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Europa League final: Filip Kostic is crucial, but Frankfurt fans are also crucial for the most important match

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Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a disappointing 11th place finish in the Bundesliga this season but was stifled by the euphoria of their European exploits.

Few imagined Frankfurt would go far in the Europa League, but the 1980 UEFA Cup winners experienced a memorable and hitherto undefeated campaign.

Three wins and three draws saw them move from a group also made up of Fenerbahce, Antwerp and Olympiacos, and after defeating Real Betis in the round of 16, they delivered the shock of the tournament by sending Barcelona to the quarter-finals.

Rangers stun Leipzig to reach their first European final since 2008

They then overtook West Ham in the last four, organizing a showdown with Rangers, also little imagined in the previous stages but now ready to complete the job in Seville.

Wednesday’s final is therefore difficult to call and, with bookmakers making Frankfurt the light favorite, we get information from Eurosport Germany’s Marc Hlusiak about a team dreaming of the European Cup for the first time in 62 years…

Did the Europa League divert too much attention from the Bundesliga for Frankfurt?

Things have not been going very well in the Bundesliga this season. I don’t think the reason was the focus on another competition, though, at least not always.

Recently, when there was no longer any risk of relegation, the focus in Frankfurt has definitely shifted. There is a very special atmosphere in Europe and the team is able to compete on another level, with the fans creating a unique atmosphere.

How much motivation will the victories over Bayern Munich and Barcelona take?

They will surely remember the biggest hits of the season as they head towards the biggest game of the season, or possibly the last few decades. Everyone on the team knows how great the chances of winning the title are because they have beaten bigger opponents this season.

But it can also be a risk. Frankfurt must not make the mistake of underestimating Rangers on the basis of past feats.

Ansgar Knauff was something of a star during the run up to the final. How good is he?

Knauff was already considered a great talent in Dortmund, including being among the starters in the Champions League quarter-finals against Manchester City in 2021. But the competition at the BVB was too big, so the club and the player did everything right when he did. they loaned to Frankfurt.

It has time to play and can develop. He has great potential, he brings speed and dribbling with him. But Frankfurt’s most important players remain Filip Kostic and defensive boss Martin Hinteregger, who is likely to be absent due to injury.

What kind of manager is Oliver Glasner and what will his approach be?

Glasner is a manager who stays true to himself and his game ideas, even when things get tough. Sometimes you get the feeling he doesn’t have a plan B if things don’t work out. But that may also be due to his generally rather reserved, less emotional nature.

To be honest, it’s very difficult to describe Glasner because it doesn’t reveal much. He is not the center of attention, he holds back, but he has strong opinions, as demonstrated by his discussion with Jörg Schmadtke at VfL Wolfsburg.

What is the general feeling of facing the Rangers?

Eintracht might not be worried, but of course they know who the most dangerous Rangers are. Definitely worth mentioning is Ryan Kent, with him also BVB had problems. James Tavernier’s wings can also become a problem. Especially the offensive wings Knauff and Kostic have to work very well in defense.

We have all seen what happened in Barcelona, ​​do we expect fans to travel in large numbers again?

Short answer: it is very likely. Frankfurt fans are crazy, especially when it comes to international matches. It’s the biggest match in the club’s recent history, so the city will be packed with Eintracht fans. And they will also find their way into the stadium.

What would victory mean in terms of reputation and financially?

Obviously it would be a big step forward for Eintracht, especially from a financial point of view. But everyone in the club knows that the gap with the top Bundesliga teams is still huge. Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig, Leverkusen are much better positioned financially.

However, Frankfurt have the fan base, tradition and environment to become one of the best teams in the Bundesliga. A season in the Champions League would be a good start.


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