Eintracht Frankfurt: Biggest chase ever

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Of: Ingo Durstewitz


Eintracht’s board member Axel Hellmann is proud of Eintracht’s triumph before the Europa League final – and expects his own fans to be outnumbered by Rangers.

Frankfurt – The question of the jersey, ie the color of the jersey, was never a problem for Axel Hellmann. Of course, Eintracht Frankfurt will play the long-awaited final against Glasgow Rangers in Sevilla on Wednesday (May 18) all in white. Traditional. As in all good games. “We rocked Europe in white,” says the CEO. What’s more: “In Spain we are called Bestia Blanca.” The white animal, based on the Bavarians who were once feared there as “Bestia Negra”, the black animal. What Munich did often enough with Real Madrid at the time, the Hessians did only recently with FC Barcelona, ​​they not only beat him, they humiliated him. “We have now won this title in Europe,” said Hellmann. There is pride in his voice.

In Frankfurt, the preparations for the biggest match of almost half a century are in full swing, the whole club is in a state of emergency. “This is a unique finale,” emphasizes the Eintracht board. “This is a unique meeting.”

Eintracht Frankfurt: The final is also attractive due to the opponent

It’s also the constellation that makes this final so special, the opponent, this lively club from Glasgow. “It was a dream of our club to play against Rangers,” said the Scottish fan. “Glasgow is a myth for us.” This is mainly due to the two lavish European nights in 1960, where Eintracht beat Rangers twice in epic duels, 6-1 and 6-3. The match of the century followed in the final against Real Madrid (3: 7).

Full of anticipation for the final: CEO Axel Hellmann. © Ulrich Hufnagel / Imago Images

But it is also the parallels between the clubs that create this particular appeal, the attitude towards football, the longing to play a role in Europe and not just be a marginal figure. Both clubs are based on a powerful fan scene, which Hellmann describes as “the biggest and most vocal in Europe”. Both fan camps share unconditional dedication, love for their club – and a desire to travel.

Eintracht Frankfurt: Sevilla expect more Scots

For the first time, says Hellmann, Eintracht fans will be outnumbered in the city, he expects 40,000 to 50,000 people from Frankfurt. The Scots go a step further: The lawyer, “conservatively estimated”, assumes 70,000, 80,000 fans from Glasgow. “There will be a rush that this city has never experienced before.” The Scots are creative when it comes to travel arrangements. “They hijacked all the ferries from North Africa,” he laughs, recalling the 2008 final when Rangers lost 2-0 to Zenit St. Petersburg. Petersburg. “There were 200,000 Scots in Manchester at the time who slept under bridges and on park benches.”

Hellmann finds the opponent’s march in Sevilla very sympathetic: “They are really ready for it, something like that impresses me.” The 50-year-old does not expect riots, just because of the story. “They both feel friendly,” and Rangers fans are not known as troublemakers. “We do not expect any incidents.”

Eintracht Frankfurt: Enthusiasm knows no bounds

Also because there should be an opportunity to watch the match outdoors, ie for those who have not received any of the 10,000 tickets per club. “Uefa is working on a public display, I think that will work too, it’s the smartest way.” Eintracht will host a fan festival at the large, 50,000-seat Plaza San Sebastian, where, among other things, the Frankfurt cult -Metal band Tankard will perform and tune in to the anthem “Black and White Like Snow”.

The enthusiasm in Frankfurt is consistently on its way to its peak. Eintracht could have sold 100,000 tickets for public viewing at the Waldstadion, but in the end it will be 50,000 people, more is not possible. Hellmann can hardly believe it all. “There’s no match at the stadium, there’s a screen there,” he says with a smile. An extra screen is now being set up in the forecourt of the stadium, 5,000 or 6,000 people should still get their money’s worth there. The hype surrounding the Eintracht is indescribable and cannot be put into words. “I’ve been there a long time, but I’ve never experienced it in this form.”

Eintracht Frankfurt: When you win the title, reception at Römer

If the title worked, Eintracht would celebrate at Römer early in the evening the next day. Planning is underway, weddings have been postponed, 30 to 40 convertibles are ready to drive the heroes through the city. The city would then be on the verge of collapse, in terms of traffic with the extra commuter traffic anyway. But also emotionally. Hellmann expects significantly more people than in 2018 after the cup triumph. At that time, 200,000 people were standing along the streets.

The rest of the Eintracht is emphasizing that opponents Glasgow are also planning a reception in the city. The request of the Romans therefore has nothing to do with the feeling of sure victory or a fit of arrogance. Logistically, it is clear everything has to be organized. In the event of a defeat, Eintracht will also waive the reception at City Hall. “You go there to celebrate titles or promotions. Otherwise, there are only long faces and tormented speeches,” Hellmann said, making it clear that a final defeat would be extremely painful, but the Europa League season is still big. “Silver is stupid , but we reached the final in twelve undefeated matches. It would be an excellent game and a unique achievement. “

The official is proud of Eintracht’s victory march through Europe, that the club is an excellent representative of the Bundesliga and Germany, that the whole republic is crossing fingers, yes, that everyone somehow wants to be like Eintracht Frankfurt. “We are now perceived as being on the top list in Europe – across all competitions.” Because Eintracht managed to push boundaries, “we have shown that you can also do great things from our position”. Hellmann, who puts the turnover from international games at 22 to 25 million, believes that Eintracht’s performance will find many imitators. “It will have an effect on the league, we got our eyes lit up in the Bundesliga in the Europa League.” (Ingo Durstewitz)

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