Eintracht Frankfurt is the European League winner. The victory in Seville ended a 42-year international drought for the traditional club.
Coming home with the Silver Pot was a unique victory for the Eintracht Frankfurt champions.
An estimated 200,000 people celebrated coach Oliver Glasner and his co-stars in the main capital on Thursday for winning the Europa League, even bringing one or the other to tears in Eintracht’s entourage. “The best thing about success is how happy people are,” Glasner emphasized.
The motorcade from the airport to Romer in Frankfurt took more than three hours, as tens of thousands of people had already gathered at lunchtime to celebrate their loved ones on the balcony. Club legend Karl-Heinz Korbel, who was in attendance in 1980 when he won his only international title, kept shaking his head in disbelief at the enthusiastic reception. “What is happening here breaks all boundaries. It is in the history of Eintracht Frankfurt. The culture of the fans is unique,” the Bundesliga player said.
European champions are confused
The professionals enjoyed bathing in the crowd. “I’m overwhelmed with thought,” said crowd favorite Martin Hinterger, who was injured in the Seville final against Glasgow Rangers. Supervisory Board Chairman Philip Holzer admitted: “I have tears in my eyes for how much joy we bring people.”
Before the massive party in Frankfurt, the players had turned night into day after winning the dramatic 5:4 penalty against the Scottish runners-up. “It was fun and lively and it lasted until six in the morning,” CEO Axel Hellmann said after landing in Frankfurt after lavish victory celebrations at a luxury club in the southern Spanish capital.
Even the very quiet Glasner—who barely let the cup slip out of his hand during the procession through town—has turned into a party monster. “I’ve left the pig outside and partyed until Saturday – and on Sunday I’m going on vacation,” declared the 47-year-old Austrian soccer teacher.
After winning the UEFA Cup 42 years ago, the Eintracht professionals felt like they were in a fairy tale after winning their second international title in the club’s history – in addition to the massive trophy, they also secured their first-ever Champions League appearance. . A qualitative sporting and financial leap for the traditional club, which a few years ago was called “the moody diva of Maine”. “It will be a few years before you realize the scope,” said Rudd, who had a head wound. “We’ve always looked for superlatives, but there’s simply no word to describe them,” stressed Kevin Trapp.
Elver is a tramp hero
The national goalkeeper was one of the heroes of the dramatic final. The 31-year-old saved his team for the first time with a monster shock before the end of extra time on penalties, after which he saved Aaron Ramsey’s attempt. Then there was additional tribute from national coach Hansi Flick. “Kevin showed a great, great performance.”
After Rafael Borre coolly converted the final penalty to 5:4, sheer euphoria reigned – also in the stands at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and at home, as nearly 60,000 fans in and around the Frankfurt stadium kept their fingers crossed in public viewing. .
This success, watched by nearly nine million people in front of their televisions, was the culmination of a rapid development in recent years. In 2017, the Hessians lost against Borussia Dortmund The German Federation Cup final, in which he defeated Bayern Munich a year later. In 2019, they reached the semi-finals of the European League and are now a hit with an impeccable record: Eintracht has not lost a single out of 13 matches.
“The Eintracht Frankfurt brand has really become global in recent years, and now it has gained even more traction. Eintracht is a role model for many clubs, not only in Germany,” said Oliver Bierhoff, director of the German Football Association.
Gain international fame
With their debut in Europe, the Hessians have given international fame in the German Bundesliga. After all, the last German victory in this competition was 25 years ago. “This is a fantastic success for Eintracht Frankfurt and also German football,” said Hans-Joachim Watzke, president of the German Football League’s Supervisory Board and summer managing director for Borussia Dortmund. “All I can say is: Welcome to the Champions League.”
Eintracht will have a first-class glimpse on August 10 in the Super Cup. Then the opponent in Helsinki is either Liverpool FC or Real Madrid. Until now, opponents of this caliber have only dreamed of it on the Main. Bierhoff said Frankfurt showed “what team spirit and enthusiasm mean and what successes are possible when the team, the club and the whole city are motivated by a common goal”.
When the festivities are over, Eintracht officials want to calmly discuss strategy for the near future. The prospects are bright. “Of course, the extra income after two years of Corona is good. It will help us a lot in the future,” said sports director Markus Croce. Also in contract talks with stars such as Philippe Costek. Glasner is convinced that the winger, who tried to move to Lazio with a knockout last summer, will stay: “He still has a one-year contract. I don’t think this was his last game.”
One thing is already clear: Despite all the growth opportunities, the association wants to stay true to itself. Crouch declared: “The Champions League is of course exceptional for Eintracht Frankfurt, but we will not change our transfer strategy.” “Incredibly proud” President Peter Fischer confirmed: “The competition is getting tougher and fiercer. But we are not going to buy much now because we have qualified for the Champions League. There will be no hara-kiri at this club.”
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