Eintracht Frankfurt is Europa League winner. With the triumph in Seville, a 42-year international dry spell ended for the traditional club. In addition to the cup, the first participation in the premier class is celebrated. Returning home will be an unforgettable experience.
The return home with the silver pot was a unique triumph for the Euro heroes Eintracht Frankfurt. An estimated 200,000 people celebrated trainer Oliver Glasner and his protégés in the Main metropolis on Thursday for winning the Europa League and even brought tears to one or the other in the Eintracht entourage. “The best thing about success is how happy people are,” emphasized Glasner.
The motorcade from the airport to Frankfurt’s Römer lasted well over three hours, where tens of thousands of people celebrated their favorites with a pyro show and songs. “You can win titles by spending a lot of money. But you can also win titles by forming a unit,” said successful coach Glasner to the enthusiastic fans.
Club legend Karl-Heinz Körbel, who was there in 1980 when he won the only international title, kept shaking his head in disbelief at the overwhelming reception. “What is going on here goes beyond all borders. That goes down in the history of Eintracht Frankfurt. This fan culture is unique,” said the Bundesliga record player.
The pros enjoyed bathing in the crowd. “I’m overwhelmed,” said crowd favorite Martin Hinteregger, who was injured in the Seville final against Glasgow Rangers. Chairman of the Supervisory Board Philip Holzer admitted: “I have tears in my eyes at how much joy we bring people.”
Even the otherwise so calm Glasner – who hardly let the trophy out of his hand during the motorcade through the city – mutated into a party beast. “I let the pig out and party until Saturday – and on Sunday I’m going on vacation,” announced the 47-year-old soccer teacher from Austria.
The success in Seville, which was watched by almost nine million people in front of their TV sets, was the culmination of a rapid development in recent years. In 2017, the Hessians lost the DFB Cup final against Borussia Dortmund, in which they triumphed against Bayern Munich a year later. In 2019, they reached the semi-finals of the Europa League and now they have had great success with an impeccable record: Eintracht did not lose a single one of 13 games.
When the celebrations are over, the Eintracht officials want to calmly discuss the strategy for the near future. The prospects are bright. “Of course, the additional income after two years of Corona is good. That will help us enormously for the future,” said sporting director Markus Krösche. Also in contract talks with stars like Filip Kostic. Glasner is convinced that the winger, who wanted to force a move to Lazio Rome with a strike last summer, will stay: “He still has a year of contract. I think that wasn’t his last game.”
One thing is already clear: despite all the growth opportunities, the association wants to remain true to itself. “The Champions League is of course exceptional for Eintracht Frankfurt, but we will not change our transfer strategy,” announced Krösche. And the “incredibly proud” President Peter Fischer confirmed: “The competition is getting tougher and fiercer. But we don’t go big now because we qualified for the Champions League once. There will be no hara-kiri at this club.”