Europa League – Before the final against Glasgow Rangers: Eintracht Frankfurt, broth of European culture

Bad Filbel, the northern suburbs of Frankfurt. Two weeks before the Europa League final, scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, the city’s supermarket has already announced its customers: it will close at 8 p.m. that evening. Undoubtedly, his staff misses a crumb of the “match of matches.” In the capital of Hesse, the enthusiasm for Eintracht’s first European final since 1980 is indescribable. In the week before the match, the number of requests for tickets exceeded 100 thousand. For all those who could not go to Spain, where the match will take place, obviously, rallies with a giant screen are organized.

Enough to repeat the 30,000 Eintracht supporters who, by organizing a trip to the Camp Nou in early spring, caused a stir throughout Europe, humiliating Barça in their lair. “One thing is for sure: the images of Barcelona will last forever. 30,000 people in the city and in the stadium, peaceful, festive and vectors of emotions, “said Philip Holzer, a member of Eintracht’s supervisory board, in a two-week kicker. “I thought we were in Frankfurt. It was wonderful. Exceptional, really“, referees goalkeeper Kevin TrappWhat is the biggest sensation between the performance of the players that evening and the impressive contingent of 30,000 fans who fell on the stands? It’s hard to judge!“- exclaimed journalist Thieu Müller, a specialist from Eintracht.

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It was by defeating Barcelona in the quarterfinals that the players woke up a whirlwind of passion that seemed to be dormant among fans close and loyal to their club. In fact, the euphoria continued after winning the German Cup in 2018, and the pandemic was only suspended. Three years ago, the European adventure, which stopped at the gates of the final after a penalty against the future winner of Chelsea, had its heroes – an attacking trio of buffaloes, consisting of Sebastian Haller, Ante Rebic and Luka Jovic.

Frankfurt fans invaded the Camp Nou

Authors: Getty Images

Today there are still clusters of criminals to watch, but in a completely different profile. And, in particular, one person is responsible for the euphoria that arises on earth. Ansgar Knauff, rented in the winter from Dortmund (a year and a half without the possibility of purchase), dynamizes all the defenses that had the misfortune to cross his path for several weeks. Last weekend, Mainz was no exception: the 20-year-old winger gave a productive pass to Rafael Borre, who, in turn, continued to gain strength from the winter.

“Hardly another topic for discussion”

Athletic director Marcus Kryoche had a great nose when he came out of the lull in which Knauf plunged into the last transfer window in Dortmund: he scored for Barça from a 20-meter kick, and it was Knauf who scored in the next round. opened the scoring after 48 seconds against West Ham (2-1, the final score), accelerating the fall of the London club, powerless to return to the boiling stadium of the opponent. After this success on British soil, Eintracht supporters celebrated their players from the rostrum for a long time. “In Frankfurt, the Europa League has extreme chances. Wherever you go, there is unlikely to be another topic of conversation“Coach Oliver Glasner said at the time.”The effect may be immeasurable, but it affects us all. This positive atmosphere, this spirit encourages players to give themselves a little more. And this epic, which has taken us so far, is a great pleasure. We want to achieve this!

Frankfurt – FC Barcelona

Authors: Getty Images

The TV presenter of the contest in Germany more than agrees: there are millions of viewers – more than 5 for a quarter and a half! It even includes fans of other clubs in the country, such as Union Berlin, which applauded the guests on the occasion of Union Eintracht, played a few days after the feat against Barça. If Glasner’s players have won such sympathy, it is also because of their individual path. Many of them failed during their careers before returning to Hesse: goalkeeper Kevin Trapp failed in Paris; Martin Hinteregger and Jibril Sow in Monchengladbach; Rafael Borre at Atletico and Villarreal; Philipp Kostic went with Stuttgart and Hamburg. Incomplete list …

From lead eagle to golden eagle

For Eintracht, the European dimension is separate. On European Cup evenings, the eagle that adorns the leaders’ costume is not gray, as is customary on the national stage, but gold. Oliver Glasner wears an amulet around his neck, also decorated with the symbol of the Eagle Club, accompanied by the inscription “Eintracht Frankfurt International 2021/22” and the silhouette of the European Cup. A gemstone offered by a jeweler’s fan.

No one has forgotten the images of Martin Hinteregger, a defense soldier and compatriot of Glasner, who cries in the arms of the audience after a failed series of penalties, in the semifinals in London, which is three years old. “This match is still very much in the minds of all those who were there“, said Sebastian Rode, eager for revenge, before the double confrontation against West Ham. No other German club is experiencing and celebrating Europe with such intensity as Frankfurt. In 2019, even the Europa League qualifiers in mid-summer, against FC Vaduz and FC Flora Tallinn were sold out, so the final that would allow them to relive the 42-year-old title and gain access to the Champions League for the first time …

Philipp Kostic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Authors: Getty Images

Twenty-five years after Schalke’s triumph in the same competition, in 1997, Eintracht met history and did not miss it. Argentine David Abraham, who spent six and a half seasons in Hesse before returning to South America last winter, received a farewell on May 8, the last home game of the 2021-2022 Bundesliga. “Capito” is now not only a life member of Eintracht, but he was also invited to Seville for the final.

He is not alone: ​​the entire team that won the UEFA Cup in 1980, including the legends Charlie Karbel, Norbert Nachtweich and Cha Boom Kun, who have to leave Korea. The father of center forward Gonzalo Pasciencia, who in turn marked the history of another traditional club (FC Porto), is well aware of the intensity of this hobby. “Another magical night“He testified at the end of the winning semifinal.”I do not have enough words to describe such moments. This club, this city, these fans – one of the most beautiful relationships on this planet.».

Hammels: “Wow, you’re really rocking us”

If the “yellow wall” of Dortmund strikes the whole world, the “white wall” of Frankfurt also has its effect. “Wow, Eintracht, you are really making us vibrate internationally“Mats Hummels wrote on Twitter after” Barcelona “.It is unlikely that there will be a German club that brings so much pleasure in the international arena.“, – added Ilkay Gundogan.This is world-class support“, Paid tribute to Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Sometimes excessive support, such as the West Ham invasion or vandalism of bars here and there, but apparently massive support, as evidenced by the more than 100,000 club members who never left it, despite less glorious episodes. for the last 30 years, for example, descents in the 2nd division. So much so that the national railway company wrote on Twitter in early May: “There are several Eintracht fans in our team. We agreed with them: if we get 753,056 likes, we will rent a special train to Seville753,056, as well as the population of Frankfurt.

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