As a key player, Filip Kostić leads Frankfurt Eintracht to a sensational title in the Europa League. However, the Serb voluntarily waives the reward - the Supercup against Real Madrid and the first participation in the Champions League for Hessen. And leaves the Bundesliga at short notice.
What thousands of Eintracht Frankfurt fans have been looking forward to since the magical night in Seville was no longer appealing to Filip Kostić. The 29-year-old top performer is missing from Hessen this Wednesday evening (9 p.m./live on free TV on RTL and in the live ticker on ntv.de) in the European Supercup duel with the great Real Madrid at his own request – his move to Juventus Turin seems only a matter of form. Nevertheless, there should be celebrations in Helsinki, Eintracht is dreaming of the next title. "If we were to prevail against the Champions League winners, that would be of great sporting importance to me," said coach Oliver Glasner.
Around 15,000 Frankfurt fans are expected for the knockout game against the premier class winners with Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Co. in the Olympic Stadium. The shameful 1:6 at the start of the Bundesliga against FC Bayern should be forgotten by the time the game kicks off. "I am confident that we will show a different face," said captain Sebastian Rode.
That will be necessary, because in the clap against Munich, the Hessians were nothing more than a helpless sparring partner. And Wednesday's opponent, who beat Paris, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool in series in 2021/22, is the measure of all things. "It's the best team in Europe. We'll do everything we can to win," said Glasner. Without Kostic.
The 29-year-old was one of Eintracht's outstanding European players last season, which aroused desires. "We've always said that we wouldn't put any obstacles in his way if the offer was good for all sides and that we were willing to talk. We're currently in promising talks with another club and a solution is emerging," said sporting director Markus Krösche.
Krösche emphasized "the broad squad" and "the very high level of trust in the boys". After a strike, with which Kostić wanted to force his change in the summer of 2021, he played furiously. "Filip behaved in an exemplary manner in the past season and played a large part in winning the Europa League," emphasized Krösche. But despite the title and Champions League prospects, he no longer wanted to extend his contract, which was valid until June 2023.
For head coach Oliver Glasner, this should end a farce that he had recently only commented snippy. "I substituted him so that he is in top shape for the season opener in Italy," the Austrian replied with a wink recently after the 6-1 loss to Bayern. He, too, should regret the departure, but at least there is clarity around three weeks before the transfer window closes. On Wednesday evening, the back and forth should already be forgotten.
"It's in our DNA to be able to cause problems for any opponent," said goalkeeper Kevin Trapp. Especially in international games. Extra class and big sags had regularly alternated in the 2021/22 season. But it was only mixed in the Bundesliga with eleventh place. On the other hand, Glasner's team had no problems with big opponents and huge attention, as they impressively demonstrated in spring against Barça, West Ham United and Glasgow Rangers on the way to the first international trophy since 1980.