Gmarry when it’s at its best – Marvin Schwänke has to laugh. “This sentence is absolutely true.” The goalkeeper has been able to call himself Danish champions since Whit Monday. With Brøndby IF, he ended an eventful season triumphantly: 11,000 fans watched in the stadium as the most popular Danish club defeated FC Nordsjælland 2-0 on the last matchday. For the first time since 2005, the loyal supporters celebrated again – surprisingly, the club from the western suburb left FC Midtjylland and FC Copenhagen behind. And that, although Brøndby with a budget of ten million euros only spends half or a third on his professionals.
“Our goal was to get into the top six. They play a championship round in Denmark. We then became more and more stable and we had a tough duel with Midtjylland, ”says Schwänke. The 26-year-old from Darmstadt only really believed in the title on the penultimate matchday. Brøndby fought ten times for 60 minutes and won 2-1 in Aarhus, while Midtjylland lost at FC Copenhagen.
Just two days after the championship celebration, Marvin Schwänke was sitting at Kastrup Airport and left Copenhagen for Frankfurt. He did not renew his contract. “I want to take the next step,” says Schwänke. He is associated with 1. FC Köln. In this respect, the result of Saturday’s relegation should have pleased him.
Often championships are given out of hand
Schwäbe’s three years in Copenhagen end at a climax. Brøndby has often enough gambled away championships on the finish line. Most recently in 2018 with the German trainer Alexander Zorniger. When nobody expected the yellow-blue, they were there because the competition was weakening. “We weren’t better individually,” says Schwänke, “but as a team.”
It started for the young goalkeeper in 2018 under Zorniger. A new league, a different country, a foreign language. After years in the second (Dresden) and third division (Osnabrück), Schwänke wanted to move forward: “Denmark is a training league, that seemed ideal to me.” But it wasn’t that easy. For a long time, the failure of the 2018 season finale was in the minds of the players. In addition, the fans wept after goalkeeper Frederik Rønnow; he had gone to Eintracht Frankfurt. Schwäbe’s mistakes were counted, the parades forgotten. “I had difficulties starting,” he says. Fortunately, his wife was there: “Especially in times of Corona, I was very happy not to be alone abroad.”
Under coach Niels Frederiksen things got better from the 2019/20 season. The 50-year-old Dane, who worked for the Danish Bank for a long time in addition to his coaching activity, brought looseness back, integrated many Brøndby talents into the new first team – inevitably because the club from the western district lacks money. Frederiksen relied on a back three in defense. Resistance to pressure and resistance to defense increased. “I have also become more stable here,” says Schwänke, “the Danish league is tough.”
Now the Champions League beckons
Together with captain Andreas Maxsø, the former Leipzig Anthony Jung and Simon Hedlund, once Union Berlin, he formed the backbone of the championship eleven. The four were indispensable to support the younger generation. Now the Champions League beckons: At the end of August Brøndby IF could qualify for the first time in the play-off games. Should that fail, the Europa League group stage would remain.
But as it is in a “training league” – at the most beautiful moment the team disintegrates. All props have offers from abroad. Young cracks like the best league goalscorer Mikael Uhre are also considering whether to continue here. Schwabe has already decided against it.
Something else remains: “I learned in Denmark that you can work professionally, but you can still deal with the pressure in a relaxed and relaxed manner.” A house near the water in the suburb of Vallensbæk Strand near Brøndby training ground was the home of the Swabians for three years Offspring expected: “It’s harder to hit,” he says happily, thinking of the past three years – even if his Danish is limited to rudiments, as he laughingly admits.