Grandios, gigantic, galactic. That’s how Captain Sebastian Rode imagined this epic football evening on May 18th – and that’s how it actually happened. In the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, the big dream has come true. Europa League winner 2022: Eintracht Frankfurt. Champions League starter 2022: Eintracht Frankfurt.
Shortly before midnight, when the thermometer in the Andalusian capital Seville was still showing 27 degrees and the Slovenian referee Slavko Vincic blew the final whistle after winning the penalty shootout 5:4 – the game had not yet found a winner with the 1:1 even after extra time – , after the furious cup success of Eintracht against Glasgow Rangers, feelings finally erupted. It wasn’t the first time the stadium seemed to be upside down. Hours before kick-off, the Scottish and German fans in the Sevilla FC arena created an atmosphere that has never been seen before in the Europa League.
“We’re all the heroes, look at that. There is not one hero, we are all,” said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp, who stopped Aaron Ramsey’s attempt, on RTL. Coach Oliver Glasner was also enthusiastic: “Everyone pushed everything out. We came back. That makes up for everything. Now there are a few days of celebrations.” Sebastian Rode was badly marked with a laceration, but overjoyed: “This team is unbelievable. We just deserve it. We are incredibly happy to be able to celebrate with the fans now. There was so much at stake. I regained consciousness straight away, so that was okay. I immediately thought of Schweini in the 2014 World Cup final (who also had a wound/red.), that was a good omen.”
“We will be the bosses in the stadium.” That’s what Peter Fischer, the President of Eintracht, said to get in the mood for the biggest game in the club’s history in 42 years, since winning the UEFA Cup against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the evening before at a reception in told the “Frankfurt Embassy” on a hacienda just outside Seville. On the day of the match, the fans were already heating up for the final at midday at the Frankfurt fan festival in the Jardines del Prado de San Sebastián. The heroes of 1980, the brand ambassadors, the president: everyone was there. Everyone was celebrated. Just like the players of the present on this big evening.
Harmony with Jesper Lindström, who is ready to play again, and the other well-known protagonists in the starting XI: coach Oliver Glasner’s well-rehearsed team also knew how to defend themselves against the Rangers with great commitment from the start. Inspired by the dream of winning the title and crowning an impressive Europa League campaign with twelve unbeaten games in the final, Eintracht showed their well-known virtues: will, power, heart and passion.
The team spirit was also right against Glasgow, the 55-time Scottish champions. Supported by the loud-voiced fans, who had a lot of work to do in the competition with the song-crazed Scottish supporters, because the Rangers supporters clearly had the personal advantage – but the Eintracht fans were louder for a long time.