"Maybe never experience it again": Why the Europa League final is so emotional for Frankfurt fans

Frankfurt fans pose with the Europa League trophy in downtown Seville. Image: www.imago-images.de / imago images


05/18/2022, 12:55 p.m05/18/2022, 13:17

Luke Grybowski

René Kurfürst was able to distract himself for a good two weeks. But since Monday evening at the latest, when the first friends arrived in Seville and told him about the mood, nothing works anymore. The excitement before the Europa League final on Wednesday evening is just too great. Eintracht Frankfurt versus Glasgow Rangers: it doesn’t get any better than this. But not nerve-wracking either.

“It’s exhausting,” says Kurfürst, who has been publishing the best-known podcast about the club from the Main metropolis for twelve years with the “Eintracht-Podcast”.

He himself could not travel to the final in Spain. And that makes it even harder. “If I were there, I could distract myself with the people, but it’s hard to stand the tension like that,” he says in an interview with watson.

And on site in Seville, more than 50,000 Eintracht fans are expected. Tickets for the game at the Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán only got 10,000 followers. “It’s extraordinary with what enthusiasm and enthusiasm they spread the mood“Said Frankfurt coach Oliver Glasner.

And that has a very special reason for René Kurfürst.

Eintracht Frankfurt lives the Europa League

Even when Eintracht 2019 failed in the semi-finals of the Europa League on penalties at eventual winners Chelsea, the Eintracht fans created an incredible atmosphere at home and away games. Since then, one has had the feeling that Eintracht is the only club in Germany that fully identifies with the competition.

And after tens of thousands of Frankfurt supporters were at the games in Milan against Inter and in London against Chelsea in 2019, it got a little bigger this season. Ever since 30,000 Eintracht fans turned the stadium into a home game in Barcelona, ​​everyone in Europe has known Eintracht Frankfurt.

“What we tear down internationally, both on and off the pitch, is sensational,” summarizes podcaster Kurfürst the Europa League season.

Development of Eintracht Frankfurt has been steadily increasing for six years

Since staying up in the relegation in 2016, the development of the club in the Main metropolis has been steep. Starting with the lost cup final in 2017, the DFB cup victory in 2018 and the Europa League semifinals in 2019, Frankfurt is currently experiencing what is probably the most successful phase in the club’s history.

The Hessians won the national title in 2018, and now the first international success in 42 years is to follow.

“I want to drink from this cup.”

Eintracht Frankfurt President Peter Fischer before the Europa League final

For years it was very different. Under ex-boss Heribert Bruchhagen, Eintracht Frankfurt was the epitome of solid mediocrity in the Bundesliga.

“We come from a time when there was little ambition in the club to take risks to play at the top,” Kurfürst looks back on the time under Bruchhagen from 2003 to 2016. It’s completely different now.

And every Eintracht fan wants to be there. “We don’t know when we’ll experience that again, so you take it with you with every fiber of your body,” says Kurfürst.

50,000 Frankfurt fans are expected in Seville.

50,000 Frankfurt fans are expected in Seville. Image: dpa / Frank Rumpenhorst

In the Bundesliga, on the other hand, Frankfurt only comes in eleventh place this season. “Even though we have taken the next development step, Eintracht Frankfurt is not a club that plays for the first six places every year,” René Kurfürst tries to explain the hype.

The club only plays internationally next year if they win the Europa League – then even in the Champions League.

President Peter Fischer made it clear at a club reception on Tuesday evening: “I want to drink from this cup” and added: “Winning a European Cup is a thousand times better than sex. Because these cups are damn, damn rare.”

“Magical atmosphere” thanks to Frankfurt and Rangers fans

René also has this wish, but he would also give the Glasgow Rangers the success. “In a situation like that, you can also be a good loser because you see the history behind it.” Around 100,000 Scottish fans are expected in Seville, hoping to celebrate Rangers’ first international title in over 50 years.

“You will be able to touch, taste and, of course, hear the mood”

Eintrach Frankfurt expert René Kurfürst

And also thanks to the fanatical fans of the Scots, Kurfürst expects “a magical atmosphere” in the stadium. “You will be able to touch, taste and, of course, hear the atmosphere,” he describes.

We know that our greatest trump card will be behind us,” the letter said: “We feel your energy! And we’ll get what we all deserve together,” wrote the Eintracht players in an open letter to their fans.

Eintracht connoisseur warns Champions League teams

According to the Kurfürst, the mood among the Eintracht fans in the end, even in the event of a defeat, also depends on the course of the game.

“Obviously there’s a bit of frustration but overall it’s a great achievement to be proud of. We’ve shown how you can march across Europe as a complete unit of club, team and supporters to experience something good.”

Should Eintracht really win the trophy in the end, there will be two types of fans for Kurfürst. “The ones who will just party and the others who are just broken.” And if he wins the title and automatically qualifies for the Champions League, René Kurfürst can’t let a small declaration of war go unnoticed.

“Some teams can dress warmly, because there will be 10,000 or 20,000 Frankfurters there again. It doesn’t just stop.”

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