At 9 p.m., Eintracht Frankfurt will challenge Glasgow Rangers in the Europa League final in Seville. Five Eintracht Frankfurt supporters were arrested before the game for disturbing public order. According to the police, they were part of the group of 200 German supporters who are said to have attacked Scottish fans. The incident happened on Wednesday night near the Cathedral in the city center. The German fans are said to have thrown flares, tables and bottles at the officials.
Shortly before these first riots, the responsible police chief Juan Carlos Castro warned of “serious problems” on Tuesday. 150,000 fans, 100,000 Scottish rangers and 50,000 from Germany are expected. “This is outrageous,” Castro said. “That’s too many people with too much alcohol, most without a ticket to the game.” 5,500 security guards were deployed for the final. Each club received a contingent of 10,000 tickets for the final.
In any case, Eintracht Frankfurt would like to crown a sensational Europa Cup season by winning the Europa League. Oliver Glasner could be the first Austrian coach since Ernst Happel in 1983 to triumph in the European Cup. But Glasner doesn’t want to focus on himself: “The players are the protagonists who have to implement my fantasies on the pitch,” said Glasner the team in focus. “I’m enjoying going into the final with these guys and this club, with all the euphoria we created.”
It’s the culmination of an incredible journey for both clubs. In 2016, Eintracht Frankfurt prevented Bundesliga relegation in the relegation against Nuremberg. The Rangers even played in the 4th division ten years ago. With the bankruptcy in 2012 and the associated forced relegation, the 55-time Scottish champions experienced their greatest low point. “I am very proud of what we have achieved. It feels exceptionally good,” said coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who succeeded Steven Gerrard last autumn.
Ironically, Martin Hinteregger is absent from the biggest game in Eintracht Frankfurt’s history. Even without the ÖFB team defender, the recipe should not be rewritten. It’s about getting our spirit onto the pitch, with all the enthusiasm and passion. I want to see Eintracht Frankfurt football, like against West Ham United and Barcelona,” he said Glasner. “If we can do that, I’m confident there will be a positive outcome.”
In any case, neither team will lack self-confidence. With victories against Betis Sevilla and FC Barcelona, and most recently against West Ham, Frankfurt became the “white beast” in Europe. Rangers, on the other hand, “fully deservedly eliminated” Borussia Dortmund, Red Star Belgrade, Braga and RB Leipzig, as Glasner meant. Above all, he had “never seen Leipzig in such trouble as in the first half with Rangers”.
The Scottish runners-up (behind Celtic) are buoyed by similar virtues as Glasners frankfurters. The club is also characterized by team spirit, fighting spirit and strength at home. Big stars are missing, with James Tavernier, a full-back with seven goals, leads the list of goalscorers in the Europa League.