Duisburg (dpa / lnw) - The first competitive derby since 2007 between MSV Duisburg and Rot-Weiss Essen on Friday in the 3rd soccer league (7 p.m. / magenta) electrifies fans and players around both teams. "Anyone who says it's a normal game is wrong," said Duisburg captain Moritz Stoppelkamp in a double interview with his Essen counterpart Daniel Heber of the "Rheinische Post".
In the past week he was "repeatedly asked about this game by fans while shopping," said Stoppelkamp. And after the schedule was published, he got a lot of messages: "Get a ticket here, get a ticket there. People you haven't seen or spoken to for five years suddenly asked how I was doing. That had me wondered."
Regardless of the outcome of the game, "the season after that was not over," said Stoppelkamp: "But the game is of huge importance. We have to earn credit again. What's the best way to do that? With a derby win! If we don't win or not at all should lose, I would classify that as a damper."
The Essen team got it when they lost 5-1 on the first matchday against fellow promoted team SV Elversberg. But the game on Friday is under different circumstances. With 28,000 spectators, the Duisburg stadium will be sold out for the first time since the corona pandemic. "It's also the first time for me to play in front of a crowd like this," said the 28-year-old. "16,000 in the promotion game was my biggest backdrop. I think very few of us have played in front of a crowd like that. It's definitely something very, very big."