Captain Sebastian Rode: The symbol of Eintracht Frankfurt’s title victory

Eintracht Frankfurt has won the Europa League title. With indomitable will and commitment. No one embodies it better than Captain Sebastian Rode.

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Extra home game: The highlights of Eintracht Frankfurt – Glasgow Rangers

Eintracht jubler

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Anyone who thinks back to Eintracht’s victory in the European Cup in a few years or decades will have very special images in their heads. Of course very private, from the party in Seville or the jubilation at the local pub, but also from this exhausting and nerve-wracking game. From Rafael Borré’s goal to 1-1, perhaps, or from Kevin Trapp’s world – class save in the 118th minute, without which there would have been no penalty shootout.

Harsh reality meets pious desire

But perhaps the most iconic image of this memorable May 18, 2022, is what you see at the top of the article. In front of Captain Sebastian Rode. Still covered in blood after being hit in the face with a knob in the 6th minute, given a laceration and after the green light from the medical department with a thick bandage around his head left everything on the field for Eintracht’s success for 84 minutes. In the background the team. Blurred cheers with the trophy, as in a distant dream. The perfect fusion of harsh reality and pious desire.

It is striking that Rode is the central figure in this analogy. Sebastian Rode, who was born in Hesse, is the captain of the team and could have had a world career. Who played for Bayern and Dortmund, but was repeatedly thrown back by injuries. Rode, whose body kept making him pause, who kept falling down and getting up again and again.

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Eintracht’s final victory in Sevilla in pictures

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Coach’s favorite

“He’s special. He’s hardworking, he plays very, very well.” This is what the then Bayern coach Pep Guardiola said about six and a half years ago about the defensive midfielder. Rode is not someone who is often in the public eye, but “we coaches know exactly what he can do,” the Catalan said. Nothing has changed to this day.

Rode is not a spectacular player, but still an underrated one. It is clear that southern Hesse is a real fighter who does not shy away from a duel, the Eintracht appendix was already aware of before the Europa League final. But Rode also does a lot of little things incredibly well, which are not immediately noticeable and do not appear in any statistics.

Counterpressing can also be performed alone

The 31-year-old reads the pitches on the court like no one else on the team. He delivers them defensively and takes them offensively as a passing station. Together with his robustness, this makes him a real anchor in the defensive midfield. In the semi-final’s second match against West Ham United, Rode was the best man on the pitch. In the final against Glasgow Rangers, he was one of the formative figures.

When the game was well into the second half and everyone’s legs became heavy, Rode went into counterattack after losing the ball in Frankfurt. Alone. He did so well that his opponent saw no choice but to hit the ball past. Eintracht coach Oliver Glasner immediately sprinted in the direction of his captain, shouting his joy and raising his fist in the air. Well done. Keep going, keep going.

More info

hr documentary about Europa League tour

Friday evening from kl. 20.15 (and then in ARD’s media library) hr-tv shows a documentary about Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League success. In the film by Florian Naß, Sebastian Rode and coach Oliver Glasner, among others, take us on their dream journey through Europe.

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“The most important thing is to get the thing !!!”

It was almost wished that Rode would please score the decisive goal to win the title. But it is not necessary for this heroic story. With 90 minutes played, the completely exhausted captain came to the rescue.

“The most important thing is to get the thing !!! Everything else does not matter,” the Hesse boy wrote after the match on social media under a picture where he looked as if he had played all 13 Europa League matches in a row that night. Drawn, bruised, but happy all around. One may ask oneself what images Rode will remember from this finale.

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