite comfortably winning the German league and cup double.
With Wednesday's victory over Real, the 1997 Champions League winners moved top of Group D ahead of Real, Manchester City and Ajax Amsterdam. More importantly, however, they silenced critics who said they were only able to shine in domestic soccer because their attacking style of play would always be punished by stronger continental teams.
"This is a childhood dream come true," said winning goal scorer Marcel Schmelzer, whose 64th minute strike was a deserved reward for a dominant second half display.
It was also fitting that Schmelzer scored the decisive goal after coach Juergen Klopp told his left back to venture forward as often as possible to bolster Dortmund's attack.