Thomas Tuchel may have seen his last day as manager of Borussia Dortmund last Sunday.
But he would be leaving with a smile of victory etched on his face.
That was because Dortmund finally broke their hoodoo in the DFB Pokal by edging Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 in the final.
Dortmund have been stymied by three successive defeats in the tournament but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s superb penalty shot in the 67th minute at Olympiastadion Berlin gave the win to Tuchel’s side.
Tuchel has been rumoured to be axed by the Dortmund board after a falling out but the win could alter what’s in store for him.
And oops, lest we forget, Aubameyang happens to be another figure involved in talks of leaving Dortmund after this season.
Midfielder Ousmane Dembele struck in the 8th minute as it appeared Dortmund will coast to victory.
However, forward Ante Rebic found the target for Frankfurt to knot the count at 1-1 in the 29th.
Aubameyang’s winner came after Frankfurt goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky fouled substitute Christian Pulisic, who came in for an injured Marco Reus.
The striker from Gabon lofted a marvelous finish from the spot as Dortmund broke Frankfurt’s hearts.
It was Aubameyang’s 12th goal in the tournament, and his 40th goal of the season across all competitions.
A double could have come Aubameyang’s way in the closing minutes but the miss was hardly felt because by then Dortmund are on the way to their fourth DFB Pokal title, and their first in five years.
Despite having a contract until 2020, Aubameyang hinted of a departure as he said he needs to tlak to Dortmund honchos as to his future.
The offers from other clubs are juicy and too tempting to resist.
Ligue 1 powerhouse Paris Saint Germain are said to be wooing him, same as Serie A giants AC Milan and China club Tianjin Quanjian.
Tuchel admitted he was spent watching his team finally emerge winners.
Dortmund finished third in the Bundesliga this term and along the way they endured a bomb attack on their team bus last April 1 prior to a Champions League match against Monaco.
But Tuchel said that was already a thing of the past. “We dug deep and now everything is perfect,’’ he uttered.
As he previously mentioned, they can only reach their objective if there is mutual trust between him and his players.
And they did just that in overcoming the challenge of Frankfurt.
Whether Tuchel and Aubameyang stay or not, they will always hold their head high for delivering a DFB Pokal trophy to Dortmund.