Do you know Frankfurt? So on the Main? Banks, nothing going on downtown, business style, maybe the older ones like Heinz Schenk and Äbbelwoi. The image that outsiders have of the city in the middle of Germany is often cool and somewhat faceless. And then suddenly this. A team with heart, euphoria and pure passion that transports a completely different picture.
Eintracht Frankfurt wins another international title after 42 years. And that after a bumpy start to the season, an early exit from the DFB Cup and what was actually a disappointing Bundesliga season. But it’s not so much the sporting success, the sporting performance alone that made many people excited. It is also the pure football euphoria of their fans.
Eintracht Frankfurt has brought to light a side of their city that many never see from the outside. Big heart, very down to earth and honest. That doesn’t necessarily come to mind when you think of Frankfurt.
They also wanted to take a different sportive path in the 1990s. They lost the championship seconds before the end. Rostock is still a trauma for many Eintracht fans. Megalomania, affairs and decline in sports and culture followed. It took Eintracht almost a decade and a half to get back on its feet and went a different route: not a big city club. Sorry, Herta. But about passion and football euphoria.
Eintracht has managed to form a symbiosis of their city, their fans and the team. And that spills over. It’s a bit of football nostalgia, football culture, a bit of true love and sentimentality. And a sign of the feelings that football can still trigger, what fan culture means.
This pure devotion on the part of the fans used to turn into something aggressive and hostile. Not untypical in football. This sentimentality sometimes has something merciless, exclusive about modern developments in football. But Eintracht managed to channel all of that and turn it into something positive and euphoric. And that’s part of the secret to success.
Next season they will play with the big boys. It already starts in the Supercup. Then either Real Madrid or Liverpool FC are waiting, who will soon face each other in the Champions League final and then play against the Europa League winners for the European Super Cup. Also two teams that come from passion, euphoria and a great cohesion. They are one with their city. Well, in Madrid at least with a large part. And then the Champions League. In Frankfurt.
There, too, they will perform with the same passion, euphoria and curiosity. It remains to be hoped that Eintracht will retain this style and continue on this path. But on the other hand, at the same time, it manages to become more professional and does not stop at sentimentality. Because one-time successes are great, but what happens when you lose your balance afterwards was shown by the last cup winner, when it was still the Uefa Cup: Schalke 04. But they come back too.
So it should be good for German football overall, this unity. And for the city it is also a great image gain.