Eintracht Frankfurt want to win their first international title since 1980 against Glasgow Rangers. Rangers arrive as the second most successful team in the world with a surprisingly dangerous captain and a world-renowned coach – but history speaks for itself.
Final, ohoo: Eintracht Frankfurt want to win the first international title since 1980 against Glasgow Rangers in Sevilla. Here is the Eintracht opponent in the check.
It is exactly 150 years ago that four teenagers saw a group of young men playing football in a place with the beautiful name Fleischer-Ufer (Flesher’s Haugh) and got the idea to start a football club themselves. The first game took place a little later under the name “Argyle”, meaning the term for a particular diamond pattern. Shortly afterwards, it was renamed Rangers Football Club. The name Glasgow Rangers, which is mainly used abroad, does not exist in this form. Fans have nice nicknames for this: “Like”, “Teddy Bears” and “The Bluenos”.
It was probably not the four boys’ worst idea, because a century and a half later, Rangers is the second most successful club in the football world measured by title, only Al Ahly from Egypt has a little more silverware in the closet. Rangers won 55 Scottish championships alone. They are known for all the titles but also for their rivalry with Celtic Glasgow. “Old Firm” is considered the hottest derby in the world, mainly due to its religious and political connotations. Rangers are a traditional Protestant club, while Celtic are Catholic immigrant clubs. For over 100 years, it was an unwritten law that no Catholic could play for the Rangers. Only striker Mo Johnston broke this rule with his move in 1989 – and caused outrage among Rangers and especially Celtic fans.
Rangers are currently back in the national top, but it is only ten years ago that the club went bankrupt due to tax debt and had to start all over again in the fourth division. Rangers broke all spectator records on their way through the leagues back to the first division, rose again in 2016 and became champions for the first time in 2021. The 2022 championship meanwhile goes back to Celtic’s rivals.
The big stars are not to be found in the Rangers squad, but coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst has put together a strong squad. Aaron Ramsey, 72 times Welsh international and ex-Arsenal jewel, may still be a name for some. At Rangers, Ramsey, who is on loan from Juventus this winter, has not yet had the big chance.
Also worth mentioning is left winger Ryan Kent, signed from Liverpool ahead of the season and who already has 19 assists in all tournaments. Captain James Tavernier has collected a similar number, namely 17, only that the 30-year-old has 18 more goals – and that as a right-back. In the Europa League alone, Tavernier scored seven times, so beware.
No caution is required for Alfredo Morelos, Rangers’ top-19 striker, who is out with a knee injury. And: Two familiar faces can also be found in the Rangers squad. Left-back Leon Balogun played for Mainz 05 and Darmstadt 98 for a while, while striker Cedrick Itten scored against Eintracht for SpVgg Fürth in the first half of the season – but lost 2-1.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst needs his own room at home for his trophy cabinet, the man won 17 proud titles during his career as a player. And that for famous clubs like Arsenal, FC Barcelona – and Glasgow Rangers. The former captain of the Dutch national team has worked as a coach since 2011. At his first stop at Feyenoord Rotterdam, he won the trophy in 2016 and won the championship the following year. After a brief intermission in Guangzhou, China, he has been with the Rangers since 2021.
Van Bronckhorst – not surprisingly as a Dutchman – prefers to play in a 4-3-3. The system is designed for attack, the style is passionate, Rangers are particularly dangerous on the outside. By the way: Van Bronckhorst’s assistant coach is an old friend. None other than former Bayern striker Roy Maakay puts the cones on for Van Bronckhorst.
Cross with Eintracht
Eintracht and Rangers only faced each other in two matches, but they had it all: In the semi-finals of the 1960 National Championship Cup, Eintracht received the favorite Rangers in Frankfurt, and the roles seemed clear. Here the amateurs from Hesse, the Rangers, who were considered the best British team at the time. But Eintracht outscored the visitors 6: 1. No slip, in the second half in Glasgow Hessians won 6: 3, the whole stadium clapped Eintracht. Emil Östreicher, manager of the final opponents Real Madrid, called Eintracht’s entry into the final “the greatest success in German football outside Bern.” In the final, which took place in Glasgow of all places, there was a match a few weeks later a match of the century in which Eintracht lost 7-3 to Real.