Eintracht’s European hero Trapp: The only guy who makes Manuel Neuer stressful

Eintracht Frankfurt’s entry into the Europa League final is closely linked with the name Kevin Trapp. The goalkeeper is a sure support and also presents himself as a real leader off the field. It could also bring the 31-year-old forward with national coach Hansi Flick.

Twelve goals in twelve games. What sounds like an excellent rate for a striker is Kevin Trapps. So many goals conceded Eintracht Frankfurt goalkeeper in the Europa League. His team only held zero twice internationally, initially not a particularly notable statistic. A good one, of course – the finalists Glasgow Rangers conceded 15 goals into the tournament – but not one that makes you rub your eyes in total amazement. Still, the Bundesliga team is in the final – and this success is closely linked to Kevin Trapp.

The historic Europa League final – LIVE on RTL and RTL +

From 20:15 LIVE on RTL: the countdown! Speaker Laura Papendick and expert Karl-Heinz Riedle live from the stadium in Seville. Guests: Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner, Eintracht president Peter Fischer, Eintracht legends Uli Stein, Charly Körbel and Uwe Bein. Comment: Marco Hagemann and European Champion Steffen Freund.

From 19:45 LIVE on RTL +: the match day show! With Arnd Zeigler, Anna Kraft, Robby Hunke and expert Ansgar Brinkmann live from the German Football Museum in Dortmund. Guest: Passionate football fan and Let’s Dance jury Joachim Llambi. Comment: Cornelius Küpper.

You can also find a live ticker for the game on ntv.de.

The 31-year-old is highly praised and unaffected. “Kevin is the best in the Bundesliga at the moment! Better than Manuel Neuer because he just has a race,” said the admittedly not entirely objective Frankfurt goalkeeper Uli Stein from the newspaper “Bild”. And the even less impartial Frankfurt sports director Markus Krösche said: “Kevin is an incredibly important player for us, who has an excellent season again this year. For me, he is currently the best German goalkeeper.” Trapp has only missed two games in the league, in Europe he has a full 1110 minutes of playing time. The season got off to a mixed start.

In the DFB Cup, Frankfurt failed in the first round of the third division Waldhof Mannheim, in the Bundesliga there was a 5-2 defeat against Borussia Dortmund, followed by a total of six draws – five in the league, one in the group stage. Europa League against Fenerbahçe. Criticism arose until especially Trapp showed a new side on the seventh match day against FC Bayern. Unbelievable, when he almost drove Munich to despair, when he simply struck in Eintracht’s 2-1 victory. It was the decisive turnaround, since then Trapp has played at the top level, is extremely present in the penalty area, excels sometimes with top saves, manages his team from behind and not only shows leadership with the captain’s armband.

He also deserves praise for reaching the Europa League final against Glasgow Rangers. In the second round of the semi-final against West Ham United, it was he who was alert and had strong nerves in the final phase, who was again tense. When the English would not give up, he caught ball after ball and secured his team’s victory 1-0. It was “the best match and the best day of my career,” the 31-year-old thrilled in front of his own fans after reaching the final. “Until today” was the important reservation in advance.

“Pure pride”

Because the goalkeeper in Eintracht can hope to surpass the feeling of happiness again. In the final in Seville. “We have made an incredibly beautiful journey in the Europa League, so of course we are proud of what we have achieved so far,” he told ntv / RTL. “It triggers a lot of anticipation and euphoria for what we’re experiencing right now, but we still have a battle left.”

The Europa League at the end of last Bundesliga season was actually a disappointment, only the consolation prize after a season above average under coach Adi Hütter, who then left the club for Borussia Mönchengladbach. It missed the Champions League, it gnawed at the team and the fans. But it turned out to be a stroke of luck.

With three wins and three draws, the Hessians confidently played themselves as winners through the group stage in a group with Olympiakos Piraeus, Fenerbahce Istanbul and Royal Antwerp FC. As the first in the table, they were able to skip the intermediate round directly and were only challenged again in the round of 16. Eintracht got a taste of Sevilla in it, but played against Betis in a different way than they did in the final, which is played at Sevilla FC’s Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. After 2: 1 away and 1: 1 at home, the quarterfinals were secured. The supposed hammer weight FC Barcelona triggered on the one hand unrest and on the other hand pure euphoria.

Europe is at stake

What survived was more than pure euphoria: complete ecstasy, exuberant escalation of happiness at the Camp Nou, as after the 3-2 victory in the second half only the more than 25,000 Frankfurt fans celebrated with their team. Against West Ham in the semi-final, all dams finally broke at home. Trapp and Co. is still a step away from the trophy, from the victory in the Europa League. “It’s not because it’s all over now, it’s the most important match of the year that we’ve been working towards.”

A win that would also mean qualifying for the Champions League. Unlike internationally, it was only mediocre for Eintracht in the league. Eleventh place means: no Europe in the coming season without a final victory. That’s what most football fans want from the club across clubs. Eintracht took almost everyone with him. With fans of Eintracht, “who were and are capable of electrifying the whole of Germany”, the celebration of the Europa Cup victory “would really be something very special,” Trapp emphasizes to ntv / RTL.

By the winter, the last fans in Germany could cheer on him. Namely when Trapp plays with the DFB team at the World Cup. Well, he’s probably not allowed to play, so despite Steins and Krösche’s conviction, he can not get past Neuer. But Trapp has a good chance of getting at least one of the three places in the squad. In a duel with Marc-André ter Stegen and Bernd Leno. Even though national coach Hansi Flick gave preference to Leno in the World Cup qualifier against Romania last October on the grounds: “We have a clear position.” In which Trapp was led as number four.

Ter Stegen managed already once

But it was before the clear performance improvement of Trapps that he had apparently taken the announcement of the national coach. “Everyone knows my ambitions and goals. The basis for this is good performance at the club,” said Trapp. In addition, Leno will no longer play for Arsenal and will have to relinquish his position as regular goalkeeper to Aaron Ramsdale. And ter Stegen will miss the upcoming Nations League matches. According to Flick, the FC Barcelona goalkeeper gets an “important and meaningful” time-out. He counts him “among the best goalkeepers in the world”. Time that Trapp could use for himself when it comes to Italy, England and Hungary.

With performances on the pitch – and with his abilities as a team player, as they praise in Frankfurt. Trapp is “extremely important as a guy” and leads “the boys in the locker room,” Krösche says. Of course he does not have to prove his talent for language, the goalkeeper speaks German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian with the DFB team. Bringing different types of players together never hurts, even with the best of the best. And one thing is clear: Should Manuel Neuer be absent for any reason, Trapp would be ready. He has proven more than once in the Europa League that he can stand up to great opponents. He won the duel with Ter Stegen at club level in the quarterfinals.

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