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Frankfurt vs. Barcelona: Eintracht coach Glasner is relaxed

Et was played for a quarter of an hour, and spring fever really didn’t arise in the cool football arena in the Frankfurt city forest. Nevertheless, Oliver Glasner took off his jacket, brought it neatly back to the bench and from then on drove his team in a sweatshirt that seemed airy for the outside temperatures. The Eintracht coach quickly warmed up to operating temperature. He made full use of his coaching zone, was mostly on the move, directed with his arms through the air to show the players where to run, brought in Filip Kostic for a tactical discussion, and after Freiburg conceded a goal, pushed his chest up to symbolize that they should nevertheless continue with courage.

His tireless commitment on the sidelines is typical of him. The 47-year-old, who used to be a respectable kicker himself, would still like to do it himself if the task calls for it. As level-headed as he talks about things when they are in prospect or accomplished, he impulsively lives out his role as the strategic head of a team with which he is now striving for success, which, if he actually succeeds, in place of honor in the club’s history: Glasner and Eintracht want to write the next chapter in European history. They want to emerge from the quarter-final duel with FC Barcelona this Thursday (9 p.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Europa League and on RTL) as a happy winner. A hurdle that could hardly be higher.

The dress rehearsal for the encounter, which is a career highlight for all Frankfurt protagonists, went wrong despite the coach’s efforts. The Hessians lost 1:2 to the sports club and thus lost ground in the fight for international places. It cannot be ruled out that they will catch up in the final sprint in time. In order to actually be able to be deployed beyond the national borders after the summer break, there is still another (albeit extremely complicated) additional option: Camp Nou.

In order to realize them, the Frankfurters must first prevail this Thursday at the Camp Nou; then eliminated the winner of the match between West Ham United and Olympique Lyon and finally triumphed in the Europa League final on May 18 in Seville – then they would even have qualified for the premier class. Shortly before Easter, this performance requires a lot of imagination. Glasner will bring them with him.

“We have to free ourselves from this”

For him, too, the appearance in Barcelona is something extraordinary. In his coaching career, which began immediately after his professional days at SV Ried in the Salzburg RB cosmos, he never reached the semi-finals in the European Cup. That fuels his ambition. Even if Glasner once had his strengths in defense as an active player, the focus today is on attacking efforts under his direction.

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