Interview with SBU legend Körbel: “The end will be an absolute spectacle!”

It was Eintracht Frankfurt’s European Cup victory 42 years ago, and Glasgow Rangers’ coup 50 years ago: In the Europa League final, the two teams meet tradition, fan culture and greed in betting. What is important? Who has advantages? What is pressure? Eintracht legend Karl Heinz “Charlie” Korbel reveals this to in an interview. Mr. Korbel, where are you on Wednesday evening?

Bundesliga record player and UEFA Cup winner with Eintracht Frankfurt: Karl-Heinz “Charlie” Korbel.

(Photo: Photo Alliance / dpa)

Karl Heinz “Charlie” Korbel: (laughs) In Seville, on the field. But I don’t take it for granted because I have the privilege, and the honor, to be part of the official Eintracht delegation and to travel to Seville alongside the team. I see that very highly of the club towards me! And I’m really looking forward to the end.

You have to be just one of thousands, maybe even millions. The entire German football team seems to be keeping their fingers crossed for Frankfurt. The big question is: how many Eintracht fans will there be?

The club expects that no more than 50,000 fans will attend Eintracht in Seville. There will be several public viewing areas for our fans as well as Glasgow Rangers. There it says that even as many as 70,000 Seville fans can be in the city.

This looks like a giant soccer player bash.

definitely! I know many friends and fans of Eintracht who spontaneously travel to Seville, knowing full well that they will not have a chance to visit the stadium. But they just want to be there and celebrate with other fans.

Of course, you can also do this in Frankfurt itself.

This is absolutely true: public viewing will be possible in the stadium itself. And also in the arena in front of the stadium, because the rush was too big. In total, around 60,000 Eintracht fans are likely to be in and around Frankfurt Stadium in the evening. Absolute madness!

It will be similar in Glasgow. Can one talk about a final dream?

Definitely the end of a dream! Glasgow Rangers is a cracking game! This is where tradition meets tradition. Fan culture is about fan culture. Title greed on the title greedy. The anticipation on both sides is huge.

Is there a favorite in the game?

This is the difficult question. On paper, we were strangers against Betis and Barcelona and also against West Ham. With that said, I’ve always said that there is a 50:50 chance that Eintracht will have a chance of going up against any opponent. You did really well with that (laughs), I’m sticking with it: the chances are 50:50. Nobody is underestimated in the final anyway.

In other words: Where do you see the advantages of unity?

Charlie Korbel

Karl-Heinz “Charlie” Korbel played for Eintracht Frankfurt from 1972 to 1991 and is the league’s record player with 602 Bundesliga matches played. He wore the German national jersey six times. With Eintracht he won the DFB Cup four times (1974, 1975, 1981, 1988) and the European Cup (1980). In the 1990s he was also on the bench in Frankfurt. Today he runs the football school Eintracht Frankfurt.

I definitely see an advantage for Eintracht in the race we are enjoying in the European League. There seems to be a lever somewhere that the team pulls every time the Europa League anthem is played on the field. Then the team becomes totally focused, fully focused, and greedy. I don’t know where the lever is hidden, but it is there.

The fact that the final will take place in Seville, so it is an away game for both teams, is also an advantage for Eintracht from a purely statistical point of view: she won in Betis, in Barcelona, ​​in London – and these were just the knockout rounds.

That’s true, but I won’t give any other such stats at this point. Of course we were stronger away this season, but the record at home in the Bundesliga was disastrous. With Rangers, the opposite is true: home delivery, away from home, is weakening. But fortunately, there is an exception to the rule: Rangers won in Dortmund. In that sense, the stats look good to us, but I wouldn’t put anything on it.

The truth is: both clubs can write the history of football. The last international titles were 42 years ago for the SBU and 50 years ago for the Rangers. Hunger must be enormous.

This is what I expect! Both teams can make history, and the players of both teams can make themselves immortal in the minds of the fans. As a player, you don’t often get an opportunity like this – no matter if you play for Eintracht or Rangers. As a player, as a team, you simply have to take the opportunity to bring the trophy home!

However, there must be a loser in the end.

It certainly exists on paper. But what the two teams have achieved so far, and what the fans have accomplished, makes us proud. Just thinking about the “white wall” at the Camp Nou gives me goosebumps. And then Frankfurt won there, too. And it would be similar to what happened with Rangers: who blamed Glasgow when it came to Dortmund or Leipzig? From this point of view, both teams and clubs are already winners. And by the way, so is football – no matter how the match ends.

Sounds like you want to take the pressure off the players.

(laughs) The pressure is definitely there. But on both sides. An international tournament and participation in the UEFA Champions League are waiting for you. This is normal pressure. A final like this is something very special. Game. There is no second stop. Either you raise the pot or just make do with the golden pineapple, which, of course, no one wants. When you are at the end of the game as a player, you want to win. That was the case for me and nothing has changed to this day!

A bit of luck could be decisive, look at previous penalties for Frankfurt in Barcelona or the red card in the second leg against West Ham. Did Eintracht really run out of luck in the game?

You have to work for luck, you have to earn it. This does not fall from the sky. Eintracht worked hard to succeed, always on top, always 100 per cent in the games. She was greedy, and she wanted to go to the final. And that’s why it’s there now. I think the final will be an absolute spectacle! Both teams are going to die right from the start, they’ll be toxic, give 120 percent, and cross the pain threshold. Cold head is required – on the dugout and on the lawn.

The game systems are similar: die early, attack, be poisonous, and advance quickly. It seems clear to me 2-2, even after extra time, and then there are the penalties.

(laughs) I watched the FA Cup final at the weekend when Liverpool beat Chelsea on penalties in a very exciting way. Then I said to myself: Oh man, this could also happen in Seville. The decision is at the end of the point. The idiot is already certain, but he doesn’t know anything about it yet. Sure, it could happen. But I hope the game has already been decided – for the sake of unity. In the penalty shootout case, we have Kevin Trapp, currently Germany’s best goalkeeper, on the line. Big compliment from me to him for this crazy season! With him as my assistant, I feel relatively comfortable about the sensational penalty kick.

What is your advice?

2-0 to Eintracht. a point. And then on Thursday evening there will be a party at the Römer Hotel in Frankfurt!

Thomas Badtek spoke to Karl Heinz “Charlie” Korbel

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