Interview with SBU legend Körbel: “The final will be an absolute spectacle!”

Eintracht Frankfurt’s UEFA Cup victory was 42 years ago, and Glasgow Rangers’ cup-winning cup 50 years ago: In the Europa League final, the two teams meet tradition, fan culture and greed for the pool. What is important? Who has benefits? What is the pressure? Eintracht legend Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel reveals this to in an interview. Hr. Körbel, where are you on Wednesday night?

Record player in the Bundesliga and Uefa Cup winner with Eintracht Frankfurt: Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel.

(Photo: picture alliance / dpa)

Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel: (laughs) In Sevilla at the stadium. But I do not take it for granted because I have the privilege, the honor, of being part of the official Eintracht delegation and flying to Seville with the team. I see that as a very big appreciation of the club towards me! And I’m really looking forward to the final.

You should just be one of thousands, maybe even millions. The whole of football Germany seems to be crossing its fingers for Frankfurter. The big question is: how many Eintracht fans will there be?

The club expects more than 50,000 Eintracht fans in Sevilla who will not be at the stadium. There will be more public viewing areas for our fans and also for the Glasgow Rangers. It says that even almost 70,000 fans in Seville could be in the city.

It sounds like a giant football fanbash.

Absolutely! I know many Eintracht friends and fans who spontaneously fly to Seville, knowing that they will not have a chance to visit the stadium. But they just want to be there, celebrating with the other fans.

Of course, this could also be done in Frankfurt itself.

That’s right: public viewing will be possible at the stadium itself. And also in the square in front of the stadium because the rush was so great. In total, around 60,000 Eintracht fans are likely to be in and around Frankfurt Stadium in the evening. Absolute madness!

It will be similar in Glasgow. Can one talk about a dream finale?

This is definitely a dream finale! Glasgow Rangers is a biscuit! This is where tradition meets tradition. Fan culture on fan culture. Title greed on title greed. The expectation from both sides is enormous.

Is there a favorite in the game?

That is a difficult question. On paper, we were outsiders against Betis, Barcelona and also against West Ham. Yet I have always said that there is a 50:50 chance that Eintracht has a chance to advance against any opponent. I did well with that (laughs), I keep at it: the chances are 50:50. No one is underestimated in the final anyway.

To put it another way: Where do you see the benefits of togetherness?

Charlie Korbel

Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel played for Eintracht Frankfurt from 1972 to 1991 and is the record player in the league with 602 Bundesliga matches played. He wore the German national jersey six times. With Eintracht he won the DFB Cup four times (1974, 1975, 1981, 1988) and the Uefa Cup (1980). In the 1990s, he was also on the coaching bench in Frankfurt. Today he runs the football school Eintracht Frankfurt.

I certainly see an advantage for Eintracht in the run-up we have in the Europa League. There seems to be a lever somewhere the team pulls every time the Europa League anthem plays in the stadium. The team is then fully focused, fully concentrated, greedy. I do not know where the handle is stored, but it is there.

The fact that the final takes place in Sevilla, so it is an away match for both teams, is also an advantage for Eintracht statistically speaking: won in Betis, in Barcelona, ​​in London – and it was just the knockout rounds.

That’s true, but I would not give more statistics like it at this point. Of course we were stronger away from home this season, but the record at home in the Bundesliga is a disaster. With Rangers, it’s the other way around: home delivery, away from home weakened. But luckily there is an exception to the rule: Rangers won in Dortmund. In that sense, the statistics look good to us, but I would not put anything on them.

Fact is: Both clubs can write football history. The last international titles were 42 years ago for the SBU and 50 years for the Rangers. The hunger must be enormous.

That’s what I expect! Both clubs can write history, the players from both teams can make themselves immortal in the minds of the fans. As a player, you do not often get such a chance – whether you play for Eintracht or Rangers. As a player, as a team, you simply have to seize the opportunity to take home the trophy!

Still, there must be a loser in the end.

It is definitely found on paper. But what both teams have achieved up to this point, what the fans have achieved makes us proud. Just thinking about the “white wall” at the Camp Nou gives me goosebumps. And then Frankfurt wins there too. And it will be the same with the Rangers: Who put a damn on Glasgow when it came to Dortmund or Leipzig? From that point of view, both teams and both clubs are already winners. By the way, it’s football too – no matter how the game ends.

It sounds like you want to take the pressure off the players.

(laughs) The pressure is definitely there. But on both sides. An international trophy and participation in the Champions League awaits. It’s normal pressure. A finale like this is something very special. A game. There is no other leg. Either you lift the pot, or you have to settle for the golden pineapple, which of course no one wants. When you are in the playoffs as a player, you want to win. That used to be the case for me and nothing has changed to this day!

A little luck can be crucial, see previous penalties for Frankfurt in Barcelona or the red card in the second match against West Ham. Has Eintracht already used their luck in the game?

You have to work for luck, you have to earn it. It does not fall from the sky. Eintracht worked hard to get through, was always on top, always 100 percent in the fights. She was greedy, wanted to make it to the finals. And that’s why she’s there now. I think the final will be an absolute spectacle! Both teams will be dead from the start, be toxic, give 120 percent, go beyond the pain threshold. A cool head is required – on the grave and on the lawn.

The game systems are similar: die early, attack, be toxic and then fast forward. It sounds like a clear 2-2 to me, even after extra time, and then there is the penalty shootout.

(Laughs) I watched the FA Cup final this weekend where Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in a very dramatic way. Then I thought to myself: man, that can happen in Seville too. decision at the end of the point. A fool is already sure, but he does not know anything about it yet. Of course it can happen. But I hope the game is already settled in advance – for the sake of unity. Should there be a penalty shootout, we have Kevin Trapp, who is currently the best German goalkeeper, on the line. A big compliment from me to him for this crazy season! With him as my support, I’m relatively relaxed in terms of even a penalty kick thriller.

What’s your tip?

2-0 to Eintracht. Point. And then on Thursday night there is a party at Römer in Frankfurt!

Thomas Badtke spoke with Karl-Heinz “Charly” Körbel

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