The crazy thriller of Seville
The great return of ‘old’ football
Written by Stefan Ursfeld
05/19/2022 8:43 AM
The Europa League final between Glasgow Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt doesn’t emanate from quality, but from what defines football: excitement, magical moments and unbridled spectators. It’s a night that shows what the game used to be like.
Raphael Bury stood alone in front of the blue sea. Behind him, on the midfield, were the players of both teams and far behind him the white wall of the Frankfurt fans, who could not believe it. Win the European Cup just try, touch the ball. After that, nothing matters. The fans had dominated the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium in Seville long before kick-off with their cheers emblazoned with their colors and now they are ready for eternity.
In fact, Puri should not have been there. A few minutes before the end of extra time, a cross from Kemar Rov reached Ryan Kent through the turns. He was completely alone in the six-yard box and just had to push the ball over the line. From behind, Christian Jacic tried to address desperation, but it was hopeless. Goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was also hit long ago, and the ball slashed in front of him as he crossed, swerving towards the goal line.
But the national goalkeeper didn’t want his European Cup dream to die in the 118th minute. So when Kent was ready to become tonight’s champion for Sevilla, the 31-year-old international threw himself in a last-ditch effort and somehow got his right leg on the shot. A moment of eternity. One that will soon appear on T-shirts and posters and will run up and down for the next 50 years. Trapp said after the match, “If you survived a situation like this, you’d have a feeling it’s your turn today. I got that feeling.”
It is precisely these stories that will be told for decades to come. Kevin Trapp’s amazing save and what would have been if Kent had put the ball a little better. This final wasn’t inspired by the sporting quality, but by the fact that someone was always on the ground, that someone was always taking off and someone was always playing a bad pass. Referee Slavko Vinci did not show any particular interest in personal penalty kicks. He rarely interferes, not even at the fifth minute. Then John Lundstrom’s stud hit the head of Frankfurt captain Sebastian Ruud, who then, as befits the final, continued to play with a turban until he was substituted late.
European League dream
The end was out of time. The return of ‘old’ football, where everything was possible in the glorious collective memory, where money played no role, Steaua Bucharest, Red Star Belgrade, Ipswich Town, FC Aberdeen, Nottingham Forest, IFK Gothenburg or Eintracht Frankfurt Realistically he had a chance of winning the European Cup.
It wasn’t Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain and it wasn’t Manchester City and Chelsea either. It wasn’t Real Madrid and Liverpool either. So no teams participate in the last knockout and final games in the first division. Glasgow Rangers were the Scottish runners-up against the 11th-placed team in the Bundesliga. The former European Cup as an alternative to the competition torn apart by the greed of the big clubs. In the European League, teams that, according to common understanding, do not have the usual right to participate in a European competition, compete. Teams, as colleague Tobias Nordmann calls it in his wonderful drawing of Rudy, set out on a hero’s journey. And then they create something so unique and special that it lasts forever.
In Eintracht, at least since the last 16 against Betis Sevilla, every match has been the biggest in the club’s history. Betis, Sevilla, Barcelona, West Ham and now Glasgow Rangers. Opponents who breathe history and who charge Frankfurt themselves and enter each new game with a wider chest. That is why they got rid of the Bundesliga and focused, along with their incredible fans, on the Europa League. This distinguishes them not only from Barcelona, but also from German representatives Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, both of whom have more or less failed against Glasgow Rangers.
The arrogance of the few big teams, and the desire for history for the middle clubs made this final in Andalusia possible. During the day, more than 100,000 fans of both camps who traveled with them turned the city into a giant football party, although they quarreled from time to time, but in the end it was quieter than any folk festival. They were all very excited about this game. They didn’t want to let that go.
Puri put his hands on his hips. Then it started. A few steps, upside down, takes aim at Rangers’ 40-year-old guard Alan McGregor. The Colombian put his left leg next to the ball, and took a dry, superb shot, over the arms of the Flying Scotsman in the upper left corner and to the right in the history books, probably the biggest and longest celebration Frankfurt has ever had. One frenzy culminated this Thursday from 6 p.m. at the team’s reception in Romer (Live on RTL and ntv.de) We will find.
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