Maximilian Eggestein starts the 2021/2022 season as a player for SV Werder Bremen. After dropping out of the DFB Cup at VfL Osnabrück, he switched to SC Freiburg in mid-August. Two months later he is back in Osnabrück. It is the starting point of a journey that ends in tears.
August 7, 2021 was not a nice day for Maximilian Eggestein. The SV Werder Bremen midfielder lost 2-0 at VfL Osnabrück in the first round of the DFB Cup. Get out of the cup. The dream of traveling to Berlin had come to an end. A week later they went down 4-1 against SC Paderborn. Eggestein was on the pitch for 90 minutes. The relegated from the Bundesliga had messed up the start of the season under the new coach Markus Anfang. The financial situation was still modest and there was an offer for the native of Bremen.
"Of course it's very close to you when you've spent ten years in the club and actually know everyone," Eggestein reported on Sport1 in February. But he had to go. The offer was too good. The native of Hanover moved to SC Freiburg deep in the south of the republic for 7.5 million euros. A little later, Bremen signed Marvin Ducksch from Hannover 96. It was a well-invested 4 million euros. Ducksch came, saw and hit as he pleased. Only Markus Anfang couldn't hold on. He lost his coaching job in Bremen after forging his vaccination card. Ole Werner wanted to start, and Werner began Werder's long journey back to the Bundesliga.
Down in the Breisgau, Eggestein followed the development of his old club while he embarked on a long DFB-Pokal journey with SC Freiburg. It began on October 26, 2021, again at the Bremer Bridge in Osnabrück. As fate would have it, lot had sent his new club to Lower Saxony. It was a spectacular game in which VfL Osnabrück equalized in the seventh minute of added time and Freiburg's Keven Schlotterbeck only saved his club on penalties in the last minute of extra time. Eggestein also competed there and scored as one of only five of the ten shooters. In the second run Eggestein had defeated Osnabrück.
Freiburg didn't look back after that. Not in the league and not in the cup. They played a fantastic season that took them to the Europa League and the DFB Cup final. Always there: Eggestein. "We couldn't have foreseen that things would go so well. I was aware that we had a lot of quality in the team. To be honest, I didn't think about switching to a team that was playing for European places in the summer." , he said in February and probably couldn't even guess what fateful hero's journey still lay ahead of him.
The Breisgauer won the cup in Hoffenheim, at VfL Bochum and Hamburger SV. Respectable opponents, no home game, and entering the final for the first time. In which Eggestein was again in the starting XI. In the 19th minute, Vincenzo Grifo sent the full-back Christian Günter deep, who went a few meters down the left and played the ball sharply towards Roland Sallai. He couldn't get him under control, he jumped from his foot to his hand. Eggestein rushed up a few meters behind, saw the gap and shot the ball into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0. After a lot of excitement about the handball, the hit stops. For a long time it was the only goal of the evening.
Then Christopher Nkunku came on for Leipzig and later, in the penalty shoot-out, it all came to that when Eggestein had already left the pitch. The man, who had to go to Osnabrück twice, had led to the brink of a historic triumph with his goal to make it 1-0. But when it was all over, he stood empty-eyed in front of the Freiburg fans and clapped, like the rest of the team, in order to be able to somehow come to terms with the defeat. Eggestein's cup season started with a loss and ended with one.