Interview with SBU legend Körbel: "The finale will be an absolute spectacle!"

Eintracht Frankfurt's UEFA Cup victory was 42 years ago, and Glasgow Rangers' cup-winning coup 50 years ago: in the final of the Europa League, the two teams meet tradition, fan culture and greed for the pot.

Interview with SBU legend Körbel: "The finale will be an absolute spectacle!"

Eintracht Frankfurt's UEFA Cup victory was 42 years ago, and Glasgow Rangers' cup-winning coup 50 years ago: in the final of the Europa League, the two teams meet tradition, fan culture and greed for the pot. What is important? Who has advantages? What is the pressure? Eintracht legend Karl-Heinz "Charly" Körbel reveals it to in an interview. Mr. Körbel, where are you on Wednesday evening?

Karl-Heinz "Charly" Körbel: (Laughs) In Seville in the stadium. But I don't take that for granted because I have the privilege, the honor, of being part of the official Eintracht delegation and flying to Seville alongside the team. I see that as a very great appreciation of the club towards me! And I'm really looking forward to the finale.

You should be just one of thousands, maybe even millions. The whole of football Germany seems to be keeping their fingers crossed for the Frankfurters. The big question is: how many Eintracht fans will be there?

The club expects more than 50,000 Eintracht fans in Seville who will not be in the stadium. There will be several public viewing areas for our fans and also for Glasgow Rangers. It says there that even almost 70,000 fans in Seville could be in the city.

That sounds like a giant soccer fan bash.

Absolutely! I know a lot of Eintracht friends and fans who spontaneously fly to Seville, knowing full well that they won't have a chance to visit the stadium. But they just want to be there, celebrate with the other fans.

Of course, you could also do that in Frankfurt itself.

That is absolutely correct: public viewing will be possible in the stadium itself. And also on the square in front of the stadium, because the rush was so big. In total, around 60,000 Eintracht fans are likely to be in and around the Frankfurt stadium in the evening. Absolute madness!

It will be similar in Glasgow. Can one speak of a dream final?

Absolutely this is a dream finale! Glasgow Rangers are a cracker! This is where tradition meets tradition. Fan culture on fan culture. Title greed upon title greed. The anticipation on both sides is huge.

Is there a favorite in the game?

That is a difficult question. On paper, we were outsiders against Betis, Barcelona and also against West Ham. Still, I've always said there's a 50:50 chance that Eintracht has a chance of progressing against any opponent. I did well with that (laughs), I'm sticking with it: the chances are 50:50. Nobody is underestimated in the final anyway.

To put it another way: Where do you see the advantages of unity?

I definitely see an advantage for Eintracht in the run we have in the Europa League. There seems to be a lever somewhere that the team pulls every time the Europa League anthem plays in the stadium. The team is then fully focused, fully concentrated, greedy. I don't know where the lever is hidden, but it's there.

The fact that the final is taking place in Seville, so it's an away game for both teams, is statistically also an advantage for Eintracht: won at Betis, in Barcelona, ​​in London - and those were just the knockout rounds.

That's true, but I wouldn't give any more stats like that at this point. Of course we were stronger away from home this season, but the record at home in the Bundesliga is a disaster. With the Rangers it's the other way around: home delivery, away from home weakened. But luckily there is an exception to the rule: Rangers won in Dortmund. In that sense, the stats look good for us, but I wouldn't put anything on them.

The fact is: Both clubs can write football history. The last international titles were 42 years ago for the SBU and 50 years for the Rangers. The hunger must be enormous.

That's what I'm expecting! Both clubs can make history, the players of both teams can make themselves immortal in the minds of the fans. As a player, you don't often get a chance like that - regardless of whether you play for Eintracht or Rangers. As a player, as a team, you simply have to seize the opportunity to bring the trophy home!

Still, there will have to be a loser in the end.

It definitely exists on paper. But what both teams have achieved up to this point, what the fans have achieved, makes us proud. Just thinking about the "white wall" at Camp Nou gives me goosebumps. And then Frankfurt also wins there. And it will be similar with Rangers: Who put a damn on Glasgow when it came to Dortmund or Leipzig? From that point of view, both teams and both clubs are already winners. Incidentally, football is too - no matter how the game ends.

It sounds like you want to take the pressure off the players.

(Laughs) The pressure is definitely there. But on both sides. An international trophy and participation in the Champions League await. That's normal pressure. Such a final is something absolutely special. A game. There is no second leg. Either you lift the pot or you have to settle for the golden pineapple, which of course nobody wants. When you're in the endgame as a player, you want to win. That used to be the case for me and nothing has changed to this day!

A bit of luck could be decisive, see earlier penalties for Frankfurt in Barcelona or the red card in the second leg against West Ham. Has Eintracht already used up their luck in the game?

Luck has to be worked for, you have to earn it. That doesn't fall from the sky. Eintracht worked hard to get through, was always on top, always 100 percent in the games. She was greedy, wanted to go to the final. And that's why she's there now. I think the final will be an absolute spectacle! Both teams will be dead from the start, be toxic, give 120 percent, go beyond the pain threshold. A cool head is required - on the dugout and on the lawn.

The game systems are similar: hit early, attack, be poisonous, then quickly forward. Sounds like a clear 2-2 to me, even after extra time, and then there's penalties.

(Laughs) I watched the FA Cup final at the weekend that Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in a highly dramatic manner. Then I thought to myself: Man, that can also happen in Seville. decision at the end of the point. A fool is already certain, but he doesn't know anything about it yet. Sure, it can happen. But I hope that the game has already been decided beforehand - in the interests of unity. Should there be a penalty shoot-out, we have Kevin Trapp, currently the best German goalkeeper, on the line. A big compliment from me to him for this crazy season! With him as my support, I'm relatively relaxed about even a penalty kick thriller.

What's your tip?

2-0 for Eintracht. Point. And then on Thursday evening there will be a party at the Römer in Frankfurt!

Thomas Badtke spoke to Karl-Heinz "Charly" Körbel


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